Healthy recipes for your holiday season & beyond

(Photo: iStock/Fly View Productions)

Maintaining a healthy diet around the holidays can be challenging with all the tempting comfort foods and sugar-filled treats.

To make it easier to eat well, we’ve rounded up some delicious and healthy recipes you’ll want to add to your holiday spread and include as part of your 2022 healthy eating routine. These recipes are easy to make, customizable to fit your diet and a great addition to meals year round!

Balsamic roasted vegetables

This festive roasted vegetable side dish is a perfect addition for not only the holiday season, but any time of the year. It’s a quick and easy yet versatile dish you can make either in the oven or air fryer. The cranberries and vinegar add a little bit of sweetness, while the pecans add a nice hearty crunch of protein. Get creative and add other vegetables to the mix like sweet potato, zucchini or eggplant.

Yields: 4


Recipe via Delish
  • 3/4 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans (remove for nut allergies)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


For the oven:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread out vegetables on a large baking sheet. Toss with oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, shaking the pan halfway through.
  • Before serving, toss roasted vegetables with pecans and cranberries.

For the air fryer:

  • In a large bowl, toss vegetables with oil, balsamic vinegar and herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place vegetables in basket of air fryer and cook at 400°F for 10 minutes, shaking halfway through.
  • Before serving, toss roasted vegetables with pecans and cranberries.

Skillet sun dried tomato chicken thighs

This healthy and delicious creamy chicken dish is quick to prepare with simple ingredients. A perfect recipe for those in-between days over the holidays when you’re tired of leftovers. Best served with freshly cooked thicker pasta noodles like fettuccine, linguini or spaghetti!

Yields: 4

Recipe via DamnDelicious


  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour, divided
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half and half cream
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes halves
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves


  • Season chicken with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Dip chicken in 4 tbsp flour until evenly coated.
  • Heat olive oil and butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  • Working in batches, add chicken to the skillet in a single layer and cook until golden brown and cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 °F, 4-5 minutes per side. Set aside. Reduce heat to medium low.
  • Add garlic and shallot, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Whisk in remaining 1 1/2 tbsp flour until lightly browned for 1 minute.
  • Gradually whisk in chicken broth, half and half cream and sun dried tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened for 3 minutes. Stir in spinach, parmesan and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return chicken to the skillet.
  • Serve immediately over freshly cooked pasta.

Winter roasted butternut squash black lentil salad with grapes and arugula

Salads are not often something you would consider during the winter, but a winter salad with fresh seasonal vegetables and hearty greens is a great way to add some nutrition to any lunch or dinner over the holidays and into the new year. This winter arugula salad is a delicious combination of fruit, vegetables and protein!

Yields: 6-8

Recipe via Ambitious Kitchen


For the butternut squash:

  • 4-5 cups cubed butternut squash (from about 2 1/2 pounds butternut squash)
  • 1 ½ tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

For the lentils:

  • ½ cup dry black lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the dressing:

  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 ½ tbsp warm water, to thin, plus more if necessary
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste

For the salad:

  • 6 cups arugula
  • 1/3 cup pecan halves (remove for nut allergies)
  • 1 ½ cups red or purple grapes, halved


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a small bowl, mix together melted coconut oil, garlic, brown sugar, chili powder, salt and pepper.
  • Place cubed butternut squash on baking sheet and drizzle coconut oil mixture on top. Toss to evenly coat the butternut squash with oil and spices. Spread butternut cubes evenly around pan and roast for 25-35 minutes until squash is fork tender.
  • While your butternut squash is roasting, make your black lentils. Bring water and salt to a boil and stir in lentils. Bring lentils to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes until cooked and tender but not falling apart. Drain excess water and rinse cooked lentils with cold water.
  • Make your dressing. In a small bowl mix together tahini, maple syrup, garlic powder, lemon juice, and water. Mix until it resembles a dressing. Add a little more water to thin out for a drizzle, if necessary.
  • Assemble your salad. Place arugula down on a platter, top with black lentils, roasted butternut squash, sliced grapes and pecans. Drizzle lightly with tahini dressing, then top with pecans. No need to toss together – just serve and enjoy!

Which recipe was your favourite that you’ll take into 2022? Upload a picture of your dish to social media and tag us @uhnfoundation.

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