12 Days Of Christmas Recipes

If you read out last blog post titled "Fix Up Your New Year’s Resolution!", then you know that one reason New Year's resolutions fail is failure to plan, and that the BEST way to lose your holiday weight is not to put it on in the first place!  That's why we're putting together a list of healthy holiday recipes to help you eat healthy, AND enjoy good food for the holidays as well.  Keep checking this page back daily until December 24 for our 12 Days Of Christmas Recipes.

Day 1 - Italian Wedding Soup (Healthy Version)

This healthy version of Italian Wedding Soup will keep you warm this winter as temperatures drop outisde. This version features features low-fat, gluten-free meatballs, and a variation to replace the pasta if you want to go completely gluten free.

Italian Wedding Soup Healthy Version


Homemade Meatballs
1.5 lbs ounces ground pork
1 baked (or microwaved) potato - skin removed
2 eggs
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

The Soup
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 large yellow onion, chopped
6 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
12 cups chicken broth
6  cups beef broth
1 cup acini di pepe pasta (or substitute quinoa if gluten free)
1 – 12 oz bag of frozen spinach
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup lemon juice


For the Meatballs
1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
2. Add all meatball ingredients into a food processor or large blender and blend until the mixture resembles the consistency of ground sausage. Don’t over mix!
3. Roll 2 teaspoons of the mixture at a time into small meatballs, about ½ to ¾ inch in diameter. Makes about 100 mimi-meatballs.
4. Place the baking sheet in the oven to bake for 10 minutes at 400° F.

For the Soup

  1. In a large soup pot, over medium heat, add the crushed red pepper flakes, olive oil, onion, carrots, and celery.
  2. Saute 5 to 6 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add garlic and cook one more minute
  3. Add in the chicken broth and beef broth and bring to a boil.
  4. Add in the pasta (or quinoa) and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer about 10-15 minutes until the pasta (or quinoa) is tender.
  5. Stir in the meatballs, spinach, pepper, Parmesan cheese, and lemon juice and cook until soup is a warm and begins to bubble.
  6. Serve warm. Makes sixteen main dish servings (16 oz), or 32 side servings (8 oz).

Day 2 - Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash


½ cup quinoa
½ cup diced onion
1½ cups diced mushrooms
1 cup diced celery
½ cup finely chopped cabbage
½ teaspoon sea salt
ly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Halve the squash laterally through the center (rather than through the stem), and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Place the squash in an 8×8-inch baking dish with the cut side down, and fill the baking dish with ¼ inch of water.
  3. Loosely cover with foil and bake until the squash and edible skin are totally soft, about 35 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Combine the quinoa and 1 cup of water in a small pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool; then fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  5. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the onions and sauté for about 7 minutes, stirring often, or until the onions turn nice and brown, which brings out the sweetness and gives the dish a nice deep flavor. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, to keep the onions from sticking to the pan.
  6. Add the mushrooms, celery, cabbage, salt, and pepper to taste, and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add the vegetable mixture to the quinoa and stir together.
  8. Fill each of the cooked squash halves with the quinoa mixture, packing them firmly to fit as much of the mixture into each half as possible.

Source: https://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/stuffed-acorn-squash-2/#gs.m60hv8

Day 3 - Cranberry Balsamic Roasted Chicken




For the Marinade:

1/3 cup cranberries
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp gluten free tamari sauce or coconut aminos (optional)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black peppers
2 garlic cloves (or 1 tsp minced)

For the Pan and Roasting

2.5 lbs chicken thighs or breasts, with skin on (around 4 to 6 chicken thighs or breast) See notes for lower fat option
35 sprigs fresh thyme and extra to garnish (you may used a sprinkle of dried herbs to substitute)
1/3 cup to 1/2 cup fresh cranberries (or previously frozen) – See notes for substitutes.
1 tbsp each maple syrup and balsamic vinegar mixed together to coat chicken during roasting


Prep – Clean your chicken, then place in a roasting or baking dish. Set aside.

