Living Healthy: How to Eat Clean This Holiday Season

December 12, 2017

       Do you want to indulge in all of the delicious holiday food this year, but not so thrilled about packing on the pounds? Here at the Clark Group - while we are passionate about all things real estate & home - we are also closet foodies (although it's not really a secret to the people who know us or follow our Instagram stories). You name it, we've tried it in La Jolla. Living in sunny Southern California, we are also very passionate about leading healthy lives (and getting to that next level!!!). So we decided to start a series of "Living Healthy" posts that encapsulate our love of food & health to have you to be the best version of yourself (and to not only get your home - but YOU to the next level!!). To kick off "Living Healthy",  below we've assembled some of our favorite recipes.



       So whether you need some good food to bring to your next holiday party, baking for your open house or you just wanna chow on some deliciousness - we have you covered! 



                      Breakfast Yums

Spiced Fruit Bake by Cotter Crunch



   gluten free


Why We Love This Recipe


        We've talked before about making your own "potpourri" to make your home smell like holiday-goodness. With this spiced fruit bake, you get all those Christmas smells with the added bonus of eating a delicious breakfast snack! Treat you and your family to the most delicious wake-up call with holiday spices wafting through the air. Try out this easy recipe below.



  • 2 cup sliced apples

  • 2 cups green pear slices

  • 1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries

  • 1 cup pineapple chunks (save the juice)

  • lemon juice

  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar

  • 1 tbsp agave or honey

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/2 stick melted butter or 4 tbsp melted earth balance vegan butter

  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil (this is optional but does give it more flavor and coating. Add 1 tbsp butter instead if you don't have coconut oil).

  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans




       Preheat your oven to 325F. In a large bowl, add in all of the fruit an


d 1 - 2 T of lemon juice - then let it sit while you grab another bowl to combine your melted vegan butter (or regular butter if you prefer!), sugar, spices and coconut oil. 


       Add in the honey and your leftover pineapple juice. Mix in the sugar & butter mixture to your chopped fruit and make sure everything it coated. 


       Spread the fruit evenly out on a deep baking sheet and pour any leftover liquid on top of the fruit. Bake for 30 minutes and then add your chopped nuts. Place your fruit mixture back in the oven for another 30 minutes. Serve & enjoy!




Gingerbread Oatmeal by the The Seasoned Mom





Why We Love This Recipe


         At the Clark Group, we are all about eating healthy (as best as we can) and living well. This festive twist on oatmeal is the perfect way to eat a heart healthy breakfast while leaving your taste buds more than satisfied. Try out this slow cooker oatmeal below!



  • 2 cups uncooked steel cut oats (don’t use quick-cooking or old-fashioned rolled oats because they will get too mushy)

  • ½ teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ginger

  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

  • ½ teaspoon cloves

  • ½ teaspoon allspice

  • 8 cups water

  • ¼ cup molasses (can substitute with maple syrup, but it won’t have that true “gingerbread” taste), plus more for serving

  • Optional toppings: Greek yogurt, chopped toasted pecans or walnuts, dried cranberries, raisins, red & green sprinkles to add a festive touch!




       Spray the inside of a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.


       Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and stir well. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 8 hours, stirring occasionally.




Gingerbread Breakfast Quinoa Bake by FoodFaithFitness



  gluten free


Why We Love This Recipe


       Healthy and delicious. Even better you can make this recipe the night before and dig right in the moment you wake up! There's nothing better than that amiright?? 



  • 3 cups Medium over-ripe ONE Bananas mashed (just under 1 1/2 or 370g)

  • 1/4 Cup Molasses

  • 1/4 Cup Pure maple syrup

  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon

  • 2 tsps Raw vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp Ground ginger

  • 1 tsp Ground cloves

  • 1/2 tsp Ground allspice

  • 1/2 tsp Salt

  • 1 Cup Quinoa uncooked

  • 2 1/2 Cups Unsweetened vanilla almond milk

  • 1/4 Cup Slivered almonds

  • 1/4 Cup chopped pecans (optional)




       In the bottom of a 2 1/2-3 quart casserole dish, stir together the mashed banana, molasses, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract, ginger, cloves, allspice and salt until well mixed. Add in the quinoa and stir until the quinoa is evenly distributed in the banana mixture.


       Whisk in the almond milk until well combined. Cover and refrigerate overnight. *


       In the morning, heat your oven to 350 degrees and whisk the quinoa mixture to make sure it hasn't settled to the bottom.


       Cover the pan with tinfoil and bake until the liquid is absorbed, and the top of the quinoa is set, about 1 hour -to 1 hour and 15 mins (edit: bake time may vary depending on your oven - some may need to add an extra 15-20 minutes to bake all the way through).


