10 Festive Holiday Cocktails

10 Festive Holiday Cocktails | Dietitian Debbie Dishes

No holiday party is complete without something festive to sip on during the merry-making! Winter drinks are chock full of cranberries, citrus, pomegranate, and spices. Stock up and try all 10 of these festive holiday cocktails from some of my favorite bloggers! 

Row One:

Row Two:

Row Three:

Row Four:

Stuffed Butternut Squash

Vegetarian Stuffed Butternut Squash

Whew! It’s been hard to keep up with this little blog of mine over the last week. The holidays are such a busy time of year! Last week included a few holiday parties and get togethers so I was so exhausted by the time the weekend came around. (Thank God for lots of coffee to get me through!) Things have been even more busy as we continue to pack for our move in just two weeks. Since we’ll be downsizing to a one bedroom apartment, we’ve been spending a lot of time sorting and made a couple trips to donate carloads of stuff. It feels good to declutter!

Meanwhile, I made this stuffed butternut squash last weekend and enjoyed packing leftovers in my lunch this week. Who says that turkey is the only dish that can be stuffed?! I am a huge fan of butternut squash and always looking for new ways to prepare it. This stuffed version is a little more labor intensive than cubed and roasted squash, but totally worth it! The stuffing is brimming with Mediterranean inspired flavors from olives, feta, and olive oil. 

Stuffed Butternut Squash
 
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Turkey isn't the only food that can be stuffed. Try this vegetarian version of stuffed butternut squash filled with seasoned quinoa and brussels sprouts.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 4-5
Ingredients
  • 1 butternut squash
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 handful brussels sprouts
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8-10 kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2-3 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ounce feta cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and place cut side up on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  3. Brush cut side of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil and bake for 45-60 minutes or until tender when poked with a fork.
  4. In a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook about 15-20 minutes or until broth is absorbed. Set aside.
  5. Put the brussels sprouts in a food processor and process until finely chopped/shredded.
  6. In a skillet, melt the butter. Add the chopped onion, sage, and brussels sprouts. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until brussels sprouts begin to brown and onion is translucent.
  7. Combine the quinoa, sprout mixture, olives, balsamic, and feta.
  8. Scoop out the flesh of the butternut, leaving about ⅓-1/2 inch of pulp in the skin. In a small bowl, mash the scooped out squash well and then add the the quinoa. Stir until combined.
  9. Spoon quinoa mixture into the hollowed out portion of the butternut squash. Bake for another 10 minutes and serve.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ Squash Calories: 254 kcals Fat: 13 g Saturated fat: 5.5 g Carbohydrates: 31 g Sugar: 4.5 g Sodium: 355 mg Fiber: 5 g Protein: 6 g Cholesterol: 22 mg

  Stuffed Butternut Squash

Gingerbread Oatmeal

Gingerbread Oatmeal | Dietitian Debbie Dishes It may be the holiday season, but you wouldn’t guess it from the looks of our apartment which will soon be littered in moving boxes. The last few weeks have been a bit crazy as we searched through listing after listing online. We weren’t really ready to move yet, but our lease was nearing its end and our landlord wanted to move back into our apartment. We found a place a little closer to downtown with lots of windows and a butcher block counter – which I am excited about! The only challenge will be moving our 2 bedroom apartment into a smaller, one bedroom which has only one closet. Eek! I’ve been reading over articles on Apartment Therapy and this new to me blog, Reading My Tea Leaves for inspiration on living in small spaces. Although I admit, I am getting excited about the prospect of pairing down a bit. I’ve been making progress on creating a minimalist wardrobe and have begun working on getting a few basics to fill in any gaps!

Gingerbread Oatmeal | Dietitian Debbie Dishes To fuel said decluttering and packing, I made a batch of this delicious gingerbread oatmeal. It had been way too long since I last posted a breakfast recipe here. Since it was too early in the morning to make/eat cookies, I thought I would use the same flavors in my breakfast cereal. Molasses, brown sugar, cloves, and cinnamon pair well together in this flavorful and filling bowl. For fun, I topped my oats with some chopped pecans, pomegranate, and a bit of orange zest.