Make the Balsamic Chicken Marinade:

  1. Blend all the balsamic chicken marinade ingredients listed above in a food processor or blender until liquified and smooth.
  2. Pour marinade over the chicken thighs, coating evenly.
  3. Cover and place in fridge to marinate for 30 minutes or up to 24 hrs. (overnight creates great flavor!)
  4. Once marinated, preheat oven to 375 F.
  5. Remove chicken from fridge.
  6. Add extra 1/3 c to 1/2 cup cranberries, 2 – 3 sprigs of thyme or a sprinkle of dried Italian herbs to the dish. Spread it out evenly on and around the chicken.
  7. Bake skin side down first for 25-35 minutes depending on the size of chicken thighs.
  8. Remove and turn skin side up. Check for doneness. Then brush each chicken skin with the maple syrup/balsamic vinegar combo.
  9. Add more seasoning (like dried herbs, salt, pepper) to the top if desired. NOTE: If using fresh herbs, wait to add until after you remove the chicken from the oven.
  10. Depending on the thickness of your chicken thighs, either bake a little longer skin side up, then broil. Or if chicken is almost done and not pink, then skip extra baking and just broil for about 3-4 minutes or until skin is crispy and chicken is cooked evenly inside. Check to make sure the internal temperature of the thickest chicken thigh reaches 165F.
    1. NOTE: If using boneless chicken, cooking time will vary on thickness of chicken breast. Check around 35 minutes total.
  11. After thoroughly cooked, remove from oven. Spoon the sauce from the pan onto each chicken thigh/breast and a pinch of black pepper or cracked pepper.
  12. Serve with the roasted cranberries on top and any extra fresh herbs desired.

Source: https://www.cottercrunch.com/one-pan-cranberry-balsamic-roasted-chicken/

Want To Eat Healthy But Don't Have Time To Cook?

Find out how you can get the nutrition of a whole food meal in a convenient, tasty shake that you can make and drink in less than 5 minutes!  Better yet, it will show up on your doorstep and save you a trip to the store.

Day 4 - Roasted Brussels Sprouts "Flavor Bombs"



3 tbs olive oil
6 oz diced pancetta
3/4 cup yellow onion, diced
1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved (from the top of the stem)
1 large raw sweet potato, peeled and diced into about 1-inch cubes
2 tsp rosemary, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup orange juice (about half a fresh orange, squeezed)


  1. Preheat oven to 425º F
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and diced pancetta. Cook pancetta until crispy (about 5 minutes). Remove pancetta from the pan and set aside...but leave the remaining oil and fat drippings in the pan!
  3. Add the diced onion to the skillet with the fat, and cook until translucent (about 4-5 minutes)
  4. Next add the sweet potato cubes and halved Brussels sprouts to the skillet and immediately remove from heat. Stir together in the skillet until well-coated
  5. Spread out the sweet potato cubes and Brussels sprouts across a foiled-lined baking sheet
  6. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with rosemary. Do NOT add the pancetta yet!
  7. Roast seasoned sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts in 425º oven about 25-30 minutes, or until tender
  8. Remove potatoes and sprouts from the oven and transfer to a serving bowl
  9. Finally pour (or squeeze) the orange juice over the top, then sprinkle with the crispy pancetta
  10. Serve and enjoy immediately!

Source: http://www.paleonewbie.com/paleo-brussels-sprouts-flavor-bombs-recipe/

Day 5 - Rainbow Pasta Salad


Rainbow Pasta Salad


8 ounces whole-grain penne or fusilli pasta (3½ cups cooked)
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce (1½ cups)
½ small onion, cut into ¼-inch dice (½ cup)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced (6 cloves)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (1½ cups)
2 cups shredded kale (2 ounces)
1 orange bell pepper, cut into thin slices (1 cup)
½ cup shredded red cabbage
½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced into halves (3 ounces)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a salad bowl; set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the tomato sauce, onion, vinegar, garlic, and oregano. Bring to a boil, cover pan, and simmer for 10 minutes over medium-low heat until onions are tender.
  3. Add the sauce, beans, kale, bell peppers, cabbage, tomatoes, and parsley to the pasta. Toss well, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or until ready to serve.

Source: https://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/rainbow-pasta-salad/#gs.mm20ay

Day 6 - Oven Roasted Potatoes With Leeks



  • 1 lb red potatoes or gold potatoes (around 6 small) – sweet potato or yam may be substituted
  • 2 leeks (stem only), sliced
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup olive oil or refined avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large garlic clove (1/2 to 1 tsp minced)
  • 1/2 tsp salt and ground pepper each (divided)
  • 2 cups or more leafy greens (spinach, kale, etc).
  • lemon to garnish (sliced and juice)
  • herbs to garnish – Fresh parsley, thyme, or oregano.


