Cook Up a Healthier Holiday Season

Good Health LifestylesRecipes

When you consider the holidays, what comes to mind? For most of us, our holiday memories revolve around those special foods that grace the table from Halloween to New Year’s Eve. Festive? Absolutely! Healthy? Not so much. This year, shake things up by creating some new holiday traditions that provide the same joy, but with a side of better health.

Sausage-Cranberry Mushroom Bites

Serves 10-15

These stuffed mushrooms are the perfect nutrient-dense appetizer for your next holiday get-together. The mushrooms boast a healthy dose of the B vitamins plus vitamin D, while the apples, cranberries, and leeks are packed with polyphenols. Plus, each mushroom provides a bit of protein and good-for-you fats, all in a delicious bite-size package!


  • 30 baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
  • 8 oz. organic or pasture-raised chicken sausage, crumbled
  • ½ cup apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced
  • ¼ cup leeks, white part only, finely diced
  • ¼ cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add sausage to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, breaking up the meat until finely crumbled.
  4. Stir in the apples, leeks, and pecans, cooking for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the cranberries, sage, and beaten eggs. Mix well.
  6. In a small bowl, mix the remaining tablespoon of oil with the minced garlic. Place the mushrooms, upside down, on the baking sheet and brush with the garlic oil.
  7. Spoon the sausage mixture into each mushroom cap and bake for 25 minutes or until the mushrooms are browned. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 121 cal; 9g total fat; 6g carb; 6g protein; 145mg sodium; 4g sugar


Easy Rosemary Roasted Turkey Breast

Serves 8-10

Whether you’re a whiz in the kitchen or can’t boil an egg, this simple turkey recipe is a foolproof main dish that’s perfect every time. In addition to being an excellent source of lean protein, turkey also provides a nice punch of niacin, vitamins B6 and B12, and selenium.


  • 1 (7 pound) bone-in turkey breast, skin removed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • A splash of white wine or lemon juice (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°
  2. Place the turkey breast in a roasting pan fitted with a rack.
  3. Drizzle the oil over the turkey breast and brush to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the roasting pan in the oven and cook for approximately 25 minutes per pound (about 3 hours total).
  5. Baste every 15–20 minutes.
  6. After the first hour, add the wine or lemon juice to the bottom of the pan, if using. Continue to baste periodically.
  7. Remove the turkey from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Slice and serve.

Per serving: 354 cal; 8.1g total fat; 0g carb; 54g protein; 847mg sodium, 0g sugar


Perfectly Roasted Veggies

Serves 8-10

This colorful array of vegetables hits all the marks for taste and nutrition. Providing a wealth of antioxidants and fiber, it’s the perfect pairing for the Rosemary Roasted Turkey Breast. Plus, the addition of grapes adds a lovely hit of natural sweetness.


  • 10-15 small to medium rainbow carrots, peeled
  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 2 delicata squash, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups red or purple seedless grapes
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the vegetables and grapes with the oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat.
  3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the vegetable-grape mixture on top in an even layer.
  4. Top with the thyme and sage sprigs.
  5. Roast for 45 minutes or until the veggies can be easily pierced with a fork. Toss halfway through cooking.
  6. Remove from the oven and discard the herbs. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
  7. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 205 cal; 13g total fat; 45g carb; 5.4g protein; 596mg sodium; 9g sugar


Loaded Mashed Cauliflower

Serves 10

This side dish seems so decadent, you’d never guess it was healthy! Cauliflower is a fiber-rich member of the cruciferous family and it’s high in vitamins B6, C, K, choline, folate, and magnesium. But, despite its nutrient-dense profile, the addition of cheese and bacon will make it a family favorite—even among your vegetable-hating holiday guests.


  • 2½ heads of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 9 slices of sugar-free bacon, diced
  • 2½tablespoons ghee or pastured butter
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Place the cauliflower in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover the florets. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is very soft.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat. When crisp, remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
  3. Combine all the herbs, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Once the cauliflower is cooked, drain all of the water from the pot.
  5. With the heat set on low, mash the cauliflower with a potato masher (not a stick blender).
  6. Add the ghee or butter, the herb mix, the cheese, and the diced bacon. Stir to mix well.
  7. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with additional chives or bacon. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 247 cal; 19g total fat; 8g carbs; 11g protein; 4mg sodium; 0g sugar


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