Healthy Holidays…

By Crystal Stevens

When it comes to the holidays, many classic American side dish recipes come to mind such as green bean casserole, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, canned cranberry sauce, and the infamous instant mashed potatoes. Some folks really enjoy these holiday favorites. Unfortunately, standard holiday dishes may not be the healthiest as they tend to be loaded with sodium, highly processed grains, refined sugars and modified starches.

They also have the ability to leave us fatigued and full. There are healthy alternatives that are pleasant on the taste buds. Healthy Planet readers tend to be savvy to the local foods scene, but it is also important to share these concepts with friends and family who may not know the importance of healthy, locally sourced foods. The more individuals who are concerned about local food increases the potential for small farmers to thrive in their communities. Luckily, you can still source a plethora of local ingredients from Local Harvest, City Greens, The Tower Grove Farmers Market and The Schlafly Winter Market.

You can also get veggies directly from La Vista Farm via the Holiday Share: A large bag of fresh locally grown, non certified organic veggies including butternut squash, acorn squash, sweet potatoes, kale, lettuce, peppers, greens, garlic, fresh sage and more. The Holiday Share is $40 and can be picked up from Garden Heights Nursery on Sunday, November 23rd between 3 and 4pm.
Email crystal@lavistacsa.org to order a Holiday Share.

35 Healthy Recipe Ideas for the Holidays

  • Butternut Squash Bisque with coconut milk topped with pan fried sage
  • Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash with the skin on
  • Butternut squash, kale and quinoa soup with vegetable broth base
  • Sweet Potato Bisque with honey, cinnamon and coconut milk
  • Sweet Potato Noodles (raw, sliced with a spiral slicer) with Moroccan spices
  • Moroccan Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • Massaged Kale Salad with extra virgin olive oil and Celtic sea salt
  • Braised kale with garlic and shallots
  • Roasted Roots
  • Glazed Turnips with fresh rosemary and honey or maple syrup
  • Quinoa and Veggie Stuffed Acorn squash
  • Eggplant and Tomato Bake
  • Kale and Brown Rice Stuffed Peppers
  • Waldorf Salad with cranberries walnuts, celery, apples, and vegan mayo
  • Winter Squash bake with vegan cheese and Panko crumbs
  • Shredded Beet Salad with apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and maple syrup
  • Wild Rice, shallot and mushroom stuffing with local artisan bread
  • Wild Rice, Cranberry and Apple salad
  • Raw Chocolate Truffles with coconut oil, cacao powder and maple syrup
  • Lentil loaf with cooked or sprouted lentils, gluten free flour, onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and arrowroot powder
  • Real Cranberry Sauce made with fresh cranberries, maple syrup and apples
  • Braised Greens on a bed of Mashed Turnips
  • Green Beans with Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar and Shallots
  • Super Greens Salad with kale, spinach, parsley, Romaine lettuce, scallions, raw pumpkin seeds and green peppers with Pesto & Apple Cider Vinaigrette
  • Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
  • Wild Greens Pesto with dandelion greens, lambs quarters, and parsley
  • Fresh Baked Artisan Rolls with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and flax seeds
  • Chard Rolls stuffed with brown rice and lentils topped with tomato sauce
  • Mushrooms stuffed with wild rice, quinoa, and sautéed onions, garlic, celery and kale
  • Butternut Squash and Sweet potato pie

Simple healthier substitutions:
Use coconut sugar, honey or maple syrup instead of white sugar
Use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil
Use coconut butter instead of store bought butter
Use organic instead of conventional produce
Use fresh garlic instead of garlic powder
Use chopped dates to sweeten pies

Start thinking about local foods! La Vista CSA Farm in Godfrey IL is now accepting members for the 2015 season. Receive a rainbow of bountiful vegetables and herbs from mid-May through mid-November. The cost of membership averages about $30/ week. Visit www.lavistacsa.org for more information. La Vista Farm does a CSA delivery every Saturday morning to Garden Heights Nursery 1605 S. Big Bend Blvd in St. Louis, MO (Maplewood/Richmond Heights neighborhood).