Healthy Holiday Recipes Galore!

Yes, it’s that time of year when all the yummy, fattening food starts to appear before our eyes and tempts us into indulging! But, here’s the good news, you can indulge on good, healthy food that is tasty and you won’t even miss your usual holiday fatty fare that will put you in food coma. And the best part is, you won’t gain those dreaded holiday pounds!

Here are some awesome recipes I think you will really enjoy this holiday season. Why not challenge your family to a plant-based holiday and spend time whipping up healthy dishes in the kitchen together!

**Instead of gooey yams with butter, brown sugar and marshmallows, try out this healthy and delightful version that will dance on your tastebuds…

Mashed Miso Sweet Potatoes

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes (I like garnet yams in this recipe)
  • 1-2 tablespoon sweet white miso paste
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Wash sweet potatoes and poke holes in them using a fork. Place on a baking sheet and spray with olive oil. Cook until tender, about 45 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. The potatoes are done when you can easily poke through the center. Remove from oven and split lengthwise to cool

When cooled, but still warm, scoop out the flesh with a spoon and place in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mash well with a masher or fork.

**Not many people like Brussels sprouts but this is one of my fave holiday side dishes and it’s simple to make! I guarantee it will turn you into a sprout convert!

Lemony Roasted Brussel Sprouts

  • 3 pounds Brussel sprouts
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash Brussels sprouts well and then cut off stems and cut into quarters. Place in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and shallot pour over sprouts and mix well so that all sprouts are covered with marinade. Pour into glass baking dish and cover with foil. Cook for 20 minutes covered and then remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes until brown and tender.

**Cranberry Sauce is usually a favorite at holiday time, but most people are familiar with the cylinder shaped gelatinous blob that is loaded with sugar. Try this modernized take on Cranberry sauce. It’s loaded with good for you goji berries and some other delightful surprises!

Tangy Cranberry-Goji Chutney (makes 3-1/2 cups)

  • 12 oz. frozen cranberries (1 bag)
  • 1/4 cup goji berries
  • ¼ cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 1 cup apple cider (juice) or fresh OJ
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Pinch allspice
  • Pinch cardamom
  • Pinch cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • zest of orange
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Combine cranberries, goji berries, apricots & shallots in a saucepan over medium heat. Add cider or OJ and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until the goji berries are soft and plump, and the cranberries pop. Stir in maple syrup, spices and salt. Cook 5 minutes longer. Adjust seasonings if needed, remove from heat and stir in orange zest and nuts. Cool to room temperature. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

**Gravy is another must at Thanksgiving, but it’s usually high in fat and made with white flour and turkey drippings. If you want a healthier version this year, try this delectable and earthy mushroom gravy as inspired by Ann Gentry owner of Real Food Daily

Mushroom Gravy

  • 3 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups finely chopped wild mushrooms (Portobello, shitake, oyster)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk (so delicious brand is best)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • ¼ cup low sodium tamari or braggs aminos
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspooon ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together nutritional yeast flakes and rice flour. Set aside

Heat olive oil in a large sauepan over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic and mushrooms until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the sage, thyme and tarragon and stir to release flavors of herbs. Whisk in

Whisk in the flour mixture thoroughly to combine and then whisk in veggie broth and tamari or braggs. Bring to a simmer while stirring frequently until gravy is thick and creamy.

Serve immediately

**Cheesecake is a fave among many so I had to come up with an alternative to the normal fatty, sugary one we are used to. I think you will love this. Make a fresh berry sauce to put over top!

Raw Vegan “Cheese”cake

  • 2 cups macadamia nuts
  • ½ cup dried coconut
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • dash sea salt
  • 3 cups cashews, soaked for 4 hours
  • 1 cup dates, pitted and soaked for 2 hours
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoon water
  • seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make crust:

In food processor, pulse macadamia nuts, maple syrup and coconut together until sticky. Press into a 9-inch spring form pan.

To make filling:

In high-powered blender blend cashews, coconut oil, lime juice, maple syrup, water, vanilla bean (or extract) & dates until smooth. Pour into crust and freeze for 1-2 hours until firm. Slice while frozen and defrost for 1 hour before serving. Serve with berry sauce or fresh berries.


Melissa Costello

Author, Speaker, Culinary Plant-Based Nutrition & Health Empowerment Coach | Cleanse Expert

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