Recipes for the season

Happy Holidays!!  The holidays are meant to be a time of joy, a time of merriment, a time for reflection on the year behind us and a time to plan for the future.  Alright, now it’s time to get real. The holidays can also be down right STRESSFUL and often our joy can be lost in trying to simply survive the insanity of shopping, wrapping, packing, flying, driving, and dealing with relatives…   With that being said, I tossed together a few appetizer options, a scrumptious festive soup, and a decadent dessert in hopes that my little gift of recipes will help ease the stress that is often associated with this time of year. If you know you’ll be attending a party or function that likely will be laden with unhealthy options; offer to bring an appetizer or a dish to share so you will not feel deprived and can spread some paleo love along the way!

So please dear readers, keep your chin up, your stress level down, eat well, sleep when you can, hug close the ones you love the most, and give yourself the gift of health this season.  Here’s hoping that you take a few minutes to slow down a bit, look around at all we are blessed with, take a few long deep breaths, and really, truly, honestly ENJOY!!!

Depending on how many people you will be feeding, you may want to double of triple the following recipes.

Merry Little Lamb Bites

1 cup dried apricots, rehydrate by soaking in hot water for 30 minutes

1 lb ground lamb

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of saffron threads

¼ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

1 egg

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Cilantro leaves for garnish

Mix all ingredients together except for the apricots and cilantro leaves.  Place the lamb mixture in fridge for 15 minutes to let the flavors meld.  Remove the lamb from the fridge and heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Form the lamb mixture into small meat balls, about ½ a tablespoon size, and fry in the coconut oil for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Cover the meatballs, turn the heat down to medium low and cook another 5 minutes.  While the meatballs finish cooking, remove the apricots from the water and dry with paper towels.  Cut the apricots into fourths.  To serve, take a meatball, top with a couple of cilantro leaves, and top with a piece of apricot.  I would suggest spearing it all with a toothpick – I did not have any handy for the picture!  Makes approximately 25 meatballs.

Merry Little Lamb Bites

Bell Pepper Shrimp Boats

 

1 lb medium shrimp, cooked tails removed and finely diced

1 red, yellow, and orange bell pepper

1 cup celery, finely diced

½ cup mango, finely diced

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup lemon juice

Pinch or two of cayenne pepper

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Parsley and Paprika for garnish

Preheat oven to 500. Cut each bell pepper into quarters and remove the seeds (see picture).  Roast the bell pepper quarters on each side for 6 minutes.  Remove and set aside to cool.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together the finely chopped shrimp, celery, and mango.  Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and spices and mix well.  Fill each cooled bell pepper boat with the shrimp filling and garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley and sprinkle with paprika.  Makes 16 shrimp boats.

Festive Squash Soup

1 butter nut squash, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes

¼ cup diced yellow onion

1 Fuji apple, peeled, cored and diced

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup coconut milk

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of black pepper

In a large soup pot add the squash, apple, onion, and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the squash is tender.  Add this mixture to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.  Add the soup mixture back to the pot and add the coconut milk and spices.  Bring to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring often.  Serve garnished with apple slices and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  Serves 4. This soup is AMAZING!!!

Festive Squash Soup

Joyful Curry Chicken Gifts

2 ½ cups finely diced cooked chicken breasts

½ cup finely diced cucumber

½ cup raisins

¼ cup slivered almonds

2 tablespoons minced onions

1 tablespoon curry powder

¼ cup paleo mayo

2 cucumbers, sliced or romaine lettuce leaves cut into 3″ pieces

Mix all ingredients together except for the sliced cucumbers or lettuce leaves.  Spoon small amounts of the chicken mixture onto the cucumber slices or lettuce leaves and serve! Delicious!  Will make about 30 cucumber slices.

And finally a dessert…  I made a Zabaglione which is a light Italian custard – more like a sauce really.  It is decadent and amazing and after all your cooking and entertaining, a well deserved treat!! Before I give you this final recipe, I also recommend checking out my pumpkin pie and other recipes from this post for more holiday food ideas.  Another festive dessert idea is my Berry Cobbler, which also works well with sliced apples. Now, on to the Zabaglione…

Brandy Zabaglione

6 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (finely grated lemon peel)

