From our homes to yours, we would like to share our favourite recipes as you prepare for your holiday feast.
From all of us, we wish you a very happy Christmas season and many blessings in 2023!
With love, Allison, Brittany, Garret, Julie and Michelle.
Vegan Mushroom Wellington with Rosemary and Pecans
I am all for a hearty Beef-Wellington Christmas meal, however after a few days of holiday eating and socializing I enjoy a flavourful vegan dish for dinner. ~Garret Woynarski
1 box -2 sheets vegan puff pastry, thawed in the fridge overnight. (Use cold-not at room temp)
2 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)
2 pounds mushrooms, sliced, stems OK (except Shiitake stems)
1 large onion, diced
4–6 garlic cloves, rough chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (or sage, or thyme)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup sherry wine, red wine or white wine
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans (or feel free to sub hazelnuts or walnuts)
½ teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons truffle oil (optional)
-If you want to add cheese, add ½ – 1 cup grated pecorino, gruyere, goat cheese or cream cheese- or use a meltable vegan cheese- or make vegan ricotta!
-Egg wash – use nut milk, cream or melted coconut oil to brush on the pastry. If you’re not worried about it being vegan, whisk an egg with a tablespoon of water.
- Make sure the puff pastry is thawed before you start – cold, but thawed. (Note if it is too warm, it may fall apart, if too cold, it will be too stiff to roll.)
- Preheat oven to 400F
- MAKE THE FILLING: Heat oil in an extra-large skillet or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onions, garlic, salt and rosemary and sauté, stirring often, until mushrooms release all their liquid. Turn heat down to medium, and continue sautéing until all the liquid has evaporated, be patient, this will take a little time! Once the mushrooms are relatively dry in the pan, splash with wine and balsamic vinegar and again, sauté on medium heat until all the liquid has cooked off. This is important- you absolutely do not want a watery filling (it will turn into a mess!). Add the toasted chopped pecans, pepper, truffle oil. Taste, adjust salt to your liking. At this point, you could fold in some cheese if you like.
- Let the filling cool 15-20 minutes (you could make the filling a day ahead and refrigerate).
- Fill 2 Puff Pastries: Carefully unroll the puff pastry onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (if it seems stiff, let it thaw a few more minutes until pliable). Place half the filling in a mound along the center (see photo) and working quickly, roll the pastry up, and over, seam side down. Fill and roll the second sheet.
- Brush with the egg or eggless wash.
- Score the pastry using a razor blade or sharp knife with your choice of design – cross-hatch, herringbone, leafy vine or just simple diagonal slits.
- Bake: Place the sheet pan on the middle rack in the oven for 35 minutes, checking at 20 mins, and rotating pan for even browning if necessary. Let the pastry bake until it is a really deep golden colour – to ensure it’s done and flaky all the way through. You may need to add 5 more minutes depending on your oven. Convection will help achieve a golden crust, (use it for the last 5-10 minutes).
- Cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving. Garnish with Rosemary Sprigs. It’s OK to serve at room temp, but warm is best.
Wild Rice Pilaf
From Allison Ziegler’s kitchen
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup diced celery
½ cup carrots
¾ cups diced onion
1 ½ cups wild rice blend
2 2/3 cups vegetable broth
1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- Heat a large skillet to medium-high and add olive oil.Add celery, onion, and carrot to the pan. Sauté, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent and the vegetables have softened – about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and stir to combine.Allow the rice to toast until the oil is absorbed.
- Por in the broth and cover the pot.Bring the rice to a boil and then immediately reduce heat to low. Allow the rice to simmer for 45-50 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow the rice to set for 5-10 minutes to allow the rice to absorb any remaining liquid.
- Fluff the rice with a fork and garnish with fresh herbs before serving.
Cranberry, Goat Cheese, and Pecan Salad
Julie Zepp’s pick
For the Salad:
4 cups baby mixed greens or spring mix, arugula, spinach (about 2.5 oz.)
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup candied pecans*
2 oz. soft goat cheese (chèvre)
For the Dressing:
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1.5 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
black pepper to taste
*For the candied pecans:
2 cups pecans
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch sea salt
- Melt butter (3 tablespoons) in heavy bottomed skillet
- Add pecans (2 cups); stir to coat
- Add coconut sugar (1/3 cup), and cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon); stir to coat.
- Continue stirring until sugars caramelize- they should not be grainy anymore, and begin to darken in color (about 3-4 minutes).
- Spread nuts out on a parchment covered baking sheet, sprinkle with sea salt, and allow to cool for at least ten minutes. If nuts are difficult to separate, you can break them apart after they’ve cooled for a bit.
- In the bottom of a large mixing bowl, whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together until well emulsified.
- Add the baby greens (4 cups) and toss together well with tongs to coat in the dressing.
- Add the sliced red onion (1/4 cup), the dried cranberries (1/4 cup), and the candied nuts (1/4 cup) to the bowl on top of the greens. Use the tines of a fork to crumble the soft goat cheese (2 oz.) directly into the bowl.
- Toss everything gently together. Divide into two serving bowls or plates and serve.
Beverage: Beet Kvass
Brittany Wolfe’s Specialty
This unique and mineral-rich beverage is great for digestion. It equal parts salty, tangy, warming and satisfying.
Note that this is a fermented beverage so if you’re interested in adding it onto the menu, start prepping now! Due to the fermentation, it is also naturally high in probiotics giving you and yours a sweet little blast of gut health this holiday season.
2 cups beets, rinsed and roughly chopped
2 tbsp fresh ginger, roughly chopped
4 cups filtered water
2 tsp sea salt
- Sanitize your jar and lid with boiling water.
- Place beets, ginger, salt and water in the jar.
- Stir until salt is dissolved.
- Cover with an airtight lid and store in a dark place at room temperature.
- It should ferment for 4-15 days.
- Strain and store in the fridge until you are ready to use.
Healthy Sugar Cookies by Vani Hari
Michelle Sthamann’s holiday treat
2 cups blanched almond flour
¼ cup coconut oil melted (or grass-fed butter at room temp)
½ cup coconut palm sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix all wet ingredients together and combine well
- Slowly pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix well
- Drop a tablespoon of dough on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet
- Bake cookies for 8-10 mins (until edges are golden brown)
- As cookies are cooling, sprinkle with a little coconut sugar after baking if desired
- Cool cookies for at least 5 mins before serving
- (Alternatively, if you are cutting out shapes, refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour and then roll out using a rolling pin and additional almond flour and bake the same way)