Looking to stay on track with your diet this year during the holidays without foregoing some of your holiday favorites? The registered nutritionists at Novant Health Heart & Vascular Institute have come up with a series of healthy dishes for your table.

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Turkey Breast

Makes 14 servings (serving is 4 oz.)

1 bone-in turkey breast (6-7 pounds), skin removed

1 tbsp. olive oil

¼ cup minced fresh parsley

8 minced garlic cloves

4 tsp. grated lemon peel

2 tsp. salt-free lemon pepper seasoning

3/4 tsp salt

½ cup water


Combine all ingredients except turkey, oil and water to make seasoning. Rub turkey breast with oil and seasoning. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker and add water.  Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until tender.


Sweet Potato Casserole

Makes 12 servings (serving is ½ cup)

3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 8 cups)

½ cup 1% milk

2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and divided

½ tsp. vanilla extract

¾ tsp. salt, divided

1 large egg, beaten

Cooking spray

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

2/3 cup pecans, chopped (can substitute walnuts or chopped almonds)

3 tbsp. almond meal

3 tbsp. low-sugar maple syrup, divided

1 tbsp. canola oil


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water to 1 inch above potatoes.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Drain and return the potatoes to pot. Add milk, 1 tbsp. butter, vanilla and mash to desired consistency with hand mixer.  Stir in ½ tsp. salt and egg.  Spread potato mixture in the bottom of an 11 x 7 inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Combine ¼ tsp. salt, oats, pecans, almond meal and 2 tbsp. syrup in a bowl.  Add remaining 1 tbsp. butter and canola oil; toss to coat.  Sprinkle the oat mixture over the potatoes.  Bake at 375 for 18 minutes or until surface is golden brown.  Remove pan from oven and drizzle with remaining 1 tbsp. maple syrup.

Green Bean Salad

Makes 5 servings

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup minced shallots

3 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. Sherry wine vinegar

2 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped

3/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

½ tsp. black pepper

1/3 cup dried tart cherries

1 ½ pounds trimmed slender green beans (such as haricots verts)

½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped


Whisk the first 6 ingredients and ½ tsp of pepper in a small bowl.  Mix in dried cherries; set aside.  Fill a large bowl with water and ice; set aside.  Cook (blanch) the green beans in a large pot of boiling water until tender (3-4 minutes).  Drain.  Transfer to bowl with ice water; cool and drain again.  Toss the green beans, walnuts and dressing in a large bowl and serve.