Finding holiday season recipes that are health friendly and full of flavor can be quite a challenge. Here are a few options from our staff.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP (WITH BACON!)
- 1 butternut squash—cut in half, seeds scooped out and reserved
- 3 carrots
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 apples— cut in half, core removed
- 1 onion—cut in half, peeled, ends removed
- 3-4 cups chicken stock
- 1 ¼ Tbs cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2-4 pieces bacon
- 1 sweet potato
- Olive oil
- Pre heat oven to 425°.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the squash, carrots, onion, apples, sweet potato and garlic on the pan.
- Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, then roast in the oven.
- After 20 minutes, remove the garlic and apples. After 40 minutes, remove the onion, carrots, and sweet potato. After 60 minutes remove the butternut squash.
- Once the sweet potato and butternut squash are cool enough to handle, remove the skin of each and discard.
- Add roasted vegetables and chicken stock to the blender and blend until very smooth. (Can be done in batches if necessary.) Transfer soup to a large pot. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary and warm on the stove top.
Optional Toppings: Cinnamon Bacon Bits & Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the seeds in an even layer. Spray with oil and sprinkle with cinnamon and salt.
- Lay bacon in a single layer and sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Roast in the 425° oven. After 6-8 minutes, remove squash seeds. After 8-12 minutes, remove bacon and crumble.
TURKEY & SWEET POTATO SOUP
If you are lucky enough to have leftover turkey, you won’t regret trying this slow cooker turkey soup with kale and sweet potatoes. The soup is loaded with nutrition and flavor! Serves 6-8
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 1/2 cup celery (chopped)
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1 tsp thyme
- 10 cups turkey or chicken stock
- 2-3 tsp of turkey/chicken soup base (optional)
- 2 sweet potatoes (peeled & chopped)
- 2-3 cups cooked turkey (chopped)
- 3 cups kale
- 2-3 Tbs Balsamic vinegar
- Ground pepper to taste
- Chop onion and celery and add to the slow cooker.
- Add the poultry seasoning, thyme, turkey/chicken stock, and ground pepper. Let this begin to cook while cutting up the sweet potatoes.
- Chop sweet potatoes into small cubes and add to slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8-9.
- Use about 2 cups of leftover turkey. A little more or a little less won’t hurt.
- Cut away the ribs of the kale and chop the leaves into small pieces.
- Add turkey and kale to slow cooker and turn to high if you have been cooking on low, and cook for an additional 1-2 hours.
- Stir in balsamic vinegar and serve hot.
RED QUINOA WITH PISTACHIOS
Packed with Melatonin, a hormone that has long been regarded as the hormone that helps regulate sleep, this dish is a simple, filling and tasty meal that may lead to a better night’s sleep. Serves 4.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot
- 1 dash salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 cup red quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups organic chicken broth
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- 3 tbsp parsley
- 1 tbsp fresh mint
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add quinoa and cook, stirring frequently, until quinoa starts to toast and smell nutty, about 5 minutes.
- Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer gently until quinoa is tender, 25-30 minutes (15 if using white quinoa).
- Remove pan from heat, fluff with a fork, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Fold pistachios, parsley, and mint into quinoa. Season with Salt and pepper and add your favorite veggies!