47 (mostly) Healthy Holiday Recipe Roundup

First of all…I just got back from a short and sweet trip to Florida. There was plenty of sunshine, a little yoga and lots of chillin out. Happy Sigh.

Yes, I had a nice time, thank you. Here’s a few pics.

Anyhoo, I had this idea that I’d make a bunch of recipes before turkey day, photograph them, then post them all here. Then I decided that instead of losing my own mind and attempting a first round(s) of holiday cooking (cause frankly that would be insane), I said to myself, “self, share the plethora of amazing ideas others have created.”

And so I mustered up some awesome recipes coming from some of my fav people and places so ideas just ooze out of you in time for the holiday mania. How nice am I?

And by the way, this was really loads of fun because people were just so darn friendly when I asked if they would like to be included and every single one of them said YES. I heart you all.

I think people who love good food are generally nice people…yes, that’s right .


All photos are from each blogger or original source and I have linked to all of the recipes so that they receive the credit they deserve.

Just so you know: some of these recipes are traditional, some are not, but who’s making the rules?


Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, flexatarian, ilovesangria-tarian (dunno how that got in there), or just don’t love the traditional bird or stuff your face with stuffing stuff…there’s likely more then one link here to please that palate of yours. Here goes!


Triple Pepper Kale Veggie Dip: EA Stewart-Spicy RD

Sweet Potato Hummus from: ME

Pesto Potatoes
from: Junia K at Mis Pensamientos


Winter Greens Spanakopita Triangles from: Cooking Light

I married a Greek, remember? Love these!

Roasted Sweet Potato Cube Skewers-rx4foodies


Hummus filled cucumber cups-from Family Fun

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip from: Skinny Taste.com


Coconut Pumpkin Soup from: Trish at Dish by Trish

Roasted Acorn Squash with Beet and Apple Soup from: Jeanette’s Healthy Living

Parsnip and Sweet Potato Bisque from: Trish at Dish by Trish


Maple Glazed Roasted Pumpkin & Arugula Salad from: ME!

Apple-Pomegranate Salad in Apple Cups from: Marina at Yummy Mummy Kitchen

Pomegranate Christmas Salad
from: Alysa at-Inspired RD

SIDES (yes or no, they’re the best part?)

Mashed “Potatoes” with Butternut Squash Swirl from: Katie at Dashing Dish

Pumpkin Gingerbread Stuffing from: Winnie at Healthy Green Kitchen

Roasted Cauliflower with Olives and Herbs from: Sylvie at Gourmande in the Kitchen

Gingerly Spiked Cranberries from: ME

Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Apples from: Regan at Professional Palate

Lightened up Sweet Potato Casserole from: Jessica at-How Sweet It Is

Roasted Brussel sprouts and Grapes from Ann at-Cooking Healthy For Me

Creamy Low Fat Mashed Potatoes
from: Dara at Cookin’ Canuck

Coconut Smashed Sweet Potatoes from: ME


Photo: Andrew Scrivani NYT

Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Apple Puree-NYT Well (omg omg omg omg!)

Sauteed Carrots with Sage-Cooking Light

Seitan Tambales with Chestnut Stuffing from: Vegetarian Times

Sweet Potato and Apple Gratin-Myrecipes.com

Fruit and Toasted Almond Stuffing-Vegetariantimes

Black Quinoa and Kale Salad-Green kitchen stories

Wild Mushroom Stuffing-Eating Well

Wild Rice, Fruit and Pecan Stuffing-Bon Appetit

Mashed Creamy Cauliflower-Eating Well

Savory Butternut Squash and Parmesan Bread Pudding-Cooking Light/NYT


Autumn Vegetable Stew from: Chrissy & Lauren at Little Yellow Kitchen

Toasty Pumpkin Chicpea Fritters from: Kathy-The Lunchbox Bunch


Parmesan and Root Vegetable Lasagna from: My Recipes

Winter Greens Spanakopita from: My Recipes (I’ve made this recipe, it’s awesomeness).

Butternut Squash and Leek Lasagna-Eating Well

Harvest Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms-New York Times/Well

Mushroom and Leek Galette-Eating Well

DESSERTS (holy mackerel!)

Individual Ginger Pumpkin Cheesecakes from: LaurenHealthy Food for Living

The Deconstructed Healthy Apple Pie-ME

Spiced Sweet Potato Ice Cream: Lauren-Healthy Food for Living

Four Ingredient Vegan Pumpkin Pie from: Kathy at The Lunchbox

Spice Kissed Pumpkin Pie from: Photo fromME! I made this one last year from 101 cookbooks.


