13 Healthy Holiday Recipes (to Even Impress Junk Food Lovers) (AIP, Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Girls Copy 2 800X675 1 | 13 Healthy Holiday Recipes (To Even Impress Junk Food Lovers) (Aip, Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Fast, easy, healthy AND delicious?! Try one of these 13 healthy holiday recipes (that will even impress pumpkin-pie-loving Cousin Eddy). 

Just hear those sleigh bells jinglin’, ring ting tinglin’ too…

Oh boy oh boy…T-minus 7 days and the “holidays” are here…and home to “home sweet home” Arkan-sas—my old stomping grounds where I plan to not do much but spend time with family, catch up on some reading and writing, and cook some new deliciousness up in the kitchen, alongside my mom.

Yup. this year, I am pitching in to the holiday meal prep.

My dad recently had a big change in his life, and after being diagnosed with 3 different autoimmune conditions, he had a big wake up call that his diet and nutrition needed a change (Why is it that sometimes family is hardest to convince when we try to share information for years? :) ).

So, in line with his new Auto-Immune Protocol (which he currently reports as being “bland and tasteless”)…Dr. Lauryn to the rescue!

Whether you have an Autoimmune Condition, food sensitivities, or simply want some SIMPLE holiday alternatives to creamy casseroles and Jell-O molds…Never fear, Thrive is here.

Here’s what’s on the menu—some of my fave EASY PEASY (but delicious and nutritious) holiday recipes (AIP and gluten-free friendly, with no overwhelming meal prep required).


Crispy Brussels Sprouts
Carrots/Celery + Homemade Ranch
Pepperoni Chips  + Guacamole


Classic Roasted Chicken
Baked Herb Salmon with Cranberry Chutney
Bison Steaks

Side Options:

Cinnamon & Pumpkin Spice Dusted Butternut Squash (or Sweet Potatoes)
Cauliflower Mash
“Cheesy” Broccoli
Simple Roasted Asparagus
Sauteed Spinach


Carrot Cake
Lemon Bars
Peppermint Ice Cream
Pumpkin Custard

Here’s how to whip up my simple (BUT seemingly gourmet) Baked Salmon with Cranberry Relish & “Cheesy Broccoli” 

(Plus download my Free Thrive Holiday Recipe Guide to see how to make the rest!- HERE)

Baked Salmon with Cranberry Relish & “Cheesy Broccoli” 

Baked Salmon with Cranberry Relish

Salmon With Cranberry Relish


1-2 lbs. Wild Caught Salmon
Sea salt, to taste
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
12 oz. Fresh Cranberries (1 1/2 cup)
1 Orange, zest and juiced (squeeze it out)
1/4 cup fresh mint
4 Dates or 1/4 cup Dried Cranberries


Preheat oven to 350-degrees. While oven is warming, combine cranberries, orange-juiced, mint and date/cranberries into a food processor or high speed blender. Mix well. Set aside. Coat salmon with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake salmon in glassware baking dish for 10-15 minutes, until well done. Top with cranberry chutney.

“Cheesy” Broccoli

Cheesy Broccoli Vegan


2-3 Broccoli Crowns, de-stemmed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Sea salt & Pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Trim the florets off of the head of broccoli and place them in a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil, then add the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake at 425 degrees for about 35-40 minutes or until golden brown with some crisp edges. Season with more salt and pepper if desired.

Don’t forget to download your Free (Last-Minute Easy, Peasy) Thrive Holiday Recipe Guide  HERE.

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