From lockdowns to Zoom classrooms, it hasn’t been an easy year. How can you make the most of your holiday break while trying something new? Try flexing your cooking skills with these four easy recipes. First, make sure to read the list of ingredients to spot any that you are allergic to. Safety first, always!
As you prepare these dishes, think of the people you will be sharing them with during the holidays. Your parents will be happy to see you working hard in the kitchen, and if you need any help, why not ask them for some? The preparation of these recipes can provide some good quality family time.
Creating these recipes for fam and friends may just give you the confidence to try out other recipes after the holidays. So get your apron on, wash those hands, and release your inner culinarian.
Want something salty and crunchy to satisfy your chips cravings? Why not go for a healthier snack alternative by roasting some chickpeas! You probably already have the ingredients just sitting in your pantry, so roll up your sleeves, it’s time to make an easy snack. This recipe is from a vegan cookbook: Vegan Everything: 100 Easy Recipes for Any Craving–from Bagels to Burgers, Tacos to Ramen by Nadine Horn & Jörg Mayer.
- One 15-ounce can of chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- ½ teaspoon of sea salt
- ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon of ground fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon of ground coriander
- ½ ground paprika
How to prepare:
Crank that oven to 325 Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, open the can of chickpeas, drain, and rinse them. Pat them dry, as this allows for better crispiness. Place the chickpeas in a bowl, and combine the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Place the seasoned chickpeas on a parchment paper-lined baking tray, and roast for approximately 30 minutes. Bon appetit!
Smoked salmon on rye cracker or melba toast
Give yourself an omega-3 fatty acid boost with this simple hors-d’oeuvre recipe. No cooking required! Make a small army of these bad boys, and I guarantee you they will not last the hour. Healthy, zesty, and fresh, it’s all the things you want to open up your appetite.
- Rye crackers or melba toast
- Light Philadelphia cream cheese
- 1 lemon
- 150 g packet of smoked salmon
- A few sprigs of fresh dill
- Black pepper
How to prepare:
Take your rye crackers or melba toasts and spread on a thin layer of cream cheese. Then, place a slice of smoked salmon on top. Grate the lemon for its zest, and sprinkle it on the salmon. Add a squeeze of lemon juice too. Finally, top it off with a fresh sprig of dill and black pepper. Enjoy!
Butternut Squash Soup
A delicious and velvet-smooth soup that is sure to warm the hearts of all who taste it. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve prepared this soup to rave reviews. My family adores this soup and I’m sure yours will too. It does require more time to prepare, but I promise you the results will leave you wanting more. The recipe is from Food Wishes. You can follow along on the YouTube video too.
For the sage brown butter:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6-8 large sage leaves (or a lot of tiny leaves like I used in the video)
For the soup:
- 3 ½ pound or 1.6 kg butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- sage-infused brown butter
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 6 cups chicken broth, plus more if needed
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or other vinegar)
- cayenne to taste
- creme fraiche or sour cream and chive to garnish
How to prepare:
The first step is to preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then you want to peel and chop your onion and carrots into large chunks. Dress them with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place them in a parchment paper-lined baking tray. Then you want to carefully halve your butternut squash. The video shows a safe way of doing this, or ask a parent if you need help. Remove the seeds (you can roast them if you want, makes for a great afternoon snack!), then coat the butternut squash in olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place both halves on the carrots and onions, and roast until tender (about 1 hour). Once that is done, let everything cool. Meanwhile, prepare your sage butter. To do this, melt your butter in a pan and let it become brown and frothy. This will release a nutty flavour that is perfect for the soup.
Take your sage, and combine it with the butter. Turn off the heat, and set it aside. Once cooled, remove the skin from the butternut squash. You can try scooping it out or taking a sharp flexible knife to peel off the skin. With the skin removed, chop the squash into medium-sized chunks and place them in a heavy-bottomed pot. Also, add your caramelized onion and carrots into the mix. Turn on the heat to medium-low. Add the sage butter, maple syrup, and chicken stock. Leave to simmer for 45 minutes. Once that is done, you can blend the soup and then strain it to achieve that velvet smooth texture. Adjust the seasoning to your desired taste. Serve it hot in a bowl, and garnish with crème fraîche or sour cream and finely chopped fresh chives.
One of my favourite sweet treats to make and it is incredibly simple to prepare. It’s technically on the healthy side because it uses whole ingredients, and is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. This recipe comes courtesy of Detoxinista.
- 1 cup almond butter (or nut butter of choice)
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
How to prepare: In a medium bowl, combine the almond butter and coconut oil until it reaches a smooth consistency. Introduce the cocoa powder, maple syrup, sea salt, and vanilla, and mix until the concoction is smooth and creamy. Then pour the mixture into a 9-inch square dish, lined with parchment paper. Smooth the top with a spatula. Finally, let the mixture harden in your freezer for about an hour. Slice with a hot knife, and serve. Enjoy!