Holiday recipes you will be thankful for!

Image of cut yams

I was so busy cooking I forgot to share with you some of my favorite winter holiday dishes. They scream “comfort” without going overboard on calories, so you can have them once a week during the winter months.

Finding ways to take your family recipes and make them healthier is a great way to enjoy some classics. I removed the sugar, added agave, more nuts (for protein) and use fresh, not canned, yams.. to create my Praline Yams. For my Vegetable stuffing I use 3-4x the amount of vegetables.. and more than just celery, so I am not eating a pile of oily bread. It should be vegetables WITH some bread.. and with all the great flavors we love. Happy Baking!

*If you are someone who loves to learn.. here is some fun information aboutYams versus Sweet Potatoes!

Do YOU know the difference? I found out we have been eating Yam fries, not sweet potato fries all along!

Vegan Praline Yams Prep: 15 min – Cook Time: 25 min Note: You can prep this the night before, put it into the dish and cover it in the refrigerator. Then when ready, put it in the oven to bake!

§ 3-4 Yams, pre-cooked (unless you live where you CANNOT find fresh yams.. please through them in your oven to bake. Fresh makes all the difference! And less calories too!)

§ dash of salt

§ 1/3 cup orange juice

§ 1 tsp ginger powder (can add fresh ground ginger instead)

§ 1/4 cup flour (use gluten free if needed)

§ 1/2- 1 cup raw pecans, chopped

§ 1/4 cup Agave OR 1/3 cup maple syrup

§ 2 Tbsp Vegan butter (I use Earth Balance Vegan buttery sticks)

§ 1/2 tsp cinnamon

§ dash of nutmeg to taste


1. Peel cooked yams and mash together with salt, orange juice and ginger. Spoon into a casserole dish or baking pan. [I usually put the yams into two smaller casseroles versus one large, so I can bake them separately when I choose.]

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, pecans, agave and margarine until combined well. Spoon this mixture over the yams. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and nutmeg. [I like more pecans on top so choose 1 cup, to completely cover the top of the yams.]

3. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

This is ready to refrigerate and put into the oven before our meal!

Ok.. now here comes my real favorite holiday dish.. Chanterelle Mushroom Stuffing.

My mouth is already watering for dinner tomorrow! If you can’t get your hands on Chanterelle’s or don’t want to splurge, use a mix of mushrooms like I do!

Vegan Mushroom Vegetable Stuffing Prep: 15 min – Cook Time: 45-60 min Makes 8-10 servings

Note: To prepare this to take with you, do preparations 1 through 4, then place the bread and sautéed vegetables/cranberries, separately into two travel dishes.

Place seasonings and nuts into a third container or ziplock. Refrigerate the vegetables and when you are ready to bake the stuffing, toss them together, add broth and bake!

§ 4 cups whole wheat bread (can use pre made stuffing mix bread, or gluten free bread if needed.)

§ 4 Tbsp vegan butter (I use Earth Balance Vegan buttery sticks)

§ 1 cup chopped onion

§ 1.5-2 cups chopped celery

§ 1 cup chopped red or green bell pepper

§ 1-2 cups sliced Button or other variety mushrooms

§ 1-2 cups sliced Chanterelle mushrooms (when I buy local organic ones, they still have some pine needles on them.. just rinse in cold water and rub to clean.. they are worth it!)

§ 1 tsp dried thyme

§ 1 tsp paprika

§ 1/2 tsp nutmeg

§ 1/2 cup cranberries (sugar free dried or fresh) *if dried, soak in orange or apple juice while chopping to plump them up.

§ 1 cup chopped raw pecans (omit if nut allergies)

§ 2 cups mushroom or vegetable broth (low sodium)


1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

2. Bake bread cubes on a pan until golden brown, flipping occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl when cool.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

4. Melt Vegan butter in large skillet. Add onion, celery, peppers and cook until tender – about 15 minutes. Add Chanterelle mushrooms with about 5 minutes left, then add Button mushrooms for final minutes. (I used two pans above since I double the recipe and save half for a second batch of stuffing for the weekend!)

5. Combine vegetables with bread in the mixing bowl, add seasonings, cranberries, pecans and mushroom broth sprinkled over the top.

6. Stir all ingredients well and pour in a casserole or two bread pans sprayed with olive oil.

7. Bake covered for about 45 min (if two smaller dishes), 60 min if larger casserole dish.

Vegetables with cranberries all packed and ready to put into the refrigerator, to mix with the bread and pecans and put into the oven before dinner. Preparing ahead of time, makes meals quick and easy!

I hope you all enjoy the holidays to come. Find ways to make your own recipes healthier so you can continue to enjoy them while staying Healthy for life!

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