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Lauren Holden: Holiday recipes

Author: Lauren Holden (BSc'17)

Posted on Nov 24, 2020

Category: UNB Fredericton , Insights

UNB young alumna Lauren Holden (BSc'17) is the face behind Lau's Healthy Life, a food and lifestyle blog featuring a healthy and delicious recipe index, as well as an e-cookbook. Originally from Prince Edward Island, Lauren later graduated from UNB's faculty of science and now lives in Toronto, where she is pursuing further studies. Passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, Lauren's blog was born from her Instagram page, where she first started sharing her favourite healthy recipes and gluten-free foods, and has since garnered a following of over 26,500. Here, Lauren shares four favourite recipes to help take the stress off your holiday baking and cooking this season!

White chocolate candy cane cookies 

"These white chocolate candy cane cookies are gluten, dairy & nut-free. They are perfectly soft & fudgy on the inside, yet slightly crispy on the outside. They have a lovely peppermint flavour, with melty white chocolate chips in every bite, all drizzled in more white chocolate & crushed candy cane pieces!" View recipe.


  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, softened 
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar (I recommend classic Lakanto for a lower sugar option)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (I recommend golden Lakanto for a lower sugar option)
  • 1/4 tsp pink salt
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour (I used this one. If you aren’t gluten-free, regular flour should work)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (I like these for a lower sugar option or these for a dairy-free/vegan option) 


Paleo veggie "stuffing"

"This paleo veggie 'stuffing' makes a great companion to any holiday dinner or as a stand alone dish by itself. The hardest part is peeling & dicing up the veg in this dish. Then throw it all together, bake & VOILA!" View recipe.

  • 6-7 parsnips peeled & diced
  • 4-5 carrots peeled & diced
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1 sweet potato diced
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil or ghee/butter
  • 1/2 tsp Pink salt
  • 2 apples diced
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup *Omit for Whole-30 option
  • 1 heaping cup cranberries fresh or frozen will work

One pot pumpkin curry pasta

"This easy one pot pumpkin curry pasta is full of nourishing ingredients such as onion, red or yellow peppers, ginger & more! It is also a great base to add whatever veggies you have on hand as well!  If you want to add some protein & still keep this recipe vegan, simply throw in your favourite vegan protein, such as prepared chickpeas, tofu, or lentils! It is such a versatile recipe & I encourage you to get creative with it!" View recipe.


  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or avocado or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 pepper, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced ( or 1 tsp ginger powder)
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 3 tsp curry powder
  • 3 heaping tbsp red curry paste
  • 3 heaping cups pasta of choice (I like this one for added fibre or protein or this one for a good gluten-free option)
  • 24 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree


Gluten-free ginger snaps

"Where are my ginger snap lovers at… I am telling you these gluten free ginger snaps are a serious game changer, not only for my gluten-free friends but for anyone! They are rich, decadent & soft & fudgy on the inside yet slightly crunchy on the outside, all while packed with those classic gingerbread flavours. They are sure to please anyone you share them with (if they last that long)!" View recipe.

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil or butter, softened 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (I recommend golden Lakanto for a lower sugar option)
  • 1/4 tsp pink salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp gluten-free flour (I used this one. If you aren’t gluten-free, regular flour should work)