Food is central to holiday gatherings and often a celebration isn't complete without that one dish made especially for the ocassion — be it your Grandma's pecan pie or the green bean casserole, customized to your family's exact liking. These traditions bind us to the past and give us reason to celebrate now: another year has come and gone, and here we are again, gathered together. These recipes, curated by our staff, evoke just that.
Potimarron Squash Soup
Staffer Heidi looks forward to making this soup in the fall and winter months and says it's great with sourdough toast on the side.
1-2 squash (6 cups)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 yellow onion
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 can coconut milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons curry powder (For the curry powder: Mix 1/2 tablespoon of each of the following and set aside: coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, cinnamon, and cardamom
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Half squash and take out seeds. Place halved sides down on a cookie sheet with a little water in the bottom of the sheet. Cut a few slits in the top of the squash. Cover with foil (if desired) to hold in moisture while cooking. Bake squash in oven until tender, around 20-30 minutes. Dice garlic and onion. Heat a saute pan and add 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Add garlic and onion cook until the onion is translucent. Puree squash and onion mixture and pour into a large pot. Add coconut milk, broth, maple syrup, cinnamon, and 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons curry powder (add more/less to taste). Simmer on low and stir often for 15 minutes to immerse flavors. You can add toasted pumpkin seeds/ other nuts to soup for garnish
A close friend shared this delicious and easy-to-make salad recipe with staffer Sara more than 15 years ago. She says, "Since then, I have made it every year for either Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner—sometimes both and often by request. I have also shared this recipe more times than I can remember because someone is always asking for it. ENJOY!
For the dressing:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Combine all ingredients (except poppy seeds) in a blender or food processor. Cover and process until the dressing mixture is thick and smooth. Add poppy seeds and process a bit more to mix thoroughly. (You can mix up the dressing ahead of time and refrigerate it, but be sure to shake the dressing well before adding it to the salad.)
For the salad:
1 large head of romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup cashews
1/3 cup of sweetened dried cranberries
2 apples, cubed
2 pears, cubed
Combine all ingredients, toss with dressing, and serve immediately. It tastes best when it’s fresh!
We know mashed potatoes are a perennial favorite, but staffer Tor says this approach is more rich and delicious, It will look and behave much like mashed potatoes if potatoes make up 50% or more of the content. All Blue potatoes have good flavor and add color, but for the best mashed texture, add in other potato varieties. Nicola is one of Tor's favorites, but German Butterball or Yukon Gold impart that classic mashed potato flavor. For the rutabagas, try the Westport Macomber Turnip variety.
A combination of:
Milk and/or cream and/or butter
Steam vegetables until mash-able. Potatoes usually cook faster than the others. Mash until desired consistency is reached, while adding dairy products and salt to your heart's content.