HEALTHY HOLIDAY RECIPES YOUR FAMILY WILL LOVE
This time of year can be challenging to stay consistent with eating a healthy, real food based diet. However, with a little planning, a few simple ingredient swaps you can make it happen. I’ve listed my top tips to stay healthy this holiday season and a few recipes that I am sure will quickly become a family tradition!
8 TIPS FOR HEALTHY HOLIDAYS:
- Start your day with a workout. Working out first thing in the morning not only will make you feel great but set a healthy intention for the day too.
- Focus on people, not food. At the holidays, food is always in abundance, but people are too. Take the time to focus on building relationships with others instead of just stuffing your face.
- Don’t skip meals and arrive at a gathering starving. You will be less likely to make healthy food choices and more likely to overeat if you choose this route. Eat as you normally would during the day.
- Focus on being fed, instead of full. We all know that stuffed, overfull and super uncomfortable feeling- it pretty much sucks. Get out of the overeating and feeling like shit cycle. Eat enough to be satisfied but don’t overdo it, you’ll thank yourself later!
- Take a lap before filing your plate. Look at the options that are available and always start with a protein and lots of veggies first. Then choose two of the following four: carb/fat heavy dishes (think casseroles, pastas, cheesy potatoes, etc.), breads, desserts, or alcohol. By allowing yourself these treats you won’t feel deprived and less like to binge over a decadent dish.
- How do you know which two you should pick? Try this rule: if you can buy it tomorrow, then don’t have it today. This means if you are tempted by the Oreo’s, don’t be- you can buy those anytime. But if you just can’t pass up your grandma’s cheesy potatoes or your sister’s special pie that she only makes once a year- go for it. Of course, use portion control. You’d be surprised that you can be satisfied with only a small serving!
- Slow down when eating. It takes approximately 20 minutes for your body to signal the brain that you are satisfied and properly fed. Enjoy the meal with your loved ones, try putting your fork down between bites, having conversation and really chewing each bite (like until liquid!)
- Make new traditions, it’s not all about food! Play games (inside or out), try a family walk after a meal, sign up as a group for a local fun run/walk or have a healthy recipe cook off- the options are endless!
HEALTHY HOLIDAY RECIPES:
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SAUSAGE STUFFING (Servings: 8)
1 LARGE BUTTERNUT SQUASH, PEELED, SEEDED AND CUT INTO CUBES (6 CUPS)
1/2 tsp SEA SALT
1 Tbsp AVOCADO OIL
1 ONION, CHOPPED
5 CELERY STALKS, CHOPPED
1 lb CHICKEN SAUSAGE (I like to get spicy!)
1 APPLE, CHOPPED
1/2 tsp SEA SALT
1/2 tsp BLACK PEPPER
1/8 tsp CAYENNE PEPPER
1 1/2 Tbsp ITALIAN SEASONING
3/4 cup GOLDEN RAISINS
- PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 425 DEGREES AND LINE A BAKING SHEET WITH FOIL. SPRAY WITH COOKING SPRAY.
- PEEL, CUT AND DESEED THE BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND PLACE IN A BOWL. ADD 1TB OF AVOCADO OIL AND 1 TSP SEA SALT AND MIX WELL.
- SPREAD ONTO THE BAKING SHEET IN AN EVEN LAYER AND BAKE FOR 30-40 MINUTES, TURNING ONCE TO GET BROWNED ON BOTH SIDES.
- WHILE THE SQUASH IS ROASTING, CHOP THE REST OF THE VEGGIES AND THE SAUSAGE INTO THE SAME SIZE CHUNKS.
- IN A LARGE PAN ON THE STOVE, ADD 1 TB OF THE OIL AND ADD CHOPPED ONION AND CELERY. STIR, AND COOK 3-4 MINUTES THEN ADD THE SAUSAGE. COOK UNTIL BROWNED AND THEN ADD THE APPLE, RAISINS AND THE REMAINING SEASONING. STIR AND COOK FOR 2 MINUTES.
- ONCE THE SQUASH IS ROASTED, MIX IT WITH THE VEGGIE-SAUSAGE MIXTURE AND THEN SPREAD EVENLY INTO A 13X9 PAN SPRAYED WITH COOKING SPRAY. BAKE FOR 35 MINUTES. ADD ADDITIONAL SEA SALT, PEPPER, AND ITALIAN SEASONING AS DESIRED FOR MORE FLAVOR. REMOVE, SERVE AND ENJOY!
Nutrition per Serving: 12g protein, 20g carbs, 5g fat, 3g fiber
BALSAMIC ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS (Servings: 8)
2 lbs BRUSSELS SPROUTS
SEA SALT AND BLACK PEPPER TO TASTE
1/2 cup BALSAMIC VINEGAR
4 DATES, CHOPPED
1/2 cup SLICED ALMONDS
- PREHEAT OVEN TO 400 DEGREES AND LINE A BAKING SHEET WITH FOIL AND SPRAY WITH COOKING SPRAY.
