What Are Some Delicious Holiday Recipes?

In her weekly column, Bradford West Gwillimbury licensed nutritionist Nonie De Long suggests a few replacements for those sugar and carb laden holiday staples...

Dear Nutritionist,

I really appreciated the one pot recipes and was hoping you could do a piece on some holiday recipes. I’m low carb paleo now and have no idea what to do for stuffing or dessert that could possibly replace what we normally eat. I know to avoid rolls and potatoes, but the stuffing is my favorite. Have you got any recipe ideas to share?

Thanks in advance, Michaela

Dear Michaela

Thank you for writing in! Certainly I can share more recipes! 

I have indeed found a lovely recipe for dressing that I particularly like. I also have a lower carb potato recipe and moist keto bread recipe to share. I am including a few veggie recipes as well. This is a moderate, not low carb meal, but it omits grains and sugar and is very dense in nutrients. For holiday dessert I do a paleo pumpkin pie and coconut whipped cream. I’ve written out some recipes from my recipe box and others are linked to in order to credit the source. I’m also including a link for some great low carb appetizers from food blogger, Brenda Bennett of Sugar-Free Mom.

So my Christmas recommendation for a high nutrient density, lower carb, but still traditional, Christmas dinner are:

Roasted turkey (preferably naturally raised, if you can afford it)

Sausage, brussel sprouts, and cranberry stuffing

Roasted acorn squash

Garlic mashed turnip (contains potatoes as a potato substitute)

Buttery green beans


Keto dinner rolls 

Cheese, olive, and pickle tray

Paleo pumpkin pie

Coconut whipped cream (whole earth sweetener optional)

Low carb wine, kombucha, or sparkling water

Tomato juice or fruit infused water for the kids

Roasted Turkey: I have diligently tried for a number of years now to make a nice turkey on a rack in an open roasting pan, as I know many chefs who do - from fresh and from frozen, as per directions. Invariably I am mucking about when the meal should be ready trying to cook spots that are undercooked or trying to cut off charred areas of the bird. Never have these methods yielded the same tender, perfectly cooked bird I get when I cook a thawed and butter basted bird breast down in a roasting pan with lid and a bit of chicken broth, sage, salt, and pepper. So that is what I stick to now and recommend. Too, this way yields a nice broth that can be used for a great gravy stock!


3tbsp butterSea salt and ground black pepperSageTurkey, thawed, washed in cool water, patted dry with paper towel, giblets removed and washed and put back in cavityChicken stock - 2 cups

Directions: Preheat oven to 325F.  Use butter to baste turkey and sprinkle with sage, salt and pepper. Place breast down in the roasting pan (on a rack or string to lift it out later if possible) and pour the stock around the bird - 1 to 2 cups - you want about 1” of stock on the bottom. Reserve any left over to add if needed. Place the lid on the pan and put the turkey in the oven on the bottom rack. Open once every hour to baste and check. If juice runs low, add more. When it’s done (see guide on how long to cook it), roughly 15 min per lb. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted in the meaty part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F (75 degrees C). At that point you can remove the lid and turn the broiler on to crisp the skin after basting one last time. I don’t use a meat thermometer. I know mine is done when the legs are sort of falling limp to the sides of the bird. The meat is so tender you know it’s done! Transfer the turkey to a large serving platter and let stand for 20 min tented with foil before carving.  

Sausage, Brussels sprouts, and cranberry dressing: Serves 8+ You can use any sausage you like for this recipe but I like spicy chorizo. 


1lb brussels sprouts washed and trimmed, sliced into 3 for each½ lb ground sausage of your choice2 cups cooking onion, diced fine1 cup dried, unsweetened cranberries2 Tbsp olive oil1 ½ Tbsp poultry seasoning1 tsp dried thyme1 tsp sea salt¼ tsp black pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 325F. Toss the ingredients. Spread on baking sheet in the oven for 15 minutes per side, flipping 1x until sausage is done and sprouts are starting to brown. Remove and serve. 

Garlic Mashed Turnip: This is a great way to get that creamy potato consistency with far fewer carbs and way more flavour! Serves 8+ Ingredients:

2 large turnips, peeled and cubed6 white potatoes, peeled and cubed4 cloves garlic, mashed and toasted½ cup cream6 tbsp salted butterFresh black pepper2tsp xylitol or monk fruit

Directions: In saucepan cook turnip in salted water until al dente. Ditto the potatoes. Drain each when finished.  At the same time, crush and toast the garlic in small pan in the butter, with some salt and pepper, just until garlic starts to turn golden. Remove. Add to the drained potatoes and turnip in a food processor, scraping the butter from the pan. Add the sweetener and cream and a bit of salt and pepper. Pulse until everything is combined and rather smooth. It’s ready to serve!

Thank you again for writing in, Michaela. I hope this gives you a good place to start with planning an enjoyable lower carb holiday meal! As always, I encourage other readers to send in their queries. Tune in next week when I will discuss why your depression might not be depression!

Namaste! Nonie Nutritionista

Nonie De Long is a registered orthomolecular nutritionist with a clinic in Bradford West Gwillimbury, where she offers holistic, integrative health care for physical and mental health issues. Check out her website here.

Do you have a question about health and wellness? Email nonienutritionista@gmail.com

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