Archive for Holiday Recipes
White chocolate!!! Need I say more?! The possibilities are endless and oh so sweet! Enjoy this spring inspired recipe from our favorite chefs at Living On The Veg.
During the holidays it is a little more difficult when you have children that eat different. It is hard for family to understand that your child dsoes not eat store bought items. It seems to my family that my children are always lacking at these times because they can not eat the wrapped junk food their cousins and friends are eating. So as my girls got older, and before they could notice the looks of sympathy from adults, I devised a plan. I encourage them to search for hidden treats around the foliage. It is fun for these extremely social little beings. After they collect the themed, shiny sugar laden tidbits we give them to their friends and family. Well now aren’t they the popular ones?! They do it with zeal because they are giving, and they are met with smiles. Then I have cute, delicious, and special treats waiting when they are done. Interestingly I notice they do not gorge on these foods, I believe since they are made with real ingredients. You can pour these into any theme mold to have White Chocolate anything!
~Chef Fuji from Living On The Veg
- 1 cup cacao butter
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
- 1/2 cup coconut crystals (more or less depending on your desired sweetness level)
- 1/4 cup lucuma powder
- 2 Tbsp vanilla powder
- 1Tbsp mesquite powder
- 1 tsp pink salt or sea salt
- Melt the cacao butter in a small dish either in the dehydrator (for a raw version) or by placing the dish over a large pot with hot water.
- Add all ingredients including cacao butter to a high powered blender and blend until smooth, scraping down sides if necessary.
- Pour the chocolate into molds of your choice. (I used silicone bunny molds – silicone makes it very easy to remove the chocolate)
- Place in fridge until firm, about 20 minutes.
- Pop each chocolate from the mold and enjoy. They can then be wrapped in cute and shiny cellophane or foil to be enjoyed for the holiday.
Makes about 8 candies but this will vary depending on which mold is used.
Leftover chocolates can be stored in the fridge until ready to serve.
A while back I was thinking of a special treat to make for Sarah’s birthday and remembered how much she loves caramel. I made this recipe for her but Cliff ended up liking it even more than Sarah. It’s now become an all around family favorite.
- 1 1/2 cups coconut crystals
- 1 cup coconut nectar
- 2 cans coconut milk (not light)
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla powder or scrape 1 vanilla bean
- course sea salt
- 24-36 hours ahead of time place the cans of coconut milk in the back of the refrigerator. After refrigerating carefully remove and open the cans. Spoon out the top layer of thick cream to equal 1 cup (save the leftover for smoothies or curries).
- Prepare a 9 inch square pan (not glass) by lining with parchment paper.
- Combine the milk with the remaining ingredients (see tip below) except the salt in a pot with tall sides (the caramel will bubble up as it cooks).
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat, reduce heat to keep from boiling over but high enough to keep a rolling boil.
- Using a candy thermometer cook until you reach 250 degrees usually about 30 minutes.
- Pour into the prepared pan and let cool until set. Some oil will pool on the top that you can lightly dab away with a paper towel.
- Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Remove to a flat surface and cut into bite size pieces. Wrap in wax paper.
Approximately 60 pieces. The yield will depend on how big (or small) you cut your pieces.
A helpful trick for measuring the sticky coconut nectar is to measure the coconut cream first, pour it into the pan and then measure the nectar in the same measuring cup used for the milk. The nectar will slide right out into the pan without sticking to the side of the cup.
Store candy at room temperature. Caramels will keep for about 2-3 weeks stored in a dark, cool place (like a pantry or cupboard).
Even if you don’t know the first thing about football there is a good chance you will be at a Super Bowl party on the big day. Whether you’re hosting the party or attending one here are some healthy and delicious recipes that are definite crowd pleasers! Just click on each picture for the recipe.
This recipe is a ‘sweet’ little dish to have in your recipe box especially during the holidays. It’s simple to make and a little different from the usual potatoes you find on the holiday table.
- 2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced *see notes
- 2-3 apples, peeled, cored, halved and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup unsweetened orange juice
- 1 tbsp maple sugar or syrup
- 1 tbsp neutral flavor oil plus a little to grease the baking dish
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans or hazelnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 9 inch pie pan or an 8×8 or similar size shallow baking dish with a little of the oil.
- In a small bowl mix together the orange juice, maple sugar, oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Set aside.
- Layer the prepared baking dish with half the potatoes, lightly overlapping the edges. Layer half the apple slices over the potatoes.
- Spoon half of the juice mixture evenly over the apples.
- Layer on the other half of the potatoes and then the apples.
- Spoon the remaining juice mixture over the top.
- Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 20-25 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.
Makes approximately 6 servings.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
*Try to find long thin sweet potatoes. If you can’t then cut the potato in half before thinly slicing to make layering easier.
