Healthier Holiday Menu

Now is the time to talk about that very special holiday meal!  The holiday meal is where you and your loved ones can gather together to celebrate and have gratitude for the things in your life.   Unfortunately, the holiday meal has become more about gluttony then the gratitude.   We now think that this special meal has to have 20 different sides, pounds of bread and at least 5 desserts.   Since there are such high expectation on this meal it ends up bringing feelings of dread and stress as well!  I say let’s take back the holiday meal.  Let’s make this meal as stress free as possible while still being delicious!  Here is an idea for a holiday dinner that is full of healthy vegetables and flavor.  Just remember that the holidays don’t have to wreck all the hard work you have put into becoming healthier this year.  We look forward to seeing you all in 2020.


holiday appetizer

Caprese salad kabobs

Not only is this appetizer simple and easy to prepare but it also is made of holiday colors!


  • 24 grape tomatoes
  • 12 cherry-size fresh mozzarella cheese balls
  • 24 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar


  • On each of 12 appetizer skewers, alternately thread 2 tomatoes, 1 cheese ball and 2 basil leaves. To serve, whisk together oil and vinegar; drizzle over kabobs.
Nutrition Facts

1 kabob: 44 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 5mg cholesterol, 10mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.




Holiday Wreath Salad



  • 5 ounces of salad greens (such as spring mix or sweet baby lettuce mix)
  • 2 navel oranges peeled and cut into sections
  • 4 ounces shelled, roasted and salted pistachios (about a scant cup)
  • 4 ounces pomegranate arils (a 4.3-ounce container is fine, drained)
  • 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese (about a scant 1/2 cup)


  • 5 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice (from about half a large navel orange)
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon smooth dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/16 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Place greens in a large serving bowl (or divide evenly among individual salad plates).
  2. Arrange oranges, pistachios, and pomegranate arils over top of greens. Sprinkle with goat cheese.
  3. For dressing, whisk together orange juice, honey, champagne vinegar, canola oil, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper until the salt has dissolved and the dressing is emulsified.
  4. Dress salad just before serving, or pass the dressing at the table.


Main meal:


Cauliflower Mash

  • 2 medium heads cauliflower, florets removed
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 c. milk
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly chopped chives, for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add cauliflower florets and cook until tender, 10 minutes. Drain well, pressing with paper towels or a clean dish towel to remove as much excess water as possible.
  2. Return to pot and mash cauliflower with a potato masher until smooth and no large chunks remain.
  3. Stir in cream cheese and milk and season with salt and pepper and mash until completely combined and creamy. (Add a couple tablespoons more milk until you reach desired consistency.)
  4. Garnish with chives, season with more pepper, and top with a pat of butter if desired.


Servings: 8, Calories per serving: 110, 9g Carbs, 4gm protein, 8gm fat.



Roasted Chicken Quarters:


  • 4 (bone-in and skin-on) chicken leg quarters
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Optional: lemon slices and fresh rosemary sprigs, for garnish


  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a casserole dish or oven-proof skillet.
  2. Place chicken leg quarters skin-side-up in baking dish or oven-proof skillet. Brush evenly with melted butter.
  3. In a small bowl, combine Italian seasoning, salt and red pepper. Sprinkle seasoning mixture evenly over chicken. Drizzle chicken evenly with lemon juice.
  4. Bake for 50-60 minutes (uncovered), or until and instant read thermometer reads a minimum of 165 degrees F, chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Italian Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters



Garlicky Brocolini:


  • Salt 
  • 2 pounds Broccolini (about 4 bunches)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Broccolini and cook until bright green and barely crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
  • In a very large skillet, heat the olive oil with the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase the heat to high, add the Broccolini and toss to coat with the oil. Add the reserved cooking water and toss occasionally, until the Broccolini is crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and transfer to a platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.