Healthy Holiday Recipes Delicious and filling recipes from Sam Page Fitness

If you’re like me, it’s almost impossible to turn away savory mashed potatoes, rocky road, fresh cobbler, or candied yams. For years, I’ve provided ways to stay lean over the holidays on the blog, but this year I wanted to do something different. So inspired by my awesome clients, we are giving you the gift of a healthier holiday via this Heart Healthy Recipe Guide. Now you can enjoy the tastes of the season without completely sabotaging your fitness goals.

Happy Holidays!

Cauliflower Au Gratin

from the kitchen of Steven Carlisle

(Photo Credit: Ernesto Andrad, under Creative Commons License)

This time of year is special to me, because three years ago I nearly lost my husband to heart disease. I started looking for not only healthy items but GOOD, delicious recipes to replace the standard "fat filled” meals. The following year, I started training with Sam, who has helped me get comfortable at the gym, and I have found a confidence I didn't know I had.

During a recent workout, Sam asked me if I had any ideas for creative holiday gifts for us, his clients and friends. We started talking about holiday plans and what our menus would include. Then I offered: “What about a nice E-book with recipes to replace common holiday foods with a heart healthy version?”

This was the start of the conversation and I offered to send a few things to him. The result? By the time I got home from the gym, Sam had emailed clients and friends to get them to submit their favorite healthy Holiday recipes.

The recipes you will find inside are all curated by Sam from us—his clients and his friends.

Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!

- Steven Carlisle


  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt-free all-purpose seasoning
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flower
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup low-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese


  1. Place cauliflower in a steamer and sprinkle with seasoning and steam 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer to an 8-inch nonstick baking pan.
  3. Preheat oven to 350˚ F.
  4. In a small saucepan, whisk together milk, broth, flour, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes, or until thickened. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cheddar, cooking for 1 minute, whisking constantly.
  5. Pour over cauliflower.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together Panko and Parmesan. Sprinkle over cauliflower mixture.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Apple Pie Slow Cooker Steel-Cut Oats

from the kitchen of Sam Page

(Photo Credit: Nate Steiner, under Creative Commons License)

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 6 hours Total time: 6 hours 5 mins


  • 3/4 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 cup coffee cream (1/2 & 1/2)
  • 2 Tablespoons raw cane sugar, brown sugar, or maple syrup
  • 1 medium apple, washed and grated
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce or apple butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water


  1. In a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup, mix together all the ingredients except the water, and combine well. Add the water and slowly mix to combine.
  2. Place the measuring cup in the bottom of a slow-cooker and nearly fill it with room temperature water. It should come up the edges of the Pyrex cup to the same level as the oatmeal.
  3. Cover slow-cooker and place on Low. Cook for 6 hours.
  4. In the morning, remove lid carefully and take out the Pyrex cup. Give the oatmeal a good stir, then portion into four bowls. Serve with cream, fresh chopped apples and toasted walnuts.

Lemon Tart for REM Sleep

from the kitchen of Dr. Rhonda Patrick

(Photo Credit : DubRoss, under Creative Commons License)

The neurotransmitter acetylcholine is required for REM sleep. Rapid eye movement or REM sleep is necessary for learning and memory and is also associated with creativity. So if you want to learn more efficiently and boost your creativity then you need to maximize your REM sleep. Since acetylcholine is needed to start REM sleep, why not increase the dietary source of the precursors necessary to synthesize actylcholine, that is, acetyl groups and choline? Lemons are a great source of citrate, which makes acetyl groups. Eggs are an abundant source of choline. If you combine the lemons and the eggs you get acetylcholine in the form of lemon tart. Nom nom nom.

Here’s how to make your lemon tart low carb with no added sugar (~ 8 servings) This recipe is very “tart” because the more tart the more citrate, which is what gives us those yummy (yet sour) acetyl precursors.

-Dr. Rhonda Patrick


  • 3/4 cup of coconut flour
  • 4 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • 5 tbsp of sliced almonds (optional)


  1. Mix the melted coconut oil, butter, and eggs together and add to the coconut flour and stevia.
  2. Press into a 9 inch pan and cool in the fridge.

Lemon Filling

  • zest from 4 lemons
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tsp stevia
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks


  1. Preheat oven at 350˚F degrees and bake the crusted pan for 5 minutes in the pre-heated oven.
  2. Remove and set aside.
  3. Blend lemon juice and zest in a blender which should yield 3/4 cup of lemon mixture.
  4. Heat up the butter, coconut oil and lemon mixture in a medium saucepan.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and egg yolk in a small bowl. Add the warmed lemon mixture to the eggs, stirring the entire time.
  6. Then add the ENTIRE mixture to the saucepan and heat on low, constantly stirring until it thickens ( 5-7 minutes). Add this directly directly to the crusted pan (you can filter out some of lemon curd if desired) and bake for 10 min at 350˚F degrees.
  7. Let cool in fridge and serve for your dietary source of acetyl and choline.

