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Holiday Cheer – Organically

Holiday Cheer – Organically

Tis the season to be grateful, enjoy the company of loved ones, and eat delicious food! The holidays are the perfect time to be creative with recipes, so why not add a touch of green to the mix and go organic this year? Organic food is delicious, wholesome, and figure-friendly! A few substitutions to your classic recipe are all it takes to transform your traditional dishes into something that’s good for your body, and for the planet. Venture over to the farmer’s market or to the organic food aisle at your local grocery store and pick up some organic ingredients. Here are a few organic holiday recipes that you can add to your menu this season:

MAIN COURSE: ORGANIC EGGPLANT MOUSSAKA

1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons pure butter, separated
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup flour
3 cups organic milk
4 large organic eggs
2 pounds organic ground beef
3 medium organic onions
2 medium organic potatoes
1 can organic tomato puree
6 large organic eggplants, sliced
Olive oil
½ pound organic Romano cheese

Directions:

  1. Start with the sauce – melt 1/3 cup butter and mix in the flour, salt, and milk. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes until sauce becomes thick. Let cool slightly, and then add beaten eggs, one at a time, until sauce is smooth and well blended.
  2. Make the casserole – In a medium saucepan, brown the onions on high heat until translucent. Add the ground beef and cook until brown. Add tomato puree, salt, and a pinch of pepper for flavor.
  3. In a jelly roll pan, create a layer of sliced eggplant. Brush with olive oil and cook under broiler until brown and slightly crispy. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
  4. Cut potatoes into slices, and boil for approximately 3-5 minutes until softened. Drain on paper towels.
  5. In a casserole dish, alternate layers of eggplant, meat, potatoes and cheese to create 3-4 layers. Pour the butter and egg sauce on top and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
  6. Let cool at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy!

BREAD: ORGANIC PUMPKIN MUFFINS

Pumpkin muffins are a great addition to the snack table, or served after dinner with coffee and tea. Enjoy this organic alternative to pumpkin pie:

2 ½ cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
3 large organic eggs
1 can organic pumpkin mix
¾ cup oil
½ cup raisins

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and cloves in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs in a small bowl, and then add to the flour mixture. Mix together until well combined. Add the canned pumpkin and stir until batter is smooth. Slowly stir in raisins.
  3. Fill 12 large muffin cups ¾ full of batter, and bake for 30 minutes. Serve, and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of the Farmer’s Market Collection

SIDE DISH: MASHED SWEET POTATOES

This tasty treat will quickly become a family favorite, well beyond the holidays! It’s a mixture of organic sweet potatoes and vanilla, and is a healthy alternative to candied yams:

1 ½ pounds organic sweet potato
½ cup + 3 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh butter, softened
Salt
Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake in oven for 50-60 minutes until softened. Remove from oven and cook again for 10-15 minutes until warm and soft. Peel potatoes and throw away the skin. Place potatoes in food processor and blend on medium speed until creamy.
  2. In medium saucepan, bring the cream and vanilla extract to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat, and then pour over potato mixture still in the food processor. Add the butter, and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. *Note: This dish is best served warm.

DESSERT: ORGANIC APPLE PIE

Pie Crust

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup organic unbleached white flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) of cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup organic canola or sunflower oil
3 to 5 tablespoons cold water, more if needed
Milk for brushing the crust

Filling

3 Jonagold apples
3 Macintosh apples
1/2 cup natural, organic cane sugar plus 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons unbleached flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar or Sucanat
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • To prepare the piecrust, combine the flours and salt in a food processor or large mixing bowl. Pulse or cut in the butter with your fingers or a pastry cutter until coarsely crumbled. Add ice water: first 2 tablespoons, then 1 tablespoon at a time to form a ball of dough. Gather the dough together and cut in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate while preparing the filling.
  • Prepare filling: Peel, core, and slice the apples. Place in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, mix 1/2 cups cane sugar with flour, brown sugar or Sucanat, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gently toss into the apples, coating completely. Set aside.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out one ball of dough into a 12-inch circle, and place into a 9-inch pie plate, pressing out any air bubbles. Transfer the apple mixture into the pastry lined pie plate.
  • Roll out remaining dough, place on top of apple mixture. Seal and flute the edges. Brush top with milk, then cut slits in the top dough to allow steam to escape. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of cane sugar.
  • Bake pie on a cookie sheet for 50 minutes to an hour, or until crust is golden and apples are tender.

Enjoy! Repost from Organic Holiday Recipies at divavillage(dot)com

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