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 Healthy Holiday Recipes 

Ready to try something new and healthier this year? Check out our holiday recipe roundup and give them a try.

Click a recipe to view:
  • Apple Cranberry Pecan Stuffing
  • Chocolate Heart Cookies
  • Cookie Dough Dip
  • Fruit Crisp
  • Fruity Acorn Squash Bake
  • Lighter Green Bean Casserole
  • Pumpkin Almond Cheesecake
  • Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Fudge
  • Skinny Mashed Potatoes
  • Roast Turkey With Cranberry Orange Glaze
  • Tender & Healthier Holiday Turkey
  • Apple Cranberry Pecan Stuffing

    Serves 8

    • 1 1/2 cups apple juice
    • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
    • 1 small apple (chopped)
    • 1/2 cup cranberries
    • 1, 6 oz. pkg. stuffing mix for chicken
    • 1/4 cup pecan pieces (toasted)
    1. Bring juice and butter to boil in medium saucepan on high heat.
    2. Stir in apples, cranberries and stuffing mix: cover.
    3. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.3.
    4. Stir in nuts.

    Chocolate Heart Cookies

    Serves 20

    • 1/3 cup flour
    • 1 cup dried cherries
    • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
    • 1 large egg, beaten
    • 1 tsp, baking soda
    • Cooking spray
    • 1/3 tsp. salt
    • 3/4 ups light brown sugar
    • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
    • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    1. Preheat oven to 350.
    2. Spoon flours into dry measuring cups, level with knife. Combine flours, rolled oats, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, stir with whisk.
    3. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; add brown sugar, stirring until smooth.
    4. Add sugar mixture to flour; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.
    5. Add cherries, vanilla, and egg; beat until combined. Fold in chocolate.
    6. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray.
    7. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. Cool on pans 3 minutes or until almost firm. Remove cookies from pans and cool on wire racks.
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    Cookie Dough Dip

    Serves 20

    • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas
    • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1/16 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 cup nut butter
    • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 honey
    • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
    • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
    • 3 tbsp. oats or flaxmeal
    1. Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a blender or food processor.
    2. Blend until very smooth.
    3. Then mix in chocolate chips.

    Fruit Crisp

    Serves 8



    • 6 cups apples, peaches or pears (peeled, thinly sliced)
    • 1/4 cups water
    • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    • 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon


    • 3/4 cup rolled oats (quick or old fashioned)
    • 3 tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar
    • 2 tbsp. melted margarine
    • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • Non-fat frozen yogurt (optional)
    1. Heat oven to 350ºF.
    2. Spray 8-inch square glass baking dish with cooking spray.
    3. For filling, combine fruit and water in large bowl. Add sugar, flour and cinnamon; stir until fruit is evenly coated. Spoon into baking dish.
    4. For topping, combine oats, brown sugar, oil and cinnamon in a medium bowl; mix well. Sprinkle evenly over fruit. 
    5. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until fruit is tender. Serve with non-fat frozen yogurt if desired.
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    Fruity Acorn Squash Bake

    Serves 8

    • 2 medium, seeded acorn squash (halved lengthwise)
    • 2 tbsp. melted butter or margarine
    • 1, 8 oz. can pineapple chunks (drained and finely chopped)
    • 1 medium peeled pear (cut into ½ in. pieces)
    • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
    • 1/3 cup slivered almonds (toasted)
    • 1 tbsp. honey
    • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
    1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each squash half to keep it from rolling; discard slices.
    2. Remove and discard seeds. Place squash halves in foiled lined baking pan; brush insides lightly with butter or margarine.
    3. Combine fruit and almonds in a medium bowl. Add honey and brown sugar; mix lightly. Spoon evenly into hollowed out squash halves. Brush filling with remaining butter or margarine.
    4. Bake 1 hour until squash is tender. Cut each squash in half again to serve.
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    Lighter Green Bean Casserole

    Serves 6

    • 1 can  light cream of mushroom soup, (10-3/4 oz.)
    • 1/4 cup 2% milk
    • 1 tsp. onion powder
    • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
    • 1 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 lb. cut fresh green beans, cooked and drained
    • 2 tbsp. French fried onions (crushed)
    1. Stir the soup, milk, onion powder, black pepper, soy sauce and green beans in a 1½-quart casserole. 
    2. Bake at 350ºF for 25 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the bean mixture. Top with the onions.
    3. Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

    Pumpkin Almond Cheesecake

    Serves 14

    • 6 tbsp. sugar
    • 1 oz. cake flour
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1 tbsp. dark rum
    • 1/8 tsp. salt
    • Cooking spray
    • 4 oz. almond paste
    • 5 large eggs
    • 1 cup 1/3 less fat cream cheese
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/3 cup fat free cream cheese
    • Dash of salt
    • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
    • 1 vanilla bean
    • 1 1/4 cups canned unsweetened pumpkin
    • 1/3 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Almond cake

    1. combine 6 tbsp sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 1/8 tsp salt, and 4 ounces almond paste in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.
    2. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Weigh or lightly spoon cake flour onto a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Stir flour and rum into sugar mixture.
    3. Spread the batter evenly into a 9 inch pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
    4. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
    5. Reduce oven temperature to 300.


