Time to get out the recipes, because the holidays are approaching!

Your pumpkins and wreaths might be tucked away in the attic, but it’s never too early to start planning your festivities. That includes menus for your winter holidays!

While most fare for the holidays is full of sugary sweets and carb-heavy entrees, there are plenty of healthy recipes that can help feel your best as you ring in this new season. Today, we’re sharing a few of our favorite dishes that will leave you full and keep your body (and teeth!) happy.

Cauliflower Stuffing

This year, ditch the boxed stuff and try a cleaner and easier stuffing alternative, using cauliflower! For all its versatility, this cruciferous veggie often gets a bad rap. It might seem bland when prepared raw, but it’s easy to dress it up and give it a ton of flavor with just a few ingredients.

To make it, start by breaking the head of the cauliflower into small florets. Set them aside in a bowl, and sautee the following:

  • Two diced onions
  • 3/4 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 sticks chopped celery

Once those veggies are tender and translucent, you can add them to the bowl. Then it’s time to add your meat. If you’re going for a vegan or vegetarian option, you can absolutely skip this step. If not, brown 1.5 cups of ground pork on the stovetop, and add it to the bowl, along with:

  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 1/2 cup chicken (or vegetable) broth
  • Two eggs

Mix everything together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Then, just pour the mixture into a dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. For step-by-step instructions, check out this post!

As your trusted local dentists, we love cauliflower because it’s chock-full of nutrients that are great for healthy teeth, including phosphorus and Vitamin C! If this stuffing seems a little daunting, just swap your usual rice for riced cauliflower instead. You can find that recipe here.

Mashed Chickpeas

There’s nothing like digging into a big, warm bowl of mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving. However, with just a few swaps, you can make this classic dish a lot healthier.

In the health food realm, chickpeas have gained a ton of popularity lately, and for good reason. Not only do they taste great, but they’re a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including phosphorous and iron. Plus, they’re easy to air-fry, bake, and blend, mixing beautifully into a variety of dishes.

To make this dish, start by draining and rinsing two cans of chickpeas. Then, put them into a food processor, along with 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Pulse the mixture until it creates a coarse puree.

Next, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat on the stove. Add two diced tomatoes, and sauté until the veggies turn soft. Then, add two cloves of chopped garlic. Once it browns slightly, add the chickpea mixture to the pan.

Cook everything for about five minutes until it’s heated throughout. Finally, remove the dish from the heat and stir in 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, along with salt and pepper! You can also sprinkle the chickpeas with parsley and add a few tablespoons of lemon juice for an extra zing.

Check out the full recipe online, and plan to double the recipe. This one’s a crowd-pleaser!

One-Pan Cranberry Chicken

The holidays should be a time of reflection and merrymaking, but they often tend to be hurried and stressed. This year, make it a little easier with a one-pan recipe you can feel good about.

Considered a superfood for their incredible amounts of nutrients and antioxidants, cranberries are also great for your teeth! This is because they contain a high amount of proanthocyanidins. These chemical compounds prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth, which can help you fight off tooth decay and gum disease.

To make this dish, season 1.5 pounds of chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Then, it’s time to prepare your glaze! Start by heating one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Saute a few tablespoons of minced shallots, and then add the following to the pan:

  • 12 ounces of cranberries
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Cook for about five minutes, and gently smash the berries until they split open. To the mixture, add:

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of allspice

Transfer the glaze to a bowl, wipe your skillet clean, and add the chicken. Cook for five to seven minutes on each side, until the juices run clean. Spoon the glaze over the meat and serve! You can find the full details here.

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

We couldn’t share a list of healthy food for the holidays without including something to satisfy your sweet tooth! This one combines two of our favorite, dentist-approved ingredients: Greek yogurt and raspberries! Full of vitamin C, calcium, and iron, the berries add a juicy and healthy touch to this classic dessert.

In a bowl, combine the following:

  • One 18-ounce block of cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup natural granulated sweetener

Beat the mixture until it’s smooth and everything is combined. Then, fold in 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, followed by two eggs. Beat again for one minute, and add 3/4 cup of raspberries and a pinch of chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into a greased, 8-inch springform pan and bake at 280 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until the center sets. Cool and chill in the refrigerator for at least five hours before serving. You’ll want to save this recipe for any time you need a weekday pick-me-up!

Try These Healthy Recipes For the Holidays This Season

The holidays should be a time of feasting and festivity. They’re good for your heart, and they can be good for your body too!

With these healthy recipes, you can create a menu that your whole family will enjoy. This is one easy way to make this time extra-special, and a little less stressful. From our family to yours, we wish you a healthy and happy start to this exciting new season.

If you need anything from us, feel free to stop by our office or schedule an appointment online!