Healthy Holiday Recipes for Family and Friends

By Chef Jonathan R. Poyourow '03, RD, LD
November 2015

Mandarin Orange Turkey

When the holidays are upon us, so are our family and friends, food issues and all. Some of my family members have high blood pressure, cardiac disease, or diabetes. I also have family and friends who are vegetarians. I show my appreciation and thanks for them by creating foods that are full of flavor and nutrition, yet tailored to their specific dietary needs. It might take more work and more time, but they're worth it.

By altering my menu a bit, one person's main dish can become another's side. For my vegetarian relatives, I serve Cauliflower Steaks over Roasted Potatoes. Instead of turkey, they enjoy the texture of this herb-enhanced, crunchy explosion as a main course while other guests can sample a smaller portion as a side. When it comes to the turkey, I like to change it up by omitting the fat of the butter or the extra calories from the stuffing with Mandarin Orange Turkey with a Citrus Pomegranate Relish. It's a refreshing and lighter approach to Thanksgiving. For dessert, my Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake meets the requirements for a sugar-free diet or a gluten-free diet that everyone can enjoy.

Stress less for the holidays by trying some of these alternative recipes. And by the way, it's not the turkey that's making you sleepy after your meal; it's the overload of carbohydrates from the potatoes, stuffing, and sweets that are knocking your system outs.