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Published on November 03, 2020

stuffin muffins

A Trimmed Holiday Dinner

For many of us the holidays will look a little different this year. Whether you are used to cooking for crowds and need to cut back, or if you find yourself needing to pull together the entire meal for the first time – we have you covered. Below are simple, small-scale recipes that cover the classics.

Herb-Rich Turkey Tenderloin

Makes 2 servings


  • 1 (12 ounce) turkey breast tenderloin
  • 1 cup dry white wine (can substitute apple juice or chicken broth)
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 6 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt (divided)
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup chicken broth


  1. Pat tenderloin dry and flatten to ¾-inch thickness.
  2. In a small bowl combine the wine, onions, parsley, 4 teaspoons oil, garlic, rosemary and thyme to make marinade.
  3. Pour a half-cup of the marinade into a large resealable plastic bag; add turkey. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for at least 4 hours, turning occasionally. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade to make the sauce.
  4. Drain turkey, discarding marinade. Sprinkle turkey with pepper and ½ teaspoon salt. In a large nonstick skillet, cook turkey in remaining 2 teaspoons oil for 5-6 minutes on each side or until turkey reaches 165 degrees. Remove from skillet and keep warm.
  5. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch, broth, reserved marinade and remaining salt until smooth; pour into skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
  6. Slice turkey and serve with sauce.

Stuffin' Muffins

Makes 9 servings


  • 1 box (6 ounce) cornbread flavored stuffing mix
  • 1½ cups water
  • ¼ cup butter melted
  • 1 apple, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, chopped


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, toss stuffing mix, water and butter. Add apple, celery and parsley; toss until combined.
  3. Divide mixture evenly among muffin cups, pressing mixture in cups with spoon.
  4. Bake about 20 minutes or until stuffing is firm and tops are golden brown.

Mini Pumpkin Pie

Makes 2 servings


  • ½ cup crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup milk (can use cream, regular milk or evaporated milk)
  • Whipped cream (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine graham cracker crumbs and 1 teaspoon sugar in a small bowl. Pour in melted butter and stir. Press crust mixture into the bottom of a greased 10-ounce ramekin, pressing firmly with the back of a spoon. (Note: If you don't have a ramekin, a bake-safe glass storage container that's 4-5 inch diameter can be used.)
  3. Bake crust in the oven for 8 minutes. Set aside to cool
  4. Beat the egg in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in 3 tablespoons sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Add in the pumpkin puree and milk. Mix until well combined. Pour into ramekin/baking dish.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Top with whipped cream and/or additional cinnamon as desired.

Steam up some frozen green beans, and mash a few potatoes for a classic holiday dinner. Even a family of two should have the leftovers polished off well before the New Year!

If you’d like to learn more about healthy diet choices, contact the Avera Heart Hospital Dietitian Team.

Lauren Cornay, RD, LN, is a registered dietitian at Avera Heart Hospital

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