Happy Healthy Holidays! Sharing your favorite plant-based recipes

Rustic Table Setting

Hey, everyone! TGIF, am I right?! I don’t know about you, but my October flew by with insane determination, and November’s already kicking my butt, too. With no slow-down in sight (’tis the season for parties and get-togethers and perhaps a little fete-a-fete here and there), I know my brain will be mush within a few short weeks. SO…I thought maybe I’d try and conjure up a few simple ideas regarding shared eats. With Canadian Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, and American Thanksgiving just down the road, it’s clearly that time of year.

When I’m asked to “bring a dish to pass,” there are definite times when I fall back on old, lazy favorites. But considering I have a recipe book coming out next summer, I thought maybe I’d attempt to raise the bar for myself and be ready to show up to my friends’ houses with something that looks (and tastes!) like I’ve put at least an ounce of effort and creativity into it.

I’m going to share three plant-based concoctions that I think might fit the bill, and hopefully you think they sound good enough to try at home. I specify “plant-based,” because I like to share ideas that fit with my usual foodie lifestyle, which is that of clean, whole, nutrient-rich eats. We get enough crap out there, right? Let’s set a good example and share some healthy, happy recipes!

Alright. Here we go…

Chocolate-Graham Banana Bites (Makes 32)

banana bites2

Ingredients:

  • 4 bananas (not too ripe)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup graham crumbs
  • 32 toothpicks*

Method:

Melt chocolate chips in double broiler, slowly. Slice each banana into 8 chunks (so there should be 32 chunks in total), and stick each with a toothpick. Once chocolate is melted, dip each banana chunk half-way into the chocolate, then dust with graham. The chocolate will harden, so it must be done quickly. Repeat until every chunk has been dressed, then cover and refrigerate until they can be served.

Acorn Squashed Casserole (serves 8)

Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

  • 2 acorn squashes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup watercress
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice each squash horizontally. Remove seeds and pulp, and discard. Slice squash into 1/2″ rounds. (Which will actually look like flowers.) Set aside. In a large bowl, combine oil, syrup, and spices. Add squash to bowl and mix well, until evenly coated. Bake in a single layer on cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then flip squash and back for another 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and arrange in dish. Chop herbs and sprinkle on top of squash. Serve hot as a side dish.

Baked Ratatouille Bruschetta (Serves 12)

Grilled vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 an eggplant
  • 1/2 a zucchini
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 white onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 16 oz. can of chopped and roasted tomatoes
  • 1 large whole wheat baguette

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Finely chop eggplant, zucchini, pepper, and onion. Mix, and place in oven-safe dish. Mince the garlic and add to mixture, then stir. Drizzle olive oil over mixture, and then pour tomatoes over all the vegetables. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Once done, remove from oven and let sit until it cools slightly. Meanwhile, slice baguette into rounds. Place a spoonful of ratatouille on top of each, and place back in the oven for 6-8 more minutes. Serve hot.

Hope you enjoy! From my table to yours, stay happy and healthy! (And have a great weekend!) xo

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