I made it back home to Canada, for a snowy white, and bloomin’ cold, Christmas. It’s my first Canadian Christmas in 5 years. Our family traditions include dinner on Christmas Day, church on Christmas eve and lots of over eating and drinking throughout the week. And of course Santa and Christmas presents are a must so my daughter and I always make food for Santa and the Reindeers.
With that being said, I “try” to stay healthy over the festive period.
Try to replenish your nutrients whenever you can with nutrient packed foods or cold pressed juices or a great plant-based multivitamin. Between the running around, partying, drinking, over eating – your gut health needs a lot of help to keep you from feeling run down and poorly. We also always have lots of leftovers on Boxing Day, so here are some not only delicious comfort food recipes, but ones that will recharge your system and overall health.
CREAMY PUMPKIN SEED AND TAPENADE DETOX PASTA
gf, df, ve, v, nf
180g leftovers vegetables into bite sizes e.g. sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, carrot, butternut squash, chestnuts, parsnips
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped, approx. 1 tbsp
2 tbsp avocado oil
300g brown rice pasta
80g pumpkin seed butter
2 garlic cloves
100g sundried tomato
100g kalmata or greek olives, pitted
10g flat leaf parsley, chopped, 2 tbsp, reserve some for garnish
- PH oven to 220C (higher the better) on grill or roast.
- Cut vegetables into bite size pieces and lay on parchment lined tray leaving some space for the pumpkin seeds.
- In a large pan, heat oil. Once hot, turn off the heat, add rosemary. Leave to infuse.
- Reheat vegetables for 7-10 mins until edges browned.
- Bring a large pot of water and salt to the boil and cook the pasta until al dente (usually takes 6 to 7 mins but read the back of the packet). When ready, reserve 1 cup of pasta water and then drain.
- While the pasta is cooking, blitz in a food processor, garlic, dried tomatoes, olives, parsley and rosemary oil.
- In a large pot, heat pumpkin seed butter with 4-6 tbsp of pasta water until a pasta sauce consistency is achieved. Stir in drained pasta and tapenade until everything is nicely coated and warmed through. Add roasted vegetables and gently toss. Garnish with pumpkin seeds, more parsley.
THE HANGOVER TURKEY EGG DROP BONE BROTH SOUP
gf, df, nf
1.5 L water
400-500g turkey bones (or one chicken carcass)
5cm piece ginger, sliced, skin on
4 garlic cloves, smashed, skin on
2 spring onions, whole, plus extra sliced for garnish
(Substitute: use 3 stock cubes to make 1.5L broth)
¼ tsp ground white pepper
⅛ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp sea salt
4 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
4 tbsp water
4 eggs, beaten
200g cooked turkey, shredded
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp coconut aminos or tamari or soya sauce
optional: a pinch of chili flakes
- Combine all the broth ingredients into a pressure cooker for 20 mins, or boil for an hour with lid on, add water if needed to make 1.5L and discard ginger and onion pieces.
- Add white pepper, turmeric, sea salt to broth (and bring back up to low boil if not already).
- Combine the cornflour and water until cornflour is dissolved. Pour into the soup and mix well, simmering until thickened.
- Add chicken and warm through.
- Keep the soup to a gentle simmer and then drizzle the egg into the soup. Allow to set for a couple of seconds before breaking up with a spoon. Turn the heat off.
- Serve with sesame oil, coconut aminos, reserved spring onion and chili flake garnish.
CHRISTMAS PUDDING CHEEZCAKE
gf optional, df/ ve optional
Makes 20 slices
130g almond flour
50g pistachios and/ or hazelnuts and/ or walnuts
80g desiccated coconut
80g melted coconut oil
10g coconut sugar
¼ tsp sea salt
400g cashew nuts (pre-soaked for min 4 hrs)
100g coconut oil, melted
220g Christmas pudding
1 orange, zest and juice (approx. 60-80 ml)
½ lemon, juice only (approx. 1.5 tbsp)
100ml honey or maple syrup
⅛ tsp sea salt
2 satsumas, peeled, sliced rounds
Pinch of cinnamon
Optional: cinnamon sticks as garnish
- Pre-soak cashews for at least 4 hours.
- Make the base by blending all base ingredients to form a biscuit crumb-like mixture. Press into a 20cm round spring form cake tin, spreading the mixture in an even layer to the edges. Chill in the freezer for 30 mins until set.
- Drain and thoroughly rinse the cashews. Add all the filling ingredients into a blender / or bowl with a hand blender and blend until a smooth puree.
- Pour or spoon the filling over the base and smooth with a spatula.
- Place into the fridge overnight to set, or freezer for 1 hour to set.
- Remove from the fridge/ freezer around 15-20 minutes before serving (to bring up to room temperature). Lift or release the cheesecake from the tin onto a serving plate or board.
- Top with sliced clementine rounds and cinnamon.