    1. Place softened cheeses , 1/2 cup sugar, and salt in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed just until blended.
    2. Add 3 eggs, 1 at a time, beating at low speed.
    3. Scrape seed from vanilla bean, and reserve bean for another use.
    4. Add seeds, pumpkin, yogurt, and ginger to cream cheese mixture; beat at low speed until blended.
    5. Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly over top of cooled almond cake. Bake at 300 for 1 hour.
    6. Remove from oven and cool at room temperature.
    7. Cover and chill from 8 hours or overnight.
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    Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Fudge

    Serves 25

    • 1 can fat free sweetened condensed milk, divided
    • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    • 2 tbsp unsweetened dark cocoa powder
    • 1/4 tsp instant coffee granules
    • 1/4 cup salted peanuts, chopped
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract, divided
    • 3/4 cup peanut butter chips
    • 1 tsp peanut butter
    1. Line a 8-inch square baking dish with wax paper.
    2. Place 9 tablespoons milk in a microwave safe bowl. Add chocolate chips, cocoa, and coffee. Microwave on high for 1 minute or until melted.
    3. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Spread onto prepared pan.
    4. Combine the remaining milk, peanut butter chips, and peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl.
    5. Microwave on high for 1 minute or until melted.
    6. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
    7. Spread evenly over chocolate layer and sprinkle with peanuts.
    8. Cover and chill for 2 hours. 
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    Skinny Mashed Potatoes 

    Serves 6

    • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
    • 5 large potatoes, cut into 1 in. chunks
    • Dash of ground black pepper
    1. Heat the broth and potatoes in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low.
    2. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
    3. Drain the potatoes well in a colander, reserving the broth. 
    4. Mash the potatoes with 1¼ cups broth and black pepper. Add additional broth if needed until potatoes reach desired consistency.

    Roast Turkey with Cranberry Orange Glaze

    Serves 12

    • 3/4 cup orange marmalade
    • 3/4 cup frozen cranberry juice concentrate, thawed
    • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
    • 1 1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar*
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1, 14 lb. whole frozen turkey
    1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Combine marmalade, cranberry juice concentrate, maple syrup, vinegar and salt in small heavy saucepan. Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered for 12-15 minutes, or until glaze is reduced to about 1 cup.
    2. Remove neck and giblets from body and neck cavities of turkey. Drain juices from turkey and pat dry turkey with paper towels. Turn wings back to hold neck skin against back of turkey.
    3. Place turkey, breast side up, on a flat roasting rack in a shallow pan. Brush turkey lightly with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Roast turkey for 2 hours. Cover drumsticks and breast loosely with foil to prevent overcooking of breast.
    4. Continue roasting turkey for another 45 minutes. Remove foil and brush generously with glaze. Return foil loosely to turkey and cook for another 45 minutes or until meat thermometer reaches 180 ºF when inserted into the deepest part of the thigh. 
    5. Brush with remaining glaze. Let turkey stand for 15 minutes before carving.

    *Red or white wine vinegars can be used as a substitute

    Tips for a Tender & Healthier Holiday Turkey

    By slow cooking your turkey, the meat stays moist. Especially when you're cooking a large bird, you typically have to put it in the night before. That means when you wake up the morning of Thanksgiving, the house is filled with the aroma of roasting turkey. Yum.

    • Start with a fresh, organic turkey
    • Rinse the bird thoroughly and pat dry.
    • Put cut fruit or sprigs of fresh herbs in the cavity but no stuffing.
    • Season the skin if you choose either on the surface or underneath the skin of the breasts.
    • Cook the turkey for one hour at 300 degrees to kill any residual surface bacteria.
    • Then, turn the oven down to 200 degrees and cook for one hour/pound. Do not cover the bird. Double check temperature with a separate, professional-grade thermometer.

    - Dr. Paul Sokal, Internal Medicine, Baylor Dallas

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