Healthy Alternatives to Grandma’s Holiday Feast!



The holiday season is upon us! ’tis the season to spend your time with friends and family in the warmth of your home. Most of the time merriment is accompanied by some type of food. Tradition demands that you follow the same recipe your grandmother’s grandmother used to roast that turkey, make the gravy, prepare the sides etc. I don’t know about you, but my grandmother used butter and drippings like they were going out of style. Feasting during the holidays will happen, so why not make it a little easier on the waistline this year?

We have compiled a few foods sure to be found on Grandma’s Christmas table, just healthier. Give them a try this season and see if they stand up to Grandmas.


Fresh Cranberry Sauce cranberry-sauce
2 apples cored and roughly chopped
1 orange washed (navel or mandarin) with peel on! quartered
2 cups cranberries (fresh or thawed from frozen)
1/2 cup sugar

  1. Combine all fruit in food processor and chop until all bits are the size of small green peas. Sweeten to taste (try honey instead of sugar)


Balsamic Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeledbalsamic-carrots
1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil

1 (4-oz.) package feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice carrots and parsnips lengthwise into long, thin strips.
    In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Pour over the veggies and toss gently to coat
  2. Place on a lightly greased 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan and season with salt and pepper.
    Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender and browned, stirring every 15 minutes.
  3. Combine all ingredients, tossing gently. Transfer cooked carrots and parsnips to a serving platter and gently toss with the feta cheese mixture. Serve immediately.


Crispy Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes
3 Tablespoons butter, meltedsweet-potatoes
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary, or 1/2 tsp. fresh
3 lbs. (3-4 medium) sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
1 shallot, peeled and sliced thinly
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine melted butter, oil and crushed rosemary in a small bowl. Pour 2 tablespoons of butter-oil mixture in the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish. Arrange potato slices vertically in the dish. Add a sliver of shallot between every few slices of potato. Brush top with remaining butter-oil mixture. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Cover dish with foil and roast for 1 hour, covered, until potatoes are tender (If your potato slices are thicker than shown, you may need to increase cooking time). Increase oven heat to 450 degrees F. Remove foil and roast another 10-15 minutes, until tops of potatoes are browned and crisp.


Gluten-Free Walnut and Kale Quinoa Stuffing
½ cups vegetable broth, dividedkale
2 ½ cups rinsed quinoa, rinsed
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
4 cups finely chopped kale
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
½ cup dried cranberries

  1. Bring 5 cups broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Add quinoa, salt and pepper and return to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the quinoa is tender and the broth is absorbed, 18 to 22 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit undisturbed 5 minutes. Remove lid, stir in kale, cover and let sit.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often until the onion is very soft and starting to brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Add garlic, sage, thyme and cinnamon and cook until fragrant, 30 to 90 seconds. Add celery and the remaining ½ cup broth, and cook, stirring often until the celery is crisp-tender and the liquid is mostly evaporated, 4 to 6 minutes.
  4. Stir quinoa mixture, the celery mixture, walnuts and cranberries together in a large bowl. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  5. Bake until the mixture is hot, the celery and kale are tender and the top is golden along the edges, 22 to 30 minutes.


One Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Sweet-potatoes, Pears and Apples
1 pork tenderloin – 1lb |16 oz| 450gtenderloin
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pear, unpeeled, sliced lengthwise into ½ inch thick pieces
1 apple, unpeeled, sliced lengthwise into ½ inch thick pieces
5 garlic cloves – quartered with skin on
1 cup sweet potato sliced into 1 inch by ½ inch pieces
Salt & pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Coat 9 inch by 9 inch oven pan in olive oil.
  3. Pat dry your pork tenderloin and brush generously with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle Italian seasoning all around. Place the pork tenderloin in the pan.
  4. Slice your vegetables and to very small pieces, about ½ garlic clove size works bestand add them to the pan with the pork.
  5. Pork tenderloin which weighs 1 lb |16 oz should be roasted for 28-32 minutes (or 6-7 min per every 0.22 lb)
  6. Remove the pork pan from the oven and rest the meat for 5 minutes before slicing to ½ inch pieces and serving with the roasted veg.


Honey Roasted Pears with Cranberries and Pecans
4 pears, such as bosc, bartlett or anjoupears
24 fresh cranberries
4 Tbps chopped pecans
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
4 tsp honey
Greek yogurt for pairing, if desired

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Halve the pears and then core. Slice a small part off of the backside of each pear half to create a flat surface so the pear sits flat when laid on the pan.
  3. Place the pear halves on a large baking sheet or baking pan, cored side up. Place three cranberries into the cored part of each pear half. Sprinkle each pear half with about ½ tbsp of the pecans and then sprinkle each pear half with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Drizzle each pear half with ½ tsp of honey.
  4. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until the pears are tender.
  5. Serve with Greek yogurt, if desired.


Happy Cooking and Merry Christmas from all of us at Leduc Physio!