First Ever ASK Holiday Cookbook Made Possible By Our Wonderful Readers and Our Team!

family-dinner-thanksgivingHappy Holidays everyone! We finally have what you’ve all been waiting for… fabulous recipes for the holiday season made possible by our wonderful readers, Our Team, and favorite websites! Let us know which recipes you try and love this season… enjoy cooking and baking with your family as much as you enjoy eating with them.


Appetizers or Side Dishes



Beet Dip

For years my cousin’s wife has been making this beet deep that is delicious. So distinctive and unique. By the way, she’s in Japan right now and is a prolific writer on organic gardening, really farming, and is quite worth the read. It’s been interesting to see her adapt to the Asian vibe coming from the midwest. Check it out here.

Cut off the beet tops leaving a bit of stem. Plop the whole beet in a pan of water and boil until the cut easily with a knife. Word has it that you should not cut off the root or cut the beets in half (although I have done both) as it causes additional bleeding of the beet and flavor loss. I boiled for about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel a number of garlic cloves. Most people who eat this like a fair amount of garlic, so even if you don’t use all of them you can use them later.

Drain the beets, and peel them under cold running water. The latter is especially nice if you’re peeling them right after boiling as they are quite hot. The peels should simply slide off under your fingers, and the tops should slide off or edge off easily, too. I would let them dry a little (maybe 10-15 minutes) before grating, if you can. Makes the dip a bit less soupy.

Grate the beets into a bowl. Grind the walnuts (about a 1/4 cup) and sprinkle over the grated beets. A good dollop of mayo and press in the garlic. Stir. Add mayo as you want the color and taste to change.

There are no measurements, I’m afraid. I make it to taste every time, so you just have to sample as you go. Do not use fat free mayo or olive oil or whatever without an experimental batch for yourself first. I’ve never had luck with alternatives for mayo, but you may. I measured about 6 beets for one garlic.

Spoon into a bowl, chill (if you can) for a bit, and serve with crackers or bread.

From Tim Aten


asian-coleslawAsian Coleslaw

Cabbage is chock-full of nutrients including vitamin C and indoles, important cancer-fighting compounds. In addition, red cabbage also contains anthocyanins, the purple pigment with strong antioxidant activity commonly found in blueberries. In the winter months, cabbage is an abundant nutritional resource when other fresh produce is either expensive or unavailable. This recipe calls for a lot of salt, but it is used in this dish to soften the cabbage. Then it is thoroughly rinsed off so the recipe doesn’t provide too much sodium. This coleslaw is colorful and makes a delightful accompaniment to any meat, fish or vegetarian main dish. The garnish of minced scallions and toasted sesame seeds brings out the flavor of the slaw and adds additional crunch.

Food as Medicine

When cabbage is sliced or chopped, anti-carcinogenic compounds called glucosinolates are formed, but cooking breaks down the enzyme that creates these compounds, stopping their production. So to maximize its healthful properties, cabbage should be eaten raw (as in this recipe) or cooked for less than five minutes. Cabbage is also heart-healthy: raw or cooked, cabbage reduces cholesterol levels, though steaming produces the greatest cholesterol-lowering benefits.


1 medium head green cabbage

1 medium head red cabbage

3 tablespoons sea salt

3 large carrots

1/4 cup minced scallions

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


2/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons dark-roasted sesame oil


1. Discard the outer leaves of cabbages. Cut heads in quarters; remove and discard cores. Slice cabbage thinly or shred in a food processor. Layer the cabbage in a large bowl with the sea salt. Toss to distribute salt evenly and let cabbage sit for 1 hour to soften.

2. Meanwhile, peel the carrots and grate them into thin shreds.

3. Drain off any liquid produced by the cabbage and rinse the cabbage well in several changes of cold water to remove excess salt. Taste the cabbage; if it is still too salty, rinse it again.

4. Add carrots to the cabbage and mix well.

5. Whisk the rice vinegar, brown sugar and sesame oil together in a small bowl.

6. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and mix well. Let chill. Garnish with minced scallions and toasted sesame seeds before serving.

Serves 8

Nutrients Per Serving

Calories: 126.8

Protein: 3.6 grams

Fat: 3.7 grams

Saturated Fat: 0.5 grams

Monounsat Fat: 1.3 grams

Polyunsat Fat: 1.6 grams

Carbohydrate: 23.7 grams

Fiber: 5.7 grams

Cholesterol: 0.0 mg

Vitamin A: 8,186.9 IU

Vitamin E: 0.5 mg/IU

Vitamin C: 98.1 mg

Calcium: 134.4 mg

Magnesium: 47.6 mg

Courtesy of Dr. Weil.