Gingerbread Oatmeal
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ginger, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • Dash of salt
  • Toppings:
  • Pomegranate
  • Chopped nuts
  • Orange zest
  • Raisins
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all the ingredients.
  2. Bring to a simmer and stir. Stir continuously until liquid is absorbed and oats thicken.
  3. Serve hot with option toppings.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ Cup Calories: 399 kcals Fat: 7 g Saturated fat: 2 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 69 g Sugar: 17 g Sodium: 114 mg Fiber: 8.7 g Protein: 15 g Cholesterol: 6 mg

 

Gingerbread Oatmeal

Gift Worthy Cookbooks

Cookbook Gift Guide

If you happen to read a few food blogs like I do, you may have noticed that quite a few popular bloggers published gorgeous cookbooks this year. A few of these are on my own list in fact. ;-) Not quite all of the ones in this list were written by bloggers, but quite a few. All are sure to include lots of great recipes for everyone from the new cook to the self-proclaimed gourmet chef. Surprise one of the home cooks/foodies in your life this Christmas with one of these gift worthy cookbooks.

(Books listed by row from left to right)

First Row:

Second Row:

  • Heritage by Sean Brock –> Ok – so this Southern cooking book wouldn’t have a lot of vegetarian-friendly recipes for me, but a few recipes Will would enjoy and those photos!
  • Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson –> Who doesn’t love Joy the Baker?!
  • Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan –> Talk about food porn, the photography in this book looks gorgeous. Plus, breakfast is my jam. 

Third Row:

  • My New Roots by Sarah Britton –> Simple, wholesome plant based recipes. 
  • The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon –> She makes going vegan look oh so delicious!
  • Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi –> Take your vegetarian cooking skills to a whole new level with this awesome cookbook.

Fourth Row:

  • The Vibrant Table by Anya Kassoff –> Fresh, seasonal, vegetarian/vegan/gluten free recipes in a beautifully photographed book? I’m in!
  • Top with Cinnamon Cookbook by Izy Hossack –> Well-renowned blog and a great cookbook? I may be a little jealous of this 17 year old!
  • YumUniverse by Heather Crosby –> Great resource for the vegan-curious.

Fifth Row:

15 Gift Ideas for Foodies

15 Gift Ideas for Foodies

Let’s chat Christmas! Will and I just watched Elf yesterday, which always puts me in the mood for the holidays. I’ve also been having fun listening to the Sufjan Stevens holiday Pandora while “working” on my holiday Pinterest board.  If you are anything like me, you still have a number of people on your Christmas list to purchase gifts for over the next couple of weeks. Perhaps you have a few foodies on there? Here are 15 fun and quirky gift ideas!

  1. Serving bowls // 2. Elephant Creamer // 3. Cheese Board // 4. At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen // 5. Portsmouth Apron // 6. Wipe Your Paws Tea Towels // 7. Squirrel Tea Infuser // 8. Cold Brew Coffee Syrup // 9. Dessert Stand // 10. Fox Mug // 11. DIY Cheese Kit // 12. Owl Canister // 13. Hunting and Gathering Tote // 14. Grow Your Own Mushroom Kit // 15. Striped Mixing Bowl Set

Cranberry Baked Brie

Cranberry Baked Brie | Dietitian Debbie Dishes

I can’t believe Thanksgiving will be here tomorrow. This week has flown by so quickly! If you are still scrambling to come put with a dish to bring, I’ve got you covered. This baked brie with cranberry sauce is a perfect appetizer for snacking on while you wait for the turkey to finish. Need a few more dish ideas? Check out my round-up of 20 vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes

The cranberry sauce for this baked brie is also perfect for serving on the Thanksgiving table as well. (This recipe makes enough for leftovers!) The sugar has been reduced quite a bit in this version, so it is more tart than sweet. Just the way I like it! Honestly, I feel the tartness pairs really well with the creamy brie. However, if you prefer sweet, I would add another 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar to the recipe listed below. 

Cranberry Baked Brie | Dietitian Debbie Dishes

With all the holiday parties on the horizon, this cranberry baked brie is a great recipe to keep in your back pocket as a simple appetizer to share. The prep work is minimal and you only need to pick up a few simple ingredients to make it happen.

Hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cranberry Baked Brie
 
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Need to bring a dish to share at a holiday party? This cranberry baked brie is super simple, delicious, and classy.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 2 Cups
Ingredients
  • 1.7 ounce package no sugar needed fruit pectin (used for canning)
  • 12 ounces (3 cups) fresh cranberries
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • ⅔ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 (8 ounce) round brie
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pour the cranberries, orange juice, and water in a medium saucepan.
  3. Sprinkle the pectin into the pan, stirring constantly until dissolved into cranberry mixture.
  4. Turn on the heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the cranberries pop and soften and the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Unwrap brie and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until soft to touch.
  6. While brie is still warm, spread a generous amount of cranberry sauce on top. Arrange on serving platter with additional cranberry sauce and crackers.

 

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Vegetarian Shepherds Pie | Dietitian Debbie Dishes

Lately, I have been all about the comfort food. These days, you’ll find me lounging around the house in a large pair of wool socks and a cup of hot tea. If only I had a good book… I have been wanting to get my hands on Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. I absolutely adore her in Parks and Recreation! The reason I haven’t picked it up yet is that I have been debating about taking the plunge into audiobooks. Chicago traffic and my job in home care means that I log a lot of hours in the car so I could probably get through a lot of books. New Years resolution perhaps?

Vegetarian Shepherds Pie | Dietitian Debbie Dishes

As a vegetarian, there are a lot of comfort foods I haven’t had in ages since they are most often served with meat. Shepherd’s pie is one such dish. To make sure that this dish still had a hearty amount of protein, I subbed ground beef/turkey for crumbled tempeh. In addition to tempeh, there is a healthy mix of vegetables including peas, green beans, carrots, and mushrooms. By switching out sweet potatoes for regular potatoes for the topping, you get a healthy dose of Vitamin A in addition to potassium and Vitamin B6. 

A few other handy tips –> To make the prep work for this dish go faster, simply buy a bag of frozen mixed vegetables and substitute those for the chopped green beans, peas, and carrots. This dish would be a great way to use up any leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving dinner. To make the dish vegan, sub the butter for oil and the milk in the mashed sweet potatoes for non-dairy milk. 

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
 
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A comfort food classic gets a vegetarian makeover with this vegetarian shepherds pie topped with delicious mashed sweet potatoes.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 5-6
Ingredients
  • 4-5 small sweet potatoes, chopped in ½" pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 4 ounces button mushrooms, chopped
  • ¼ pound green beans, sliced in ½" pieces
  • 1½ tablespoons flour
  • 1½ cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup frozen green peas
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounce package tempeh, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
Instructions
  1. Place chopped sweet potatoes in a medium stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are very tender, approximately 30 minutes.
  2. In a dutch oven, melt butter and add carrots and onion. Cook until onion is translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic, mushrooms, and green beans. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the flour and stir well. Add the broth and bring to a simmer.
  4. Stir in the peas, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook another 1-2 minutes and then turn off the heat.
  5. In a non-stick skillet, add the oil and crumbled tempeh. Stir fry over medium-high heat until golden brown. Add to the vegetable/broth mixture and stir well.
  6. Once the potatoes are soft, drain and pour into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and milk. Using your mixer, beat potatoes until fluffy.
  7. Pour tempeh/vegetable mixture into a 10" heat safe skillet. Spread mashed sweet potatoes in an even layer over top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until filling is bubbling around the edges of the pan.
  8. Transfer pan to broiler and cook another 2 minutes or until top is lightly browned.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 431 kcals Fat: 18 g Saturated fat: 7 g Carbohydrates: 45 g Fiber: 7 g Protein: 17 g

  Vegetarian Shepherds Pie | Dietitian Debbie Dishes

Last Minute Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dishes

20 Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dishes | Dietitian Debbie

Are you still planning out your Thanksgiving menu as you make up your shopping list for the weekend? (Sheepishly raises hand…) Maybe you plan to have a few vegetarians sitting around your table this year and you have no idea what to make for them? Have no fear, I have you covered with this delicious round up of 20 delicious, vegetarian-friendly Thanksgiving dishes!

Links are listed by rows from left to right.

Row One:

Row Two:

Row Three:

Row Four:

Row Five:

Need even more inspiration? Check out my Vegetarian Thanksgiving Pinterest Board!

