Festive Season Recipes Collection

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I hope you're all doing well and enjoying this festive time of year :)

It’s time for good food and great times with our loved ones.

I absolutely agree that this time is all about indulgence – not just in terms of what you eat but indulging in things that make you happy. There is nothing more special than spending time with friends and family, sharing food, laughs, love and joy.

The difficulty is for a lot of people though is that indulgence with food can lead to emotional breakdowns due their bad relationship with food, feeling worried guilty and overwhelmed.

There is also the healthy point of view as overeating can lead to feeling full, bloated and tired which takes out some of the fun.

Food is fuel but is also to share and enjoy. Don’t feel guilty for indulging. There’s no good or bad food, what can be a problem is how you eat. There is no reason to not taste some of your favourite traditional festive dishes. But we can also bring balance to our food gatherings and indulge in some healthier versions too.

My top tips to stay healthy over this festive time are:

  • Listen to your body, respect when it tells you it is enough, don’t eat like there is no tomorrow;

  • Eat lots of colorful salads, it will increase satiety and avoid overeating;

  • Be aware of portions sizes, serve a quantity that allows you to try and enjoy a little bit of everything.

I’m sure you’re all thinking about what you’re going to cook over the holidays, so I wanted to put together a list of my favourite festive recipes to give you some inspiration, with plenty of recipes that can please everyones palate. You can use the recipes for a meat free feast or as side dishes to your meats and roastings.

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Crudités Platter

 A lighter and attractive crudites platter can elevate the start of the meal and prevent over eating.

Here are the tips for making an appealing platter.

Buy an assortment of vegetables, in a variety of shapes, colors and textures. 

Prepping will make setting up the platter much easier. Cut or break your larger vegetables into smaller pieces (they should be eaten in 2-3 bites)

Start in the middle and build out. I always begin with the most abundant vegetables first.

Be creative with your platter: I used a cutting board instead of a traditional plate and like how the veggies aren't restricted by any edges. Pick up garnishes like parsley, basil or edible flowers leaves and place them sporadically around the platter. It helps it look finished. 

Follow with dips such as guacamole, herb yogurt and hummus

Beetroot Hummus

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2 cups cooked chickpeas (soak it overnight before cooking)
1 cup grated beetroot
2 tbsp tahini paste
2 tbsp olive oil
1 orange juice
2tbsp lemon zest
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds (for topping)
Salt and pepper

Place all the ingredients (except the pomegranate seeds) into a blender or food processor and blend until combined and smooth. Serve it with pomegranate and dash of olive oil on top.

Mango and Mint Salad

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1/2 mango sliced

Grilled Halloumi slices

4 handfuls rocket or spinach

1 handful fresh mint

⅓ cup sliced almonds

1 cup cherry tomatoes cut into half

Dressing

1 lemon juice

1tbsp lemon zest

2tbsp balsamic vinegar

1tbsp honey or maple syrup

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl combine the leaves, tomatoes, halloumi and mango. Top it with fresh mint and the almonds. Put all dressing ingredients in bowl and mix. Drizzle dressing over salad to serve.

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Turmeric Millet and Corn Salad

 1 cup millet (or any grain of your choice)

1 onion chopped

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground fenugreek (optional)

1 tsp yellow mustard seeds

Handful of cranberries

2 tbsp olive oil

½ cup coriander chopped

2 corn cobs, kernels sliced off the husk

3 kale leaves, stems discarded, leaves washed, roughly torn (or greens of your choice)

¼ cup slivered almonds

Lemon and coconut dressing:

1 tbsp lemon juice

4 tbsp coconut yogurt

1 tbsp olive oil

pinch cayenne or chilli powder

2 tbsp sesame seeds

sea salt to taste

Cook the millet with 2 cups of boiling water, turmeric, fenugreek, mustard seeds and cranberries by covering with a lid and bringing to boil, then simmering for 10 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed. Test to see if soft and cooked through before removing from heat. If not cooked, add a bit more water and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes. Transfer the cooked millet to large serving bowl. Heat the olive oil in a frypan over medium heat and sauté the onion, once it is golden, add the corn and almonds and sauté for another 5 minutes, add the kale and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to the serving bowl along with millet.  Add corianders and toss to combine, then leave for few minutes to cool slightly.

Put all dressing ingredients in bowl and mix. Drizzle dressing over salad.

Gluten Free Pie (*DF and Vegan)

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Ingredients

Crust:
2 cups buckwheat flour (optional quinoa or brown rice flour)
2 cups almond meal
8tbsp tapioca starch
1/2 cup olive oil
Pinch of turmeric ground
Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup cool water

**Optional: You can add seeds such as chia, sesame or linseeds.

 Filling 

1 cup jack fruit meat or 2 cups sliced mushroom

1 onion chopped

1tbsp smoked paprika

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/3 cup peas

1/2 cup botanical cuisine vegan cheese (or coconut yogurt)

In a bowl mix all the ingredients until a stick dough forms (if it is too dry add a little bit more of olive oil, if it is too wet add more tapioca starch). Grease a pie(quiche) pan with olive oil, transfer the crust dough to the pan and press the crust evenly into the pan. Oven bake in a preheated oven to 170C for 25-30 minutes or until golden. While the crust is baking prepare the filling. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat and sauté the onion, once it is golden, add the remaining ingredients except the nut cheese and sauté for another 5 minutes. Once the crust is baked, pour the filling on top, bring the pie back to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes. Wait until cool down a little bit before serving.

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Cherry Ramekins Cakes

 1 cup almond meal

1/2 cup coconut sugar

3 tbsp cacao powder

½ cup tahini paste

⅓ cup coconut or olive oil

⅓ cup of coconut yoghurt

3 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Pinch of cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

⅔ cup pitted cherries, plus extra for decorating

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 4-5 ovenproof ramekins or a medium baking tin with baking paper. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut oil, coconut sugar, cacao powder, tahini and vanilla essence until smooth. Add in the almond meal, cinnamon and baking powder. Spread the dough evenly in the ramekins until is half full, add the cherries and bake for about 25 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool completely before serving

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Cherry and maple cake

2/3 cup maple

1/2 cup olive oil or coconut oil, melted

4 eggs, whisked

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 lemon juice

2 teaspoons lemon zest

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups desiccated coconut

3 cups almond meal

1 cup frozen cherries

Preheat oven to 180C and grease and bread loaf tin with coconut or olive oil.

In a food processor blend together maple, oil, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, zest and baking powder until creamy. Add desiccated coconut and almond meal and blend again.

Pour half of the mixture into the loaf tin, add the cherries, pour the other half of the mixture and bake for 35-40 minutes. Once cooked allow to cool 20 minutes in tin, before transferring to a plate or container.

I hope you enjoy all the recipes. You can find all the ingredients for it at My Fruitologist

And if you make any of these yourself, be sure to let me know what you think in the comments and share them on Instagram with #luanasrecipes and #myfruitologist so we can see!

For more inspiring recipes for special occasions you check it out my 2018 Spring Brunch Cookbook.

Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season.

Love, Luana xx

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