Holiday Recipes for Christmas 2016



1 large butternut squash (about 3 lbs), peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

salt and black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
Spread butternut squash cubes out on baking sheet. Drizzle evenly with olive oil then sprinkle with ground cinnamon, salt, pepper and maple syrup. Toss all the ingredients together, using tongs or your hands, ensuring all the cubes are coated.
Place in the oven and roast for 35 – 40 minutes minutes (rotating pan if necessary half-way).until squash is tender. Remove from oven and serve immediately or allow to cool.


This delicious Caramel Apple Baked Brie recipe can be ready to go from start to finish in about 10 minutes, and it’s the perfect sweet and savory appetizer for a party!


1 wheel Happy Farms brie (from ALDI)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/3 cup caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought
3 apples, cored and sliced

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place brie on the baking sheet, and sprinkle the chopped walnuts evenly on top of the brie. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the brie is warmed through and starts to ooze out a bit. (To save time, I recommend slicing the apples while the brie is baking.)
Remove from heat, and drizzle the caramel sauce on top of the brie.
Serve immediately with apples for dipping.



2 pound side of salmon, boneless and skinless
4 tablespoons butter
8 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice, plus extra lemon wedges for serving
salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley*
1/4 cup thinly-sliced green onions

Heat oven to 375°F. Or heat a grill to medium heat.
Line a large baking dish with a large piece of aluminum foil.
In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat until melted. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. (You want the garlic to be partly- but not fully-cooked.) Remove from heat and stir in the white wine, lemon juice and parsley.
Using a pastry brush, brush a tablespoons of the butter mixture on the foil until it is evenly covered. Lay the salmon out on the foil. Then pour the remainder of the butter-garlic mixture on top of the salmon and brush it around until it evenly covers the salmon. Season the salmon evenly with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper.
Fold the sides of the aluminum foil up and over the top of the salmon until it is completely enclosed. (If your sheet of foil is not large enough, just place a second sheet of foil on top and fold the edges so that it forms a sealed packet.
To Cook In The Oven: Bake for 14-15 minutes, or until the salmon is almost completely cooked through. (Cooking times will vary on the thickness of your salmon, so I recommend checking it a few minutes early if you have a thinner cut of salmon.) Remove the salmon from the oven and carefully open and pull back the aluminum foil so that the top of the fish is completely exposed. (Be careful, lots of hot steam will be released!) Change the oven setting to broil, then return the fish to the oven and broil for 3-4 minutes, or until the top of the salmon and the garlic are slightly golden and the fish is cooked through. (Keep a close eye on the salmon while broiling, though, to be sure that the garlic does not burn.)
To Cook On The Grill: Carefully transfer the packet of salmon to the grill, and grill for 12-14 minutes, or until the salmon is almost completely cooked through. (Cooking times will vary on the thickness of your salmon, so I recommend checking it a few minutes early if you have a thinner cut of salmon.) Carefully open and pull back the aluminum foil so that the top of the fish is completely exposed. (Be careful, lots of hot steam will be released!) Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes, or until the top of the salmon and the garlic are slightly golden and the fish is cooked through.
Remove salmon from the oven or grill. Sprinkle the top of the salmon evenly with parsley and green onions, and serve immediately.



1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
8 ounces fresh bing cherries, pitted
8 ounces fresh blackberries
8 ounces fresh blueberries
8 ounces fresh raspberries
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey

Add the strawberries, cherries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and chopped mint together in a large bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and honey until combined.
Pour it on top of the berries. Then gently toss the fruit salad until everything is evenly coated with the lemon mixture.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
*All of these fruit measurements are flexible — just use however much of what you have!



2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups roughly-chopped broccoli florets (about 1 small head of broccoli)
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
4 cups chopped kale leaves
2 cups cooked brown rice or farro
2/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries
2/3 cup chopped toasted pecans
(optional: 1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
pinch of salt and black pepper and garlic powder, to taste

Heat oven to 425°F.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the diced sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and toss until combined
Spread the sweet potatoes out in an even layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and toss the sweet potatoes for even cooking.
Meanwhile, as the sweet potatoes are cooking, add the broccoli to that same large mixing bowl, along with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and toss to combine. Once the sweet potatoes have been tossed, gently push them to one side of the baking sheet, and spread the broccoli out on the second half in an even layer. Bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft and cooked through, and the broccoli is roasted. Remove from the oven, and transfer the sweet potatoes and broccoli to a large mixing bowl.
Add the kale*, brown rice, cranberries, pecans, and vinaigrette (see below), and toss to combine.
Serve warm, sprinkled with cheese if you’d like. Or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
Whisk all ingredients together until combined.



