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Dishing It Up for the Holidays

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Dishing It Up for the HolidaysFor me, Christmas and clementines are inextricably linked.  The holidays in my family have always been heralded by the arrival of a crateful of clementines.  Although my mom made fantastic Yule logs, mince tarts and pies, my holiday treat of choice was a clementine with a few favourites from the splendid array of cookies she baked in the weeks leading up to Christmas.  My perfect plate included a chocolate yum yum, pecan puff, rum ball and a shortbread wreath.

While my mom passed away years ago, my happy memories of her and our Christmases cooking together remain.  As do the clementines.  But I’ve never mastered her cookies.  So these days I’m more likely to pair my clementines with super dark chocolate from Giddy Yo Yo and a few walnuts.  Clementines are great dipped in chocolate too, like this.  And I might add a Mabel’s shortbread (or two).

My darling clementine

But my darling clementines aren’t just for dessert any more.  I love to adorn a winter cheese board with them!  They are a classic with roast meats like duck, chicken or pork and work beautifully in tagines.  My traditional Christmas Eve tourtière wouldn’t be the same without the spinach, clementine and toasted almond salad I serve with it.  And the thick slices of Pulla Bread we enjoy Christmas morning (as a nod to my Finnish heritage), simply buttered and accompanied by a few clementines, starts the day in a festive way.  The mimosa helps too, though this year I might sip on this Clementine Fizz.  😉  Come the holidays, I’m always grateful for a crateful of clementines.  Read on for 41 more ideas of what you might do with yours.

Happy holidays!

Dishing It Up for the Holidays

  • Be grateful for a crateful of clementines
  • Fall in love with veggies for the holidays
  • How to De-Seed a Pomegranate
  • 7 Healthy Eating Habits for the Holidays
  • The 2021 Well Holiday Gift Guide from The New York Times

A bite-sized summary and links for each story …

Be grateful for a crateful of clementines
If you find yourself with a crateful of clementines, here are 41 sweet and savoury recipes from BBC Good Food to inspire your clementine cuisine.
Read more …

Fall in love with veggies for the holidays
Renée Kholman is a Saskatoon-based chef and author of the recently released cookbook Vegetables: A Love Story.  I came across her on Global News’ The Morning Show, cooking up her recipes for Shaved Brussels Spouts Salad with Crispy Chickpeas (festooned with ruby red pomegranate arils) and Christmas Eve Cauliflower.  My strategy for getting more veggies in my diet is to make them as delectable as possible.  These and the other recipes from her book won’t disappoint.  And the book makes a great gift!
Watch Renée whip up these festive sides …

How to De-Seed a Pomegranate
I am all for using frozen pomegranate seeds most of the time.  But, when in season, nothing beats a fresh pomegranate. Getting the arils (seeds) out, however, can be a right pain.  My fave way to do so comes from Jamie Oliver in this 1-minute video.  It is effective and relatively mess-free.  And you can take out some of your holiday stress this way too.
Watch Jamie spank a pomegranate …

7 Healthy Eating Habits for the Holidays
Yes, Virginia, it is possible to “enjoy all the holiday season has to offer and stay healthy through the process. It’s all about setting healthy eating habits during the holidays that will leave you feeling satisfied and good in your body—instead of overindulging and feeling groggy.”
Read more …

The 2021 Well Holiday Gift Guide
“Share the gift of healthy living. Here’s a list of some of our favorite things, from the staff and contributors of Well” at The New York Times.  The electric blanket on the list prompted me to add my own favourite thing.  The electric mattress pad I purchased years ago is about my favourite thing of all time!  This article reviews some options.  So treat yourself to a warm and cozy night’s sleep this winter. After all, it’s about one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself.
Read more …


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