- CUT THE ENDS OFF THE BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND SLICE IN HALF. PLACE ONTO BAKING SHEET AND SEASON WELL WITH SEA SALT AND BLACK PEPPER. SPRAY WITH A QUICK SPRAY OF COOKING SPRAY, TOSS AND THEN ENSURE THEY ARE ON A SINGLE LAYER ON THE BAKING SHEET.
- BAKE FOR 30-40 MINUTES, UNTIL THE EDGES ARE BROWNED AND CRISPY.
- CHOP DATES AND THEN REMOVE THE BRUSSELS SPROUTS FROM THE OVEN.
- ON THE STOVE, STIRRING OFTEN, BRING THE BALSAMIC VINEGAR TO A BOIL, THEN REDUCE AND SIMMER FOR ABOUT 10 MINUTES. IT WILL THICKEN, BE SURE TO STIR OFTEN.
- WHEN READY TO EAT, TOP WITH THE DATES AND ALMONDS AND PLACE BACK IN A 400 DEGREE OVEN FOR 5 MINUTES.
- DRIZZLE WITH BALSAMIC REDUCTION, OR PUT ON SERVINGS INDIVIDUALLY.
Nutrition per Serving: 5g protein, 16g carbs, 5g fat, 4g fiber
RAW PECAN PIE BITES (Servings: 7)
12 DATES, PITTED AND SOAKED IF DRY
1 1/4 cup PECANS, CHOPPED
1/4 cup UNSWEETENED SHREDDED COCONUT
1/4 tsp SEA SALT
1 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT
1/4 tsp CINNAMON
1/4 tsp GROUND NUTMEG
1/4 tsp GROUND CLOVE
WATER (if needed, but blend lots first)
- DUMP THE PECANS INTO A HIGH SPEED BLENDER OR FOOD PROCESSOR AND BLEND UNTIL ALMOST A POWDER, RESERVING 1/4 CUP. CHOP OF THE 1/4 CUP A BIT MORE AND SET ASIDE.
- ADD THE REMAINING INGREDIENTS, AND BLEND REALLY WELL (LONDER THAN YOU THINK!) ADD WATER 1 TB AT A TIME IF NEEDED.
- BLEND AGAIN, UNTIL THE MIXTURE COMES TOGETHER INTO A DOUGH LIKE FORM. YOU MAY NEED TO SCRAP DOWN THE SIDES AND BLEND A FEW TIMES.
- LINE A BAKING SHEET WITH PARCHMENT PAPER AND PRESS DOWN THE DOUGH INTO A RECTANGLE SHAPE, USING A GLASS TO SMOOTH THE TOP AND PRESS OUT TO ABOUT 1/2 INCH THICKNESS. TAKE THE RESERVED 1/4 CUP PECANS AND PRESS EVENLY INTO THE TOP OF THE DOUGH. POP INTO THE FREEZER FOR 30 MINUTES. REMOVE FROM FREEZER AND CUT INTO 21 EQUALLY SIZED BITES.
- STORE IN THE FREEZER FOR UP TO 3 MONTHS IN A TIGHTLY SEALED CONTAINER. A SERVING IS 3 BITES.
Nutrition per Serving: 3g protein, 14g carbs, 16g fat, 4g fiber
GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE (Servings: 8)
1 1/2 lb GREEN BEANS
8 oz MUSHROOMS, CHOPPED
4 oz CHICKEN BACON, CHOPPED
1 YELLOW ONION, SLICED THIN
3 GARLIC CLOVES, MINCED
1/2 cup ALMOND FLOUR
1 1/2 cup UNSWEETENED ALMOND MILK
3 tsp SEA SALT
2 tsp BLACK PEPPER
2 Tbsp AVOCADO OIL
- PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 350 DEGREES AND LINE A BAKING SHEET WITH FOIL OR PARCHMENT PAPER. SPRAY WITH COOKING SPRAY. IN A LARGE CASSEROLE DISH, SPRAY IT WITH COOKING SPRAY AND SET ASIDE.
- THINLY SLICE A LARGE ONION AND PLACE ON THE BAKING SHEET, DRIZZLE WITH 1 TB OF AVOCADO OIL AND MIX AROUND, THEN SPREAD EVENLY ON PAN IN ONE LAYER. BAKE FOR 30, FLIPPING THE ONIONS EVERY 10 MINUTES. THEY ARE DONE WITH THEY ARE BROWNED AND CRISPY.
- WHILE THE ONIONS ARE COOKING, BOIL WATER IN A LARGE POT ON THE STOVE. CUT THE BEANS IN HALF AND ONCE THE WATER BOILS, ADD THE BEANS AND A PINCH OF SEA SALT. BOIL FOR 5 MINUTES, REMOVE AND PLACE BEANS IN A LARGE BOWL.
