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I’ve certainly noticed over the years that traditions vary, family to family. I’d like to share two of my favorite simple holiday tradition recipes with you here.

In our house, rather than turkey or ham at Christmas, we opt for beef. And often, instead of potatoes, we choose butternut squash. If your dinner choices aren’t quite set, I’m hoping you’ll give these suggestions a try for your festive table. They’re easy, and low in sugar. A healthy offering for the family. And they don’t necessarily taste as healthy as they are! Extremely tasty~

‘Cress Stuffed Steak

Only 1.4 tsp of sugar per serving! And this recipe serves 2 – and will only take you 30 minutes from prep to table. It’s easy to expand to 6 or 8 people too.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces lean beef, such as top round or sirloin
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 cup watercress leaves, stems removed
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Easy as 1. 2, 3!

  1. Cut the beef into 2 equal portions, then slice a pocket into each. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saute’ pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and thyme leaves and saute’ for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is well browned and tender. Remove from the heat and add the watercress leaves. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Stuff the steaks with the onion mixture, securing the flaps with a toothpick. Season the steak with cracked peppercorns. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Place the stuffed steaks on the grill pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until brown. Removed from the heat and rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and serve over a bed of fresh watercress. Your taste buds will love this!
Butternut Chowder

Only 2.6 teaspoons of sugar per serving~ And this recipe serves 4. Entire cook time – prep to table – 60 minutes, 45 minutes spent with the chowder simmering away in the pot.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 cup hulled unsalted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • I medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper or Scotch bonnet chile, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 8 scallions, chopped
  • 3 springs fresh thyme, stems removed
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus cilantro sprigs for garnish

And now the assembly:

  1. Heat the oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add the pepitas and stir frequently for 5 to 7 minutes, until they begin to brown and pop. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Combine the squash, stock, tomato, onion, peppers, ginger, scallions, and thyme in a large pot. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Remove from the heat and blend with an immersion blender for 2 to 4 minutes, until smooth. Add the cilantro and lime juice.
  4. Serve with a sprinkle of pepitas and a sprig of cilantro.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do. Please let me know~

If you’d like to see more heart-healthy recipes, consider picking up a copy of my recent book, Heart of Perfect Health. By the way, these can be found on pages 304 and 324.

From my family to yours, Happy Holidays!