‘Tis the season to make less than optimal eating decisions! Every year, we think things will be different as we move through a season of office parties, family get-togethers and lots of goodies. And yet, January lands and all of a sudden we are trying to get back on track.
To help you through the next few weeks, here are a couple of my favorite recipes I created to allow a better choice. Enjoy!
DK’s Egg(less) Nog
One of my favorite recipe redos! This dairy- and egg-free eggnog, pictured above, is just what the season ordered. Eggnog always played a role in the holidays when I was growing up—I can remember my mom spending quite a bit of time making it. For my new eating style, I wanted to preserve the flavor of the cinnamon and nutmeg, but remove the items that irritate my tummy. After some experimentation, this recipe satisfied my desire to have an eggnog without any of the guilt or tummy upset.
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup of vanilla coconut or almond milk ice cream (dairy-free)
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- Dash of ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 cups coconut or almond milk (use less if you like it thicker like a milkshake)
- Rum to taste (or rum extract)
- In a blender add all the ingredients
- Blend until smooth
- Sprinkle nutmeg on top and garnish with a cinnamon stick
- Drink up and enjoy!!
DK’s Lower Carb Mashed Cauli‘taters
As the nights start to get cooler one thing I always crave is mashed potatoes. Overall mashed potatoes aren’t a bad choice, but they can add a significant amount of carbohydrates and fat. This blend of potatoes and cauliflower is meant to be family friendly and there is a good chance, they might not even notice the healthy swaps. Even better, you can cut the amount of carbs significantly, while not sacrificing taste or texture.
- 1 head cauliflower
- 2 large white (russet) potatoes
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons brewers’ yeast (optional)
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon vegetable or chicken bouillon dissolved in a small amount of warm water (may substitute ½ teaspoon salt)
- ½ teaspoon fresh or dry chives, chopped for garnish
- 3 tablespoons ghee or vegan butter
- Salt and sepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat.
- Clean and cut cauliflower and peeled potatoes into small, similar sized pieces. Cook in boiling water for about six to 10 minutes, or until well done. Drain well and while still hot transfer to mixing bowl.
- In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower and potatoes with all ingredients and blend until smooth. Do not over-blend or they become rubbery.
- Garnish with chives, and serve hot with pats of vegan butter or ghee.
A great appetizer choice for holiday parties is a healthier version of guacamole. The name is derived from two Aztec Nahuatl words—ahuacatl (avocado) and molli (sauce). To make a perfect dip, you must use perfectly ripe avocados or it just won’t work. To ripen hard ones store them in a paper bag with other fruits and veggies and check every day. Gently press on the skin of the avocado and when it gives slightly, it is ready.
Avocados are very healthy for you, offering a wallop of healthy fat as well as potassium, Vitamin E and Folic Acid. Often when starved for time, I will simply eat half an avocado with a little salt for breakfast. It keeps me satiated and regulates my blood sugar levels.
To redo this recipe in a way that allows you to eat as much as you like, while taking up the nutritional ante, I decided to add chopped spinach. Because spinach is mild, you will never even notice it is in there. The spinach reduces the amount of fat per serving while increasing the amount of fiber helping those of us with tummy issues.
- 2 ripe avocados
- ½ red onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
- ½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 handful of fresh raw spinach, finely chopped about ½ Cup
- 2 tablespoons cilantro finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- A dash of freshly grated black pepper
- ½ ripe Roma tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped
- For the adventurous: A couple shakes of cumin, coriander and chipotle spice—and minced jalapeño if you like it spicy
Tip: To stay allergen free, slice up a jicama into cracker-sized pieces and dip. If you do not have access to jicama, you can use other vegetables to scoop and dip such as celery, bell peppers and cucumbers.
- Cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avocado from the peel and place in a medium-sized bowl.
- Using a fork, roughly mash the avocado, leaving it a bit chunky. Add the chopped onion, pepper, spinach, cilantro, lime or lemon, salt, pepper and other seasonings. Blend only slightly as you don’t want it mushy.
- When ready to serve, add in the tomato and blend slightly. Slice the vegetables you plan to use as your chips.
- Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent oxidation from the air reaching it. Refrigerate until ready.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE! Stay well and remember: the greatest gift you can give others is unconditional love and acceptance.