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Festive Cooking

By Darlene Blaney, PhD, NCP, CFT

It Is Written Canada is delighted to provide you some delicious, healthy recipes for the holiday season.

We wish you God’s richest blessings during this holiday season.

Chickpea Sandwich Spread

1 can chickpeas roughly mashed
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, grated
2 stalks of green onions, chopped
Mock-chicken seasoning, to taste
Soy mayonnaise

Mash chickpeas with a fork or food processor.
Add green onion, celery, and carrot.
Add the soy mayonnaise, to bind it together.
Sprinkle in some mock-chicken seasoning.
Then mix it all together.

Put this spread on crackers, on pita bread, or regular bread. Add lettuce and tomato to make a delicious sandwich.

Gingerbread Cookies

1/3 c. oil
1/3 c. honey or agave nectar, or a ½ c. maple syrup, or ½ c. cane sugar
½ c. molasses
1/3 c. water
3 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking powder, alum free
1 tsp. ginger powder
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. salt

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix ingredients together well.
  2. Roll dough out on a lightly floured board.
  3. Cut dough into shapes of gingerbread men.
  4. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees F. for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

“Chicken-like” Gravy

½ cup flour, unbleached white, whole wheat or brown rice
3 Tbsp. Blaney’s Chicken-like seasoning
2 Tbsp. Braggs all purpose seasoning
4 cups water
Salt to taste

  1. In a medium sized pot, combine flour and seasoning.
  2. Whisk in water slowly. Bring to a boil then simmer until thickened.
  3. Add salt to taste.

Stuffed Squash

1 squash of your choice (1 large, or 2-3 small ones)
Halve the squash; remove the seeds and stringy portions. Place the squash, cut-sides down, in a large glass baking dish with 1-inch of water in the bottom. Cover and steam until tender at 400 degrees F., for about 20 minutes. Or cook in a microwave on high until tender, about 8 minutes.

4 cups fresh whole-wheat bread crumbs
2 cups cooked whole spelt grain, Kamut grain, or combined brown and wild rice
1/3 c. olive oil
¾ c. water
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. poultry seasoning
1 medium onion, chopped fine
¼ c. dried cranberries
¼ c. diced celery
¼ c. grated carrot
¼ c. slivered roasted almonds

  1. Mix all ingredients together and place in a large baking dish. Bake in a 350 degree F. oven, covered for about 20-30 minutes, or until onion is soft. Or: cover and place in microwave on high for 5 minutes. Stir and then place back in microwave on high for another 5 minutes.
  2. Spoon dressing into squash halves and bake in oven once again just prior to serving for approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Serve with gravy on the side.

Turkey and Dressing

½ MGM frozen “No Turkey” roll
1 recipe “Bread Dressing”
1 recipe “Chicken Gravy”

  1. Cover bottom of a 9” x 12” baking pan with a thin layer of gravy approximately ¼-inch thick.
  2. Slice turkey into round ¼-inch slices. Bend each slice of turkey into a “taco shell” shape.       Fill with dressing and stand in baking dish. Repeat placing each “shell” snug against each other until the dish is full.
  3. Divide remaining dressing evenly amongst each shell.
  4. Drizzle gravy over top of turkey shells. Reserve remaining gravy to serve with meal.
  5. Place dish in oven at 350 degrees F. until golden brown.
  6. Serve with cranberries.

*When serving, each piece will hold its shape better, if baked a day in advance.

Beet & Cilantro Salad

3-4 beets
1/2 red bell pepper, cubed
1/4 to 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup shredded carrots
Cumin Vinaigrette
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus a few sprigs for garnish

Juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1-2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
Dash of maple syrup
Pinch cayenne pepper

Steam the beets for about 40 minutes, or until you can stick a fork in them easily. Cool them until they’re comfy to handle, then cut them into small pieces in a medium-large bowl. Add the red bell pepper, green onions, and carrots. Dress generously with the exotic Cumin Vinaigrette and allow to marinate, refrigerated, for several hours or overnight. Before serving, stir in the cilantro and garnish with a few additional sprigs of cilantro.

* (from Beverly Edwards-Haines)

Spelt Fruitcake

1 1/3 c. unsweetened pineapple juice
3 c. mixed dried fruit (mango, pineapple, papaya)
1 c. chopped dates
1 c. dried cranberries
2 c. raisins
2 c. mixed nuts (dry roasted, unsalted)
1 Tbsp. vanilla
7 ½ tsp. Ener-G Egg Replacer Powder dissolved in 5 Tbsp. water
½ c. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. allspice
3 tsp. baking powder (alum. Free)
4 c. spelt flour

  1. Mix all ingredients together in order given.
  2. Pour dough into 2 – 9” glass round or square dishes or 3 bread pans, lightly greased.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes or until golden brown and when toothpick is inserted – comes out clean.
  4. Cool cakes in pans before removing.

*These freeze very well!

Vegan Eggnog

2 Pkg’s Silken tofu, firm
2 cups soy or almond milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup pure maple syrup
Pinch salt
½ tsp. nutmeg

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Chill for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to marinate. Serve with nutmeg lightly sprinkled on top, if desired.

