Put down the lights and candy canes for one hot second and let’s talk healthy food. No, not what you’re going to cook for the big meal, but what you’re making to eat smart between all the festivities. For the next few days, I’m going to give you a few ideas for make-ahead meals as…
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Hawaii has become a home away from home as I’ve spent a good amount of time out here for the past few years. During that time, I’ve learned about all the unique foods and flavors of the state, which have, in turn, influenced my cooking. This year will be my third Christmas on the islands and, with each year, my holiday menu is reflecting more Hawaiian flavors, like this Chocolate-Coconut Cream Pie.
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Recently I stopped by The Nate Berkus Show to cook up some of my favorite holiday recipes and the episode is airing today!
When they asked what I’d like to cook, a standing rib roast immediately came to mind because it’s a staple at our Christmas table. I’ve been making variations on rib roast for years, even wrapping it in prosciutto when I’m feeling extra indulgent. This year I wanted to make something that was easy to make yet elegant and impressive, and this fig-port glaze perfectly fit the bill.
The key to this roast is that it’s layered with flavor — first with an herb rub and then with the glaze — ensuring that every bite has tons of taste. It’s a behemoth piece of meat but don’t be intimidated because this simple roasting method results in a meltingly tender roast with sweet, earthy flavor that’s sure to steal the holiday spotlight.
Continue Reading: Standing Rib Roast With Fig-Port Glaze →
I need a “pause” button for life. Last week, in 48 hours time, I flew from Los Angeles to New York to Los Angeles and finally to Hawaii, where I arrived beyond jet lagged. You’re probably thinking, “Hawaii, huh? Quit your complaining!” But, the reality is that I have a few more weeks of work ahead of me before I can really take a break. In the five days since I arrived on island, I’ve spent every waking moment indoors going line-by-line through the galley version of my cookbook. It’s an exhausting but necessary process that will bring the book one step closer to completion.
Needless to say, I’ve been in need of brain-food to keep me uber-focused and that where this recipe fits in. I wanted a roasted almond snack that’s a bit more exciting than almonds straight from the bag but quick enough to fit in my schedule. The result are these super low-fuss, but flavor-packed roasted nuts. They’d probably work fabulously as part of cocktail party or as a holiday gift, but, I won’t be thinking about those things for at least another 5 days. And, at the pace I’m going, that might as well be light-years away.
Continue Reading: Sweet-Spicy Harissa Roasted Almonds →
If you’re like me, you’ll take all the help you can get during the holidays. In the spirit of entertaining, here’s an hors d’oeuvres that’s so simple to put together, it doesn’t really need a recipe. It’s a Mediterranean take on a sushi hand roll where the seaweed is replaced by Bresaola (an air-dried beef) that’s filled with an assortment of flavors. These are gorgeous little bundles that are a sure thing at a cocktail party though I’ve been making them as a little snack break between all the party prep that I’ve been up to.
Continue Reading: Pretty. Easy. Bresaola Hand Rolls →
I wanted to share an elegant persimmon appetizer that’s been a dinner party hit this fall. This dish is one of those point-perfect holiday entertaining dishes because it’s festive, low-fuss, high impact, and, if I do say so myself, one of the prettiest appetizers around.
Continue Reading: Persimmon and Burrata Carpaccio →
This year, I’m thankful for having had the opportunity to cook Thanksgiving for everyone at The Biggest Loser. The contestants are an exceptional bunch and they are the inspiration for this meal as I decided to makeover classic holiday dishes in the same way the show’s contestants have made over their lives. The menu below has various iconic Thanksgiving dishes, made over, and they’re also the dishes I’m cooking on tonight’s show.
Continue Reading: The Biggest Loser Thanksgiving Menu →
Some scoff at the idea of adding a salad to the Thanksgiving spread, but it’s an elegant way to start things off, and, if you’re watching your waistline, it’s an easy way to fill up on healthy calories before you dig into the rest of the meal. This seasonal salad works during the fall or winter, and brings a lot of festive color to the holiday spread with sliced pears, red onion, and tart pomegranate.
Continue Reading: Spinach Salad With Pears and Pomegranate →
My healthy-eating mantra is if you begin your meal off with a fiber-rich appetizer, you’ll fill up on healthy calories and eat better over the course of the night. So, I put that rule into effect when developing The Biggest Loser Thanksgiving menu and started things off with this Roasted Sweet Potato Dip and Toasted Sage Dip. It’s just a few ingredients yet packs tons of flavor and can accommodate almost any diet as it’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, lowfat, and low calorie.
While there are plenty of healthy store bought snacking options out there, making your own vegetable chips allows you to control how much fat and salt you’re putting in your food. For The Biggest Loser Thanksgiving menu, the meal starts off with a Roasted Sweet Potato and Toasted Sage Dip and these roasted vegetable chips are a perfect pairing. If you don’t have time to make your own, you can serve the dip with crisp raw vegetable, quick blanched vegetables or whole grain crackers instead.
Continue Reading: Roasted Vegetable Chips →