During the holidays, in my family, pie was always the only dessert choice on the menu. Pumpkin, apple and usually cherry were the choices we got to choose from. I can’t even remember a Thanksgiving or Christmas without pie. My husband is a big fan of apple pie. It’s usually his one food request for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. I am most definitely not a pastry chef but I can make one mean apple pie! This recipe is fairly simple and is the perfect use for all the yummy varieties of seasonal apples that are available this time of year.
- 1 batch Perfect Pie Crust
- 2-3 cups (or enough to fill your pie crust) sliced apples of your choice (Granny Smith, Golden Delicious or Honeycrisp are great choices)
- 3-4 tbsp coconut nectar, raw honey or brown rice syrup
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1-2 tbsp cinnamon (amount will depend on how much cinnamon you want in your pie)
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla powder or a dash of vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Prepare your crust by following the directions as stated for the Perfect Pie Crust, including pre-baking the bottom crust.
- In a large bowl mix together the apples, coconut nectar, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Transfer the mixture to the pre-baked bottom pie crust.
- Roll out the remaining dough to the same size and thickness as the bottom crust. Place on top of the apple filling and trim off the excess dough leaving about 1/2 inch overhang. Crimp the edges of the pie with your fingers or a fork. Score the top of the pie crust with 4 or 5 cuts (I use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes before I place the top piece over the filling).
- Transfer the pie to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 30-45 minutes (time will depend on type of apple used) or until the apples are soft and tender and the top is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for 1 hour before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with Homemade Whipped Cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.
Makes one 9 inch apple pie.
Leftover pie can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day. Leftovers can also be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
When I was younger I used to love pixy stick candy. I remember going to sporting events and sitting in the bleachers and downing stick after stick. I cringe now when I think of all that sugar I consumed. After all, a traditional Pixy Stick is nothing but sugar that is artificially flavored to taste like fruit. Thanks to Pinterest, I found a simple and tasty way to recreate this fun treat. I added my own twist to make both a traditional sweet treat and a sour variety as well. My kids have never had Pixy Sticks before and they absolutely loved these. The flavors are endless and so is the fun!
- freeze dried fruit of your choice *see notes
- paper straws
- 1 lemon
- To make a sour Pixy Stick you’ll need to plan this first step in advance. Slice the lemon into thin slices and place in your food dehydrator. Set to 115 degrees and let ‘cook’ for 24 hours or until throughly dehydrated.
- Place a few slices of the dehydrated lemon in a powerful blender and process until you have a fine powder. Set aside. Repeat this process with the freeze dried fruit of your choice.
- Carefully bend one end of each paper straw to create a seal.
- For a sweet treat use a funnel to transfer the freeze dried fruit powder into the straw. For a sour treat mix together a bit of the lemon powder with the freeze dried fruit powder. Transfer to a paper straw with the funnel.
Nutritional info will vary depending on what fruit is used.
To make my Pixy Sticks I used an organic product from the Just Tomatoes Ect! product line. You can find their full range of organic products here. I want to mention that while you can find their products in many stores, it’s much harder to find their organic line. It’s been only recently that their organic products have been added to the shelves.
It’s been many, many years since I’ve had a Twix candy bar but from what I can remember, these homemade bars are ever better than the original! The best part is the gooey, caramel layer. It’s highly addictive and you may find yourself literally licking the bowl. If for some reason caramel isn’t your thing (is that even possible?) you can substitute the almond butter for peanut butter to create a peanut butter Twix. Either way you’ll have a delicious Halloween treat for all your ghosts and goblins at home!
For the cookie crust:
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice puffs cereal (I used Barbara’s Brand Brown Rice Crisps)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup coconut nectar
For the caramel layer:
- 1 heaping cup pitted Medjool dates (10 large dates)
- 4 tbsp almond butter
- pinch of sea salt
For the chocolate coating:
- 3/4 cup Homemade Fudge Sauce or melted chocolate chips of your choice
- Prepare an 8×8 glass baking dish by lining it with parchment paper. You can also rub with a bit of coconut oil if you don’t have parchment paper handy.
- Place the cashews and almonds in a food processor and process until you have a sand-like consistency.
- Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
- Place the brown rice puffs in a large plastic bag and using a rolling pin, gently roll back and forth about 4 or 5 times.
- Add the crushed puffs to the cashews along with the vanilla powder and stir well.
- Drizzle the coconut nectar over the cashew mixture and stir well until everything is evenly coated.
- Transfer the mixture into your prepared baking dish and press down evenly to form a compact layer. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- While the cookie crust is cooling, add the dates, almond butter and a pinch of salt to your food processor and pulse until a ball forms.
- Remove your baking dish from the fridge and spread an even layer of caramel paste on top.
- Drizzle the top with Homemade Fudge Sauce or melted chocolate and use the back of a spoon to form an even layer.
- Place the dish back in the fridge for 30 minutes and cut into bite sized pieces before serving.
Makes 16 Twix bars.
Serving size 1 piece.
Nutritional info not available at this time.