Rosemary Roasted Vegetables

Rosemary Roasted Vegetables | Dietitian Debbie Dishes Whenever people tell me that they don’t like vegetables, I always suggest that they give roasted ones a try. There is just something magical that happens to roasted vegetables. They take on a tender texture without getting mushy, crisp up nicely around the edges, and become subtly sweet. Mmm… It makes me sad that I missed out on roasted vegetables for so many years growing up! 

The theme of this month’s recipe redux was to take a family Thanksgiving recipe and make it healthier. This isn’t really a remake of a family favorite, but as a dietitian, I want to make sure any future Thanksgivings I may host feature a lot of tasty vegetable dishes. These rosemary roasted vegetables would be the perfect side dish. I know there aren’t usually enough non-starchy vegetables on the Thanksgiving table, so why not make this dish a new tradition? Who says that the turkey and pumpkin pie have to be the stars of the show?! I know I am considering it! 

Fall vegetables pair really well with rosemary, which is a Thanksgiving favorite. I used brussels sprouts, butternut squash, parsnips, red onion, and carrots in my dish, but feel free to substitute with other hardy vegetables you have on hand. (Think sweet potatoes, delicata squash, rutabaga, etc.) To make it extra special, I browned a bit of butter to toss the vegetables in after cooking to add even more flavor. (Roasted vegetables with a little brown butter = heaven.) Not sure how to brown butter? Check out this helpful tutorial.

Rosemary Roasted Vegetables | Dietitian Debbie Dishes

 

Rosemary Roasted Vegetables
 
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No Thanksgiving dinner would be complete without a delicious vegetable filled side dish like these rosemary roasted vegetables.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 4-5
Ingredients
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into ½" pieces
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and sliced in ¼" wide pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced in ¼" wide pieces
  • 1 large handful brussels sprouts, halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (2 tablespoons if making browned butter)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Chop vegetables and place into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add garlic, olive oil, rosemary leaves and salt to vegetables. Toss to coat.
  4. Spread onto baking sheets in a single layer. (Try not to overcrowd the vegetables.)
  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until vegetables are browned and tender.
  6. Optional: Melt butter in a small saucepan. Stirring continuously, allow butter to continue to cook until it begins to foam. As soon as the butter begins to turn golden brown and smell caramel-like, remove from the heat and pour into a heat safe bowl. Toss vegetables in brown butter to serve.
  7. Garnish with fresh rosemary.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅔ Cup Calories: 182 kcals Fat: 12 g Saturated fat: 5 g Carbohydrates: 18 g Sodium: 103 mg Fiber: 3.5 g Protein: 1.8 g

 
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Gluten Free No Bake Pumpkin Pie

science behind dieting

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake | Dietitian Debbie Dishes The two dishes that I looked forward to most at Thanksgiving growing up were the sweet potato casserole and the pumpkin pie (with a huge dollop of whipped cream!). My grandmother always made the best pies. She was a pro at making homemade pie crust. Since I knew any pie I made couldn’t measure up by my grandma’s, I thought I would go a different route. This gluten free, no bake pumpkin cheesecakes are my fun twist on the tradition pumpkin pie. They can be whipped up in a matter of minutes and made ahead so that you can focus on the main affair. 

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake | Dietitian Debbie Bring these to friends-giving and you’ll be the most popular person at the party! To make these gluten free, the crust is made from crushed pecans rather than graham crackers glued together with a little bit of butter and brown sugar. (So good by itself, I had a hard time not snacking on little bites while assembling these babies.) On top of that simple crust is a super rich and creamy pumpkin flavored mousse/pudding/cheesecake. Since this is a pretty rich dessert, I would suggest serving in small glasses (even shot glasses!). The filling for these no bake pumpkin pies was adapted from these lovely no-bake bourbon pecan pie cheesecakes from How Sweet It Is.

Gluten Free No Bake Pumpkin Pie
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten Free
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • ⅓ cup sugar
Instructions
  1. Pour pecans into a food process and puree until they resemble bread crumbs. Transfer to a small bowl.
  2. Melt butter and pour over pecans. Add brown sugar and stir well. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add the pumpkin, cream cheese, mascarpone, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and sugar. Beat again until all ingredients are mixed well.
  4. To assemble pies, divide pecan crust between serving glasses. Press into the bottom of the glass. Spoon pumpkin mixture over the crust. Top with whipped cream, cinnamon, and additional pecans. Serve chilled.

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake | Dietitian Debbie