Healthy for the Holidays

With the holiday season right around the corner, everyone's preparing for family traditions, gatherings and the best part: FOOD. Every year we tell ourselves that we won't overdo it with the holiday meals, but how many of us actually follow through? Guilty as charged, however we've provided three healthy recipes (via, that we hope will inspire everyone to start or keep eating healthy despite the holiday season. Preparing healthier dishes will ensure that you'll eat better on Thanksgiving Day and the weeks that follow when you're itching to get rid of those leftovers. Who says Thanksgiving dinner can't be healthy and delicious? 

Herb-Roasted Turkey 

The turkey is the holy grail of the Thanksgiving meal, so not only is it the biggest and most eaten dish but it also stays in your refrigerator the longest!  That makes the turkey the perfect dish to tweak and make a bit lighter. 



  • 1 whole bone-in turkey breast, 6 1/2 to 7 pounds 
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves) 
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves 
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves 
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt 
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 
  • 1 cup dry white wine 



Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the turkey breast, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. 

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a paste. Loosen the skin from the meat gently with your fingers and smear half of the paste directly on the meat. Spread the remaining paste evenly on the skin. Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan. 

Roast the turkey for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest and meatiest areas of the breast. (I test in several places.) If the skin is over-browning, cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil. When the turkey is done, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the pan juices spooned over the turkey. ( 


Total Time: 2 hours and 40 minutes 


Vegan Stuffing 

Stuffing is essential to any decent Thanksgiving meal, and probably has the most variations according to who actually cooks it. Despite how delicious stuffing is, the traditionally made dish also contains a shameful amount of calories. Why not go vegan and make that choice to go for a second serving, guilt-free? 





  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing the baking dish 
  • 2 bags green tea 
  • 1 large onion, chopped 
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped 
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms 
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage 
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 16 cups stale, 1-inch cubed white bread (about 1 pound) 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 



Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with oil. 

Brew the tea bags in 2 cups of hot water for 5 minutes. Discard the tea bags (don't squeeze them out). 

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until just soft, about 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms, sage, thyme, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the brewed green tea, then bring to a simmer and remove from heat. 

Put the bread in a large bowl and pour in the green tea-vegetable mixture. Add the parsley and toss until the bread is completely coated. Let rest for 10 minutes so the bread can soak up the liquid. Gently toss again and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. 

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Serve hot. ( 


Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes 


 Roasted Brussels Sprouts 

What better way to add greens to your Thanksgiving meal than to use this savory dish! Now these are nothing like collard greens, soaked in seasonings and meat, but I guarantee that it will be just as delicious and ten times more healthy! 




  • 8 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme 
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt 
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper 
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted sliced almonds 
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze 



Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss Brussels sprouts with oil, thyme salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread out in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once or twice until softened and browning in spots, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a serving platter or bowl. Just before serving, sprinkle with almonds and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. ( 


Total Time: 40 minutes 



There you have it folks, three recipes to help jumpstart or continue one's journey to a healthy lifestyle! Stay happy and healthy!


Photos used are not property of Passion Lilie.

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