Healthy Holiday Recipes

Tired of Turkey and Chicken?

Try this fabulous Maple Dijon Pork Loin

with warm Apple Cranberry Compote

1 pork loin (2 lb.)Cascabel Chile Honey Glazed Pork Tenderloin cranberry_compote
2 Tbsp.  Hearty Spicy Brown Mustard
2 Tblsp. maple syrup or honey
2 Tblsp apple cider vinegar
1tsp.  chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp italian seasoning (chopped or dried )
salt & pepper
2T bsp.  olive oil
2 cups apples, chopped
2 Tblsp maple syrup ( grade B preferably) can also use honey, agave or brown sugar
1 cup dried or 2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup fresh orange juice or apple juice

HEAT oven to 350ºF.

RUB roast with olive oil, rosemary, seasonings, salt & pepper and brown on a hot skillet with 1Tblsp olive oil, a few minutes on all sides.

Put in roasting pan and  BAKE 45 min in an inch of water with 2 Tblsp apple cider vinegar.

Mix syrup, mustard and seasonings; spread over meat. Bake 20 min. or until meat is done (145°F). Let stand 15 min. before slicing to serve.

Serve with warm apple/cranberry compote


Stir together cranberries, apples, maple sugar, orange juice or apple juice, cinnamon and a dash of salt in a large saucepan.  Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring often.  Continue cooking, stirring often until the cranberries have popped and the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  cover until ready to serve about 2 hours.

I personally love a stuffed Pork Roast but it is tricky! Here are a few of my favorite resources for the perfect stuffed pork roast

Glazed Pecan Sweet Potatoes

Substitute your traditional sweet potatoes with sugar and marshmallows with this fabulous treat

ae912d31-ab9a-4710-8200-49dea26382a0  3 cups of slightly coked cubed sweet potatoes
( if uncooked bake longer )
1 tsp cinnamon
(or a combination of cinnamon,  allspice, nutmeg)
1 Tblsp coconut oil
a few dashes of himalayan salt
maple syrup
**optional RUM – drizzle your favorite Rum  over potatoes( Bacardi, coconut, dark Myers)

mix in bowl with all ingredients; pour into a pan, toss with coconut oil, lightly drizzle maple syrup with chopped nuts ( pecans, almonds, walnuts- you pick!) and toss again. sprinkle with himalayan salt and cook at 350′ for 25 minutes


Stuffing Goes Wild This Year!

Barley & Wild Rice Stuffing

from Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter


2 tsp olive oil
1 ½ cups chopped white or yellow onion (about 1 large)
1 cup chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
½ cup uncooked pearl barley
½ cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
½ cup slivered almonds (2 oz.)
½ cup dried cranberries
2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Instead of a traditional stuffing, try this healthful, lighter alternative! It has a slightly chewy texture and nutty flavor.

Cooking Directions:
1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or 4-qt pan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened (3 to 5 minutes). Add barley, wild rice and thyme; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add broth and bay leaf; bring to a boil; reduce heat, simmer and cook covered, 45 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, toast almonds in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until lightly golden and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. (Alternatively, toast almonds in a small baking pan in a 350-degree oven or toaster oven for about 10 minutes.) Transfer almonds to a plate to cool.

3. After stuffing has cooked for 35 minutes, lift lid and stir in dried cranberries. Simmer, covered, until barley and wild rice are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 more minutes. Discard bay leaf. Add parsley; add pepper to taste. Fluff with a fork and sprinkle top with toasted almonds, or allow guests to sprinkle almonds per serving.

Makes 8 half-cup servings.

Tip: You can make the stuffing ahead of time; cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, place stuffing in baking dish, add 1/8 to ¼ cup water and cover. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, checking to test temperature and avoid overcooking. Sprinkle with almonds just before serving.

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Easy and delicious recipe! Your guests will be surprised it’s brussels sprouts! Braise the Brussels sprouts and toast the bread-crumbs up to a day ahead. Before serving, add cooked, crumbled bacon to the toasted breadcrumb mixture, and then sprinkle the mixture over the sprouts. Broil 3 minutes or until golden and thoroughly heated.


  • Ingredients:
  •   2 hickory-smoked bacon slices
  •   4 large shallots, thinly sliced
  •   2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  •   1 cup water
  •   1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  •   1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •   Cooking spray
  •   1 (2-ounce) slice French bread baguette
  •   3 tablespoons butter


1. Preheat broiler.

2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings; crumble. Increase heat to medium-high. Add shallots to drippings in pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add Brussels sprouts and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil; cook 6 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are almost tender. Uncover and remove from heat. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; toss to combine. Spoon Brussels sprouts mixture into a 2-quart broiler-safe glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3. Place bread in a food processor, and process until finely ground. Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Add cooked, crumbled bacon to toasted breadcrumb mixture. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over Brussels sprouts mixture. Broil 3 minutes or until golden and thoroughly heated.

Julianna Grimes, Cooking Light

This is a favorite in our house!

Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Prep this the night before for an easy breakfast or brunch that has just 184 calories per serving (the traditional version has around 350 calories). Find turkey sausage in the freezer section of the supermarket with other breakfast meats. Turkey sausage has 1/3 less fat and half the calories of pork sausage.



  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 12 ounces turkey breakfast sausage
  • 2 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 cups egg substitute
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 16 (1-ounce) slices white bread
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) finely shredded reduced-fat extrasharp cheddar cheese
  • Cooking spray


  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring and breaking sausage to crumble. Remove from heat; cool.
  2.  Combine milk and next 6 ingredients (through eggs) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  3.  Trim crusts from bread. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes. Add bread cubes, sausage, and cheddar cheese to milk mixture, stirring to combine. Pour bread mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking or 3-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray, spreading egg mixture evenly in baking dish. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  4.  Preheat oven to 350°.
  5.  Remove casserole from refrigerator; let stand 30 minutes. Sprinkle casserole evenly with a dash of himalayan or sea salt . Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Let stand 10 minutes.

Kathy Kitchens Downie, RD, Cooking Light


Vegan Pumpkin Bread Pudding


Pumpkin pie may be a Thanksgiving staple, but it may be more calories than you care to add to your holiday feast. This vegan bread pudding recipe, however, is both a cinch to make (its preparation barely requires anything more than throwing all the ingredients in a bowl) and low calorie. While the ingredients I used weren’t explicitly animal-product-free, you can easily make this recipe vegan by choosing bread, maple syrup, and sugar that’s not processed using animal products.

Read on for the simple Thanksgiving dessert that will save you time in the kitchen.

  • 8 slices whole grain or sourdough bread (day-old is best and choose gluten free)
  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Powdered sugar (optional)

  1. Cube bread and spread on baking sheet. Toast for 7-8 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven. If you’re using day-old bread, just cube the bread and move on to the next step.
  2. Combine almond milk, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and pumpkin puree in mixing bowl, beat to combine.
  3. Add raisins and mix to combine. Add cubed whole wheat bread and gently mix until bread cubes are covered with mixture.
  4. Let sit for 10-15 minutes for mixture to soak bread.
  5. Gently pour mixture into an 8×8 baking pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until brown on top and knife comes out clean.
  6. Dust with powdered sugar to serve.

Serves 6-8. I liked it on its own, but it would also be amazing served warm next to a scoop of vanilla soy or coconut milk ice cream.



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