A sprinkle of cinnamon

2 tablespoons of brandy

1/3 cup water

1 mashed banana

Fresh blueberries

Honey

Fill a small sauce pan half way with water.  Bring to a boil and then turn heat down so that the water is just simmering.  In a metal mixing bowl, add the egg yolks, lemon zest, sprinkle of cinnamon, brandy, and water.  Place the bowl on top of the sauce pan with simmering water.  Make sure you bowl is big enough that it does not rest down into the sauce pan and touch the water but that only the steam from the water is heating the bowl.  Using a hand held mixer, beat the egg yolk mixture on low for 10 minutes.  The mixture will become pale and frothy and triple in size.  When it’s finished, it will be a foamy, creamy, very thin custard – not thick at all.  Remove immediately from heat after 10 minutes of mixing.  In a martini glass, spoon in a couple small spoonfuls of mashed banana and top with a few blueberries. Spoon in some of the Zabaglione and drizzle on a bit of honey.  Add a few more blueberries, another layer of the Zabaglione, a few more blueberries, and another drizzle of honey.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve while it’s still warm.  TO DIE FOR!!

Brandy Zabaglione

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Comments

  1. says

    I love this post, Sarah! I just commented on Facebook as well, but I blogged yesterday about keeping on track for the holidays and these recipes are great ideas to help people with exactly that! I’m going to an Apps Party (appetizers) for New Year’s Eve and those lamb bites look perfect to bring!

    Here’s my post: 10 Tips For Staying on Track This Holiday Season

    Happy Holiday to you and your family!
    Diane @ Balanced Bites
    http://www.balancedbites.com

  2. CNYmicaa says

    Wow, I can’t wait to try the shrimp boats. All of them look good but I happen to really love shrimp. Thanks for all of your hard work, everything looks delicious and I have never been disappointed when I try a recipe off your site!

  3. says

    I’ve been looking for a yummy lamb recipe! Those little bites are so cute! Almost too cute to eat…I’m probably going to try these for Christmas Eve dinner at my boyfriend’s mom’s house…yum! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Nicole says

    1st, and most importantly, I am a huge fan and make MANY of your recipes (Crockpot Carnitas for dinner last night :) ) I just hosted a holiday party and looked frantically through the internet for paleo app ideas (Crossfit party – you understand :) ) These will definitely come in handy, thank you.
    2nd, after a post like this I feel bad for the request I am about to ask but here it goes… have you ever thought about putting out a “weekly grocery store list” or something like that. Sometimes we get lost at the store – what do you buy on a regular basis? What do you always keep on hand?? It would be SO helpful to have a guide when we shop.
    Thanks again for all you do!

  5. Kristi says

    Thank you Sarah. I’m planning to use a few of your recipes. Shrimp boats, nutty cookies, pumpkin pie, blackberry cobler and im also gonna serve the bacon wrapped chicken as a bite size appetizer. Thanks to your hard work Im confident that I wont stray from paleo this holiday weekend. Happy holidays!

  6. Lynn Stewart says

    Can’t find the Bacon Wrapped Chicken recipe, can you re-post? Wanted to make for Christmas dinner appetizer. Thanks & Merry Christmas!

  7. says

    Hi Sarah, Merry Christmas!!! Is it possible to make the Brandy Zabaglione ahead of time to take to a party??? Or should it be made then served right away??? Thanks, can’t wait for your book to come out!!!

    • Sarah says

      Hi Jennifer! You can make it before hand, but you’ll have to serve it cold which is fine but trying to reheat it will change the consistency. : )

  8. Kerri says

    Sarah, I’m so happy to have been referred to your site. I LOVE your blog and all of the recipes we’ve tried so far! Thank you so much for being a superb example of living a Paleo lifestyle with children! We have a son, 7 and a daughter, 4 and have been educating them about eating only Organics and Grass-fed for the last two years. I wish I would’ve known more sooner, but better late than never. I’m making your Festive Butternut Squash Soup recipe right now! Can’t wait to try it! I’m hoping to buy your cookbook soon. I would like an easier way of finding recipes on your site. There are a few that I’ve seen and then I close out and try to find them the next day and I’ve had to try to remember what blog title they’re under. That’s my only qualm. Otherwise, I LOVE YOU and all that you’re doing for us people trying to live a Paleo lifestyle, as I’m only a few weeks into it!

  9. Jeannine says

    The squash soup was wonderful, cooked it tonight! I paired it with your Chicken Jicama Slaw. Will be trying out the Bell Pepper Shrimp Boats later this week as a side to steaks. Thank you as always for such wonderful recipes!

