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Holiday Foods to Feel Good About

Healthy Holiday Foods to Feel Good About!

by – Grace Cherubino

Photograph of a basket of red and yellow apples representing healthy holiday food including Apple crisp

This time of year, as it starts getting chilly, we tend to turn toward comfort food. This is best evidenced by our holiday foods at Thanksgiving. This year, as you are aiming to live a healthier life, I would like to give you some examples of how to still enjoy your food and not regret any of it afterward. The following healthy holiday recipes will take your favorites and turn them into your body’s favorites too!

Mashed Potatoes    (Our Version: Mashed Yams)

(Mashed Yams Recipe for 6)

  • 10 Yams
  • ¼ cup of unsalted Butter
  • Parsley and Garlic to taste  OR Cinnamon and Nutmeg to taste (optional)
  • ½ cup Unsweetened Almond, Rice, Oat or Soy Milk.

-Wash yams, do not peel. Boil the yams in enough water to submerge them. Cover and cook 30 to 35 minutes until tender. Drain water, slip off skins and mash  yams with butter.


Apple Pie

Our Version: Apple Crisp

(Recipe feeds 6)

  • 1/3 cup Dry cut oats
  • ¼ cup Walnuts
  • 6 Apples
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Nutmeg
  • pinch Allspice
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • a dash of Maple Syrup (optional)

-Preheat oven to 375. Spray an 8 x 8 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Slice and core the apples, then layer the apples in the baking pan. Add all of the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl and crumble over the apples. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the apples are soft.

Holiday Foods: Turkey

Our Version:* Turkey (they look and taste the same!)

Choose a turkey that is vegetarian fed, free-range, and non-hormone-injected. Cook the same way you normally do!

Stuffing  (Goes great with other holiday foods such as mashed yams)

Our Version: Ezekiel Bread Stuffing

(Recipe feeds 6)

  • 1 loaf Ezekiel Bread (or another sprouted whole grain bread—find them in your refrigerated section of your market.)
  • 4 Carrots
  • 2 Celery stalks
  • 3 Onions
  • 2 cloves Garlic, crushed
  • Vegetable broth
  • 1 Tsp. Mr. dash or your favorite Poultry seasoning
  • Parsley, Basil, and Rosemary to taste
  • A dash of sea salt (optional)

–          Mix ingredients and bake in a casserole dish at 350 for 15 minutes.

Additions to your table- (My personal favorites) :

Baked Brussel Sprouts

(Recipe feeds 6)

  • 6 cups diced Brussel Sprouts
  • Sea Salt (post-cooking)
  • Olive Oil (post-cooking)

-Cut brussel sprouts in half and lay on a cooking sheet. Set oven to 375, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Then, drizzle Olive Oil and Sea Salt to taste before serving.

Baked Winter Squash (A great complement to mashed yams)

(Recipe feeds 6)

  • 6 cups diced Winter Squash of your choice (types: Acorn, Hubbard, Butternut, Ambercup, Delicata, Pumpkin, Kabocha…)
  • 5 cloves Garlic
  • ¼ cup Rosemary
  • pinch Black Pepper
  • Sesame Oil

-Cut squash into manageable cubes- depending on the type of squash, this might require cutting the thick skin off first. Mix squash with garlic cloves, spices and sesame oil in a casserole dish. Set oven to 375, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until squash is fork-soft.

Spinach Crustless Quiche (One of my very favorite holiday foods)

(Recipe feeds 6)

  • 3 cups of Spinach (when raw, measure by pressing leaves into measuring cup until packed)
  • 6 Eggs
  • Sea Salt (post-cooking)

–          Steam the Spinach in a pot for 3-5 minutes. Beat the 6 eggs until yolk is combined. Mix egg and spinach in a pie plate, and bake on 375 for 20 minutes or until egg is cooked all the way through (no liquid). Add salt and serve.

These foods are just a few of my favorites. If you have any traditional (junky) foods that you wish you could tweak, write them in the comments section, and I will try to tell you my ideas of alternative yummy recipes! Also visit for general nutritional guidelines that will get you on the road to health every day of the year!

Happy Eating!

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