Sautéed Kale

from the kitchen of #LittleMissFiesty aka Melissa Nemcek

(Photo Credit: Kari Sullivan, under Creative Commons License)


  • 1 1/2 pounds young kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the garlic and cook until soft, but not colored. Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine.
  3. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add vinegar.

Fiery Sweet Potatoes

from the kitchen of Sam Page

(Photo Credit: Selena NBH,under Creative Commons License)


  • 5 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Heat oven to 375˚ F degrees. Bake potatoes on sheet pan until very soft, about 75 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel and mash.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat coconut milk with curry paste over low heat. Mix coconut milk mixture, half the sugar, half the butter and salt into potatoes. Keep warm until ready to serve, or cover and refrigerate up to two days.
  3. At least 30 minutes before serving, heat oven to 425˚F degrees. Put potatoes in a baking dish, cover with foil and bake 20 minutes.
  4. Uncover, dot with remaining butter and sugar and broil until brown and crusty, checking often to prevent scorching.

Garlic Mashed “Potatoes”

from the kitchen of Mandy Ryan

(Photo Credit: Naotake Murayama, under Creative Commons License)


  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon straight chicken base or bullion (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon salt)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry chives, for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Set a stockpot of water to boil over high heat.
  2. Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done. Drain well; do not let cool and pat cooked cauliflower very dry between several layers of paper towels.
  3. In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, chicken base, and pepper until almost smooth.
  4. Garnish with chives, and serve hot with pats of butter.
  5. Try roasting the garlic and adding a little fresh rosemary for a whole new taste.

Celery Salad with Almonds and Dates

from the kitchen of Andrew Leman and Glenn Alfonso

(Photo Credit: Michael Derr, under Creative Commons License)

The celery we're familiar with today is a descendant of wild celery, which was highly valued by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks as food and as medicine. Records show it was cultivated in pharaonic Egypt over 3000 years ago. Also dating back as long are dates, which were eaten fresh or dried, and a type of wine was made out of them.


  • 8 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 6 dates, pitted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Place the celery and dates in a large bowl.
  2. Add the coarsely chopped almonds and lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the oil, toss gently and serve cold or at room temperature.

Shaved Root Vegetable Salad

from the kitchen of Maite Gomez-Rejón. Her website is

(Photo Credit: Robert Couse-Baker, under Creative Commons License)

Though vegetables were an important food item and eaten daily by everyone in the Middle Ages, in many ways they were considered an inferior menu item. Vegetable dishes are hardly ever mentioned in Medieval cookbooks. The pure simplicity of vegetable preparation – raw tossed with oil and vinegar– often meant that precious vellum or parchment wasn’t wasted on recording the recipes. Some cookbooks go so far as to point out that the ability to prepare vegetables is common knowledge and further instructions are not necessary. Raw salads were considered an excellent way to begin a meal.

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 red beet
  • 1 golden beat
  • 1 celery root, peeled
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 3 carrots, peeled
  • 1 bunch radishes, trimmed
  • 1 apple, unpeeled (Gala, Fuji or Braeburn are good options)

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 anchovy
  • 1 garlic clove
  • juice of one lemon (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  1. Scrub vegetables, remove peel from carrots and beets.
  2. Cut fronds and bottom of fennel, discard.
  3. Cut fennel in half lengthwise, remove outer layer and discard. Remove tops from radishes and wash the radishes well.
  4. Cut apple in half and de-seed. Using a large knife, remove all out layer of the celery root and discard. You should just have the white flesh showing.
  5. Using a mandolin, carefully slice all vegetables except for radishes, into paper-thin slices.
  6. Slice radishes individually to the same thickness of the rest of your veggies.
  7. Place in separate bowls and make the dressing.
  8. In a mortar and pestle, mash the anchovy, garlic and a pinch of salt to a paste.
  9. Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir to break up the anchovy paste.
  10. Beat in the mustard. Whisk in the olive oil, a little at a time.
  11. Season with the pepper.
  12. Dress each vegetable pile separately to keep the beets from turning everything red, or toss them all together in a bowl. Beautiful and delicious either way! This salad is better the longer it sits in the dressing.

Serves 8

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