Alternative Healthy Recipes for Holiday Meals

With the holidays in full swing, there is sure to be no shortages of parties, get-togethers, and dinners with family and friends. Most likely, you’ll be enjoying the traditional fare consisting of mashed potatoes, cookies, and other delicious treats. But, if you happen to be interested in healthier fare, the holidays are a perfect time to experiment with new recipes! Holiday foods don’t need to be heavy with calories and fat; in fact, they still can pack a nutritious punch without sacrificing flavor. Try bringing one of these four recipes to your next holiday event.

Scared you’ll be missing your beloved mashed potatoes at the table? Try mashed cauliflower instead! This is one of my favorites and is perfect if you have friends on a low carb regimen. You can experiment with different cheeses or add sour cream to have a loaded baked potato inspired dish. And yes, they really are as good as mashed potatoes!

Mashed Cauliflower with Parmesan


1 large head of cauliflower, broken down into florets
1 cup of parmesan cheese
1/3 cup of whipping cream, or half and half
1 tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon pepper
Parsley to garnish

Place 1 inch of water and the cauliflower florets into a saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Cook covered for 10-12 minutes, or until the cauliflower is softened. Drain the water, leaving cauliflower in the pan.
Mash the cauliflower until it is smooth. Stir in cheese, cream, butter, and pepper. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 6 servings, Ready in 30 minutes – Recipe from

Looking for a unique side to bring to a party? Try roasted brussels sprouts! Simple and easy to make, these sprouts pack a punch as a crispy, zesty side dish. Who doesn’t love roasted veggies anyway? Plus, since it’s a one-pan recipe, this dish is easy to make and even easier to clean!

Tangy Glazed Brussel Sprouts

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 pound trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 ounce crumbled feta cheese (about 1/4 cup)
3 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans
Heat olive oil, ground cardamom, and crushed red pepper in a large skillet over medium-high. Add trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts, cut sides down. Cook until browned, about 7 minutes. Add pomegranate juice and white balsamic vinegar. Cook, tossing often, until sauce is syrupy, another 5 to 6 minutes. Top evenly with crumbled feta cheese (about 1/4 cup) and chopped toasted pecans.

Serves 4 (serving size: 3/4 cup) – Recipe from

In need of a healthier sweet treat to bring to your next holiday bash? If so, look no further: pumpkin pie cookies to the rescue! Packed with oats and spices, no one will guess that these are a healthier alternative to the ever-popular pumpkin pie. Plus, you won’t have to feel guilty about indulging! Go ahead, have two…or three.

Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies


1 cup (100g) instant oats
¾ cup (90g) whole wheat or gluten-free* flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp (28g) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
¾ cup (183g) pumpkin purée
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup (120mL) pure maple syrup
2 tbsp (28g) dark or semisweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp (14g) miniature chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Whisk together the oats, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, pumpkin purée, and vanilla. Stir in the maple syrup. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Fold in the dark chocolate chips and ½ tablespoon of miniature chocolate chips.
Drop the cookie dough into 15 rounded scoops onto the prepared sheet, and flatten to the desired thickness and width using a spatula. Gently press the remaining miniature chocolate chips into the tops. Bake at 325°F for 11-14 minutes. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

Makes 15 Cookies, Ready in 30 minutes. Recipe from

Finishing out the night with a toast? Looking for a smooth cocktail to help you ring in the New Year? There are delicious options for healthier cocktails, as well! Ditch the champagne and mix up some low-calorie options for your friends and family, like this 100 calorie Moscow Mule! They’ll never know it’s low on calories, and you’ll be the star bartender.



100 Calorie Moscow Mule


110 grams ginger root
1 cup water
2 teaspoons stevia
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup sparkling water
1/4 cup vodka
2 sprigs of mint
Half a lime, cut into wedges

In a blender, combine the water and ginger root (no need to peel) and blend until the ginger has completely pureed. Pour the mixture through a cheesecloth into a saucepan Alternatively, you can use a clean dishcloth or coffee filter.
Put the saucepan on high heat on the stove and add in the stevia and lemon juice. Boil the mixture for approximately 10 minutes until the liquid has reduced to half. Take it off the heat and allow it to cool.
In a cocktail shaker, combine the cooled ginger liquid with sparkling water and vodka and shake to combine. Pour drink into two glasses or copper mugs with ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a lime wedge.

Makes 2 Drinks, Ready in 15 Minutes – Recipe from

Ready to lighten up your recipes this holiday season? Healthy cooking doesn’t have to be bland or boring, and these recipes prove it! Don’t wait until the New Year to get healthy; start now with holiday friendly and delicious recipes.