Holiday Food

Posted: December 16, 2020

The holidays are a special time of year.

Yes, this year will look a bit different than many of our traditional gatherings, but one thing that stays the same is the special food we share and enjoy.

Some of us like to stick with the traditional foods served each year. Others prefer to try new recipes. These recipes are a bit of a twist on traditionally used ingredients featuring cranberries, pecans and pomegranate.

Minted Guacamole with Pomegranate Seeds

Recipe source: “The Longevity Kitchen” by Rebecca Katz

This yummy dip adds a beautiful color to the holiday spread featuring
red and green.

Pomegranates provide a sweet pop of taste and a bit of crunchy texture to the creamy guacamole. Pomegranates are very nutritious supporting heart health and fighting inflammation with the high levels of antioxidants they provide. The mint provides a nice twist as well as supporting our digestion and is a wonderful anti-inflammatory.

2 avocados halved and flesh scooped out
2 T finely diced red onion
1 T finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 T finely chopped fresh mint
1 to 2 T fresh squeezed lime juice
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of cayenne
3 T pomegranate seeds

1. Put the avocado in bowl and mash with a fork until mostly smooth. Add the onion, cilantro, mint, juice, salt and cayenne. Stir to combine. 
2. Stir in 2 T pomegranate seeds and garnish with remaining seeds.
3. In place of tortilla chips serve on bok choy shovels, romaine scoops, celery scoops for a healthier way to serve the guacamole.

How to deseed a pomegranate: Score the skin around the middle of the pomegranate. Fill a large bowl full of water. Immerse the pomegranate under water and pull apart. Pluck the seed from the flesh and let them loose. Separate the flesh from the seeds. This method prevents splattering of the juice which can stain clothing and cutting boards.

Cranberry Salad Dressing

Recipe by Jo Cessna

This dressing is thick and creamy, a bit reminiscent of poppy seed dressing.

It’s a beautiful addition to your holiday table. Use on fresh greens mixed with citrus like clementines and a sprinkle of your favorite salty cheese like Feta crumbles or shaved Parmesan.

½ cup fresh cranberries
1/3 cup toasted pecans
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup maple syrup
1 T Dijon Mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
2 T to ¼ cup olive oil to taste and consistency

1. Put all ingredients except olive oil in food processor or blender.
2. Process to chop fine.
3. With machine running slowly add oil thru the food chute.
4. Store up to 1 week.
5. Stir before using. If needed thin with a bit of water.

Our cooking classes are both virtual and in-person. Visit this link for more information. See you in class or virtually!, 815-748-8962.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday from your friends at the Leishman Center for Culinary Health!