  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Wash your vegetables.
  3. Cut off green tops of leeks. Next trim the root off the leeks, slice stalks in half and rinse well under running water. Cut leeks into 1-inch lengths (or less). I made them into small rings but you can also cut lengthwise and fan them out. Place into bowl of water to help remove sediment.
  4. While the leeks are sitting, slice your potatoes into quarters. Then peel and slice your red onion into thin strips.
  5. Remove leeks from water and place all vegetables into a clean mixing bowl.
  6. Add 1 minced garlic clove, 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp or more black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon.
  7. Toss all together until all the vegetables are evenly coated.
  8. Lay out all the vegetables on a sheet pan. Spread them out evenly.
  9. Roast at 425F in the oven for 30- 35 minutes. Turn/flip potatoes half way through roasting.
  10. Remove from oven, set aside.
  11. Place your greens (spinach, etc) In a small microwave bowl with a tsp broth or water. Microwave for 30 seconds until greens are softened/steamed.
  12. Place your leek, potatoes, and onion in a large bowl with the remaining oil/seasoning from the pan.
  13. Add your steamed greens and toss all together.
  14. Add another 1/4 tsp salt/pepper on top to season. Fresh lemon juice and parsley to garnish.
  15. Serve immediately or store in air tight container and place in fridge if not serving right away.
  16. Reheat for 5 minutes in oven when ready to serve.

Source: https://www.cottercrunch.com/leek-potato-pan-roast/

If you Fail To Plan, then you'd better Plan To Fail!

New Year's Resolutions often end up failing because  people think they start on January 1, or January 2, or the first Monday after the first day in January... and by that point, sometimes they don't get ever get off of the ground in the first place!  Any successful lifestyle change that is going to last long-term starts with having a plan.

Want To Make Your New Year's Resolution Successful In 2020?

Make Sure You've Got A Solid Game Plan!

If you'd like some help to make sure your New Year's resolution works out in 2020, we'd be happy to join your team and help you put together a plan to help you succeed!  Fill out the form below to let us know your health goals for 2020 and exactly how you'd like us to help you... the more we know, the better we can help!

Day 7 - Homemade Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup




  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 64 ounces
  • 6 ounces gluten free fettucine broken into small pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste


    1. Place the olive oil, chopped onion, carrots, and celery in a large soup pot or dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until soft, about 7 minutes.
    2. Add the chicken thighs and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat slightly and simmer for about 25 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
    3. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken thighs from the pot and place them on a plate. Chop the chicken into small pieces and return to the pan.
    4. Take about half of a box of gluten free fettucine and break into small pieces. Place the pasta in the pot and simmer until the pasta is tender, about 10-15 minutes.
    5. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Source: https://theprettybee.com/homemade-chicken-noodle-soup/#wprm-recipe-container-15653

Day 8 - Ginger Pear Cider With Vanilla Bean

Ginger Pear Cider With Vanilla Bean


  • 2 ripe pears, cored and chopped (I think Bartlett is preferable here, but Bosc will also work)
    1-2 inches fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
    1-inch piece of fresh vanilla bean
    1 ¼ cups filtered water
    ½ teaspoon pure maple syrup, or to taste
    1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


  1. In an upright blender, combine the chopped pears, ginger, vanilla bean, and water. Blend on high until you have a smooth, slightly thick puree.
  2. Set a fine mesh strainer over a small saucepan and grab a spoon/small spatula. Pour the pear puree through the fine mesh strainer into the saucepan. Stir and push around the solids until all of the available juice/liquid is in the saucepan.
  3. Gently heat the pear liquid in the saucepan over medium-low heat. Once it’s warmed to your liking, stir in the maple syrup and lemon juice. Serve immediately.

Source: https://thefirstmess.com/2016/09/24/happy-hour-gingered-pear-cider-vanilla/

Want To Eat Healthy But Don't Have Time To Cook?

Find out how you can get the nutrition of a whole food meal in a convenient, tasty shake that you can make and drink in less than 5 minutes!  Better yet, it will show up on your doorstep and save you a trip to the store.

