Holiday dishes that you can feel good about! Here are some delicious, healthier options to share with your friends and family this season, from our fabulous instructor Lauren.
10-12 big leaves of kale (250-300 g)
3/4 cup slivered (optional toasted) almonds
3 Tbsp red wine balsamic or a cherry vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey
1 tsp dijon mustard
Salt & pepper
1. Heat a pan and dry roast the almonds for 1-2 minutes. Add the balsamic and as soon as it is gone add the honey and stir for 1 minute. Transfer almonds to a baking shed and let them cool. Afterwards chop them coarsely.
2. Wash and dry the kale. Remove the stems and use a food processor or mini chopper to chop the kale into a very fine texture. You can use a sharp knife.
3. Prepare the pomegranate and cut the apple into thin slices and mix all of it it with the kale.
4. Make the dressing by stirring everything thoroughly together and season to taste (The balsamics can vary a bit in sweetness and flavor so make sure you adjust the amount you use according to your own balsamic).
5. Stir everything together and serve.
5 ounces of salad greens (such as spring mix or sweet baby lettuce mix)
2 navel oranges (about 11-12 ounces each, or 4 smaller navel oranges, about 6 ounces each), peeled and cut into sections
4 ounces shelled, roasted and salted pistachios
4 ounces pomegranate arils (a 4.3-ounce container is fine, drained)
2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
5 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice (from about half a large navel orange)
4 teaspoons honey
3½ teaspoons champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
½ teaspoon smooth dijon mustard
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
1/16 teaspoon black pepper
1. Place greens in a large serving bowl (or divide evenly among individual salad plates).
2. Arrange oranges, pistachios, and pomegranate arils over top of greens. Sprinkle with goat cheese.
3. For dressing, whisk together orange juice, honey, champagne vinegar, canola oil, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper until the salt has dissolved and the dressing is emulsified.
Dress salad just before serving, or pass the dressing at the table.
Here are a few festive side dishes. The smells and colors of the food will liven up the table and your taste buds. Each of these dishes are so nutrient dense that you won't have to eat much to feel satiated!
Honey Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta
For this first dish, I have used butternut squash and also subbed it out for sweet potatoes. You can buy vegetables already cut in the frozen section at the grocery store. It can help save time peeling/cutting!
1 large butternut squash, peeled + chopped
hearty drizzle of olive oil [approx 1-2 TBSP]
salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste
2 cups fresh cranberries
2-3 TBSP honey [or extra, to taste]
1/4 cup finely crumbled feta
ground cinnamon, to taste [optional but delicious!]
fresh or dried parsley, to garnish [optional]
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Lightly drizzle or spritz a baking sheet with olive oil.
3. Add cubed squash to the sheet along with another drizzle of olive oil.
4. Sprinkle with a light layer of salt, pepper, and garlic powder, based on taste preference.
5. Roast at 400 F for 25 minutes on the center rack.
6. At the 25 minute mark, pull out the oven rack, and add your fresh cranberries to the roasting pan.
7. Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cranberries have started to soften and burst a bit, resembling really juicy craisins vs fresh firm cranberries.
8. Remove from oven and add a sprinkle of cinnamon [approx 1/8-1/4 tsp depending on preference] along with feta and honey. I listed the honey measurements I used, but depending on whether you used fresh cranberries or dried, sweeten to taste.
Garnish with parsley for a burst of color and dig in
Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower
The red/white/green colors of this next side dish almost look too pretty to eat! I sometimes sub out smoked paprika for sweet paprika. Any way you go about it, the flavors are perfect!
one medium to large head of cauliflower, outer leaves removed and cut into florets
six medium size eschallots, peeled and left whole
cherry tomatoes (about 250 grams/8.8 oz), washed and cut into halves
one can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon nigella seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped finely
optional: dried raisins or sour cherries, if you like a dash of sweetness these are wonderful added to this dish.
1. Preheat oven to 170˚C (330˚F). In a large mixing bowl place all the vegetables and bay leaves.
2. Mix the water, oil, lemon juice, turmeric, nigella seeds, sweet paprika, cumin, salt and pepper together and pour over the vegetables. Mix to combine ensuring they are evenly coated in the liquid.
3. Place in oven and roast for at least one hour or until cauliflower florets are golden. If you like your veggies really moist remove after this time, if you want the flavors more developed and a more caramelized dish then roast around one and a quarter hours.
4. Scatter over chopped parsley, serve.
Cinnamon Baked Pears
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp honey (or maple syrup)
3 tbsp walnuts
Optional: 4 tsp greek yogurt
1. Preheat your oven to (350°F).
2. Cut the pears in half.
3. Using a tablespoon scoop out the seeds of each half
4. Fill with walnuts and drizzle about half a tsp of honey over each half.
5. Finish them off with a few dashes of cinnamon and bake for 25 minutes. Serve with a dollop of greek yogurt.
Spiced Hot Fruit Bake
2 cup sliced apples
2 cups green pear slices
1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup pineapple chunks (save the 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. Preheat oven to 300F.
2. In a large bowl, toss your fruit and add in 1-2 tsp lemon juice. Set aside.
3. In another glass bowl, combine your melted butter, sugar, spices, and coconut oil.
4. Add in honey and a little bit of your leftover pineapple juice as well.
5. Add this sugar/butter mixture to your fruit and coat evenly.
6. Pour fruit evenly in a 9x12 baking dish.
7. Pour the leftover sugar/butter/oil mixture on top.
8. Bake for 1 hour
9. Add your nuts last. Mix fruit again and serve.
You can also add your nuts in the last 30 minutes of the baking time if you prefer them hot and baked as well.