I always look forward to the holiday season, but I don’t look forward to feeling overly stuffed, tired, or guilty after overindulging. For years now, I’ve been remaking my celebratory holiday dinners into lighter, more nutrient-packed, fiber-filled, and nutritious versions of the heavy, fatty, sugary, traditional comfort foods. This year, I’m especially excited about this amazingly light, vibrant holiday menu, so I’m sharing it with you. I hope you’ll take inspiration from it and include some, if not all, of these recipes at your vibrant holiday table this year.

Appetizer: Roasted Cauliflower and Kale Dip

Prep time 1/2 hour
Serves 4

1 head cauliflower (rough chop)
1 head Dino kale (de-stemmed and chopped)
1/2 cup chicken or veggie stock/bone broth
4 cloves garlic peeled
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tea sea salt
1/2 tea pepper

Roasted cauliflower and kale dip in a bowl
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss cauliflower and garlic in olive oil and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Roast the cauliflower and garlic for 20 minutes or until slightly charred and fragrant.
  4. While roasting cauliflower, lightly sauté the kale until it turns vibrant green and soft.
  5. Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Serve with cucumbers, carrots, or any veggies of your choice.
Soup: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Prep time: 1 hour
Serves 4

Roasted butternut squash soup in a bowl
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, rough chopped
1/2 onion, rough chopped
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 quart bone broth
4 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
1 bay leaf
1/4 tea cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Toss all the veggies including garlic in the oil. Arrange them on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes or until slightly browned.
  3. Remove the roasted veggies from the oven and place in a stock pot with the bay leaf and spices. Cover with the bone broth and bring to a simmer, allow the soup to simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the stove and carefully pour the soup mixture into a blender. Blend on low at first to avoid spattering. Blend until smooth.
  5. Garnish with more smoked paprika or cinnamon to serve.
Main Course: Roasted Turkey Breast and Butternut Squash and Turkey Sausage “Stuffing”

Prep time 1 hour 20 minutes, cook time 1-1/2 – 2 hours
Serves 4

Turkey Breast Ingredients 
1/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
2 cups bone broth
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 4-pound turkey breast

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir the parsley, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper together.
  3. Carefully separate the skin from the turkey (use your hands) and stuff the herb mixture underneath the skin and on top of the turkey breast.
  4. Place the turkey in a roasting pan and pour in the bone broth. Cover tightly with foil and roast for 45 minutes.
  5. Remove the foil covering and roast another 30 to 45 minutes, or until skin has browned. Let rest 15 minutes before slicing.

“Stuffing” Ingredients 

1 pound ground turkey sausage
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped in cubes (you can use frozen_
1 cup mirepoix (equal parts chopped carrot, celery, and onion)
1 bunch Dino kale, de-stemmed and chopped
1 cup turkey broth from roasted turkey
1 tablespoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon sage
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, sauté the turkey sausage until slightly browned.
  2. Add the butternut squash, mirepoix, and garlic, and continue to sauté until the turkey is fully browned.
  3. Add the turkey broth and herbs. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally until the squash and veggies are tender.
  4. Stir in the Dino kale and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the roasted turkey.
Side Dish: Smashed Sweet Potatoes

Prep time: 1 hour
Serves 4

Smashed sweet potatoes in a serving dish

6 cups peeled and chopped sweet potatoes
1 quart chicken stock
1/4 cup almond milk
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper

  1. Place all ingredients except the salt and pepper in a stock pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Boil until the potatoes are fork tender (about 20 minutes).
  3. Remove from heat and strain.
  4. Using a hand mixer or potato smasher, mash the potatoes, adding the almond milk to desired texture.  season to taste. Enjoy!
Side Dish: Roasted Garlicky Smashed Cauliflower

Prep time: 1 hour
Serves 4


2 heads cauliflower, rough chop
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 cup bone broth
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Smashed cauliflower in a serving dish
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Toss the cauliflower and garlic in olive oil and roast on a baking sheet for 20 minutes, or until slightly charred and fragrant.
  3. Remove from the oven and put the vegetables in a stock pot with the bone broth and thyme.
  4. Cover the pot and steam until cauliflower is fork-tender, about 15 minutes.
  5. Using a high-powered mixer or blender, blend until the mixture is your desired smoothness, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Side Dish: Haricot Verts Almandine

Prep time: 45 minutes 
Servings 4

6 cups fresh green beans or haricot verts
1 package or 12 baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic thinly sliced 
1/2 onion diced 
1 cup bone broth or stock (divided)
4 tablespoons olive or avocado oil 
6 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
Salt and pepper to taste 

Haricots in a serving dish
  1. Warm the oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the mushrooms and onions and sauté until soft. 
  2. Add the garlic and 1/2 cup of broth. Toss in the green beans and sauté until desired tenderness, adding more stock as you go.
  3. Stir in the toasted almonds and serve.
Side Dish: Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Prep time: 30 minutes
Serves 6 to 8

Cranberry sauce in a serving dish

1 bag fresh cranberries
1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
1/4 cup honey or agave
Zest of one orange

  1. In a soup pot, place cranberries, orange juice, and water, and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer until cranberries pop.
  2. Stir and reduce until desired thickness. Remove from heat and stir in sweetener.
  3. Transfer to a decorative bowl and top with orange zest.
Dessert: Vibrant Mini Pumpkin Pies

Prep time: 55 mins
Serves 12

For the crust:

2 cups raw pecans
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the filling:
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Non-dairy whipped cream

Pumpkin pies in a serving dish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor, combine pecans and coconut. Pulse until they have a sandy texture.
  3. Add in the maple syrup, coconut oil, and sea salt. Pulse again until everything is mixed.
  4. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  5. Divide the nut mixture as evenly as possible amongst all 12 cups, using your fingers to pat them down in each cup to form a crust for each mini pie. Dip fingers in water if it gets too sticky.
  6. In a mixing bowl, combine pumpkin puree, coconut milk, maple syrup, eggs, egg yolk, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Whisk everything together.
  7. Pour the filling as evenly as possible into the 12 muffin cups.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until set.
  9. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  10. To serve, top with whipped cream.