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Healthy Holiday Recipes from Chef Rob

Enjoy the holidays with these healthy holiday recipe ideas from Chef Rob!

View a printable version of these recipes.

Slimmed Down Green Bean Casserole

Prep Time: 10 m | Total Time: 35 m

  • 3 to 4 medium shallots, in their skins
  • Kosher salt, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, stemmed, and halved crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups mushroom, vegetable, or chicken broth
  • 3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Put the shallots (in their skins) on a small baking dish, roast until soft, about 30 minutes.
  3. When cool enough to handle skin and coarsely chop the shallots. Set aside.
  4. Bring a medium-large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add kosher salt, to taste. Add the green beans, and cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender and bright green, about 3 minutes.
  5. Drain the beans in a colander and rinse with cold water. Transfer the beans to a large bowl.
  6. In the same saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, season with 1 teaspoon salt, cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the beans.
  7. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until golden, about 2 minutes.
  8. Slowly whisk in the broth, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil.
  9. Add the shallots, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  10. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and stir to combine evenly.
  11. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with vegetable cooking spray. Transfer the vegetable mixture to the pan. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of thyme to bread crumbs and scatter over the vegetables.
  12. Bake uncovered until the sauce bubbles and the crumbs brown, about 20 minutes.

French Cut Green Beans with Almonds and Fried Onions

Prep Time: 2 m | Total Time: 6 m

green-beans-almonds INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound fresh green beans or frozen French-cut green beans
  • Salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds (2-ounce package)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 can fried onions


  1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a high-sided sauté pan. (If using fresh beans, cut them lengthwise while you wait for the water to boil.)
  2. Add salt and green beans to boiling water and cook until just tender.
  3. Drain beans and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the butter.
  4. When butter is melted, add the almonds and cook until golden brown.
  5. Return the green beans to the pan, along with the juice of 1/2 a lemon, add salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. When warmed through, top with fried onions.

Burgundy Beef Stew


Prep Time: 35 m | Total Time: 3 h


  •  4 slices bacon, chopped
  • (1) 4- to 5-pound chuck roast, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 5 carrots, 1 finely chopped, 4 cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bottle Burgundy wine
  • 1 pound button mushrooms
  • One 14-ounce package frozen pearl onions
  • 3 to 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for serving


  1. Put a large, heavy-bottomed, ovenproof pot over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pot and reserve for serving.
  2. Pat the beef dry and season it with salt and pepper. Turn up the heat under the pot to medium high and brown the beef on all sides in batches, 4 to 5 minutes per batch. Remove the meat from the pot and set aside. If there is a lot of oil left, pour off all but 2 tablespoons.
  3. Add the onion, celery and finely chopped carrot to the pot and cook until the vegetables begin to wilt, 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Stir in the tomato paste, flour and garlic and cook for another minute or two.
  5. Pour in the wine, whisking to combine, and bring to a boil. Add the mushrooms, pearl onions and 1-inch carrot pieces. Return the beef to the pot.
  6. Pour in enough broth to just cover the meat and bring to a simmer. Cover and put into the pre-heated oven set to 300 degrees.
  7. Cook until the beef is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Foolproof Standing Rib Roast


Prep Time: 20 m | Total Time: 5 h | Serves 6-8


  • (1) 5-pound standing rib roast
  • 1 tablespoon House Seasoning, recipe follows

House Seasoning:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder


  1. Allow roast to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degree F.
  3. Rub roast with House Seasoning; place roast on a rack in the pan with the rib side down and the fatty side up. Roast for 1 hour.
  4. Turn off oven. Leave roast in oven but do not open oven door for 3 hours.
  5. About 30 to 40 minutes before serving time, turn oven to 375 degrees F and reheat the roast.
  6. **Important: Do not remove roast or re-open the oven door from time roast is put in until ready to serve.
  7. Let rest 20 minutes before carving.

Pomegranate Arugula Salad


Prep Time: 15 m | Total Time: 20 m | Serves 4-6


  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups lightly packed arugula, leafy hydroponic – if available
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds only
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 shallot, sliced


To Make Vinaigrette:

  1. Combine molasses, lemon juice, honey and vinegar in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while you whisk to emulsify.
  3. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Toss salad ingredients together and dress with the vinaigrette.

Oven-Baked Salmon


Prep Time: 30m | Total Time: 1 h | Serves 4-6


  • 12 ounce salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces
  • Coarse-grained salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Toasted Almond Parsley Salsa, for serving
  • Baked squash, for serving, optional

Toasted Almond Parsley Salad:

  • 1 shallot
  • 1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Coarse grain salt
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds
  • Extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Season salmon with salt and pepper.
  3. Place salmon, skin side down, on a non-stick baking sheet or in a non-stick pan with an oven-proof handle.
  4. Bake until salmon is cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes. Serve with the Toasted Almond Parsley Salad and squash, if desired.

Toasted Almond Parsley Salad:

  1. Mince the shallot and add to a small bowl.
  2. Pour the vinegar over the shallots and add a pinch of salt.
  3. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  4. Roughly chop the capers, parsley and almonds and add to the shallots.
  5. Add the olive oil, tasting as you go.
  6. Mix again and adjust the seasonings.

About Chef Rob Newmeyer

“Chef Rob” (as he is affectionately called) is the Executive Chef of WakeMed Health & Hospitals. He has been an Executive Chef for over 15 years and has an extensive culinary background in both the non-profit and private sector.

Chef Rob has cooked in many cities, including Kennebunkport, Maine; Key West, Florida and San Francisco, California. In his spare time he enjoys motorcycle rides with his wife and daughter and visiting the small, unique towns of North Carolina.

Learn more about dining options at our Raleigh Campus.