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Festive Fare for the Holiday Season


Christmas turkey, Brussels sprouts and potatoes

The holidays are quickly approaching. Spend this time enjoying the company of your loved ones and celebrating the season. 

Take some time for self-care, and while you’re at it, discover a few delicious (and healthy!) holiday food recipes.

Zucchini squash stuffing

Adapted from Hungry Girl

Serves 5


  • 6 slices light bread 
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow zucchini squash
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup fat-free chicken or vegetable broth, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (can be Egg Beaters)
  • 1 tbsp light whipped butter or light buttery spread 
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme to taste


  1. Leave bread uncovered at room temperature for one to two nights until it begins to stale. You may also lightly toast the bread instead.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Cut bread into half-inch cubes. Spray a medium baking dish with nonstick spray, and place bread cubes evenly along the bottom of the dish.
  4. In a medium pot, combine broth, celery, zucchini squash and onion. Cook for eight minutes over medium heat.
  5. Remove pot from heat, add mushrooms and garlic. Season mixture with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Let cool for several minutes.
  6. Add egg substitute and butter to veggie/broth mixture and stir. Pour mixture into the baking pan, evenly covering bread cubes. Mix gently with a fork. Bread cubes should be moist, not saturated (if necessary, add one to two tablespoons of water; then mix again).
  7. Cover with foil, and cook dish in oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove foil, and fluff and rearrange stuffing. Return dish to oven (uncovered), and cook for 15 more minutes.

Per serving

89 calories, 1.5 g fat, 17 carbs, 4 g fiber, 4g sugar, 5 g protein

Note: This may cause discomfort for some patients following weight loss surgery due to expansion.

Buttery brussels sprouts

Adapted from Fitness Magazine

Serves 6


  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Brussels sprouts and boil about five minutes. Drain well and transfer to a serving bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  3. Pour butter over Brussels sprouts, add pinch of salt and serve.

Per serving

73 calories, 6 g total fat, 2 g sat. fat, 10 g carb., 4 g fiber, 4 g protein

Warm fruit crumble

Adapted from Hungry Girl 

Serves 6


  • Fruit Fusion
  • 3 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 3 peaches, peeled, and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Dash of salt


  • 1/2 cup lightly crushed fiber cereal (Fiber One Original bran cereal recommended)
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar (not packed)
  • 2 tbsp. light whipped butter or buttery spread (Brummel & Brown recommended), room temperature
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8” x 8” baking pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
  2. Put apple and peach slices in large bowl and toss to coat with lemon juice. Add remaining ingredients for fruit mixture. Toss until mixed thoroughly. Transfer to baking pan, and cover pan with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake in oven for 30 minutes, or until fruit mixture has softened. (Leave oven on after removing the pan.)
  4. Meanwhile, in another bowl, combine all topping ingredients and stir until well mixed and crumbly. Set aside.
  5. Once fruit mixture has softened, remove foil from pan carefully and mix well. Smooth surface with the back of a spoon or spatula. Sprinkle topping over the fruit mixture.
  6. Return pan to oven and bake uncovered about 15 minutes, or until top is slightly crisp.
  7. Let cool and enjoy!

Per serving

123 calories, 1.5 g fat, 1 g protein, 30 g carbs, 4.5 g fiber, 19.5 g sugar

We hope you'll put these recipes to use, and enjoy some good food this holiday season. Happy holidays from all of us at Penn Bariatrics!

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Learn about bariatric surgery and get the support you need to continue on your weight-loss journey. We offer workouts, recipes and tips from Bariatric Surgery program team members, and stories from patients like you.

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