       Turn your oven to high broil, uncover the pan, sprinkle with sliced almonds (and pecans if you'd like), and lightly press them into the quinoa. Broil until the almonds just turn golden brown, about 2-4 minutes. Watch closely, as they burn quickly!


       Let cool for 10 minutes (it's HOT!) and enjoy.


*You can also bake this right away the night before, so you can wake up and get straight to munching away!




Lunch & Dinner Yums

Balsalmic Soy Roasted Garlic Mushrooms by closetcooking



  gluten free



Why We Love This Recipe


       A fast and easy addition to your holiday meal, these drool-worthy mushrooms include garlic and balsamic vinegar (seriously something we add to almost anything that needs seasoning). Your taste buds will thank us later!




  • 2 pounds mushrooms

  • 1 tablespoon oil

  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari)

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme, chopped

  • salt and pepper to taste




       Toss the mushrooms in the oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, arrange in a single layer on a baking pan and roast in a preheated 400F/200C oven until the mushrooms are tender, about 20 minutes, mixing half way through.





Roasted Brussels Sprouts by The Clark Group



  gluten free


Why We Love This Recipe


       What is there not to love about roasted brussels?! From their crispy outsides to their tender insides, they are our personal group favorite and easy enough for anyone to make in less than 30 minutes. 


       *Notice we did not put specific amounts of any ingredients as you can go light or heavy with seasoning to your personal preference. You cannot go wrong with too little or too much.*



  • 1 bag of brussels sprouts  

  • aged balsamic vinegar 

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • salt

  • pepper

  • truffle oil (optional)

  • bacon bits (optional) 

  • balsamic glaze




        If you have a convection oven (our preferred way to roast brussels) turn that bad boy up to 400F and once you have finished the steps below stick the brussels in and bake for 25-30 minutes (depending on how brown you like them to get). If you're using a regular oven, preheat to 375F.


       Wash and cut the brussels in halves. Peel off the first layer or two of leaves from each brussels sprout and set aside. 


       Grab a deep pan that will fit the size of your convection oven or regular oven and put your halved brussels sprouts inside, along with the leaves (these will add more crunch to your dish) and coat them with balsamic and olive oil (and a touch of truffle oil if you want to add in some extra flavor!). Once you have coated them to your liking, sprinkle salt & pepper (again enough for your liking). (You can also add bacon bits at this point as well)


For the regular oven: place inside and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the outsides have reached your preferred level of crunch. 


For the convection oven: they cook faster so keep a watchful eye on your brussels. They're usually done in 25 minutes. 


       Once you have taken them out of the oven, sprinkle balsamic glaze over the roasted brussels for some added flavor and decor. Enjoy! 




Rosemary & Garlic Roast Beef by OliviasCuisine

  gluten free


Why We Love This Recipe

       One word. Six letters. -- G A R L I C -- What's there not to love about that?! Do we need say more?



  • 3lbs boneless Rib Eye roast

  • ¼ cup chopped Fresh rosemary, or other favorite herbs

  • ¼ cup chopped garlic (about 20 cloves)

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 4 cups of a variety of Mushrooms, sliced to about the same size

  • 1 cup of stock



  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Tie the roast and season generously with salt and pepper.

  3. Mix together rosemary and garlic. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and stir to combine. Reserve.

  4. In a cast iron skillet, over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and, once smoking hot, sear all sides of the meat.

  5. Remove skillet from heat. Brush the herb-garlic mixture all over the roast.

  6. Bring the roast, in the cast iron skillet, to the preheated oven and cook for about 1 to 1.5 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 135F degrees (medium-rare). Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving (final temperature should be 145F for medium rare.)

  7. While the roast is resting, sauté the mushrooms over medium heat with 2 tablespoons butter until cooked through and no liquid is left in the pan, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  8. Remove roast from the cast iron skillet and bring the skillet to the stovetop. Add stock to the pan and deglaze the pan, scraping all the bits from the bottom. Allow to simmer until thick.

  9. Add the mushrooms to the sauce, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and stir until the sauce is silky. Then, place the roast back in the cast iron with the sauce and spoon some of the sauce over the roast.

  10. Garnish serving platter with fresh rosemary if desired.




Dessert Yums

No-Bake Chocolate Gingerbread Truffles by the




Why We Love This Recipe 


       A tasty dessert that is also healthy?! Sign us up. These no-bake truffles are easy for even the youngest of bakers and give you all of the flavors that encapsulate the holiday season. 