Day 9 - Vegan Lemon Tart




  • 1 + 1/2 cups (225g) cashews 1 cup
  • (160g) whole almonds
  • 1/4 cup (35g) pistachios
  • 1/2 cup (40g) shredded coconut
  • Pinch of salt
  • 12 fresh dates (pitted and chopped)
  • 270ml coconut cream
  • 1 Lemon rind finely grated then juiced
  • 1/3 cup (50ml) maple syrup
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • Instructions
  1. Place cashews in bowl, cover with boiling water and soak 4 hours.
  2. Lightly grease 24cm fluted tart tin with removable base. Line base with baking paper
  3. Place almonds, pistachios, coconut & salt in processor until finely chopped, then add dates and process until very finely chopped and mixture holds together when pinched. Spoon into prepared tin, using back of metal spoon to push mixture evenly over base and side of tin. Place in freezer to set.
  4. Drain the cashews, place in blender with coconut cream, lemon rind, juice and maple syrup and blend until very smooth and creamy. Add antioxidant powder or turmeric and blend until smooth. Pour into tart case. Place in freezer for 3-4 hours until firm.
  5. Decorate as you wish and enjoy!

Source: https://bestofvegan.com/vegan-lemon-tart/

Day 10 - Maple Roasted Beets and Carrots



  • 5 large carrots peeled & sliced
  • 4 medium beets peeled & diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 425F and move the rack to the middle position.
  2. Cut the beets and carrots into pieces that are roughly the same size, and place the pieces on a large baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil onto the beets and carrots and add salt & pepper. Toss until they're coated. Spread them out in an even layer.
  4. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until they veggies are tender-crisp (this will vary depending how big the pieces are).
  5. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and add the butter and maple syrup directly to the baking sheet. Let the butter melt then toss it again until everything is coated.
  6. Return the baking sheet to the oven for another 5 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately.

Source: https://www.saltandlavender.com/maple-roasted-beets-and-carrots/

Day 11 - Chickpea Stew with Sweet Potatoes, Quinoa and Kale


Chickpea Stew With Quinoa Sweet Potato and Kale


  • 1 onion
    3 cloves of garlic
    1 large carrot, diced
    1 small zucchini, diced
    400 g sweet potatoes, (about 1 large) diced
    1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
    2 fresh sage leaves, minced
    250 g of chickpeas
    2 tbsp tomato paste
    400g of crushed tomatoes
    1 handful of kale, leaves chopped
    100 g quinoa
    sea salt
    pepper from the grinder
    3 tbsp olive oil


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot. Finely chop the onion and garlic and sauté with the carrot and herbs for 3 minutes over medium heat.
  2. Add the tomato paste to the pot and stir. Deglaze with a little water and then add zucchini, sweet potato and chickpeas to the pot.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes and 400 ml of water. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pot and bring to boil. Then simmer for about 30-40 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, wash quinoa under running cold water and cook with plenty of water for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Put the quinoa in a sieve and drain.
  6. When the stew is ready add the chopped kale and check for seasoning.

Source: https://klaraslife.com/en/chickpea-stew/

Want To Eat Healthy But Don't Have Time To Cook?

Find out how you can get the nutrition of a whole food meal in a convenient, tasty shake that you can make and drink in less than 5 minutes!  Better yet, it will show up on your doorstep and save you a trip to the store.

Day 12 - Raw Mango and Wild Blueberry Pie



  • 1/3 cup cashews
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 4 cups dates, pitted (I use organic majool dates)
  • 20 oz frozen, wild blueberries
  • 1 mango, diced


  1. For the crust, process the cashews, coconut, and 3 cups of dates in a food processor (or blender) until thoroughly chopped and smooth.
  2. Press the crust into a 9 inch pie dish and refrigerate.
  3. For the filling,  process half the wild blueberries, remaining cup of dates, and the mango in a blender or food processor.
  4. Stir in the other half of the blueberries.
  5. Pour the filling into the crust and allow to set in the refrigerator for at least 40 minutes.
  6. Serve the pie cold and enjoy!.

Source: https://wildgreenlife.com/2017/01/27/raw-mango-wild-blueberry-pie/

Thanks for following Our 12 Days of Christmas Recipes!  Hope you've enjoyed some great, healthy meals these last 12 days, or at least found some good ones for the future.

Have A Merry Christmas!

and don't forget...

If You'd Like To Make Your New Year's Resolution Successful In 2020, Make Sure You've Got A Solid Game Plan!

If you'd like some help to make sure your New Year's resolution works out in 2020, we'd be happy to join your team and help you put together a plan to help you succeed!  Fill out the form below to let us know your health goals for 2020 and exactly how you'd like us to help you... the more we know, the better we can help!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my full affiliate disclosure here.