Last week I hosted a reunion for my Cancer Transitions graduates. I always feed the group when they come and whenever possible, I love to do homemade food and be able to show off healthy and delicious recipes.
This time we (Intern Angeli and I) did the holiday edition! Our menu included:
- Crock pot chicken (SO delicious – it’s moist just like rotisserie and so easy to do in your crockpot!)
- Chef Angeli’s Couscous with veggies
- Healthified Spinach Dip
- Ginger citrus cranberries
Everyone gave great reviews so we figured we should share the recipes!
The chicken in a crock pot is something I’ve done a few years now after a recommendation from a friend. I’m not a big meat cooker, so when I do cook it, it’s got to be EASY! That’s why I did this one.
Here’s a link to the original recipe I used. However, when I’m in a big hurry, I’ve even just put onions on the bottom of the crock pot, dropped in the chicken (3-4 pounds), salt and pepper the top and turn it on! Poultry seasoning would also be an easy solution.
Seriously…. it just cooks itself!! No added fluids needed. And it’s so tender, it just falls off the bone.
Then, after I get all the meat off, I put the bones back in the crockpot with any carrots and celery I have around, fill the crockpot with water, and make broth on low overnight. That’s a money saver, if you haven’t noticed the price of broth lately.
I either put the broth in the fridge to make a soup later the next day, or I pour it into containers and freeze what I won’t use up.
Everyone in the office was very jealous because the chickens smelled so good cooking all day! The other nice thing about doing this yourself (as opposed to buying the cooked rotisserie chickens at the store) is that you get to control the amount of sodium and additives that are used.
Here’s a link to a crockpot like mine, which I really like. My favorite feature is the timer. When it’s done, the crockpot will switch it to ‘keep warm’. This is great especially with this recipe where the chicken is done after 4-5 hours. If you’re not home yet, the crock pot will just keep it warm until you get there!
My intern, Angeli, has worked as a culinary professional for many years. When she was telling a class about one of her favorite quick and easy recipes to make couscous with veggies, I thought it would be perfect to go with our meal!
Couscous is a grain that you can buy either refined or whole, so make sure that you are getting the 100% whole grain version. You can obviously adjust the veggies to your taste. Chef Angeli likes to use the Far East brand because it is whole grain and comes with a seasoning packet which makes the recipe extra quick!
Healthified Spinach Dip – It’s seriously delicious!!!
Yum…. I love it with crackers, celery and/or carrots. We’ve made it for almost every group this month. And I’m making it for my education team year end “celebration” this week. It has been tweaked this year to use a new product out – Greek yogurt cream cheese!
Making cranberry sauce from scratch is actually really quick and easy. I love this combo of flavors to give it a little twist. Plus, by adding zest/peel of the orange and ginger root to the recipe, you get extra phytochemicals!!
Here’s the crystalized ginger that I like to get. This is a lot cheaper than the kind you get in the little spice jars, although you do need to cut it up.
For my other holiday recipes, check out these posts from the past!
Includes the following:
- One of my favorite cranberry recipes (Citrus Ginger Cranberries)
- Dad’s stuffing (yes… my dad!)
- Aunt Donna’s mashed potatoes (yes… my Aunt Donna!)
- Down Home Green Beans (I just made up that name to sound good, haha. It’s simple sauteed green beans)
- Candied Yams
- Tasty Kale (steamed kale with onions – simple and delicious and can be made a day ahead and reheated!)
- Stuffed Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Cranberry Muffins with fresh cranberries!
RECIPES here: Tasty and Good For You Holiday Recipes
Several years ago I taught a cooking class during the holidays. Here are some of the recipes we used:
- Whipped sweet potatoes with apples (so tasty!)
- Homemade vinaigrette (don’t forget a fresh green salad as part of your meal)
- Carolina Caviar (a delicious appetizer/snack for when everyone is hungry but dinner’s not ready yet!)
- Homemade crockpot chili (We have this the night before thanksgiving. Perfect to have it cooking all day Wednesday while you’re prepping for Thursday!)
This is my menu with recipe links for the Thanksgiving I hosted in the past.
Includes my very favorite kale salad recipe, (which is now a family tradition) as well as another variation on the ginger citrus cranberries. YUM!!
RECIPES here: Cancer Dietitian Thanksgiving Menu with Recipes
And if you need even MORE inspiration, the American Institute for Cancer Research has their healthy holiday recipes here:
I hope you find some fun cooking this holiday season!