Guiding Stars Helps Get You Ready for Holiday Meals

Wednesday 02nd, October 2019 / 10:04 Written by
Guiding Stars Helps Get You Ready for Holiday Meals

Crowd-Pleasing Recipes for This Holiday Season from Guiding Stars

Oftentimes holiday meal planning gets lost in the hustle and bustle of the season. With the holidays just around the corner it’s never too early to get a handle on your holiday get togethers – starting with the menu!  

Guiding Stars, a nutritional guidance program, has compiled their top recipes for the season; sure to please your holiday crowd.

Check out the Delicious recipes below:


If you can’t find a chuck roast, keep an eye out for anything that is fairly low in fat, with an even distribution throughout the meat of what fat is there.

Tip: If you’d like to make a lower fat gravy, skip the gravy step and try this instead: Heat low-sodium beef broth to a simmer. Add some of the veggies from the roast and puree with a stick blender. Adjust liquid and veggie proportion until you get the consistency you prefer. If you choose to use a regular blender, keep in mind that blending hot liquids can be dangerous, so a puree first, heat second approach would be safer.


  • 2 lbs. boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4½ cup water, divided
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 6 med. potatoes, quartered
  • 1 lb. carrots, sliced
  • 5 stalks celery, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. flour


  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, heat the oil on medium high. Add the meat and brown both sides so a crispy crust forms (5-8 minutes per side).
  2. Transfer the beef to a plate; keep warm. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent (3 minutes).
  3. Add 2 cups of water and cook, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the beef to the pot, add the bay leaves and pepper, then cover and cook on low 1 hour, turning halfway through.
  4. Add the potatoes on top of the meat and 2 more cups of water. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add the carrots and celery, cover, and simmer until a fork can easily pierce a potato (15 minutes).
  5. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Remove the meat and vegetables to a serving platter and keep warm while preparing gravy.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the flour with the remaining ½ cup of cold water until blended. Whisk into remaining liquid in the pot. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened (3 minutes). Serve with the meat and vegetables.


Guiding Stars holiday meals 2019
Apple, Onion & Cranberry Stuffing

Classic stuffing is amped up with some apples and cranberries. Combining white and whole-wheat bread offers delicious combination of flavor and texture. Stale bread and crusty bread work best for stuffing, so saving the heels of your sandwich bread in the freezer is a great, economic way to approach this recipe.

Tip: If you prefer to stick with dried herbs, reduce the amount by half, as dried herbs are more potent than fresh.


  • 4 cups whole-wheat bread, cubed
  • 4 cups white bread, cubed
  • 1 ½ tsp. canola oil
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1¾ cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 4 tsp. chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ cup cranberries, chopped
  • Pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted (15-20 minutes).
  2. While bread is toasting, heat oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add celery and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (5-7 minutes). Add apples, cook for 3 minutes longer. Add ¾ cup broth, sage and thyme.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the apples are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated (5-7 minutes). Add the toasted bread and cranberries. Drizzle remaining broth over the mixture and toss until evenly moistened. Season with pepper.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Transfer stuffing to a lightly oiled casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake until heated through (35-45 minutes). If you would like a crisp top, uncover for the last 15 minutes of baking.


Guiding Stars holiday meals 2019
Roasted Shallot Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a delicious accompaniment to all kinds of main dishes. This dish doesn’t rely on oodles of butter or cream for flavor, and with the rich sweetness of roasted shallots, you’ll be glad you gave this dish a try.


  • 3 shallots, peeled
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • ⅛ tsp. pepper
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 3 med. potatoes, cubed
  • ½ cup evaporated skim milk


  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place the shallots, oil, broth, thyme, pepper, and salt in the smallest ovenproof dish you have. Cover with foil and roast until the shallots are very soft and brown (45 minutes). Remove the casserole from the oven.
  2. While shallots are roasting, boil the potatoes until soft (30-35 minutes).
  3. Drain the water from the pot. Add milk to the potatoes and whip to desired consistency. Stir in roasted shallots mixture.

About Guiding Stars

Guiding Stars holiday meals 2019

Guiding Stars is a nutritional rating system that helps you make healthful eating choices quickly. It’s simple: the more stars you see, the better you’ll eat. One star is good, two are better and three are best. While you can find our rating system in many grocery stores to help you buy ingredients, putting healthful recipes together can be time-consuming.

All our recipes have been rated to make cooking a nutritious dinner at home as convenient as our rating system makes healthful shopping at the store.

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