Copy of Blog Feature April 2022 - 2

Holiday Recipes!

Hi, I’m Dr. Marie Starling

AT The Healing Center Denver, we help people like you reach their full potential. Being your Denver, CO, Functional Medicine specialists we specialize in adjunctive care for internal disorders, autoimmune conditions, Celiac, thyroid symptoms, diabetes, adrenal fatigue and other complex health issues.

Written by Lisa Biederman, CNTP

The holidays come with lots of joy, family, friends, and of course, FOOD! We would like to help you enjoy all the festivities that come with the holidays without compromising your health. Even those with food sensitivities or those following a Paleo or an autoimmune protocol will be able to indulge in these healthy and delicious holiday recipes! Below you’ll find some of our favorites…

When it comes to making special dishes, I often refer to one of my favorite chefs, Ina Garten. She never disappoints!  I modified Ina’s Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken to the tastes of my family but the original recipe can be found at: After you have devoured the chicken, be sure to use the chicken carcass to make a healing bone broth!

Ina’s Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken

  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 (4-pound)organic chicken, backbone removed and butterflied
  • ½ cup dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Pour the olive oil into a small glass measuring cup, and stir in the rosemary, sea salt, and pepper.

Distribute the lemon slices in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet and distribute the onion and garlic on top. Place the chicken, skin side down, on top of the onion and brush with about half the oil and herb mixture. Turn the chicken skin side up, pat it dry with paper towels (very important to ensure crispy skin!), and brush it all over with the rest of the oil and herb mixture.

Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Pour the wine into the pan (not on the chicken!) and roast for another 15 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 160 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the oven, cover the skillet tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut the chicken into quarters or eighths, and serve hot with the pan juices, cooked lemon, and onion.

These vegetables are the perfect accompaniment to the roasted chicken.

Sauteed Green Beans and Broccolini

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 1 cup broccolini, washed and chopped
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp of ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp raw unfiltered honey
  • 3 TBSP coconut aminos
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes to taste

Heat olive oil and sesame oil in a pan. Add garlic and ginger and sautee for a couple minutes. Remove and add green beans and broccolini. When they start to brown slightly, add garlic and ginger, honey and coconut aminos. Sautee for a few additional minutes. Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.

Dr. Starling’s Famous Pot Roast

Dr. Starling’s Famous Pot Roast is a must over the holidays!

  • 3-4 lb grass-fed chuck roast
  • Choose any/all of the following vegetables:
  • Red-skinned potatoes, celery, carrots, onions, parsnips
  • 1 tsp Herbs de Provence
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Avocado oil or bacon grease
  • Beef broth or bone broth

Preheat oven to 275.

Generously salt and pepper all sides of the roast and let sit.  Chop all vegetables.  Heat a cast-iron dutch oven with 2 Tbsp oil or grease.  Sauté onions for 10-15 minutes. Add carrots and sauté for an additional 10 minutes.  Remove onions and carrots and set aside.

Add 1 Tbsp oil or grease.  Sear each side of roast until browned.  Add in all vegetables, Herbs de Provence, and salt and pepper to taste.  Add beef or bone broth to cover 1/3 of the roast.  Cover.  Cook at 275 degrees for an hour per pound of meat.

This zucchini bread was made for our office and it was a big hit!

Coconut Flour Zucchini Bread

  • 1 cup zucchini, shredded
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 3 Tbsp. collagen protein (optional)
  • ¾ baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil; set aside.  Mix the eggs, honey, oil, and banana together in a large bowl.  Mix in the dry ingredients and shredded zucchini, then add the apple cider vinegar, and stir until the batter is smooth.  Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (Larger pans will take less time.)  Enjoy!

Paleo Pumpkin Soup

This Paleo Pumpkin Soup made with pumpkin and sweet potato and will warm you up on the cold days.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 can of pumpkin puree
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Heat large pot, add olive oil or coconut oil, and cook onion until soft. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add sweet potatoes and cook for several mins. Add pumpkin puree. Add stock, season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 25 min until sweet potatoes are tender. Stir in coconut milk and blend to puree consistency.

My family went crazy over these Salted Caramel Maple Pecan Pie Bars from The Foodie Teen (Alessandra Peters)!

For the Shortbread Crust

  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

For the Salted Caramel Pecan Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tsp arrowroot starch
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

To make the shortbread dough, place the pecans in a food processor and process until very fine, 60-90 seconds.  The result should look like almond flour.  Add in the remaining ingredients and pulse to combine.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes, until firm.  Roll the dough out between two pieces of plastic wrap until it is 1/4 inch thick.  Trim until it measures 5×5 inches, the transfer it to a lined 5×5 inch baking dish.  Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.  While it cools, make the filling.

To make the filling, spread the pecans on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 8 minutes, until fragrant.  Remove from the oven, then place the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and whisk constantly for 3-4 minutes, until the sauce is thick, smooth, and golden.  Fold in the pecan chunks, then pour the mixture over the shortbread crust.  Bake for another 15 minutes, then let cool for at least half an hour before cutting up into bars and enjoying!

Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

This dairy-free Eggnog Chia Pudding from Stupid Easy Paleo will really get you in the holiday spirit!  The original recipe by Steph Gaudreau can be found here:

Dairy-free Eggnog Chia Pudding

  • 4 large dates or 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 14 oz can full-fat coconut milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 6 tbsp chia seeds

If using dates, place the dates in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water.  Let sit for 15-20 min to soften.  Drain the water.  Add the dates, coconut milk, egg yolks, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the blender.  Blend on high speed until the dates are broken down (about 1 minute).  Pour mixture into a small heavy-bottomed pot.  If using honey, add it in.  Heat on low, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens…this should only take a few minutes.  Be careful!  You don’t want it to curdle so do not let the mixture boil.  Turn off the heat and add the chia seeds.  Stir very well.  Pour the eggnog pudding mixture into a storage container (I like Mason jars or other glass-lock containers) or serving glasses.  Allow to sit for at least an hour, preferably 2 or more, before eating.  Sprinkle with extra cinnamon or nutmeg or some coconut whipped cream before serving.  Serves 4-6.

Wishing you happiness and good health over the holidays,

The Healing Center Team