Posts tagged holiday
Winter Quinoa and Kale Salad

Winter always seems to be a bit of a hard time to eat salads. I don't know whether it's the cold temps or the grey skies, but I struggle to eat salads in the winter! I always end up ditching my salad for a hot bowl of soup or a heavy sandwich. However, after a week of vacation where I basically turned into a human vacuum, I was actually craving veggies and salad! So I whipped up this easy, hearty winter salad. 

I enjoyed eating this salad so much that I meal prepped it for two weeks in a row! The wintery squash paired with the filling quinoa tricked my tastebuds into thinking I was not eating a salad. The cranberries and apple add a sweet zing and the walnuts add a slightly bitter taste that prevents the sweet notes from overpowering the salad. I didn't go crazy with the dressing, just a simple drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar does the trick! 



Winter Quinoa and Kale Salad

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed 
  • 2 cups water 
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil 
  • 2 cups spiralized butternut squash (save time and buy them spiralized at the grocery) 
  • 8 cups baby kale/arugual mix 
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 


Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small pot on your stove, add quinoa, water and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until water is absorbed by the quinoa (about 10 min). Remove from heat and set aside. 

Place spiralized butternut squash on an ungreased baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 10 minutes until noodles are soft. Set aside. 

In four plastic prep containers or plates, evenly divide kale/arugula mix. Top with cooked quinoa, roasted butternut squash, apple, cranberries, nuts and finish with a drizzle of vinegar. Easily saves for 3-4 days in the fridge. 




Holiday Turkey Wreath

This recipe may not necessarily be the healthiest, but it's so easy and so yummy I just had to share it! This is something my family loves to make after the holidays to use up all the leftovers. That's what is truly fun about this recipe, you can stuff the wreath with just about anything you have leftover. I have provided my favorite ingredients in the recipe below, but feel free to add anything you would like. I have made this recipe before with stuffing, mashed potatoes and even leftover veggies! Get creative with it and have fun! 

Enjoy this little video to see how to make this recipe!!! 

Holiday Turkey Wreath

Makes 8 servings


  • 2 cups cooked turkey, chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped 
  • 1 cup shredded swiss cheese 
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1   egg


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine turkey, mustard, cranberry sauce, pecans and cheese. Set aside. 

On a large baking sheet, separate crescent rolls and arrange the first can so that the wide ends of the rolls touch in the middle. Alternate with second can of rolls. Seal the seams in the center of the wreath with your fingers. Evenly fill the center of the wreath with the turkey mixture and fold small ends of rolls over the top of the filling and squeeze to seal in the center. 

Beat egg in a small bowl and use a pastry brush to lightly coat the top of the wreath. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Slice and serve! 



Bacon and Spiced Pecan Brussels Sprout Salad

I associate pasta salad with summer cookouts and Brussels sprout salad with fall dinners. There is something about crunchy Brussels sprouts, sweet cranberries and spicy pecans that makes my mouth water. Oh and it doesn't hurt that there is a generous amount of bacon to give the salad a salty crunch! Bacon is never a bad idea, ever :) 

I use this salad as a side dish. It's got a strong flavor so a little goes a long way! To make sure your Brussels sprouts are perfectly chopped, cut off the bottom stem, discard the stem and throw the sprouts into a food processor. A few seconds later and bam! You have a perfectly chopped base for the salad. 

Another tip is to make sure you don't burn the pecans. Cook them in a skillet just until you smell warm spices and nuts then remove from the heat. Burnt pecans are extremely bitter! 

As a variation on this recipe, you could also slice the Brussels sprouts in half and roast them. Then toss with the other ingredients! 



Bacon and Spiced Pecan Brussels Sprout Salad

Makes 6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2  cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • Pinch of dried coriander 
  • 1.5 pounds Brussels sprouts rinsed, tough outer leaves pulled away
  • 2/3 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
  • 3 or 4 slices bacon cooked and chopped
  • 2 green onion sprigs thinly sliced
  • Salted pepper to taste 

Cranberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cranberry juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste


For the pecans: In a small skillet, add oil, pecans and spices. Heat over medium-low heat until you smell warm spices and pecans are coated with the spices. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the salad: Chop the stem end off of the Brussels sprouts and discard the stems. Place Brussels sprouts in a food processor. Pulse until they are broken down into tiny pieces. Place processed Brussels sprouts, cranberries, pecans, bacon, and onion in a large bowl.

For the dressing: Add all of the dressing ingredients to a small bowl. Whisk until a smooth thick dressing forms. 

To assemble: Add dressing to bowl with salad ingredients. Toss to combine and serve. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days! 

Dairy Free Strawberry Shortcake

What are your favorite foods for the Fourth of July? Creamy potato salad, sweet and crunchy corn on the cobb and strawberry shortcake are what I crave! Strawberry shortcake was a big deal in my family when I was growing up. Summer was not marked by a calendar date, it was whenever the first flaky shortcake dripping with ripe strawberries was served. 

Traditionally, to make a shortcake from scratch you use a whole stick of butter and cut it into a flour and sugar mixture. While delicious and definitely my preferred splurge, I do have occasion to make a dairy free shortcake! Whenever I’m cooking for a friend who can’t have dairy, or I am trying to cut down on my dairy intake I make this delicious dairy-free shortcake! 


This shortcake strays a bit from the traditional texture of a shortcake with butter. This recipe definitely makes more of a cake than a biscuit. Personally I find this shortcake intensely satisfying as the whole wheat flour really fills you up quickly so you don’t have to eat a large piece to feel satisfied. While this is not a low fat dessert, it is definitely a good substitute if you can’t have dairy! 

The coconut whipped cream on top really makes it something special and the subtle honey flavor brings out the rich sugary sweetness of the strawberries. 


Dairy Free Strawberry Shortcake

Makes 6 servings


  • 1⅓ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 4-5 cups of fresh, sliced strawberries
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) coconut cream, chilled in the fridge overnight
  • 3 tablespoons honey


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 baking pan with coconut oil. In a bowl, mix together flour and baking powder. Add in eggs, honey, oil, vanilla and milk. Stir by hand or with hand mixer until well mixed.Pour batter into oiled pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean). While shortcake is baking, whip honey and coconut cream in a large cold bowl until stiff peaks form. Cool, cut and serve with strawberries and whipped coconut cream!