- IN A PAN, SPRAYED WITH COOKING SPRAY AND ADD THE CHOPPED BACON. ONCE IT’S COOKED SLIGHTLY, ADD THE MINCED GARLIC AND STIR. COOK 2-3 MINUTES, THEN ADD THE MUSHROOMS AND STIR.
- IN A POT ON THE STOVE, ADD THE ALMOND MILK AND 1 TB OF AVOCADO OIL, HEAT ON MEDIUM LOW. WHISKING, ADD THE ALMOND FLOUR UNTIL COMBINED AND BRING TO A BOIL, THEN REDUCE TO A SIMMER. ADD SEA SALT AND BLACK PEPPER, WHISKING OCCASIONALLY UNTIL THICKENED.
- ONCE THE MILK MIXTURE IS THICKENED, ADD THE BACON/MUSHROOM MIXTURE AND STIR. THEN POUR THE ENTIRE MIXTURE OVER THE BEANS AND STIR.
- DUMP THE ENTIRE MIXTURE INTO THE PREPARED CASSEROLE DISH AND COVER WITH FOIL. BAKE FOR 15 MINUTES. REMOVE FROM OVEN AND REMOVE THE FOIL, THEN TOP WITH THE ONIONS.
- BAKE FOR ANOTHER 5 MINUTES UNCOVERED. REMOVE FROM OVEN AND SERVE!
Nutrition per Serving: 7g protein, 13g carbs, 6g fat, 4g fiber
THE BEST BREAD EVER (GLUTEN FREE!) (Servings: 7)
2 cups BUCKWHEAT GROATS
1/4 cup PUMPKIN SEEDS
1 tsp BAKING POWDER
1/2 tsp BAKING SODA
1 tsp SEA SALT
1 cup SWEET POTATO, GRATED
1/2 SMALL ONION, FINELY DICED
1 Tbsp COCONUT OIL, MELTED
1 tsp FRESH GROUND BLACK PEPPER
1 tsp ROSEMARY
- PREHEAT OVEN TO 325 DEGREES AND SPRAY A LOAF PAN WITH COOKING SPRAY.
- RINSE AND DRAIN THE GROATS, MIGHT GET A LITTLE STICKY AND PLACE IN HIGH SPEED BLENDER OR FOOD PROCESSOR.
- ADD THE REMAINING INGREDIENTS, EXCEPT THE PUMPKIN SEEDS. BLEND UNTIL A THICK DOUGH FORMS.
- TRANSFER TO A BOWL AND MIX IN SEEDS, THEN SPREAD MIXTURE INTO THE LOAF PAN AND BAKE FOR 50-60 MINUTES OR UNTIL A TOOTHPICK COMES OUT CLEAN.
- CUT INTO 7 EQUAL SLICES. STORE IN THE FRIDGE.
Nutrition per Serving: 6g protein, 18g carbs, 6g fat, 4g fiber
PUMPKIN PIE BARS (Servings: 24)
3 cups WALNUTS
2 cups DATES
2/3 cup UNSWEETENED COCONUT
2 Tbsp MAPLE SYRUP
1 tsp CINNAMON
dash SEA SALT
2 cups PUMPKIN PUREE
2 EGG YOLKS
3 Tbsp COCONUT OIL, MELTED
1/4 cup MAPLE SYRUP
2 teaspoon VANILLA EXTRACT
1 cup COCONUT FLOUR
1 1/2 Tbsp CINNAMON
2 tsp PUMPKIN PIE SPICE
dash SEA SALT
- PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 350 DEGREES AND LINE A 13X9 PAN WITH PARCHMENT PAPER.
- DUMP THE CRUST LAYER INGREDIENTS INTO THE FOOD PROCESSOR AND BLEND UNTIL YOU GET A PASTE. IF NEEDED ADD 1 TB OF WATER AT A TIME AND RE-BLEND VERY WELL.
- SPREAD THE CRUST LAYER EVENLY INTO THE PAN.
- IN A LARGE BOWL, MIX THE PUMPKIN, EGGS, YOLKS, OIL AND VANILLA UNTIL COMBINED THEN ADD THE REMAINING INGREDIENTS AND MIX WELL.
- SPREAD THE PUMPKIN MIXTURE ONTO THE CRUST LAYER IN ONE EVEN LAYER.
- BAKE FOR 30-35 MINUTES OR UNTIL THE CENTER IS SET AND THE EDGES ARE BROWNED A LITTLE.
- REMOVE FROM OVEN, ALLOW TO COOL THEN CUT INTO 24 BARS OR INTO 48 SMALL “BITES.”
- STORE IN THE FRIDGE FOR A FEW DAYS OR THE FREEZER FOR UP TO A MONTH.
Nutrition per Serving: 4g protein, 22g carbs, 14g fat, 5g fiber