Your Favorite Holiday Recipes— with a Healthy Twist

by Danea Mather | photography by August Nyson

This month, we asked YOU, Women’s LifeStyle Magazine readers, for your favorite family holiday recipes, and how you would like to see them remixed for your modern palate. Here are four delicious, lifestyle friendly, seasonal dishes to try out and share at your next gathering.

Cranberry Thyme Sorbet

Makes 3 cups of sorbet

The request: A twist on Cranberry sauce, with less sugar and real fruit.
18 ounce bag of frozen
cranberries, thawed
3 oranges, juice of
1 teaspoons orange zest
1 cup 100% cranberry juice
1/4 cup sugar, white or coconut
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Blend together cranberries, orange juice, orange zest and cranberry juice until completely pureed. Transfer to a large saucepan and bring to a light simmer. Whisk in sugar and thyme and continue until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Strain mixture into a freezer safe container and freeze for a minimum of four hours. Before scooping to serve, allow sorbet to soften at room temperature slightly.

Serve with an orange peel garnish, and maybe even a splash of gin over top for an extra festive twist!

Green Bean Casserole

Makes: (1) 9X13” casserole

The request: Classic green bean casserole, made vegan and gluten-free.
1/4 cup dairy-free butter plus more for melting
8-10 ounces mushrooms, finely minced
1 large yellow onion
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 cups mushroom broth
1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
3 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 pound green beans, washed, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
gluten-free breadcrumbs

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch green beans for 3-5 minutes, drain and rinse with cool water.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly spray a 9×13-inch glass baking pan. Add blanched green beans to pan in an even layer.

Cut yellow onion in half. Set one half aside and finely mince remaining onion.

In a medium saucepan, heat a small amount of oil or dairy free butter. Slice remaining yellow onion very thinly and add to pan. Sauté, stirring often, until onion is wilted and browned. This will take about 15 minutes. Remove from pan and toss in gluten-free breadcrumbs. Set aside to use as a topping.

In a large saucepan, melt 1/4 cup dairy free butter. Add in mushrooms, minced onion, and garlic. Sauté until very soft and onions are transparent.

Stir in salt, pepper and mushroom broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until liquid reduces by half.  Stir occasionally.

Slowly whisk in almond milk, then ground flaxseed. Allow to simmer, occasionally whisking, until sauce is very thick and holds to whisk. Pour sauce over green beans in baking pan. Gently press down with a spatula over green beans. Spread sautéed onions over casserole, then sprinkle remaining gluten-free bread crumbs over entire dish in a generous layer.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until bread crumbs are browned and edges of casserole are bubbling. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Cheesy Scalloped Rutabaga

Makes: (1) 8×10-inch casserole

The request: My favorite dish to make is scalloped potatoes, but now I am on an Auto Immune Protocol diet. Please make anti-inflammatory version, with no potatoes and no dairy.

1 large rutabaga
1 large yellow onion
1 yellow skinned squash
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup cashews, soaked minimum 2 hours
1 tablespoon salt
10 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/8 cup dairy free butter, melted
1 medium white onion, diced
garlic powder
black pepper
chives, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Rinse and peel rutabaga, then cut rutabaga into quarters, lengthwise. Thinly slice rutabaga quarters until you have all triangular slices, about 1/8-inch thick. Blanch sliced rutabaga for 5 minutes in boiling water. Drain, rinse and set aside.

Bring another pot of water to a boil. Peel and roughly cut down yellow onion.
Cut yellow squash, skin on, into large pieces. Add yellow onion, yellow squash and garlic cloves to boiling water.
Boil until very soft, then drain and transfer vegetables to a high-speed blender.

Add soaked cashews, salt and nutritional yeast to blender and blend on high until a smooth sauce is formed. Set aside.

Generously spray a baking dish, then layer half of the rutabaga slices in an overlapping pattern across the bottom of dish. Slowly drizzle half of the melted dairy free butter over rutabaga slices.

Add half of the minced white onion to pan, then sprinkle a generous layer of garlic powder, then black pepper, over onion.

Carefully pour a thick layer of cheese sauce over onions in baking dish and use a spatula to gently spread evenly.

Repeat these layers: rutabaga slices, melted butter, white onions, garlic powder, black pepper, and remaining cheese sauce. Spread top layer of sauce evenly over entire dish.

Place baking dish in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. Dish is ready when edges are browned and bubbling and the top center of cheese sauce is golden in color. Cut and serve in slices, topped with fresh black pepper and chives.

Three Cheese White Chicken Lasagna

Makes (1) 9×13-inch pan of lasagna

The request: This is my family’s favorite holiday dish. Make it dairy
free, please!

Pine Nut Parmesan

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Tofu Ricotta

116 oz package extra firm tofu
1 cup cashews, soaked minimum 2 hours
3/4 cup almond milk
1 lemon, juice of,
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon dried basil

Dairy-free White Cheddar Sauce

3 tablespoon dairy free butter
3 tablespoon flour
4 cups almond milk
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 teaspoon nutritional yeast

Lasagna
3 layers of lasagna noodles, cooked, rinsed and set aside
210 ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 pound cooked, shredded chicken breast
fresh parsley, chopped

Pine Nut Parmesan

Add all ingredients to a food processor and carefully pulse until pine nuts are pulverized into small granules. Stop pulsing at this point. Do not pulse further, as pine nuts will become smooth. Set aside for garnish.

Tofu Ricotta:

Add all ingredients to a food processor. Pulse, then blend until completely combined and slightly gritty. Stop blending before mixture becomes smooth. Set aside.

Dairy Free White Cheddar Sauce:

In a large saucepan, melt dairy-free butter. Whisk in flour, 1 tablespoon at a time to combine with butter. This will form the base of a roux.

Continue to whisk and very slowly, begin to pour a slow stream of almond milk into pan, 1/4 cup at a time. Once almond milk is combined into roux, add another 1/4 cup until all 4 cups are added. Don’t add almond milk too fast, as this will prevent sauce from thickening.

Once sauce base is created, whisk in salt, garlic powder and nutritional yeast. Taste and adjust spices if need be.

Allow sauce to simmer lightly, whisking occasionally, until it is very thick and bubbly. If sauce becomes too thick, whisk in a few additional tablespoons of almond milk. Set aside to build lasagna.

Lasagna:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan. Add a thin layer of white cheddar sauce to the bottom of baking dish. Use a spatula to spread over base of dish. In this order, layer:

1 layer of cooked lasagna noodles
1/2 tofu ricotta, gently spread with spatula
1 bag of frozen spinach, loosely sprinkled
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, over spinach
1/2 pound shredded chicken, loosely sprinkled
1/3 white cheddar sauce, gently spread with spatula

Repeat these layers a second time, then top with final layer of lasagna noodles and remaining white cheddar sauce. Spread sauce evenly atop dish. Place lasagna in oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, until edges of pan are golden brown and center of white cheddar sauce is slightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into slices and serve garnished with Pine Nut Parmesan and fresh parsley.

 

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