The holidays are such a special time when you come together with family and enjoy delicious food. I don’t know about you but in that excitement, I tend to eat a lot of unhealthy food. Then after the holidays I am struggling to lose all the weight. Don’t worry below I list 6 healthy, tasty dishes you can make or bring to the holiday dinner.
- Louisiana Cajun Turkey
This is my father’s famous recipe that he would make every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. He is originally from Louisiana and the spices they use there is amazing to your soul.
- 12 lbs Turkey
- ⅓ Cup Olive Oil
- 4 Garlic Cloves minced or pressed
- 6 Garlic Cloves Whole
- 2 Cups of Chopped celery
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary Chopped
- 3 Tbsp Fresh Sage Chopped
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme picked
- 2 Tbsp of Onion Powder
- 1 stick of Challenge Butter or Earth Balance Vegan Butter
- 1 Cup Red or White Wine
- Tony Chachere’s Creole and Cajun Seasoning, to taste (be careful it can get salty)
Begin to thaw the turkey in the refrigerator 2-3 days before roasting.
Remove the turkey from the refrigerator about 2 hours before cooking to allow it to come closer to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, minced garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme, 2 Tbsp of onion powder, 2 Tbsp of Cajun Seasoning. Set aside.
Remove turkey and pat dry. Take out any large fat deposits and giblets. Gently loosen the skin from the breast by slowly working your fingers between the breast and the skin.
Make sure the butter or vegan butter is soft but not melted. Coat the whole bird and rubbing all the butter in with your hand. Take the remaining butter and cut into slices and stick inside the turkey.
Using your hand, spread a generous amount of the herb mixture under the breast skin. Rub the remaining of the herb mixture all over the outside of the turkey.
Take a pan, pour a small amount of olive oil in and sauté. Then stuff the celery inside the turkey along with the 6 whole cloves of garlic.
Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour the red or white wine over the turkey and into the cavity, then loosely cover with aluminum foil.
Add about 2 cups of water to the bottom of the pan. Roast in the preheated oven for about 2:45 – 3 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 180F. Make sure to base the turkey throughout, I do about every 30 minutes.
Cover with tin foil and let it sit for at least 20 to 30 minutes
2. Garlic Parmesan Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- Fresh thyme
To cook the garlic parmesan roasted sweet potatoes: Preheat your oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Peel and cut sweet potatoes into thin slices.
Place garlic, oil, butter, salt, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning in a Ziploc bag and mix well. Throw in sweet potatoes and shake until well coated.
Lightly butter a baking dish and arrange coated sweet potatoes into a spiral. Sprinkle with a little parmesan if you like.
Bake sweet potatoes for 30-35 minutes. Serve your garlic parmesan roasted sweet potatoes warm and sprinkle with thyme if desired.
Note: Roasting time will depend on the thickness of your sweet potato slices: the thicker, the longer.
3. Roasted Green Beans and Bacon
- 1 pound green beans trimmed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 slices uncured organic bacon thinly sliced (turkey)
- lemon wedges to serve
Pre-heat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with foil.
Place green beans in a resealable plastic bag and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Seal bag, shake well then spread green beans in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
Roast green beans until tender and slightly blistered, about 15-20 minutes, stirring once half-way through.
While green beans are roasting, fry the bacon in a medium skillet until crispy. Drain on a plate lined with paper towel and set aside.
Spread roasted green beans on a large platter and sprinkle with crumbled, crispy bacon pieces. Serve with lemon wedges.
4. Healthy Stuffing
- 1 tbsp light butter or earth balance vegan butter
- 14 oz stuffing bread (such as pepperidge farm
or mrs cubbison)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup diced mushrooms
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 2- 2 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- poultry seasoning to taste ( I usually use 1-2 tsp)
pepper to taste around 1 tsp
preheat oven to 350 degrees
heat a large sauté pan once heated add butter and spray with cooking spray, and add celery, onion, garlic, and mushroom add additional cooking spray if needed. Continue cooking until veggies are tender remove from heat transfer to bowl and allow to cool slightly
in a large bowl add bread stuffing and veggies toss together season with pepper and poultry seasoning add chicken broth mixing until moist but not soaking taste and adjust seasoning
spray casserole dish with cooking spray add stuffing mix and cover with foil bake 20-25 minutes uncover and cook additional 10 minutes or until slightly crispy on top
serves around 1/2 cup each serving
5. Cranberry Apple Chutney
“This simple recipe for Cranberry Apple Chutney takes your main dish to a whole new level. Serve it over pork, chicken, or turkey. It also a great side dish recipe to serve at Thanksgiving and other holiday meals! (Lauren Vavala)”
3/4 Cup water
1/2 Cup granulated sugar (alternative Stevia or agave nectar)
12 ounces cranberries
1 small shallot * finely chopped
1/2 Cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 Cup apple cider vinegar (Organic, The mother)
2 tart apples * diced
1/2 Cup golden raisins
In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, bring the water and granulated sugar to a boil.
Once boiling, add the cranberries, shallot, brown sugar, cinnamon, and apple cider vinegar.
Continue cooking over medium heat for about 5 minutes to allow the cranberries time to start popping.
Add the apples and golden raisins and lower the heat to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
Chutney can be served warm or chilled.
Tips and Techniques
Store extra Cranberry Apple Chutney in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
You can also freeze this Cranberry Apple Chutney in freezer bags for up to 2 months.
To use frozen Cranberry Apple Chutney, first thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Then enjoy it chilled, or warm gently over medium heat on the stove.
6. Winter Fruit Pavlovas
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
- 2 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest (from 1 orange)
- 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 large Honeycrisp apple (10 oz.), thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
- Fresh rosemary sprigs
Preheat oven to 225°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; secure paper to baking sheet with masking tape.
Whisk together granulated sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl; set aside. Place egg whites in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Add cream of tartar and salt; beat until blended. Add sugar mixture, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until glossy, stiff peaks form, and sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. (Do not overbeat.)
Gently spoon egg white mixture into 8 (3-inch-wide x 2 1/2-inch-tall) mounds on prepared baking sheet. Bake on middle rack in preheated oven until meringues have formed a crust, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Turn oven off; let meringues stand in oven with door closed at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours. Meanwhile, place maple syrup in a microwavable bowl, and microwave on high until warm, about 1 minute. Stir cranberries into maple syrup; cover and refrigerate 4 hours or up to overnight.
Place yogurt in a medium bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold mascarpone, zest, and rosemary into yogurt until smooth; set aside. Strain maple syrup and cranberries; place cranberries in a medium bowl, and reserve maple syrup for another use. Add apple slices and pomegranate seeds to cranberries; toss to combine.
Step 5 To serve, spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons yogurt mixture onto each meringue, and top with about 1/3 cup fruit mixture: garnish each with a rosemary sprig.
Another healthy tip that I use is Urth Box. This is nice healthy snacks you can try when you want to snack. I love these tasty snacks because I know they put healthy options in the box. Don’t take my word, go ahead and try it. I have discounts and coupons in my link below.
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