My apologies to all of you my beautiful loyal Cuisinicity fans, for not writing a brand new blog for this holiday season but I have been dealing with family issues and just got back from France to tend to my elderly Mom, so I hope you will forgive me and just read on my updated post with some of my latest additions this year for you!
So this is it: the heart of the holiday season!
…and you are thinking, assuming, that you have to abandon all hope of bringing a healthy dish to that next holiday party from fear that it will be the one remaining on the buffet table, untouched…shunned by all (including yourself!). All right, all right, a bit dramatic –I know! Still, you know what I mean, right?
It doesn’t have to be so! There are many perfectly healthy and nutritious dishes that you may have loved all year long that you can just “dress up” a little to honor that festive table, and, all of a sudden, the array of choices is almost endless!
This week, I am devoting my special to that “dressing up” and simply going through my repertoire of dishes and identifying for you those that I deem holiday worthy! I will include links to them at the bottom of this post.
I am sharing several new ones I created this past year for you as well.
My Almond Orange Chocolate Torte and my Fresh Fruit Clafoutis are old favorites of mine that I created over 15 years ago and that have passed the test of time, gracing those holiday buffet tables with great acclaim!
My Almond Orange Chocolate Torte is one dessert you will be able to “indulge” in without any guilt! I love to dress it up with lots of fresh fruit and sprigs of fresh mint. It makes for a spectacular presentation, wouldn’t you say?
My Fresh Fruit Clafoutis is a hearty French peasant custard that I filled with fresh mango and blueberries instead of the traditional cherries, bypassing the cream, butter and loads of sugar of course. It is so festive on a buffet table, especially at Christmas time when people are just amazed to find such a luscious fresh fruit dessert!
And of course, my splendid Fresh Fruit Trifle that I published early for you at Thanksgiving because you demanded it! The wine cake layers blend perfectly with the vanilla yogurt, the rhum and the fresh fruit so that it tastes decadently delicious (the rhum-embued cake reminds me of a French “baba au rhum” and the vanilla yogurt becomes so thick you’d think it’s heavy cream!). It is absolutely spectacular as a centerpiece on a dessert buffet table. It’s always a hit–never fails–so I proclaimed this one the Holiday Special WINNER, again this year!
Another contender, and this one is BRAND NEW, is my Chocolate Lava Cake! It’s decadent tasting, and by the way, it is vegan and gluten free…I mean WOW! Talk about a crowd pleaser and a party talk of the evening!!! You can make it ahead of time, unbaked and then throw it in the oven when you need it! Take a look at how beautiful and enticing these are on a buffet table! I took this picture on my phone last week for a little holiday party I had at our home:
I also had a platter of chocolate-dipped biscotti–take a look in the background of the photo! Here is the recipe: Biscotti Dipped in Dark chocolate.
Not only is it as decadent tasting as it is beautiful, it is truly outstanding nutritionally. You won’t believe how healthy it is! Every one of your guests will rave about it and I mean every one can enjoy it (it happens to be vegan, gluten-free and nut-free!)
Another lovely dessert is my genoise, or sponge cake with chocolate ganache–vegan at that!
Here is an appetizer that I absolutely LOVE and that your guests will too! It is a rustic savory Galette with Caramelized Onion, Oven-Dried Tomatoes & Goat Cheese…..OH MY!!! It’s wonderful as an appetizer because you can slice it and eat it with your fingers–no need for silverware here!
A variety on that theme is my Fresh Tomato, Olive and basil Galette–also delicious and so elegant!
I also have the dessert version of a galette made with a variety of fresh fruit: strawberries, or cranberry apples, or plum, and even a vegan version of these luscious sweet galettes you can adapt to whatever fresh fruit you have access to at your local market in your part of the world: Here is one made with fresh peaches but you can also make it with apples, pears, strawberries.
If you prefer to use canned peaches (in pear juice), and are OK with a non-vegan cake, here is a delicious Peach Flat Cake that is a wonderful crowd pleaser too!
And of course there is that good ol’ standby crudités basket filled with fresh raw veggies and my delicious, amazingly rich-tasting (it’s fat free and has loads of organic fresh baby spinach!) Spinach Dip. I present it inside a hulled-out fresh cabbage. It is so simple and just so inviting, bursting with color!
Another favorite is my Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip….wow!! I love the combination of fresh spinach and artichoke and this creamy dip is absolutely marvelous! Not only that, I have made it as healthy as can be–no mayo, or cream, or cream cheese, or sour cream or any of those ingredients I have seen in most recipes for this dip.
Here are some old time healthy favorites that I deem worthy of your holiday buffet table:
My Turkey Bean Pot-au-feu is SUPERB on a rustic holiday table by a fire. In fact, I did just that at a holiday party I hosted last year and it was a hit! Here it is, displayed in a beautiful copper pan, with my Simply Quinoa as a side dish and a beautiful platter of oven roasted root vegetables (you can inspire yourself here with any of my simply veggie recipes).
Other wonderful healthy dishes that I recommend for this “dress up” week special are:
How special to this wonderful Mediterranean whole wheat couscous salad filled with artichoke hearts, bell peppers, tomatoes, chickpeas, fresh basil, and topped with roasted sunflower seeds!
….and I think I will let you go right to the links below to see for yourself how MAGNIFICENT these other ones with my mistletoe stamp of approval will look on your holiday table too!
Apple Butternut Squash Soup (I served this creamy luscious soup as an appetizer in a demi-tasse for a Fall evening party-WOW!).
…and the list could go on! In fact, I would say that about every one of my recipes, with the exception of smoothies and breakfasts, are fair game for the holiday, so just peruse the website and pick whichever healthy recipe you deem worthy of your holiday table and please let me know if I should add a little mistletoe stamp of approval for them too. I wouldn’t be surprised…and that was my point all along!
BON APPETIT and HAVE FUN WITH THIS!