The first one that I came across is a Christmas Tree Salad. I am going to make this festive salad for Christmas Eve dinner with our family.
Christmas Tree Salad
Recipe and photo from www.lunchboxbunch.com
makes about 6-7 cups
1 bunch organic swiss chard (red or green will work) - rinsed well + sliced into thin ribbons
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (about the amount from 1 medium pomegranate)
3/4 cup frozen red globe grapes, sliced
2 satsuma mandarin oranges, chopped
1 small onion, diced
1/4-1/2 cup chopped pecans, raw
2 Tbsp dried cranberries (or another dried fruit like dried golden raisins or even chopped dates)
1 small honeycrisp apple, organic - chopped
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup, grade B
1/3 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp fine black pepper
1/8 tsp coriander
a pinch of cayenne (optional, but warms up things nicely)
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
a few pinches of satsuma orange zest
Feel free to use your own seasonings, as desired, or use your own favorite dressing.
Star topper: 1 slice of toast
Other optional ingredients that would be fabulous: pear, avocado, dates, bell pepper, corn, grains like quinoa or brown rice, beans, tomatoes, diced roasted squash or sweet potato.
Directions: Simply prep all your ingredients and toss them with the dressing/spices in a large bowl. Toss and mix very well since this will help to distribute the flavors and infuse the chard with flavor. You can serve right away or chill in the fridge for up to 12 hours in advance before serving. Any longer and your chard will begin to get a bit soft. Serve raw and chilled. Top it! For the "star" tree topper, simply toast any slice of bread and using either your knife (free-hand) or a star-shaped cookie cutter, cut out a toast star to top the tree salad.
Christmas Tree Veggie Tray
Recipe Adapted from www.myspicesage.com
- 3 broccoli crowns
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 small package cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 small package carrot sticks
- 1 red bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper and 1 green bell pepper
- Pretzel sticks
Line the edge of the tray with the carrots sticks. Start to create the tree shape with the broccoli, then fill in the spaces with the cauliflower. Add the cherry or grape tomatoes to the “tree” like they are ornaments. Use the pretzel sticks as the tree trunk.
Chop the tops off of the bell peppers. Clean out the insides of any membranes. Place at the bottom of the tree like presents. Fill peppers with favorite dip as desired, see recipes for Hummus and Creamy Dill Dip below.
Below are the recipes for two of my favorite dips. The first one is a non-dairy creamy "ranch" dressing. If you love ranch dressing then you will love this healthier alternative.
Dreamy Creamy Dill Dip
Recipe by www.VanessaChamberlin.com
1 package (12.3 oz) organic firm tofu
2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dried dill weed
¼ tsp salt
Combine ingredients in a food processor or blender and process for 1 to 2 minutes until completely smooth. Will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator.
Easy Red Pepper Hummus
Recipe adapted from www.allrecipes.com
1 (16 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 tbsp tahini
1 fresh lemon (juiced)
1 1-/2 tbsp water
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder
In a food processor or blender, mix the garbanzo beans, olive oil, red bell pepper, tahini, lemon juice, water, salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Blend until smooth.
Christmas Tree Relish Tray
1 bunch Celery
4 whole Peeled Baby Carrots
¼ whole Green Bell Pepper
8 whole Red Teardrop or Cherry Tomatoes
8 whole Yellow Cherry Tomatoes
2 whole Crimini Mushrooms
3 whole Thick Slices Of Cucumber (skin on)
5 whole Black Olives
3 whole Large Green Olives
1 whole Radish
Cut the celery into sticks (various sizes are fine). On a large flat plate, lay out about 8 celery sticks in the shape of the tree top. Make sure to leave enough room for the tree top decoration. Continue to lay the celery sticks on the plate to form the entire tree. Then fill in the tree with the remaining celery sticks. Lay out the celery so some have the light colored sides up and others have the dark sides up.
Cut the carrots in quarters lengthwise. To make the carrot garland, lay out the carrots about 2 inches from the bottom of the tree in a zigzag direction. The bottom string of carrot garland should take about 6 pieces of the cut carrots. Next, about two inches above the first string of carrot garland, lay out about 4 pieces of carrots in a zigzag shape to form the second string of garland. Then about two inches above the second string of carrot garland, repeat to make the third string of garland up towards the top of the tree.
Cut the tomatoes in half width-wise. Then add the cut tomatoes smooth side up to make ornaments.
Next, cut a quarter piece off of a whole green bell pepper and cut about 12 very thin pieces that are about 3 inches long. Lay out 4 rows of the thin pieces of bell pepper in between each strand of carrot garland to make the bell pepper garland.
Then lay the whole yellow cherry tomatoes on the tree as ornaments.
Next, cut the mushrooms in quarters. Then add 6 of the cut pieces to the bottom of the tree to form the trunk.
Cut the cucumber slices about an inch thick (with the skin on). Then cut each slice into quarters to form 4 triangles. Lay out the triangular pieces of cucumber on the tree as ornaments.
Then cut the green olives into about ½ inch thick slices and lay them on to the tree as ornaments.
Next, cut the black olives in half lengthwise and lay them cut side down on to the tree as ornaments.
Lastly, make a rosette out of the radish and use it to top the tree.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
I hope you enjoy these healthy and festive dishes. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Make It Healthy and Make It Fun!