Maple & Squash Pumpkin Pie Popsicles (yes, really)-The Kitchn

Squash Pie-Dr. Weil

DRINKS (yes, sometimes one needs a cocktail and the option to meditate at the Turkey Table isn’t quite appropriate with the nutty family around-jokes people, jokes).

Spicy Apple Gingertini from: EA Stewart at The Spicy RD blog

Spiced Apple Cider Sangria from: Tina at My Life as a Mrs. 

Holiday Sangria from: Aggie at Aggie’s Kitchen

Spiked Apple Cider in Apple Cups from: Kate at Diethood

So, I leave you with this sarcastic yet to the point suggestion:

Don’t skip breakfast on Turkey Day, we all know it just leaves you starving and perhaps having this hulk like ability to eat 4,000 calories within one meal. But I also think you should eat what you want, it’s not one day that will ruin you for a lifetime. You know who you are if you’re stuffing yourself like that turkey…yes?

If you want some more guidance (which I’m happy to provide) I did a pretty good job of summing up how to get through the Holidays with Sanity (dodging the muffin top) last year. Part I and Part II.

SO, do you have a favorite holiday recipe that’s possibly healthier then most, or just so freaking delicious that it’s worth every last bite, or sip?

Feel free to share here! I’d love to see what you’ve got up your sleeves.

Cheers and Happy Healthy Eating, perhaps not over stuffing!



p.s. I might keep adding to this post, and if you have a recipe you think should be included here, contact me and let me know!


Gingerly Spiked Cranberries

Flavor Line UP! One of the cranberries submerged itself in the syrup!

I had a definite flavor line up but wasn’t sure how it would WIND up. Oh God, sorry that rhymes.


My mom was very kind enough to remind me today how I luhhhhved chemistry and wanted to be a chemist somewhere in the 90’s. Yikes. What a nerd! Maybe you get the picture though…I do love playin with my food. I once used a steamer to make a loaf of gluten free bread using rice flour. That recipe was real crappy, but it was fun. That was before gluten free was even in the media! If I had only known.

Today I told myself,“Self, you can’t totally screw this up if you follow the basics.”

  • Cranberries + liquid.
  • Add FLAVOR.
  • GO.

Deceivingly sour if left alone...

I was wracking the brain for something innovative using cranberries, cause they’re highly nutritious and I don’t know why they aren’t a HOT item beyond Turkey Day.

It’s like the Hershey Kiss Christmas commercial, it only appears during the holidays. I love that commercial!

SO…One glass of wine later, tons of recipe ideas jotted down that had nothing to do with these cranberries…and we’ve got potential NAMES!

  1. Boozey Gingered CRAPOMpote? No, that didn’t work. The word CRAP was a problem and that’s way too long of a description, who wants to read that?
  2. I settled on Gingerly Spiked Cranberries with the intention that you would salivate from:

The kick of spice with ginger, feeling warmth when it hits the belly, a sweet burst from lil pom arils and the reminder of a pie filling. Remember those McDonald’s apple pies? Yup, I cannot believe I ate them! Ehhh, who knew they were crap? Make this instead.

I highly suggest you come back tomorrow to see what dessert/snack I concocted I promise:

“Sweet, Chewy, & Healthy”  in one lil dish.


Serves: 4-6 kindly


  • 1-12 ounce package Cranberries, uncooked
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Honey Crisp Apple, sliced into thin slices, half those slices, skin intact! (fiber) (or other APPLE of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup chopped crystalized ginger (I use Ginger People Brand)
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup (The good stuff)
  • 1-2 T Triple Sec (Orange Flavored Liqour-substitute with orange juice)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (substitute : 1/4 tsp. ginger, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. cloves)
  • Cinnamon-extra if you desire! I do.
  • 1 Pomegranate, arils removed (TRICK HERE!)


1. Place cranberries along with water in a large saucepan carefully please, cause cranberries are deceivingly light (reminds me of the popcorn or peanuts you use for shipping stuff).

2. Cook over medium high heat and bring to a boil.  Do not Fear the popping noise those lil cranberries start making, they won’t hurt you, they’re just excited and bursting open.

3. Reduce heat and simmer for additional 5 minutes.  Add next six ingredients (additional cinnamon if you wish) and stir to combine.

4. Let the mix continue to be merry and cook for another 5-8 minutes until apples are tender and sauce thickens.

5. Add pomegranate seeds and Oooohhh LALA!


Chef’s Tips/Make it your Own (aka: Play with your FOOD)

  • USE in a smoothie.
  • Spooned over ice cream.
  • Spooned over pancakes.
  • Mixed into your oats.
  • Stuffed into a french toast.
  • Perhaps used in a pie?
  • I might need to make some sort of a hot pocket version of this…