Bariatrics and Weight Loss

Seasonal Entrees for a Wholesome Holiday

Seasonal Entrees for a Wholesome Holiday


Ground Turkey-Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cheese

About this recipe: The combination of fall and winter foods creates a warm and comforting seasonal dish. As we approach the holiday season, this recipe is a twist on some traditional holiday foods while ensuring we stick to our nutritional goals.
  • 2 acorn squashes, halved with pulp and seeds removed
  • 1 pound extra lean ground turkey breast
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a glass baking dish, place halved squash face down. Microwave for 20 minutes on high, until almost tender. At the same time, brown the ground turkey in a large, non-stick saucepan on medium heat until cooked through (7 to 9 minutes).


Transfer squash to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or large baking sheet. Place squash face-up. Add celery and onion to squash. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir and incorporate mushrooms, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, garlic powder and pepper. Spoon the mixture into each squash and top each with cheese. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes (or until the cheese bubbles) and serve.


Eggplant Rollatini

About this recipe: This is a healthy alternative to a common Italian dish without breaded or fried ingredients. Cheese adds a filling, lean protein component with eggplant and spinach for your daily vegetable intake.

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup low-sugar marinara sauce


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray one or two baking sheets with cooking spray. Slice your eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch pieces. Lay slices on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 10 minutes to help release excess water within the eggplant. Pat dry afterward.


Place eggplant on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Leave the oven on.

In large pot, heat olive oil for one minute on medium-high heat. Add spinach, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes or until wilted. Set aside to cool.

Combine ricotta, 1/4 cup mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, egg and garlic in a medium bowl and mix well. Gently combine spinach with your cheese mixture.

Spread 1/4 cup marinara sauce on the bottom of an 8-by-8-inch baking dish. Spread the cheese mixture (about 2 tablespoons each) onto each eggplant slice. Roll the slice and place seam-side down in the baking dish. Continue until all eggplant slices are made into roll-ups in the pan. Top eggplant with remaining marinara sauce and mozzarella. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees. Cover baking sheets with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is browned.


Cauliflower Stuffing

About this recipe: This is a healthy alternative to a traditional holiday comfort food. This dish is packed with vegetables, making it a nice dish if you are gluten free or just trying to watch your carbohydrate intake. Cauliflower is a nice versatile vegetable that can be used as an alternative for multiple dishes.

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 cup (8-ounce) package of baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sage, chopped (or 1 teaspoon ground sage)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth


In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, carrot and celery. Sauté 7 to 8 minutes or until soft. Add cauliflower, mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook an additional 8 to 10 minutes until tender. Add parsley, rosemary and sage and stir to combine. Pour over broth and cook until tender and liquid is absorbed (10 minutes).


Source:, “Fresh Start Bariatric Cookbook” and “The Gastric Sleeve Bariatric Cookbook” by Sarah Kent.