Healthy Holiday Recipe Swaps

Fox40 Healthy Holiday Recipes

You can transform your favorite dishes to a healthier alternative without sacrificing flavor. In general, you can modify your recipes in 3 different ways:

  1. Swap ingredients:
In place of: Use: When: How: Benefits:
Bread crumbs Rolled oats Mixed dishes Season with dried herbs Higher in fiber
Croutons Nuts or seeds Salad Lightly toasted almonds, pecans, pepitas or walnuts Carb-free, higher in protein, fiber and healthy fats
Parmesan cheese Nutritional yeast Dish topping or popcorn flavor 1:1 ratio Vegan, dairy-free, nutrient rich


  1. Healthier “traditional” sides
  • Add shredded vegetables or pureed beans to pasta sauce and mashed potatoes à spinach & cauliflower mashed potatoes
  • Sauté́ vegetables in vegetable broth, juice, water or oil spray instead of tablespoons of butter or oil à Green beans sautéed with olive oil and tossed almonds instead of creamy mushroom soup, or you can try cashew cream with chopped fresh mushrooms
  • Brussels sprouts with bacon à balsamic Brussels sprouts
  • Skim fat on stews and gravies. Chill or freeze stock and remove fat before cooking.
  • Wild and brown rice, apples, sautéed pecans, onions à adding fresh fruit instead of dried fruit reduces total added sugar
  • Quinoa “Stuffing”: spinach, pistachios, cranberries, butternut squash and quinoa
  • Baked apples with granola and cinnamon instead of apple pie


  1. Reduce serving sizes
  • Include at least ½ of your plate with green, leafy veggies, ¼ of your plate make it lean-meat and the remaining ¼ plate whole-grains.
  • It’s OK to enjoy your favorite food, mindfully. Follow the 3-bite rule “Amazing first taste, satisfying middle one and a lingering third bite”.
  • The ideas is to replace and reduce, not restrict.
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