Holiday Snacks and Sides {Recipe}


Guest Post by: Sarah Barnes. Sarah is a Master's student and dietetic intern at Texas Women's University.


The holidays are here, which means food and family are on repeat. My family typically has one large meal in the early afternoon, and leftovers much later in the evening. The large gap between meals typically leaves us hunting for something to hold us over until then. My favorite memory is my grandfather and I sneaking in the kitchen to find something, only to be caught with our hands in the cookie jar by my mother.    

While a fun memory, holiday food schedules typically entail eating until stuffed, or famished because you are waiting until the next meal. With so many desserts around, it is easy to grab a few! Instead, try grabbing a couple of these gingerbread protein energy bites to curb your hunger.

Also during holiday meals, it is easy to go for the rich savory foods, and vegetables may be neglected. This cauliflower steak recipe is a surefire way to get veggies on your plate. Even my family members who do not typically like veggies will load up their plate with these.

Gingerbread Protein Energy Bites


1 1/2 cups almond flour

8 pitted dates

2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses

1/4 cup vanilla protein powder of your choice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

pinch of salt

1 tablespoons of water


1/2 cup almond flour

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon cinnamon



1. Combine all ingredients (except for coating ingredients) in a food processor and blend on high until it forms into a ball and is smooth throughout.

2. In a small bowl combine coating ingredients.

3. Scoop dough into balls about 2 tablespoons big (or however large or small you like them).

4. Roll them in the coating mixture and shake off excess. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet or plate and place in the refrigerator or freezer to harden. Enjoy!

Makes about 20 balls

Nutriton: ~87 kcals, 10.9 g cho, 4.2 g fat, 4 g protein (recipe added on myfitnesspal)

Adapted from:



Roasted Cauliflower


2 heads cauliflower, cut vertically into 1/2-inch-thick steaks (4 to 6 steaks total)

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons pine nuts

1/4 cup golden raisins

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves



1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Place the cauliflower steaks on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, flipping after the first 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, add the pine nuts to a dry medium saute pan and toast over medium heat until brown, about 3 minutes. Add the raisins and the butter, and season with salt. Cook until the butter has melted and coats the pine nuts and raisins. Off the heat, stir in the parsley.

4. Transfer the roasted cauliflower to a serving platter. Pour the pine nut-raisin mixture over the top.

Adapted from:


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