  • 3/4 cup dates pitted

  • 1/2 cup coconut cream

  • 1/3 cup creamy cashew butter

  • 3 Tbsp blackstrap molasses

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/4 tsp allspice

  • 3 Tbsp organic coconut flour

  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 1.5 cups dark chocolate morsels I use Enjoy Life brand

  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil




  1. To make the truffles I recommend using a food processor, although a high speed blender will also work.

  2. Add the dates, coconut cream and cashew butter to the food processor and process on high until smooth, about 1 minute.

  3. Add the molasses, spices and vanilla and process again to combine. Finally, stir in the coconut flour until fully combined. The coconut flour needs time to absorb all the moisture so the mixture firms up - chill the mixture in the freezer for about 10 minutes to make it easier to work with.

  4. While the filling chills, melt the chocolate morsels and coconut oil together in a small saucepan over very low heat while stirring. Once just melted, set aside.

  5. Using a cookie scoop or small spoon, scoop the chilled mixture (I used a heaping teaspoon per truffle) into small balls and place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  6. After forming balls (they will be sticky - this ensures a nice gooey center!) you can put them in the freezer once again before dipping in the melted chocolate if they're too sticky to work with.

  7. Once they've firmed up a bit, dip the truffles in the melted chocolate/coconut oil mixture (you can re-melt the chocolate if needed) and place each one back on the parchment lined baking sheet. It will get messy, but in a good way! Perfection isn't necessary - anyway you dip is just fine 

  8. Once all the truffles have been dipped, chill the truffles once again until the chocolate hardens into a shell. This doesn't take long - I chilled mine for 10-15 minutes.

  9. Once the chocolate forms a nice shell, it should stay solid at room temperature but I recommend storing in the refrigerator to prevent any melting.

  10. You can sprinkle with extra cinnamon or even organic powdered sugar for a nice "holiday" touch. Enjoy!





Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons by Fit Foodie Fun



Why We Love This Recipe 


       For our coconut lovers - this recipe is right up your alley. What's even better is you only need six ingredients for the whole thing! Nothing tastes better than budget friendly food. 





  • 4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 2 egg whites

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips


    crushed candy canes (optional: use these to decorate after you've dipped the macaroons in chocolate!) 



  1. First, preheat oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together coconut, maple syrup, egg whites, coconut oil, and vanilla.

  3. Use a 1/4 cup to scoop the coconut mixture into your palm and compress together. Place on baking sheet and shape into a dome with the palm of your hand. Repeat.

  4. Bake at 350ºF for about 20 minutes or until the macaroons begin to turn golden brown on the sides.

  5. Let cool for about 30 minutes.

  6. Coat the bottom of each macaroon with chocolate by melting chocolate chips in the microwave and stirring until smooth.

  7. Dip the bottom of each macaroon into the melted chocolate (gently), set on a piece of parchment paper. Repeat.

  8. When chocolate has cooled and hardened, enjoy!



No-Bake Magic Bars by Evolving Table


   gluten free


   refined sugar-fee


Why We Love This Recipe 

       Guilt free deliciousness. There is also no way to over or under cook this little piece of heaven, so not to worry if you're hesitant on making your own dessert. 




Peanut Butter Crust:
  • 1 ½ c almond flour

  • ½ c peanut butter smooth or crunchy

  • 2 T coconut oil melted

  • 1/3 c maple syrup

  • ¾ c coconut shredded, unsweetened

Caramel Glaze:
  • 1 T coconut oil melted

  • ¾ c dates pits removed, coarsely chopped

  • ¼ c water

  • 1 T . maple syrup

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 3 T cacao nibs

  • 3 T coconut shredded, unsweetened




For the Peanut Butter Crust:
  1. In the bowl of a food processor combine all of the peanut butter crust ingredients. Process for 1-2 minutes, or until mixture begins to hold together and form a ball.

  2. Press peanut butter crust into a parchment paper-lined 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Refrigerate while preparing the caramel glaze.

For the Caramel Glaze:
  1. Place oil, dates, water, syrup and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Process for 2 minutes, stopping every 20-30 seconds to scrape the sides. You want the dates to be completely smooth and the glaze to have a caramel consistency.

  2. (Optional) Place glaze into a ziptop bag and cut one of the corners. Squeeze glaze out of the bag over the peanut butter crust layer in a criss-cross pattern.

  3. If you don’t want to do the above, you can simply spread the glaze over the peanut butter bars.

  4. Sprinkle the remaining 2-3 T. cacao nibs and coconut over the caramel glaze.

  5. Refrigerate bars for at least 1 hour before serving and keep refrigerated between servings. Enjoy!




Try out these recipes and let us know how much you love them below!


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