Aubrey Mast

Recipes to Stay Healthy Through the Holidays

November 14, 2017

Along with the changing colors of the leaves and the ending of Daylight Saving Time, the temptation of holiday treats defines this time of year. You can balance your favorite food traditions with healthy new ideas found in these recipes from our campus partners Cabarrus Health Alliance,  the Dole Nutrition Institute and NC State Plants for Human Health Institute. First meet our experts and then read the recipes.

From Meghan’s Cookbook:

Meghan Charpentier, MS, MPH, Cabarrus Health Alliance

Meghan Charpentier, MS, MPH, Cabarrus Health Alliance

Artichoke, Spinach, and Tomato Flatbread
Spinach Pinwheels

Holiday colored and festively filling. Both will give you the feeling of ‘party’ while still being healthy. Pizza and wraps can be healthy, again, make your own sauce/bean base and using heart-healthy grain-filled wraps or flatbread will keep you satisfied and satiated. Plus, there is no upper limit on how many veggies you can stuff on top or in between, the more the merrier!

 

Sweet Potato Brownie Bites
Avocado Brownies
Black Bean Peppermint Brownies        

Hidden goodness in a brownie. It’s always fun to hide the extra goodness in a classic dessert favorite. Healthy fats, vitamins and fiber coming right up, so many varieties to play with.

 

Aubrey Mast, MPH, Extension Associate in Nutrition at the N.C. State Plants for Human Health Institute

From Aubrey’s Cookbook:

No-Cook Cranberry Sauce

Whether you’re making the whole Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner, or taking a dish to a friend’s house, give a little thought about your cranberry sauce. To get the best nutrition from it, never cook your cranberries. Instead, blend them into a coarse sauce-like consistency. Follow this recipe to have a fresh, vibrant, bold, flavorsome cranberry sauce that the whole family will be coming back for more of – you’ll be the talk of the town over the festive season.

 

 

From Mark’s Cookbook:

Quinoa Berry Breakfast Bars

Chef Mark Allison, Director of Culinary Nutrition for the Dole Nutrition Institute

Quinoa is a complete protein source, a rare quality for a plant food. This means that quinoa has all 20 amino acids, half of which are not produced by the body own its own. Quinoa is also a good source of fiber, and it has a handful of other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Paired with polyphenol-rich berries, this recipe is a tasty way to eat healthy during the holidays without sacrificing flavor.

 

 

 

 

 

Our Holiday Recipes

 

Artichoke, Spinach, and Tomato Flatbread

Ingredients:

  1. 2 cloves of garlic minced
  2. 2 tbsp. fresh minced parsley
  3. 6 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  4. 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  5. 4 tbsp. shredded parmesan cheese,
  6. 14-ounce can quartered artichokes in water, drained
  7. 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  8. 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  9. Basil leaves, chopped
  10. Flatbread

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine garlic, parsley, and 4 tablespoons olive oil. Spread evenly on each flatbread. Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Toss artichokes, tomatoes, spinach, and basil with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Arrange on top of cheese. Bake flatbread for 10-12 minutes or until golden and crisp.

 

Spinach Tomato Basil Pinwheels

Ingredients:

  1. 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  2. 1/4 cup olive oil
  3. 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  4. 2 cloves garlic
  5. 2 cups chopped raw spinach
  6. 1 cup fresh basil
  7. 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  8. Whole-wheat tortillas

Instructions:

Puree beans, garlic, and olive oil in food processor (add more water if necessary). Add bean puree with the sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, basil and cheese to a large bowl and mix. Lay tortillas flat and add mixture to both, roll tightly and slice into pinwheels.

 

Sweet Potato Brownies

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup mashed/pureed sweet potato
  2. 1/2 cup nut butter
  3. 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  4. 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  5. Chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan. Melt nut butter and maple syrup. Add to mashed sweet potato and cocoa powder. If using chocolate chips, add too and mix well. Pour into pan, bake for 20 minutes.

 

Avocado Brownies

Ingredients:

  1. 8 ounces dark chocolate, melted
  2. 4 eggs
  3. 1 cup light brown sugar
  4. 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  7. 2 ripe avocados

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9×13” pan with parchment paper. Melt chocolate, set aside. Mix together eggs and sugar until light and fluffy (5 minutes or until mixture doubles in volume). Slowly mix in melted chocolate. Fold in salt and vanilla. Mix in avocado until well blended. Bake for 20 minutes or until set.

 

Vegan Black Bean Peppermint Brownies

Ingredients:

  1. 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  2. Flax egg: 2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal + 5 Tbsp. water
  3. 3 Tbsp. coconut oil
  4. 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  5. 5 tsp. baking powder
  6. .5 tsp. salt
  7. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  8. 1/2 cup raw sugar
  9. 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
  10. 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  11. 2 Tbsp. finely crushed peppermint canes

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare flax eggs in food processor and let sit for 1 minute. Combine the rest of the ingredients (except candy canes, peppermint extract, and chocolate chips) and puree for about 3 minutes or until smooth. If batter appears too thick, add 1-2 Tbsp. water. Add in peppermint extract and sample and adjust to your liking. Pulse. Stir in chocolate chips. Evenly distribute batter into lightly greased pan. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until edges begin to pull away from the sides. The middle will be fudgy. Let cool and cut into 16 servings.

 

No-Cook Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:

  1. ½ cup walnuts
  2. 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  3. 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  4. 1 small Thai red chili, seeds removed, flesh finely chopped
  5. 3 tablespoons dried cherries
  6. 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  7. 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  8. ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  9. 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  10. 2 cups fresh cranberries
  11. 1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro or parsley

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Place the walnuts onto a tray and pop into the oven to toast for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool.

At the same time, place the mustard seeds on another tray and place into the oven to toast or until they pop, about 3 minutes, then remove from the oven and place into a small sauce pan along with the finely diced red onion, diced chili, dried cherries, maple syrup, sherry vinegar, nutmeg and salt. Gently warm through on the stove until the onions are soft, the cherries have plumped up slightly, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Place the cold walnuts along with 1 ½ cups of the fresh cranberries into a blender and pulse 4 to 5 times, just enough to coarsely chop everything together, but not to the point of puree. Tip out into a bowl, then fold in the remaining whole cranberries, onion mixture and the chopped cilantro, cover with plastic and let the flavors infuse for 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy.

 

Quinoa Berry Breakfast Bars

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup quinoa
  2. 2 bananas
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 2 tbsp lemon juice, fresh
  5. 1½ cups oats, quick cooking
  6. 1 tsp baking powder
  7. 1 tsp cinnamon
  8. ⅓ cup coconut sugar
  9. ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  10. 2 tbsp nut butter or seed butter
  11. 1 tsp vanilla (powder or extract)
  12. 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  13. 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
  14. ½ cup raspberries, fresh or frozen

Instructions:

Heat oven to 350°F. Cook 1 cup of quinoa (Boil 2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa for 15 minutes, or until liquid has evaporated). Set aside to cool. Mash the banana in a bowl and add all other ingredients, including the quinoa. Stir until fully incorporated. Press batter into a coated baking dish, bake for 20-30 minutes until the top is browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Cut into bars and serve warm or cool.

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