Healthy Holiday Recipes

Poached Pears with Pomegranate Seeds

Celebrate the holidays in good health with these recipes
that balance wonderful flavor with good nutrition.

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Table of Contents

Cashew-Stuffed Mushrooms

To get the most out of the mushroom stems, chop them finely and add them to the rice mixture. Black rice requires a longer cooking time, like brown, so be sure to leave time in your cooking schedule to make sure your appetizers arrive on your counter before your guests ring your doorbell!

Cashew-Stuffed Mushrooms

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Number of Servings: 8-12 (354 G)

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Wash mushrooms, remove stems, chop stems to add to stuffing.
  2. Over medium heat, cook onions in oil until translucent in a medium skillet. Add a splash each of white wine and lemon juice and reduce the liquid by half.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, except for mushroom caps. Cook until warm.
  4. Fill each mushroom cap with stuffing and place on a baking sheet. Add 1/4 c. water to keep mushrooms moist during baking.
  5. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until mushrooms are tender.  Serve warm.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

You will not regret making this scrumptious dish a regular guest at your parties. It’s even easy enough to make surprise appearances in your snack routine. For the best texture, be sure to squeeze the spinach as thoroughly dry as you can, letting it rest for a few minutes in between squeezing to make sure you’ve removed as much excess water as possible.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

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Number of Servings: 26 (47 G)

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together all the ingredients.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until the onion flakes have softened.

Herb Roasted Turkey

Turkey doesn’t need any help to be delicious, of course, but if you’re looking to kick your culinary game up a very simple notch this Thanksgiving, this is your recipe. The flavor of the oranges shines through with special brilliance, playing off the earthiness of the herbs and savory onions. A wine and paprika rub, with bright tanginess, ties the flavors together and helps impart that gorgeous color that just screams good turkey.

Herb Roasted Turkey

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Number of Servings: 10 with each serving size about 4 ounces. (175 G)

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 20 Minutes per pound

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. With your fingers, lift up the skin covering the turkey breast. Slip the herbs underneath the skin. Combine the oil, wine paprika, and pepper. Rub this mixture over the surface of the turkey. Place the oranges and onions inside the turkey.
  2. Place the turkey, breast side down, in a roasting pan. Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the pan. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Roast for 20 – 25 minutes per pound, basting periodically. Halfway through, place breast side up. During last 45 minutes of roasting, remove cover. Continue to roast the breast temperature is 165ºF. Cover with foil and let stand for 20 minutes before carving.

Apple, Onion & Cranberry Stuffing

Classic stuffing is amped up with some apples and fresh cranberries. Combining white and whole-wheat bread offers delicious combination of flavor and texture. Stale bread and crusty bread work best for stuffing, so saving the heels of your sandwich bread in the freezer is a great, economic way to approach this recipe.

Apple, Onion & Cranberry Stuffing

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Number of Servings: 8 (219 G)

Prep Time: 40 Minutes

Cook Time: 30-45 Minutes

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spread bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, 15 – 20 minutes.
  2. While bread is toasting, heat oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add celery and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 – 7 minutes. Add apples, cook for 3 minutes longer. Add 3/4 cup broth, sage and thyme.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the apples are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, 5 – 7 minutes. Add the toasted bread and cranberries. Drizzle remaining broth over the mixture and toss until evenly moistened. Season with pepper.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 325° F. Transfer stuffing to a lightly oiled casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake until heated through, 35 – 45 minutes. If you would like a crisp top, uncover for the last 15 minutes of baking.

Vermont Cheddar Mashed Yukon Golds

Everyone loves cheesy potatoes. This recipe gives you a healthy way to make them!

Vermont Cheddar Mashed Yukon Golds

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Number of Servings: 8 with about 1 cup per serving. (217 G)

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Place potatoes in a large Dutch oven and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until very tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat. Drain and return the potatoes to the pot. Mash with a potato masher. Stir in 1 1/4 cups cheese until melted. Add buttermilk, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Gently fold in 3 tablespoons chives. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and 1 tablespoon chives.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To serve, reheat in a double boiler and garnish with cheese and chives.

Tip: No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.

Cranberry Orange Sauce

Drop the can opener and pick up a bag of cranberries. This simple sauce is not only a delicious and less sugar-laden version of the beloved Thankgiving relish, it’s also a beautiful addition to any holiday table.

Cranberry Orange Sauce

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Number of Servings: 4 Servings (91 G)

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 5 Minutes

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat all ingredients until the simmering point is reached on a medium heat.
  2. With a large spoon press down on the cranberries to squash them all, or use a potato masher.
  3. Heat for around 5 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken up.
  4. Allow to cool and remove clove before serving.

Poached Pears with Pomegranate Seeds

An elegant and simple dessert, this poaching recipes relies on the spices and the natural sweetness of pears to bring a satisfying end to any dinner party. Tart pomegranate seeds finish the flavor palate with bright note to balance the tender-sweet pears. Tip: The wine you use will make a substantial difference to the flavor of the finished dish. If Riesling is not an option, a fruit-forward rosé would make a nice substitute, but avoid drier whites like Pinot Grigio.

Poached Pears with Pomegranate Seeds

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Number of Servings: 4 (394 G)

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Add the wine and spices to a heavy saucepan. Heat the poaching liquid to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. When the liquid reaches a simmer, add the pears and cook until tender, 15-20 minutes. Do not allow the pan to boil over.
  3. Remove the pears and increase the heat, bringing the liquid up to a boil. Reduce to desired consistency (10-12 minutes). Strain spices before serving. Garnish pears (warm or cold) with pomegranate seeds and reduced poaching liquid.

Banana Nog

Typical holiday eggnogs are loaded with fat and calories. In this no-fat alternative, banana and yogurt provide the rich texture and mouth feel of a full fat nog, with far less calories. If you have a favorite family recipe, use the spices you love to create a new beloved tradition.

Banana Nog

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Number of Servings: 4 (302 G)

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients except nutmeg to blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.
  2. Pour into 4 serving glasses and top each with a pinch nutmeg.

Apple-Date Torte

Sweetened only with dates, this simple variation on apple pie offers great nutrition alongside the natural sugar. Enjoy a small portion as a treat! For a little creamy goodness, top with a tablespoon or two of vanilla Greek yogurt.

Apple-Date Torte

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Number of Servings: 8 (234 G)

Prep Time: 25 Minutes

Cook Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8″ tart pan with parchment paper.
  2. Cover 18 dates with half of the warm water and set aside.
  3. Place walnuts in food processor and grind to a fine meal. Add the remaining pitted dates and water and process until dates are blended with the walnuts to form a coarse, sticky meal. Press mixture into tart pan.
  4. Place soaking dates and their liquid in blender along with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt. Blend until smooth.
  5. In a medium bowl, toss apple slices with the date sauce. Layer into crust.
  6. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until apples are tender when poked with a fork. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon to serve.