Leftover Twix bars can be individually wrapped and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Years ago I used to work with a woman who made the best apple dumplings. They were unlike any other dumplings I have ever had. Most have an outer shell with a pie crust consistency but hers had a soft sweet bread like crust wrapped around a whole cored apple that was filled with brown sugar and raisins. There is something about this time of year that I always think of those dumplings so I’ve made kind of an inside out version of them with seasonal pears and chai spices.
For the buns
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
- 1 1/2 cups water, divided
- 4 cups whole wheat white flour
- 1/2 cup white chia seeds (regular chia seeds work just as well but will alter the color of the bread)
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tbsp neutral flavor oil
- 2 tbsp organic soy milk powder
- 1 tbsp vinegar
For the fruit filling
- 2 ripe pears (Bosc or Anjou work well), cored and finely diced
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup maple sugar (you can use raw coconut crystals if you can’t find maple sugar)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- pinch ground cloves
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- Heat 1 cup of water to between 100-110 degrees. Pour into a large bowl and add the maple syrup. Sprinkle the yeast over the top. Set aside to “bloom” for at least 5 minutes.
- Grind the chia seeds in a blender or coffee grinder. Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, potato starch, baking powder, and oil. Stir well.
- To the bowl of yeast add 3 cups of the flour, ground chia seeds, salt, milk powder, vinegar and starch mixture. Mix well.
- Knead 15 minutes or about 10 minutes in a stand mixture with a dough hook adding the remaining flour as needed. The dough will still be somewhat sticky.
- Remove to a large lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise until double.
- Divide the dough into 16 portions and roll into balls. Place on a lightly greased pan(s) allowing room for the rolls to expand as they rise. Cover and let rise until double in size.
- Prepare the filling by mixing together all of the filling ingredients. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Once the rolls have risen press down the center of each roll and flatten leaving about a 1/2 inch edge. Fill each roll evenly with the pear mixture.
- Bake 15-18 minutes. Serve hot.
Makes 16 fruit filled buns.
Serving size 1 bun.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 237, Cal. from Fat: , Total Fat: 6g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 38g, Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 13g, Protein: 7g, Sodium: 230mg, Chol: 0mg
Store leftovers in an airtight container for 1-2 days.
Carrots are practically a kitchen staple for me. I use them in so many recipes from soup to stir fry. For me a salad wouldn’t be complete without them. The thing is that they usually play a supporting role and I think it’s time to show them some love and make them the star. This dish is a perfect side dish for almost any meal and just in time for your Easter dinner too.
- 2 pounds carrots (baby carrots or whole carrots-peeled, left whole or cut into sticks or coins or whatever shape you desire)
- 1/2 medium onion, cut into half moons
- 1 medium green pepper, de-stemed and seeded and cut into strips
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup no salt added tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp apple juice concentrate, thawed
- 2-3 tbsp raw honey (start with 2 tbsp and add more if you want a sweeter flavor)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the carrots in 1 tbsp of the oil and lay in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until nicely roasted and tender.
- While the carrots are roasting heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions and green pepper and sauté until tender.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pan and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook 4-5 minutes.
- To serve you can either place the carrots in a serving bowl and pour the sauce over them or serve the carrots with sauce on the side.
Makes about 4 cups.
Serving size 1/2 cup.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 91, Cal. from Fat: 32, Total Fat: 3.5g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 15g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 10g, Protein: 1g, Sodium: 286mg, Chol: 0mg
Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
This dessert is on my top 10 list for a number of reasons. It’s easy to prepare, it’s fresh and light tasting and the filling ingredients can be changed to whatever is in season. A couple of my favorite combinations besides this kiwi and blackberry combo are peach and blueberry or rhubarb and strawberry. This tart would be a great addition to an Easter brunch or just anytime you want an easy and tasty dessert.
- 5 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup raw walnuts, finely ground
- 1 cup raw coconut crystals plus 2 tbsp, divided
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ginger
- 2/3 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
- 8-10 kiwi’s, peeled and diced
- 1 cup blackberries (or blueberries)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix the ground flax seed with the water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Combine the flour, walnuts, 1 cup of the coconut crystals, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a large bowl.
- Add the Earth Balance and the flax seed mixture and mix with a fork or pastry cutter or even your hands until crumbly.
- Press half of the mixture into a 10 inch tart pan or if you don’t have a tart pan you could use an 8 x 8 baking pan.
- Gently combine the kiwi, blackberries and remaining coconut sugar and pour them into the baking dish.
- Spoon the remaining crumble mixture over the top of the fruit.
- Bake 40 minutes or until the fruit is tender and the crumble topping is browned. Let sit for 10 minutes or so before removing from the tart pan or cutting.
Makes one 10 inch tart.
Serving size 1/10.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 346, Cal. from Fat: 152, Total Fat: 17g, Sat. Fat: 3g, Carbs: 45g, Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 19g, Protein: 5g, Sodium: 118mg, Chol: 0mg
Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.