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holidays

Vegan Brussels Sprouts Sliders

Vegan Brussels Sprouts Sliders

Sliders, in Brussels sprout form?! Grainy mustard, marinated tempeh, and most importantly, roasted Brussels sprout buns…how clever!

I stumbled upon a version of this recipe over on the New York Times a few years back, and quickly decided it was Friendsgiving material.
Vegan Brussels Sprouts Sliders

Upon bringing the sliders to a holiday gathering of friends, I was quickly welcomed with similar enthusiasm to that which I held upon hearing of the idea.

“Brussels sprout buns? Genius!”

The plate of sliders was empty almost immediately, and I was both happy (recipe success!) and sad (all that effort gone in a snap!), but mostly happy with how well these turned out.

The recipe was destined for a repeat.

Vegan Brussels Sprouts Sliders

This year, when I was brainstorming what to make for my family’s Thanksgiving, I decided to pull this recipe out of the archives.

Once again, the sliders were an instant hit at the Thanksgiving table and gone long before we sat down to feast. (Although I admit, at least a few of them in went into my stomach before transporting from my kitchen to my sisters.)

I’m sharing this recipe with you now to bookmark for your next holiday feast — whether it’s a Christmas dinner, a New Year’s Eve dinner party, or anything else in between.

These are hands-down delicious. They do take a bit of tedious assembly. However, it’s certainly worth it when you look at the end result — so cute and so tasty, a double win!

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Holiday Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Pecans

Holiday Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Pecans

I’m bringing you one of my favorite holiday recipes today, and also one of my most beloved brussels sprouts recipes as a whole.

The colors, textures and earthy-meets-sweet flavor balance going on here has made this dish now an annual tradition in my household each season.

I mean…just look how pretty and festive it is all thanks to its entirely natural and nourishing ingredients. Win.

Holiday Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Pecans

I like to shred brussels sprouts because it gives them an almost buttery-like feel upon sauteing. It also turns them into a conversation piece, perhaps even making them a novelty on the holiday table.

Paired with a crunch from the pomegranate seeds bursting with complimentary color and from the apples, you get a satisfying bite here with each forkful of sprouts.

The pecans add another layer of crunch, and butteriness, too, rounding out this healthful side with just a splash of richness.

Holiday Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Pecans

Whether it’s for a holiday feast or even just a post-feasting-week meal, it’s always good to have something green on the table this time of year. And also a veggie dish that won’t get outshined by all of the other good treats that surround it.

Always receiving rave reviews from my various family members, I can assure you this fulfills that promise.

Happy holidays, from my kitchen to yours!

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Butternut Kale & Cranberry Panzanella

Butternut Kale & Cranberry Panzanella

When looking for holiday recipes earlier last month, I came across this beautiful butternut adorned recipe from Cookie + Kate. I was seeking a veggie-centered side to bring to Thanksgiving. This one quickly made the cut.

Tossed with festive cranberries and a light, yet savory vinaigrette, this kale salad is the kind of side you want on your celebratory table. Among heavier eats, it continues to shine on its own. Yet, it won’t weigh you down even if it persuades you to go in for seconds.

Butternut Kale & Cranberry Panzanella

I offer this up now as a suggestion for the celebrations that remain as we ring out 2015. If you’re in charge of the salad for dinner, why not reach for something new?

Creamy squash. Crunchy pumpkin seeds. Chewy, sweet and sour cranberries. Flaky parm. And a hearty kale leaf at its center.

With so many layers and textures in one bowl, this is a salad destined for discussion.
Pumpkin seeds

Those layers also make this salad one that could satisfy you if eaten for dinner on its own. There are those rare days where I crave just a salad in my bowl and nothing else. This particularly applies after one too many hefty holiday meals.

In those instances, a simple spring green medley isn’t going to appease my palette. But this creation would.

If you don’t get around to putting this recipe on your holiday list, save it as a start for 2016. It has all the nourishing elements you need to fulfill any sort of healthy eating oriented goals. You could also throw some chickpeas or salmon on top for an extra oomph if salad-for-dinner makes you nervous.

Butternut Kale & Cranberry Panzanella

Have other veggie-centered suggestions for the holidays? Shoot them my way. I’m always looking for ideas!

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Harvest Squash and Wild Rice Pilaf with Pecans and Cranberries

Harvest Squash and Wild Rice Pilaf with Pecans and Cranberries

I craft a lot, a lot of recipes. And I’m always dreaming up more in my mind. Yet, every year, Thanksgiving comes around, and rarely do I have a clue of what I’m going to make.

Usually, the winning idea arrives last minute (fashionably late). Often, it’s after a few Google searches, and several emails from my sister inquiring about what I’ll be bringing to the family feast. Usually she gives up. And often I show up with a surprise. Which means, it needs to be good. Great. Worthy of all turkey-eaters to save some vegetarian room on their plate.

Harvest Squash and Wild Rice Pilaf with Pecans and Cranberries

This year, I was given some time in advance to think. Well, actually, required to set aside some time to choose a Thanksgiving dish to share recipe.

I hosted a Friendsgiving this past weekend, which was perfect for practicing my holiday cooking skills before the real deal rolls around.

This heaping bowl of thyme-infused rice and squash goodness got gobbled up in no time. If I had to give it an alternate name, I’d call it Healthful Holiday Party-in-a-Bowl. It’s a true celebration of fall’s best festive flavors.

Harvest Squash and Wild Rice Pilaf with Pecans and Cranberries

Here, nutty rice pairs with creamy squash and a sweet-meets-tart punch of flavor from the cranberries. Buttery, pan-roasted pecans add a crunch, while thyme drives that classic Thanksgiving feel that we all know and love. I sautéed the onion in butter to richen things up, and finished it off with parsley to add a complimentary freshness. The result, as previously mentioned, is a T-day party-in-a-bowl. Are you ready to celebrate?

Harvest Squash and Wild Rice Pilaf with Pecans and Cranberries

If you’re not sure what you’re bringing to the Thanksgiving table yet, I’m throwing this into the recommendation hat. It serves as a great vegetarian main dish that leaves you satisfied with all of its festive goodness.

If you do have a recipe already picked out, this needn’t be reserved solely for the holidays. Healthy and wholesome, I’ll certainly be bringing this to the table again this season. Cheers.

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Garlic and Dill Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Dill

I cracked my first iPhone screen yesterday. It made me sad. That is a first world problem, I know, and nothing that a little creamy cauliflower cannot fix.

When life gets a little jagged in parts, keep your head up. Toss in some cream. You’ll be golden. Then praise the sun you have a house. And food. And life.

Garlic and Dill Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

One of my coworkers the other day told me about a practice he once did where you count how long it takes you to have six negative thoughts. He said it was surprising how early on the morning he would hit that limit.

It’s a practice I want to start doing – because while I feel like I’m a pretty positive person, I know there are a lot of areas surrounding this in which I could use work. Like appreciating the positive side of things I don’t always love. 2015. Cheers.

Now onto the recipe already…

Cauliflower

Mashed potatoes are a childhood favorite of mine. I mean, who doesn’t love mashed potatoes and gravy? This version uses cauliflower to lighten up the dish, and adds roasted garlic and fresh dill, so that no gravy is even needed. It’s packed with flavor, and every bit as creamy, if not more, than your standard mashed potato recipe.

If you’re ringing in the New Year on a light note, but still want a touch of creamy comfort, know that you can do both. Think positive, and know that this recipe is proof.

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