Healthy alternatives for holiday meals

Grilled steak with caper vinaigrette


1½ pounds boneless top sirloin steak
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ cup capers, drained and chopped
¼ cup shallots, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest


Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, vinegar, rosemary, garlic and salt in a large plastic bag.
Add steak, evenly distribute marinade and seal tightly.
Marinate for three or more hours in the refrigerator.
Preheat grill on high heat.
Grill steak, untouched, on high heat for 4-5 minutes.
Flip steak and continue cooking to desired doneness. Remove from heat and let rest for five minutes.
For vinaigrette, combine capers, shallots, parsley, vinegar, remaining olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest.
Thinly slice steak, top with caper vinaigrette and serve immediately.
Serves 4. 

Slow cooker cinnamon sweet potatoes


4 large sweet potatoes or yams, whole, skin-on
¼–½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup pecans, toasted


Place sweet potatoes/yams in slow cooker and cook on lowest setting for 6-8 hours or overnight.
Remove from slow cooker, cool until easy to handle, and remove skins.
Slice sweet potatoes/yams in half length-wise and place halves in a casserole dish. Spread halves with a little butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and pecans.
May be prepared ahead of time and warmed in the casserole before serving.

Garlic-chili-maple squash and Brussels sprouts


1½ pounds Brussels sprouts, halved, stems and yellow outer leaves removed
4 cups butternut squash (about 12 ounces), cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¾ cup pomegranate seeds
½ cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place butternut squash and Brussels sprouts in a large bowl.
Toss squash/sprouts with olive oil, maple syrup, garlic, and chili powder.
Place coated vegetables on parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet and spread evenly.
Roast in oven until squash is fork tender and sprouts are slightly crispy and caramelized, about 25-30 minutes.
Remove from oven, cool for a few minutes and immediately transfer to a large serving bowl.
Top with pomegranate seeds and pecans; serve immediately. 
Serves 6. 

Apple grapefruit greens salad


1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil


Approximately 6 cups mixed salad greens
2 cups grapefruit sections, peeled, membrane removed (about 1 1/2 grapefruit)
2 cups tart red apple (Braeburn, Jonathan, etc.), sliced or chopped
1 small red onion, sliced, rings separated


In mixing bowl, combine grapefruit juice, honey, salt and pepper and oil with a wire whisk; cover and chill.
Place salad greens in a bowl. Top with grapefruit sections, apples, onion and mint.
To serve, whisk dressing, drizzle over the salad and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6.

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