Message from the RDs: 5 Recipes to Keep You Fit During a Feast by Chelsea Rice

Holidays are meant to be spent relaxing and enjoying time with loved ones, but many stress about the season due to the dreaded “festive 15”.

Staying on track can seem daunting with all of the parties involving eating and drinking all night long. Turns out, there is no need to stress. Healthy recipes should always have a place at the dinner table for any holiday feast. With these 5 easy recipes below, you can have fun without throwing away your healthy habits and indulge without adding on inches!

Appetizer:

Goat Cheese Stuffed Figs

 Ingredients

  • 18 dried figs, sliced in half
  • 3 oz. creamy goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 4 slices pancetta or turkey bacon, cooked until crispy
  • 1-2 tbsp. honey, for drizzling

Instructions

  • Top the cut side of each fig with ½ tsp. of goat cheese.
  • Top each fig with 3 pine nuts.
  • Cut pancetta or turkey bacon into 1-inch long pieces.  Top each fig with pancetta or turkey bacon.
  • Drizzle honey over the top of figs.
  • Serve on platter.

Main Dish: Roast Turkey Breast with Lemon Rosemary Gravy

Ingredients (for the turkey):

  • 3 ¾ pound turkey breast
  • 2 T grape seed oil
  • 2 cups celery
  • 2 cups onion
  • 2 cups carrots
  • 3 T Herb mixture (see below)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Ingredients (for the herb mixture):

  • 1 tbsp thyme, chopped
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tbsp sage, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp grape seed oil

Ingredients (for the gravy):

  • 3 cups turkey broth
  • 1/4 cups onion, diced
  • 1/4 cups carrot, diced
  • 1/4 cups celery, diced
  • 1 tsp rosemary, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water to make a cornstarch slurry

Instructions

For the turkey:

  • Heat oil in a large sauté pan to high heat and sear the turkey breast on each side. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • In a roasting pan add the carrots celery and onion to the bottom of the pan; add the turkey on top of the vegetables.
  • Cover pan with foil and roast turkey for 1 ½ – 2 hours or until the internal temp is 180 degrees- 10 minutes before the turkey is done rub the turkey with the herb mixture and bake.
  • Let rest for 10 minutes before you carve it.

For the herb mixture:

  • Chop all the herbs.
  • Using a mixing bowl add the herb mixture.
  • Stir until combined.

For the Gravy:

  • In a pot, heat liquid to a simmer. Add the remainder of the ingredients except for the cornstarch slurry. Simmer for 10 minutes on low heat, just long enough to cook the vegetables but not reduce the liquid.
  • Make the cornstarch slurry by mixing the cornstarch and 2 tbsp of water together, then whisk into the gravy to thicken.
  • Blend the gravy. Serve hot.

Side Dish: Roasted Brussels Sprouts Medley

Ingredients

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme leaves
  • ½ cup toasted pecans
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Toss vegetables with oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with herbs.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Stir half-way through.
  • Before serving, toss vegetables with pecans and cranberries.

Dessert: Spiced Hot Fruit Bake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups apples, sliced
  • 2 cups pear, sliced
  • 1 ½ cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks (save the juice)
  • Lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F  
  • In a large bowl, toss your fruit and add in 1-2 tsp. Lemon juice. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, combine sugar, spices, and coconut oil. Add in honey and a little bit of leftover pineapple juice as well.
  • Add mixture to fruit and coat evenly.
  • Pour fruit into a 9×12 baking dish.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Add chopped walnuts and stir.
  • Bake an additional 30 minutes.
  • Serve warm. Enjoy!

Beverage: Healthy Holiday Egg Nog

Instructions

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground ginger and/or cloves
  • 2 oz. liquor of choice (ex. vodka, rum, bourbon, etc.), optional

Instructions

  • Blend all ingredients.
  • Pour mixture into a pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Do not let it boil.
  • Add liquor of choice (optional).
  • Serve in mugs with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!