1/2 cup dark rum
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (plus extra for dusting)
1 pineapple, cored and cut into about 6-8 rings (choose desired thickness)
cooking spray
favorite vanilla ice cream

In a small bowl, mix together rum, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Then in a glass baking dish (or other container), lay out the pineapple rings and pour the rum mixture over them. Toss to coat, then let soak for at least 15 minutes, flipping the pineapple midway through.

When you are ready to cook the pineapple, strain out the extra rum sauce from the pan of pineapple, and transfer it to a small saucepan. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 6-8 minutes, or until reduced by half. Set aside.

While the sauce is cooking, heat a grill pan or saute pan over medium-high heat until hot. Lightly grease the pan with cooking spray. Add pineapple slices in an even layer (you may need to do this in multiple batches) and cook for 1-2 minutes per side until browned and grill marks appear. Transfer to a serving plates, and set aside. Repeat with remaining pineapple.

Top each pineapple ring with a scoop of ice cream and drizzle with rum sauce. (If desired, you can also lightly dust the pineapple with some extra cinnamon.) Serve immediately.



1/2 cup dry white wine (or chicken or vegetable stock)
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime or lemon juice
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound jumbo raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails on or off!)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for topping

In a small mixing bowl, add the white wine (or chicken or veggie stock), lime juice, cumin, paprika, salt, and black pepper, and whisk together until combined. Set aside.
In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and garlic, and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through and pink (and no longer gray). Transfer the shrimp and garlic to a separate plate, and set aside.
Return the sauté pan to the stove over medium-high heat. Add in the white wine sauce, and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. (If you want a thicker sauce, you can let it boil down for an extra 2-3 minutes more.) Carefully add in the shrimp, and stir until they are evenly coated with the sauce.
Remove from the heat and serve immediately, garnished with fresh cilantro.



1 (18.25 oz) package lemon cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
juice of half a lemon (about 1 Tbsp.)
zest of half a lemon (about 1 tsp.)
1/3 cup powdered sugar for decor (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, lemon juice and zest until well blended. Form dough into small balls (about 1 Tbsp.), and drop into a bowl of confectioners’ sugar. Roll them around until they’re lightly covered. Once sugared, place on a lightly-greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 6 to 9 minutes in the preheated oven. The bottoms will be light brown, and the insides chewy.

**To get a rounder, fluffier cookie, let the dough refrigerate at least 30 minutes. (You can also prepare the sugared balls of dough on the cookie sheet, and just refrigerate the sheet for about ten minutes for a similar effect.)



wooden or metal skewers
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosh salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
optional toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, thinly-sliced green onions, chopped pepitas, etc.
1 pound fresh tomatillos, rinsed and halved (with the papery husks and stems removed and discarded)
1 poblano pepper, cored and sliced in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2/3 cup raw pepitas (green pumpkin seeds), plus extras for garnish
1 small white onion, peeled and diced
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, lightly packed
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

Preheat the broiler on your oven. (Or see alternate instructions below, if you would like to cook the chicken on the grill or stovetop.)
If using wooden skewers, soak them in a large pan of water for at least 30 minutes before cooking. (Or skip that step if you’re using metal skewers.)
In a large mixing bowl, toss the chicken and olive oil until combined.
Thread the 5-6 pieces of chicken onto each skewer, then place the skewers on a large baking sheet. Season the chicken with a generous pinch of salt and black pepper, then flip the skewers over and season once more.
Broil on the second-to-top shelf of your oven for 8-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (no longer pink on the inside) and golden on top. Keep a close eye on the chicken so that it does not overcook! Remove and serve immediately with the pepitas sauce (see below), garnished with your favorite toppings if desired.
Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, or grease with cooking spray.
Place the tomatillo and poblano halves in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and toss until evenly coated. Place the tomatillo and poblano halves skin-side-up on the baking sheet. Broil until charred, about 8-10 minutes. (Keep a close eye on them while cooking so that they do not get too charred.)
Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the pepitas, and cook until they are fragrant and start popping, stirring occasionally, about 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
In same saute pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and jalapeno, and sauté for 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
Immediately transfer the onion mixture to a food processor or blender. Then add in the cooked tomatillos and poblano pepper, pepitas, cilantro, vegetable stock (or water), lime juice and cumin. Puree until smooth. Then season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 4 days.



1 medium banana, peeled, diced and frozen
1 cup diced carrots* (about 2 medium-sized carrots), peeled if you’d like
2/3 cup almond milk
1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons maple syrup (or your desired sweetener)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of ground nutmeg
optional toppings: extra grated carrots, toasted coconut, toasted walnuts

Add all ingredients to a blender and pulse for 30-60 seconds until smooth. If the smoothie is too thick, add an extra 1/4 cup of almond milk to thin it out.

Serve immediately, garnished with optional toppings if desired.

*If you don’t have a high-powered blender, you may have to blend this smoothie for a bit longer. Or you could also shave the carrots (instead of dicing them) beforehand to make blending easier.


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