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Welcome to my lifestyle blog. I document my adventures in DIY, interior design, entertaining, and fashion all while sharing little tidbits of my life along the way. Thanks so much for following along. It seriously means the world to me!

Healthy Holiday Recipes

Healthy Holiday Recipes

Healthy Holiday Recipes

So who wants to enjoy the holidays without the food hangover?!?!  I know I do :)  When it comes to eating healthily and continuing on a path to achieve personal goals, I know firsthand that sometimes it's easier to just keep going than to stop and start again ... That being said, here are some ideas for the party host or healthy guest.  Enjoy!

DRINK: Apple Cinnamon Rum

Healthy Holiday Recipes

The organic version of this rum sidesteps the pesticides found on most sugarcane (its primary ingredient). This winter nightcap recipe adds warming, spicy notes of cinnamon

Makes 1

1 1/2 ounces organic rum
3 ounces organic unfiltered apple juice, chilled
3/4 ounce Laird's Applejack
  dash of ground cinnamon
1 cinnamon stick

Fill a lowball cocktail glass with ice.  Pour in rum, apple juice, and applejack. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Stir. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. Recipe + photo from Martha Stewart

APPETIZER: Goat Cheese, Cranberry, and Walnut Canapes

Healthy Holiday Recipes

These delicious bites can be made up to a day ahead of time.

Makes 24 pieces
Serves 8

24 walnut halves (about 3/4 cup)
4 teaspoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Coarse salt and ground pepper
24 thin slices whole-wheat baguette, from 1/2 baguette
8 ounces fresh goat cheese
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, plus leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss nuts with 1 teaspoon oil and cinnamon; season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden, 4 to 6 minutes; set aside to cool.

Spread baguette slices on same baking sheet and brush with remaining 3 teaspoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Bake until lightly toasted, 10 to 15 minutes, rotating pan halfway through; set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together cheese and 2 tablespoons water until smooth; stir in cranberries and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Divide goat cheese among bread slices and top each with a walnut and thyme leaves.

Recipe + photo from Whole Living.

SALAD: Delicata Squash Salad with Kale and Cranberry Beans

Healthy Holiday Recipes

Delicata squash is tossed with kale, cranberry beans, and a tangy balsamic dressing. Compounds in kale prompt the liver to release enzymes that may fight cancer.

2 medium delicata squashes (about 2 pounds), halved lengthwise and seeded
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 bunch kale (5 ounces), large stems removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 can (15 ounces) cranberry or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squashes into 1/2-inch-thick semicircles. Toss with 1 teaspoon oil, and spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until just tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Mix together balsamic vinegar and honey. Brush some of the mixture onto squash slices; reserve remaining mixture. Bake for 5 minutes more.

Meanwhile, place kale in a large bowl. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic, and cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add red-wine vinegar and remaining vinegar-honey mixture to saucepan, and bring to a boil. Immediately pour hot dressing over kale, and sprinkle with salt. Season with pepper. Add squash and beans. Cover with plastic, and let stand for 5 minutes. Toss until kale wilts slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe + photo from Whole Living.

STUFFING: Dried Fruit and Toasted Nut Stuffing

Healthy Holiday Recipes

Serves 6 to 8

3/4 lb. sourdough bread cut into 1-inch cubes (8 cups)
1/4 cup cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 cup dried figs, sliced crosswise
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 cup prepared chestnuts, chopped
1/4 cup assorted fresh herbs such as sage, rosemary, and thyme, chopped
2 cups water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Arrange bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and let stand overnight, uncovered, at room temperature. (Alternatively, bake bread in a 300 degrees oven until dry but not browned, about 15 minutes.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, carrot, and celery until tender and translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer mixture to a large baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until top is golden brown and stuffing is firm, about 15 minutes more.

Serve with Mushroom Gravy (optional).

DRESSING: Mushroom Gravy

Makes 4 1/2 cups

4 cups water
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped shallots
8 ounces assorted mushrooms such as white button, shiitake, cremini, velvet pioppino, and brown and white beech, trimmed and sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring water to a boil. Transfer dried mushrooms to a medium bowl. Cover with water and let stand 30 minutes, until mushrooms are softened. Drain liquid (and reserve) through a sieve, and slice mushrooms. Set aside.

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add fresh mushrooms and cook until soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Deglaze pan with wine and reduce liquid by half, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, slowly whisk cornstarch into 1 cup of mushroom liquid until smooth; set aside. Add remaining 3 cups mushroom liquid and chopped rehydrated mushrooms to gravy. Bring to a boil. Stir in cornstarch mixture and simmer until mixture thickens, about 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipes + photo from Whole Living.

SIDE VEGGIE: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grapes with Walnuts

Healthy Holiday Recipes

Serves 8

24 ounces brussels sprouts (about 8 cups), halved or quartered if large
24 ounces grapes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh thyme
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Heat oven to 450 degrees. On two rimmed baking sheets, toss brussels sprouts and grapes with oil and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, until caramelized and tender, about 20 minutes.

Drizzle each tray with 1 teaspoon vinegar and scrape up any caramelized bits with a wooden spoon. Toss in walnuts.

Recipe + photo from Whole Living.

DESSERT: Dark Chocolate Bark with Pistachios and Sea Salt

Healthy Holiday Recipes

You can mix up a batch in about five minutes before chilling in the fridge. Try different combinations of toppings: nuts, dried fruit, unsweetened coconut, orange zest, or candied ginger.

Serves 6 to 8

Vegetable cooking spray
8 ounces dark chocolate (70 percent cacao), melted
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, such as fleur de sel or Maldon

Lightly coat an 8-inch pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper, leaving a small overhang. Pour in chocolate and smooth with a spatula into an even layer.

Sprinkle with pistachios and sea salt. Chill in fridge until completely set, about 30 minutes. Peel off parchment, and break into pieces.

Recipe + photo from Whole Living.

Happy Healthy Thanksgiving!!!

Oatmeal Balls!

Oatmeal Balls!

Halloween Birthday

Halloween Birthday