Stuffed Baked Potatoes

8 medium potatoes
2 c. soymilk or choice of milk
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes

*opt. imitation bacon bits



  1. Bake potatoes until done in microwave or oven. Let cool.
  2. Cut each potato in half. Scoop the middle out of each half being careful to not puncture the skin. (Do not worry about getting all the potato out)
  3. Place inside of potato into food processor. Add remaining ingredients except paprika. Blend until smooth. Divide evenly amongst each potato, filling the skins.
  4. Sprinkle with paprika.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees F. until potatoes are warmed.

Boxing Day Soup

*opt. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 medium potatoes, diced small
½ Tbsp. curry powder
2 Tbsp. Braggs All Purpose Seasoning
1/3 cup Blaney’s “Chicken”-like seasoning
6 cups water
2 cups leftover veggies – peas, carrots, brussel sprouts, turnip, etc.
Salt to taste

  1. Sauté in a little olive oil onion, celery and potato for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add seasonings and water. Simmer for approximately 15 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
  3. Add leftover veggies. Heat through.
  4. Puree soup. Add salt to taste.
  5. Serve immediately hot with crackers if desired.

Bread Dressing

4 c. fresh whole grain bread crumbs
¼ c. olive oil
½ c. water
¼ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. poultry seasoning
1 small onion, chopped fine

  1. Combine all ingredients. Place in casserole dish. Cover.
  2. Cook in microwave on high for 5 minutes. Stir. Microwave for 5 minutes longer or until onions are soft.
  3. Serve. (You may bake in a 350 degree F. oven until onions are tender instead of the microwave)

Cranberry Sauce

1 Pkg. frozen cranberries
1 large apple (peeled or unpeeled, your choice)
½ orange, may use peeling as well
1/3-1/2 c. honey or choice of sweetener

Place ingredients in a food processor and chop. Do not mush. Serve chilled.

Bev’s Quinoa Salad

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 carrot, grated
½ cup kale, shredded
¼ cup currants
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ teaspoon salt (optional)

Mix ingredients together.
Pour prepared Tahini Dressing over salad and mix well.

Carob Balls

1 c. peanut butter unsweetened and smooth
1 c. chopped dates softened in a little hot water
1/3 c. honey
1 c. finely ground almonds
1 c. roasted wheat germ
1 c. soy milk powder
3 Tbsp. apple juice
2 c. carob chips (barley malt sweetened)

  1. Mix together all ingredients except carob chips. (You will need to use your hands)
  2. Melt carob chips in double boiler or in a pot over low heat.

Form a ball out of first mixture. Dip in melted carob and place on cookie sheet. Repeat until mixture is used up. Chill in fridge. These freeze well and make nice gifts.

*(from the SilverHills Cookbook)

Hot Fruit Cider

2 litres unsweetened apple juice
1 litre unsweetened orange juice
1 litre unsweetened cranberry juice
4 whole cinnamon sticks
8-10 whole cloves
1 mandarin orange divided into sections

Place all ingredients in large pot or crock-pot. Heat over medium temperature and simmer for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Baked Yams

2 medium yams
2 c. pineapple juice
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
1 – 14oz. can pineapple rings
6-10 frozen or fresh cranberries

  1. Peel and slice yam into ¼-inch thick rounds.   Place in glass baking dish.
  2. Cover bottom of pan with water (approx. ½ cup). Cover dish and place in microwave or oven and cook until tender. (if using a microwave, bake 10 minutes on high)
  3. In a small saucepan, dissolve cornstarch in pineapple juice and add salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring often. Simmer until mixture becomes thick and turns clear in color.
  4. Garnish sweet potato with pineapple rings and cranberries. Pour thickened mixture evenly over the top.
  5. Bake in oven at 350 degrees F. for about 30 minutes.

Christmas Salad

Choice of: 1 head romaine lettuce (chopped), baby spinach, spring mix, kale, or combination of “greens” (approximately 8 cups)
1/3 cup fresh minced parsley
3 green onions, chopped
1 orange, peeled and cut into pieces
½ cup pomegranate seeds
1 cup fresh walnut pieces or halves

Dressing: ¼ c. olive oil
3 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp. honey or your choice of sweetener
¼ tsp. salt

  1. Mix dressing ingredients together well. Set aside in fridge.
  2. Toss together “greens”, parsley, green onions, orange, pomegranate seeds and walnuts.
  3. Toss salad with dressing just prior to serving. Serves: 8

Nut Loaf

2 c. raw cashews, ground
2 c. ground gluten or commercial gluten product such as “Yves Ground Round”
1 large onion, chopped
¼ c. chopped celery
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 c. dry bread crumbs
¾ c. soymilk
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch or 3 Tbsp. arrowroot powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Braggs All Purpose Seasoning
2 Tbsp. chicken-like seasoning
1 Tbsp. dry parsley flakes
1 tsp. poultry seasoning

  1. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
  2. Pour into 1 large or 2 small lightly greased loaf pans.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45-60 minutes or until brown on top.
  4. Let sit 10 minutes before serving (or prepare the day prior).       Garnish with fresh parsley and cherry tomatoes.

Tahini Dressing

Juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons tahini
1 teaspoon almond butter
Water to thin it out to desired consistency
½ teaspoon sweetener

Sprinkling of chili pepper seeds
Dash of Herbamare and/or other spices
Mix well and pour over Quinoa Salad.