Thai-meatballsRoll It, Pat It, Fry It — Thai Meatballs – Great Appetizer

Making meatballs is fun, especially if you have some good music playing in the background while you’re rolling away. Meatballs are also easy to customize – just add a different blend of spices – and they can be anything from finger-food appetizers to the main dish. And if you get tired of rolling the meat into balls, you can squish it into patties and call it breakfast sausage. (Which is what I did with the unpictured other half of this batch.) Case in point: I had some leftover plantain fritters from another round of recipe development, so I cut a fritter in half, put a cooked breakfast sausage in it, and presented to a friend as an qualitarian version of a Breakfast McMuffin. He was pleasantly surprised.

Thai Meatballs

1 lb. ground pork, preferably from pastured hogs

1 small onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 T. fish sauce

1 egg, lightly scrambled with a fork

About 1/4 tsp. Thai red curry paste, or more if you like hot stuff

Tamari or soy sauce (make sure it’s gluten-free if you’re making gluten-free meatballs)

Combine all ingredients except tamari in a large bowl, mixing well to combine. Roll meat into balls about 1″ in diameter or make patties about 1″ thick and 3″ across. Put a paper towel on a large plate and set aside.

Sautée meatballs over medium heat – you won’t need any cooking fat since there is plenty in the meatballs themselves – for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to brown them on all sides. If you’re making patties, they take about 2 minutes per side to cook. When your meatballs/patties are evenly browned, place them on the paper-toweled plate and let them drain. If you use a large skillet and make meatballs, you might be able to fit them all in at once, but if you’re making patties or are using a smaller skillet, plan on making them in batches.

After the final meatballs/patties have been cooked, reduce heat to low and drizzle a little tamari into the pan to deglaze it. (You might want to cut the tamari with water if don’t want an ultra-salty glaze.) Gently rub a spatula over the bottom of the pan to bring up the drippings and let glaze simmer for a minute or two to thicken. Pour glaze over meatballs and serve immediately, perhaps with noodles, sugar snap peas, and broccoli…or let cool for a few minutes and then refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Breakfast sausage, anyone?


Courtesy of The Cultured Cook.


Pumpkin Soup

Serves 4


3/4 cup water

1 small onion, chopped

1 can (8 ounces) pumpkin puree

1 cup unsalted vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup fat-free milk

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 green onion, green top only, chopped


In a large saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the water over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Don’t let the onion dry out.

Add the remaining water, pumpkin, broth, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the milk and cook until hot. Don’t boil.

Ladle into warmed individual bowls and garnish with black pepper and green onion tops. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis

(per serving)

Serving size: 1 cup

Calories 72 Cholesterol 1 mg

Protein 3 g Sodium 241 mg

Carbohydrate 12 g Fiber 2 g

Total fat 1 g Potassium 199 mg

Saturated fat < 1 g Calcium 78 mg

Monounsaturated fat < 1 g


Salad greens with pears, fennel and walnuts

Serves 6


6 cups mixed salad greens

1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced

2 medium pears, cored, quartered and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Divide the salad greens onto 6 plates. Scatter the fennel and pear slices over the greens. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and walnuts. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Add black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis

(per serving)

Calories 157 Cholesterol 1 mg

Protein 3 g Sodium 50 mg

Carbohydrate 14 g Fiber 4 g

Total fat 10 g Potassium 391 mg

Saturated fat 1 g Calcium 66 mg

Monounsaturated fat 6 g


Kelly Ripa’s Spicy Pumpkin Soup With Mexican Cream & Toasted Pepitas

(serves 7)


3 tbsp. butter,

3 cups finely chopped onions,

1 1/2 (15 oz) can of solid pack pumpkin,

1 cup whole milk,

3/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper,

2 1/2 cups canned chicken broth,

3/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) toasted.


Mexican Cream,

1/4 cup sour cream,

1/4 cup coconut milk,

1/2 tsp. fresh lime juice.

In a large heavy metal pot, melt butter over a medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent (about 10 minutes). Add to pot: pumpkin, milk and crushed red pepper and stir. Remove pot from stove and pour mixture into a food processor and puree. Return pureed mixture back to pot and add chicken broth. Simmer for 10 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls, add a dollop of Mexican cream mixture and sprinkle with toasted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds).

In a small bowl combine and whisk sour cream, coconut milk and fresh lime juice.

Cover and chill for 2 hours. Mexican cream can be made 1 week ahead, but keep chilled.

In a regular bowl, in a gourd, in a small pumpkin or in a small glass pumpkin tureen. Tureens can be lined with fresh lime juice and salt.

