Abigail Joy Dougherty: Registered Dietitian, Nutrition Expert & Lover of Life
2017, Christmas, Healthy Holiday

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!


Full Disclosure: Sprouts compensated me for this post. All opinions expressed below are 100% my own. Transparency and full disclosure are very important to me! Thanks for reading! ~Abby


Ohhhh happy day!!

This is literally my all-time favorite time of the year! The festivities, Christmas music, twinkling lights, decorated houses, gold and red EVERYTHING, garland, Christmas movies, family time and let’s not forget the delicious food!

Although, Thanksgiving has come and gone WAY too fast, the next four weeks are the perfect time to test new recipes for work parties, dinners and festive gatherings!! I recently had the amazing opportunity to head over to ABC Action News’s The Morning Blend and do a segment with Sprouts Farmers Market allll about healthier holiday sides! The best part about these dishes is they are not just about Thanksgiving but they can be used all season long!

Healthified Holiday Favorites with Sprouts!

Working with Sprouts is so fun because I can go in to the beautiful store and find Sprouts brand products or other brands that really have better ingredients and take the place of some of the standbys that make certain holiday dishes have their distinct flavors. Take green bean casserole for instance, I have tried forever to get that same flavor from other brands or foods that French’s French Fried Onions give… but thanks to Sprouts, I can use their Sprouts Brand French Fried Onions which have a better ingredient list and have gluten free or non gluten free options instead and get that same awesome flavor – come on, that’s awesome!! 🙂

I featured dishes in the below TV segment that I have “healthified” over the years and brought to many a Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations to “ooooohs” and “aaahhhhhs” from some of the most purist of palettes (my husband included). These purists do not like changes to their favorite holiday standbys like green bean casserole or cornbread stuffing.

To clarify, what I mean by “healthified” is that by no means would I call these dishes healthy but I would say that after some minor tweaks, they have become healthier while still maintaining the integrity of the dish – the flavor and mouthfeel mainly!

For the cornbread stuffing, I added less butter and simplified some of the ingredients; for the green bean casserole, I used fresh green beans and mushrooms as well as added new and improved Cream of Mushroom Soup by Pacific Foods and Sprouts French Fried Onions, making this dish fresh and gluten free. And of course, how could I forget the BEST EVER Maple Roasted Brussels that have made my tummy happy over and over again!

See the full segment here:

I hope you enjoy this TV segment and my 35 weeks pregnant self along with the recipes below! Please let me know if you try any of them out!!

~Abby

“Healthified” Green Bean Casserole (Gluten Free)

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 8 ounce package of assorted baby bella or white mushrooms
  • 1 carton of Pacific Foods Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 ½ cups Sprouts Brand Gluten Free French Fried Onions, divided.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Cook beans in a large pot of boiling water until bright green, around 10 minutes.  Rinse and drain beans, set aside.  In the same pot, add butter and let melt. Add mushrooms and sauté until they start to release liquids. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Add Cream of Mushroom Soup and milk and bring to a boil. Return green beans to pot and add 1 cup French friend onions and stir until combined. Pour bean mixture into prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and add remaining 1 ½ cup fried onions. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

 

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Vegan)

Serves 4 to 6 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. Sprouts Brand extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, stem ends trimmed, outer leaves peeled and halved (quartered if large)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Sprouts Brand maple syrup

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°. Brush 1 tablespoon of the olive oil onto a baking sheet and transfer the sheet to the hot oven for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, toss the sprouts with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the salt and pepper. Pour the sprouts out onto the hot baking sheet and spread into a single layer. (Take the time to place each sprout cut side down for especially crisped and browned sprouts.)  Roast the Brussels sprouts for 20 minutes, until fork-tender and a dark brown crust forms on the sides exposed to the baking sheet.
Remove the sprouts from the oven and transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle the maple syrup all over, tossing to coat evenly. Serve immediately.

 

Cornbread, Mushroom and Pecan Stuffing

(Adapted from Martha Stewart<< Click for link to original)

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • ½ cups pecans
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter or Ghee
  • 5 cups crumbled cornbread (can use pre-made from Sprouts)
  • 5 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, diced into ¼ inch pieces
  • 10 ounces fresh mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup dry white wine (I used pinot grigio)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Sprouts brand chicken stock – see below

Directions:

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread pecans on a baking sheet. Place in oven to toast for six minutes. Set aside. Turn oven temperature down to 350 degrees.

Heat 4 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet on medium high heat. Add shallots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper; cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add white wine, continue cooking until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add cream. Cook 30 seconds and remove from heat.

Crumble cornbread into a large bowl. Add mushroom mixture and toasted pecans; toss.  Add chicken stock by ¼ cup increments if mixture is too dry prior to putting in baking dish.

Pour mixture into a prepared 9×13 inch baking dish and bake at 350 degrees uncovered until stuffing is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

 

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