Whether you’re gearing up to host a crowd or planning an intimate family dinner, these healthy dishes put a new twist on those ho-hum holiday favorites (yes, we’re looking at you green bean casserole!). Bonus? Instead of pushing back from the table feeling stuffed and sleepy, these tasty offerings leave you satisfied yet energized. Who knows? You may just start your very own tasty tradition!
Garlic-Rosemary Roast Beef with Mushroom Jus
Beef is a delicious stand-in for the more mundane holiday turkey or ham. We’ve dressed ours up with an indulgent earthy mushroom sauce that plays well with other flavors of the season.
- 3 pounds boneless rib-eye beef roast
- ¼ cup garlic, minced
- ¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons grass-fed butter, divided
- 4 cups various mushrooms, such as chanterelle, morel, and Portobello, sliced
- ½ cup beef stock
- ½ cup dry red wine
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Tie the roast (or have your butcher do this) and season with salt and pepper.
- Mix the garlic and rosemary together with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Sear the roast on all sides.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and brush the roast with the herb mixture. Surround the roast with the sliced onions.
- Place the skillet in the preheated oven and roast for one hour or until an instant-read thermometer reads 135° (medium rare). Remove the roast to a cutting board and rest the meat for at least 10 minutes. Discard the onions.
- While the meat rests, sauté the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a sauté pan until soft and no liquid remains in the pan.
- Move the skillet back to the stove and add the stock and wine to the pan, scraping the browned bits from the bottom. Simmer until thickened.
- Add the mushrooms to the sauce, stirring in the remaining butter. Using an immersion blender, process the sauce until smooth and silky.
- Carve the roast to desired thickness. Transfer to a platter and spoon the sauce over the meat. Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs and serve remaining sauce on the side.
Per serving: Calories 306; Total Fat 13g; Carbs 1g; Protein 23g; Sodium 74mg; Sugar 0g
Smarter Scalloped Potatoes
Crispy on top yet creamy and tender inside, this healthy version of a family favorite is both grain-free and dairy-free. You can find both the ghee and the cassava flour online or in most natural markets.
- 3 pounds organic russet potatoes
- ¼ cup ghee
- ¼ cup cassava flour
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup chives, minced
- Preheat oven to 325°F and grease a 13×9 pan with ghee. Set aside.
- Slice potatoes thinly using a food processor (or use a mandolin set over a large bowl).
- In a small saucepan over medium heat combine the ghee and cassava flour until well-blended and thick. Cook 1 minute, stirring continually. Slowly add in the water and almond milk. Whisk until smooth and thick, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add in the garlic powder, salt, thyme, rosemary, and pepper. Whisk again to mix. Taste. Adjust seasoning if needed and remove from the heat. Mixture should be thick, but pourable.
- Add a thin layer of the cream sauce to the bottom of the pan and top with a layer of potatoes. Spread a layer of sauce over the potatoes. Continue layering until all the potatoes have been used and top with the remaining sauce.
- Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 40-45 minutes or until the top has browned and the potatoes are tender. Sprinkle top with chives.
Per serving: Calories 308; Total Fat 11.5g; Carbs 46.7g; Protein 6.4g; Sodium 674mg; Sugar 4g
Sautéed Green Beans and Mushrooms with Caramelized Leeks
Did someone say Green Bean Casserole? Forget the cream of mushroom soup and canned onions! This upscale rendition of the holiday staple is bursting with both flavor and nutrients. You’ll never go back to the 1955 version Mom (or Grandma) made!
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 medium-sized leeks
- 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Wash the leeks well to remove any dirt and thinly slice the white and light green portion only.
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium-low heat and sauté the leeks for about 30 minutes, stirring often, until browned and crispy. Watch carefully so they do not burn.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook about 2 minutes to blanch. With a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes.
- Add the green beans and garlic to the pan. Toss to combine and sauté for an additional 3 minutes. Stir in all but ¼ cup of the caramelized leeks. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Transfer the green bean mixture onto a serving platter and top with the reserved leeks. Serve immediately.
Per serving: Calories 94; Total Fat 6g; Carbs 9.5g; Protein 3g; Sodium 70mg; Sugar 3g
Sugar-Free Apple Crisp
Surprisingly sweet and satisfying, this riff on an old school treat is composed of just fruit and nuts. Top with a dollop of whipped coconut cream for a dessert that will have your family asking for more!
- 6 sweet apples, peeled, cored, and diced
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- ½ cup almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place the diced apples in an 8×8 baking dish.You can also place the apples in a large bowl, proceed through Step 5, and then divide the apples between 6 oven-proof ramekins.
- Melt the coconut oil in the microwave for 15-30 and pour over the apples.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg over the apples. Toss to coat the apples well.
- Mix in the raisins and toss to combine.
- Put the almonds in a blender or food processor and process until course. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the apples.
- Bake for about 30 minutes.
Per serving: Calories 159; Total Fat 5g; Carbs 32g; Protein 1g; Sodium 3mg; Sugar 23g
These decadent, fudgy brownies have a secret—actually several! Grain-free and packed with FIVE different superfoods, they’re a healthy chocoholic’s dream. Just don’t let the kids see what’s really in them!
- ½ cup almond, cashew, or sunflower butter
- ½ cup ripe avocado, mashed
- ½ cup cooked sweet potato
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350° Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil.
- Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, combine all ingredients through the maple syrup in a large bowl. Mix on low speed until well-combined.
- Stir in the chocolate chips and spoon into the loaf pan, smoothing the top as evenly as you can.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely before slicing.
Per brownie: Calories 171; Total Fat 12g; Carbs 14g; Protein 4g; Sodium 52mg; Sugar 9g