Happy Holidays, as this week brings in Christmas and winds down Hanukkah, we are all surrounded by friends and family and are sharing meal after meal together.  What a wonderful tradition and below you will find some healthier recipes to share during the season of plenty.

Holiday Recipes 2014
Old School Clay Pot Sage & Thyme Chicken

 DO NOT PRE HEAT OVEN FOR CLAY POT COOKING.
YIELD: serves 6
ACTIVE TIME: 20-25 minutes
COOK TIME: 90 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 110-115 minutes

  •  2-3 lb. whole chicken, giblets removed, rinsed and dried
  • 5-7 multi colored potatoes, cubed skin on
  • 2-3 sweet potatoes, cubed skin removed
  • 5-6 multi colored carrots, peeled and cut in large pieces
  • ½ large sweet onion, cubed
  • 1 lemon, cut in ¼’s
  • 2-3 Garlic whole cloves peeled
  • 6-7 sprigs of fresh Thyme
  • 4-6 sprigs of fresh Sage
  • 11/2 teaspoon clarified butter
  • Sea Salt and Pepper

Prep:

Soak Clay Pot for 10 minutes, top and bottom

Place all veggies in bottom of clay pot.

Place 2 garlic cloves in veggies.

Spread ¼ onion throughout the veggies.

Squeeze juice of ½ lemon on veggies.

Salt and Pepper to taste

Lay sprigs of Thyme and Sage on top of veggies, reserved 1-2 sprigs of each.

Place chicken on top of veggies.

Stuff chicken with: the other 2 quarters of the lemon, the ¼ of onion, 1 garlic clove, and reserved sprigs of sage and thyme, 1-2 sprigs of each, salt and pepper.

Warm clarified butter SLIGHLY, 5-10 seconds on microwave.

Baste chicken with clarified butter, salt and pepper.

Place lid on Clay Pot and Place the pot in a COLD oven.

Set temperature to 425 for 1 hour.

**** BE CAREFUL WHEN REMOVING LID!!!! STEAM WILL ESCAPE!!

Remove lid and bake for additional 30 minutes or until bird is golden.

Let rest for 15-20 minutes and serve.

 

 Sriracha and Maple Syrup Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash

YIELD: serves 6
ACTIVE TIME: 10-15 minutes
COOK TIME: 30-40 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 40-55 minutes

  •  One medium Butternut Squash or Bag of fresh cut squash. Peeled and cubed
  • One pound or one bag of fresh Brussels sprouts cut in ½ or ¼’s.
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon clarified butter
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

In a 9×13 baking dish, place cubed butternut squash and Brussels sprouts in dish.

Spread syrup, sriracha, clarified butter, salt and pepper on top of veggies. Toss to coat.

Place in preheated oven at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden.

 

OUICK Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

 YIELD: serves 6
ACTIVE TIME: 15-20 minutes
COOK TIME: 30-40 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 45-60 minutes

  •  2 lb. fresh butternut squash
  • 1 teaspoon clarified butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1-2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric
  • ½ fresh leek in chucks
  • salt and pepper taste
  • 32-48 oz of veggie stock

In a baking dish place fresh squash, toss with clarified butter, syrup, garlic powder, turmeric, leeks, salt and pepper.

Place in pre-heated oven at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden.

When roasting is complete, carefully place the butternut squash in a Vitamix or Blender with Veggie Stock, use as much stock to prepare soup to consistency you desire. Baby food consistency is a good start.

Blend completely and serve.  Or make extra and freeze.

 

Butternut Squash and Kale Quinoa Stuffing

This is a good one, makes a lot! Good on top of a salad.

YIELD: serves 6
ACTIVE TIME: 5 -15 minutes
COOK TIME: 30 – 35 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 35 – 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa (I like a mixture of red and white quinoa for color)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon organic cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 medium leeks, washed and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 3 ounces curly kale, chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons fresh sage or thyme, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Directions:

Prepare the quinoa according to package instructions, substituting chicken or vegetable broth for the liquid called for in the instructions and adding the bay leaf to the pot with the liquid prior to cooking. Discard the bay leaf after cooking.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and adjust rack to middle position.

Toss squash with coconut oil, whole cane sugar, and salt. Spread the pieces evenly in a baking dish and cover with foil. Roast for 15 minutes, remove foil and then roast for an additional 20 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium to large cast iron skillet or sauté pan add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the celery and sauté for 2 – 3 minutes, until slightly tender.

Add the leeks and sauté an additional 2 – 3 minutes, until the leeks and celery are tender and fragrant.
Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the chopped kale and sauté over low heat just until the kale has wilted.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, vegetables from the sauté pan, cranberries, fresh parsley and your choice of thyme or sage. Stir until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Just before serving, top with 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts, if desired.

Notes:

If assembling in advance, heat just until hot prior to serving – make sure to use an oven safe dish and cover the stuffing with foil to preserve moisture.

Substitution or addition ideas include sweet potatoes instead of butternut squash, swiss chard or spinach instead of kale, yellow onion instead of leeks, and dried cherries, apricot, or diced apples (dried or fresh) instead of cranberries, wild rice blend instead of quinoa. The options are limitless!

 

Glazed Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake

MAKES: 16 servings
ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
COOK TIME: 60-75 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 3 1/2 hours (including cooling time)

INGREDIENTS

CAKE

  • 1 cup all-purpose, flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, (not Dutch-process)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 1 15-ounce can unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg white, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

GLAZE & GARNISH

1/2 cup packed confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon nonfat buttermilk

2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips, or toasted chopped nuts (see Tip)

 

PREPARATION

To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray.

Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl.

Blend 1 cup buttermilk, pumpkin puree and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed. Beat in whole egg and egg white. Stir in oil, corn syrup and vanilla. Gradually add the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.

Bake the cake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely on the rack, about 2 hours.

To glaze garnish cake: Combine confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon buttermilk in a small bowl, stirring until completely smooth. Place the cake on a serving plate and drizzle the glaze over the top; garnish with chocolate chips (or chopped nuts) while the glaze is still moist.

TIPS & NOTES

            Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4 up to 1 day ahead. Glaze and garnish (Step 5) shortly before serving. Equipment: 12-cup Bundt pan

            Tips: To warm an egg to room temperature, either set it out on the counter for 15 minutes or submerge it (in the shell) in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for 5 minutes.

            To toast chopped nuts & seeds: Cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 234 calories; 5 g fat ( 1 g sat , 3 g mono ); 13 mg cholesterol; 46 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 3 g fiber; 238 mg sodium; 159 mg potassium.
Carbohydrate Servings: 3
Exchanges: 3 other carbohydrate, 1 fat