#38: Low-Carb Holiday!

#38: Low-Carb Holiday!


We’re back! After a bit of a hiatus, this is Recipe Round up Episode 38, just in time for the holidays! 

I love sugar. Too much actually. The holiday feasts are generally loaded with carbs…and they taste better for it. But if you are watching your sugars or just looking for something a little bit different without sacrificing flavor, here are my tips for transforming your general holiday fare. 

First of all, if you are including cranberries in your feast, I highly recommend making your own sauce! It is super quick, easy, and gives you full control over what kind and how much sweetener you decide to use. Honey and maple syrup are great sugar alternatives if you are just in it for the homemade experience. Agave nectar is lower on the glycemic index than most other natural sweeteners, and if you are wanting something that has little to no net carbs, I suggest stevia, monk fruit, or erythritol. Just empty a bag of cranberries into a small saucepan with a ½ cup of water or orange juice and cook until the berries have burst. Add your sweetener to taste and cook until our desired thickness is reached. I like putting a pinch of cinnamon, and a little clove and nutmeg as well, but what this sauce is here to do is cut through with it’s acidic brightness. You can also just opt to sprinkle cranberries around your ham or turkey as it cooks and enjoy the berries that way.


1 bag of fresh cranberries

½ cup or more of water or orange juice

Sweetener to taste

Spices to taste


My second suggestion is to replace your potatoes with mashed cauliflower. I know, it doesn’t sound like it will work, but once you try this you will realize that it’s actually the butter, cream, and salt that makes mashed potatoes so irresistible. And a bit of bacon can take anything to the next level.

Check out Recipe Roundup #8 for a Colcannon recipe with both a potato and cauliflower option. 


Glazed Carrots are essentially a dessert on their own, but carrots are sweet without anything added. A simple glaze of butter, cinnamon, and curry powder will highlight the natural goodness of this root vegetable.


Finally, green beans. Healthy on their own, but when they are a part of a delicious green bean casserole, it’s easy to lose them. I first heard this recipe on NPR from Moosewood Cookbook author Mollie Katzen in 2008 and I make it every year, even when it’s not the holidays. It really lets the green bean shine through. The original recipe calls for salt, but if you happen to have soy sauce, I recommend it. 



1 lbs of fresh green beans, ends trimmed

2 tbs of peanut, canola, or coconut oil (high smoke point oils)

1 tbs crushed, minced, or grated garlic

a pinch of red pepper flakes

a dash of salt or soy sauce

  1. Heat a frying pan or wok on high heat
  2. Add 2 tbs of peanut, canola, or coconut oil and let the oil heat up.
  3. Carefully, pour your green beans into the oil, be ware of the oil spitting.
  4. Sear the green beans, allowing them to get a little bit of char and color before using tongs to move them around.
  5. When the beans are bright green and beginning to soften, add your salt or soy sauce
  6. Right as you notice the first wilting of the beans, add your garlic and a pink of red pepper flakes.
  7. It won’t take long for the garlic and pepper to be incorporated and then your dish is ready to serve!

Please let me know if you try these recipes – send pictures of your creation with your review to sage@amrmail.org.


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