  10. Noni says

    Hi Sarah, love everything you are doing here and don’t know how u keep coming up with such amazing recipe’s, great work :) My husband and I have been eating Paleo for around a year now, with a few hiccups along the way on my part. We have a 2 year old and a 4 year old who we have been trying to convert, but turns out that my son is just as stubborn as me, and instead of trying something, he just wont eat, at all. This is a constant point of argument for me and my husband as i feel as though my son isnt getting any energy and just mosies around all day whinging. My husband is die hard for paleo and is very against the kids eating anything but fruits vegies and meat. While it is a noble idea (and i commend you for being able to do this with your kids) I just feel like its not right for my kids right now, any advise you could give me would be a great help, I am at a total loss for what to do. Keep up the great work, love reading your posts xxx

    • Sarah says

      Hi Noni!
      Well, without knowing all the dynamics and exactly what’s happening with your kiddos, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what to do. This would be a great question to submit for my podcast so I could go more in depth on my answer! I think a lot of folks have the same sort of question as you do.. Do you still have non paleo food options in the house? How many days have you tried just serving paleo food options? Is there always a big deal made at meal time if your son doesn’t eat? I’m asking these questions because they help me understand better what’s happening. My advice without knowing for sure would be that you remove all non paleo foods from the house and start making food fun again instead of a battle. Ignore your son if he whines about what you are eating and instead, get him involved and excited in the process. Plop him up on the counter, give him a spoon, and ask him to stir, ask him to grab stuff you need out of the fridge and talk about how cool the colors are of the veggies and talk together about each food item you are making. Let him pick out by looking at pictures on the internet what paleo meal to make for dinner and let him name the dish or YOU name it something exciting. My three year old loves Sonic the Hedgehog and if I make, Sonic Soup for example, he’ll eat an entire bowl without blinking. In other words, put the emphasis and excitement rather then on the fact that right now he’s fighting you every step of the way. Offer a variety of different paleo foods throughout the day without gusto, just simply put it down at his level and walk away. A bowl of beef jerky and dried fruit lying around is always a great bet! Praise your child for helping you in the kitchen, make a big deal out of that rather then a big deal out of eating everything you offer him and see what happens. I hope this all helps and please let me know if you would like me to discuss this further during my first podcast! Thanks for your support, I’m so glad you like my site!! : )

    • Sarah says

      Hey Stephanie! It’s actually a dessert, not a drink! LOL! But it’s really freaking amazing…. So try it anyways! : ) Happy New Year!

  11. Noni says

    Thanks heaps Sarah, making food fun for them definitely sounds like a good option. Instead of forcing them and getting cross and making a big deal out of it :) I’ll definitely give it my best. My husband and I will be subscribing to your podcast and will undoubtedly be sending in loads of questions to keep you busy. Loving your work here in Oz, cant wait for your book and really really looking forward to the podcast <3
    Thanks again x

  12. says

    Made the zabaglione for Mother’s Day. I made it after dinner to serve hot. I don’t know if the water was too hot or what, it did come out like a foam. But after I scooped the first few scoops into the glasses and added the next layer of berries (used strawberries rather than blueberries) it started threatening to turn into a souffle. It was still super tasty, the top layer just didn’t look all that appetizing (looked mealy).

    Any ideas besides the water being too hot?

    We were also trying to figure out if there was a significance to the banana being in the bottom but the berries layered. We all enjoyed the bananas at the bottom and thought we might try putting some towards the top next time.

    • Sarah says

      It could have been that the water was too hot or touching the bottom of your bowl? It just needs to be at a simmer and you have to be super diligent about constantly beating the yolks while they are over the water. I’m glad it at least still tasted yummy!

  13. says

    Oh wow, the soup was absolutely amazing! Had it last night for dinner and it was the perfect dinner on a cold winter evening here in Oz ;-) Cooked some chicken and add it to it, my boyfriend wanted a second bowl, and he’s not really a soup person! Thank you, I am so happy I found your site!

  14. Lisa Ballweg says

    thanks for the great ideas we are planning a traveling dinner party with friends from our fitness center most of us are leading a Paleo lifestyle – I have appetizers and the shrimp boats fit the bill.

    On another note – do you have any cookie ideas for my Christmas baking?

  15. cathleen451 says

    I made your joyful curry chicken gifts and they were great! We started out with small romaine lettuce squares, but ended up using the whole leaf filled with the goodness. Another new and delicious recipe to add to my paleo menu.Thank you!

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