Egg-and-Kimchi Rice Bowls. Rainbow Pepper Couscous. Eating healthily is not just about wilted greens and raw carrots.
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Raw Christmas Pudding Bites
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Summer Salsa with a Shot. Steamed broccoli might sound boring, but give this everyday veggie a holiday lift with the addition of toasted hazelnuts. First, toast the hazelnuts in the oven until fragrant make sure to keep an eye on them, as they can burn quickly. The crunchy nuts, fragrant garlic, and bright citrus will give broccoli a boost that even haters will love. It seems as if every southern cook has a recipe for this classic. Here, a straightforward approach gets its bite from pungent garlic. Make sure to discard the tough collard stems and cut the leaves into thin strips, which helps them become tender more quickly.
This dish is simple and light, making it a refreshing and healthy addition to your holiday menu to balance out the heavier dishes. And if you already have a southern theme going on Cornbread stuffing? Mashed sweet potatoes? If the carrots are cooked to your liking before the liquid becomes a glaze, just remove the veggies, continue cooking the liquid until reduced, then return the carrots to the skillet and toss before serving.
Get the recipe: Glazed Carrots. Green beans are a staple side dish for any holiday meal, not just Thanksgiving. There are no creamy sauces or fried onions here; this lighter recipe pairs tender green beans with garlic and pine nuts and takes just 15 minutes to make. Season and toss, and the dish is ready for your table. Bring the flavors of the season to your Christmas table with this unique take on sweet potatoes—no marshmallows allowed. You can even prepare the syrup two days ahead. Cut the potatoes into long wedges to make them look especially elegant.
This dish is so good, you might even work it into your regular weeknight meal rotation. For a more rustic presentation, try serving sweet potatoes another way—mashed with honey, orange juice, sour cream, and nutmeg. The honey brings out their sweetness, while the sour cream adds some creaminess and helps smooth out the mash without making it too rich.
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Add a sprinkle of nutmeg as a nod to the holiday. The result is hearty, comforting, and perfectly seasonal—a great dish to include in your Christmas menu. Get the recipe: Mashed Sweet Potatoes. Give earthy root vegetables the love they deserve by roasting them with brown sugar, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, add shiitake or cremini mushrooms, or a mix of both so much more flavorful than white button mushrooms , to roast along with the rest of the veggies. Sweet, nutty, tender vegetables with a little crispness around the edges.
Make sure you spread the veggies in two small roasting pans to give them room to brown and caramelize instead of crowding them into one. Get the recipe: Cider-Roasted Vegetables. A creamy, comforting gratin is just the thing to warm up your holiday table. This recipe calls for ham, but you can easily skip it to make the dish vegetarian. The cauliflower bakes in the dairy-heavy sauce in the oven until meltingly tender, while a topping of bread crumbs adds a little texture and crunch. Get the recipe: Cauliflower and Ham Gratin. With the bright red of the grape tomatoes, this dish even looks festive.
It has a nice sharpness and bite to it, thanks to the shallots and briny capers, which makes it a refreshing addition on the table to cut through the richer dishes. Make sure to use a decent drinking wine for the recipe, and feel free to serve the rest of the bottle with dinner or treat the cook to a glass before the holiday guests arrive. Get the recipe: for Sauteed Tomatoes and Shallots. Rich with cream, potato gratin is a special-occasion recipe in all meanings of the phrase.
What to Eat This Week
Toss peeled, sliced potatoes in a mixture of cream, horseradish, and nutmeg, then transfer to a buttered baking dish. Cover with foil, bake for 25 minutes, then uncover and bake for another hour or so, until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown. Get the recipe: Horseradish Potato Gratin. What feast is complete without a hearty side of mashed potatoes? These are flavored with sour cream and scallions to elevate them without getting overly fancy or complicated.
We like to use red potatoes and leave the skin on to add some color and create a more rustic texture. Start by boiling the potatoes until tender, then mashing with sour cream, milk, and butter until you get just the right consistency. Sprinkle with chopped scallions for a little oniony bite. With the red-skinned potatoes and the green of the scallions, this dish is appropriately festive for your Christmas celebration.
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Get the recipe: Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes. After an elaborate holiday meal, you may want a simple finish. You can bake your own cake from scratch or start with your favorite store-bought one your secret is safe with us. Dress up each slice with fresh orange segments and honey, then sprinkle with chopped fresh rosemary before serving for an unexpected savory note. The fresh citrus will brighten up the buttery cake, while the honey mixed with the orange juice creates a natural sauce to add moisture and subtle sweetness.
You can also serve this bread pudding at room temperature, so it would make a sweet addition to a holiday brunch, too. Cut up the croissants, then douse them with a mixture of egg yolks, milk, cream, and sugar, and bake in a dish with the chocolate until set. Get the recipe: Croissant and Chocolate Bread Pudding.
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You can never go wrong with serving pie for dessert. The humble apple pie gets a serious upgrade with tangy sour cream, plump raisins, crunchy walnuts, and a cinnamon crumb topping. Start with a homemade dough for the bottom crust, then top it with sliced apples, sugar, cinnamon, sour cream, and raisins.
We like to use a combination of apple varieties to get the right balance of sweet and tart. Spoon the filling into the crust, then sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Top with a buttery cinnamon crumble and bake for about an hour, until the crust is golden brown and the apples are tender. Many cuisines feature some type of a layered custard-and-cake dessert, but this take is closest to the classic English trifle.
Refrigerate for a few hours to set, then spoon into small bowls to serve. Hint: For a holiday-worthy presentation, make the trifle in a large glass serving bowl. Get the recipe: Cherry Trifle. Spoon a portion of apricot preserves into individual parfait glasses, then top with a cookie, some pudding, and more preserves. Finish with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Feel free to change it up by using different fruit preserves; try cherry or raspberry to add some festive color.
Get the recipe: Apricot Parfait. Stir in ripe yet firm sliced bananas to coat them in the butterscotch sauce. Once the flame goes out, stir in toasted pecans. Serve the bananas and sauce over scoops of vanilla ice cream for a stunning finish. Serve with an assortment of treats for dipping, such as fresh strawberries, cubes of angel food or pound cake, jumbo marshmallows, and dried apricots, pineapple slices, or figs.
Leftover Christmas cookies make delicious impromptu dippers, too—try gingerbread men, sugar cookies, or spiced molasses cookies to give your fondue a holiday twist. Get the recipe: Chocolate Bar Fondue. It all starts with a chocolate wafer cookie crust, which chills in the refrigerator until firm. Continue to cook until a thick, smooth caramel forms, then pour into the chilled crust.
Refrigerate until firm. A few minutes before serving, drizzle the caramel tart with melted chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt. Get the recipe: Gooey Chocolate Caramel Tart. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours. For the final touch, spread the cherry preserves over the cheesecake before serving.