From Brenda Strausz


Sweet Potato Casserole

Assemble the potato mixture and sprinkle with the streusel, then freeze the casserole up to 2 weeks ahead of Thanksgiving. Thaw in refrigerator and bake as directed. Or cook just the potatoes a day ahead, mash and refrigerate and proceed with the recipe as directed (starting with the addition of half-and-half) the day you’re serving the dish.

Add 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper if you want to add a bit of heat to this sweet dish.

Yield: 18 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cups


14 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato (about 5 pounds)

1/2 cup half-and-half

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Cooking spray

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 375°.

Place potato in a Dutch oven, and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 12 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Combine the half-and-half and next 4 ingredients (half-and-half through egg) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add potato to egg mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Spoon potato mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Combine flour and sugar in a food processor; pulse to combine. Add chilled butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans; sprinkle over potato mixture.

Cover and bake at 375° for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 25 minutes or until the topping is browned and the potatoes are thoroughly heated.

From Brenda Strausz


Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Butternut Squash and Chestnuts

1 lb. trimmed fresh Brussels sprouts, if very large-cut in half

1 lb. peeled 1/2″ diced fresh butternut squash

1 1/2 cups fresh shelled and chopped chestnuts (or 12 oz. jar, chopped

1 cup panko bread crumbs

olive oil or butter

1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme

1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Toss the Brussels sprouts and squash with a bit of oil or melted butter, season with salt and pepper and roast until browned and tender, shaking the pan a couple times during the roasting process (about 12-15 minutes). Remove from the oven and lower temperature to 375. Sprinkle the vegetables with the chopped thyme and rosemary and place in an ovenproof casserole. Moisten the panko with a few tablespoons of olive oil, add the chestnuts and sprinkle over the top. Place in the oven until crumbs brown a bit and serve!

Bon Appetit!

From Rick Halberg


Sweet Potato “Fries”

3 pounds organic sweet potatoes

1 tablespoon high heat oil, such as canola

1 tablespoon or more agave nectar

1 tablespoon or more Gomasio (a seaweed and sesame mix available at Whole Foods)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean potatoes and slice lengthwise into 1/2″ by 1/2″ fries. Place fries in large plastic bag along with all other ingredients. Shake bag to distribute ingredients. Spray bottom of rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray or use non-stick aluminum foil. Place potatoes in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 1/2 hour or until potatoes begin to caramelize.

From Jackie Smith


Roasted Pumpkin Salad

3 cups of pumpkin (or other winter squash), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

extra-virgin olive oi

fine grain sea salt

12 tiny red onions or shallots, peeled (OR 3 medium red onions peeled and quartered)

2 cups cooked wild rice*

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons warm water

1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 375.

Toss the pumpkin in a generous splash of olive oil along with a couple pinches of salt, and turn out onto a baking sheet. At the same time, toss the onions with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and turn out onto a separate baking sheet. Roast both for about 45 minutes, or until squash is brown and caramelized. The same goes for the onions, they should be deeply colored, caramelized, and soft throughout by the time they are done roasting. You’ll need to flip both the squash and onion pieces once or twice along the way – so it’s not just one side that is browning.

In the meantime, make the dressing. With a hand blender or food processor puree the sunflower seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and honey until creamy. You may need to add a few tablespoons of warm water to thin the dressing a bit. Stir in the cilantro, saving just a bit to garnish the final plate later. Taste and adjust seasonings (or flavors) to your liking – I usually need to add a touch more salt with this dressing.

In a large bowl, toss the wild rice with a large dollop of the dressing. Add the onions, gently toss just once or twice. Turn the rice and onions out onto a platter and top with the roasted squash (I’ll very gently toss with my hands here to disperse the pumpkin a bit). Finish with another drizzle of dressing and any remaining chopped cilantro.

Serves 4.

* To cook wild rice: Rinse 1 1/2 cups wild rice. In a medium sauce pan bring the rice and 4 1/2 cups salted water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 40 minutes or until rice is tender and splitting open, stirring occasionally. You’ll have enough for this recipe and some leftover.

From Jackie Smith



Main Dishes


Spinach Lasagne (Vegetarian and Organic)


*1 pkge of fresh organic lasagne (if you can get it, otherwise, make sure you cook your

lasagne noodles first, about 1/2 – 3/4 cooked)

*tomatoe sauce (either make your own or I recommend Muir Glen Organic)

*I lb of organic shredded mozzarella cheese

*grated organic parmesan

*For the filling: 2 organic eggs (beaten), 2 cups of organic low-fat ricotta or cottage cheese, one bunch of organic spinach (washed well and chopped up), one pound of organic soft tofu, salt, pepper, dash of nutmeg, 2 tbs of organic bread crumbs or wheat germ)

*9 x 13″ pan

*combine all the ingredients of the filling together and set aside

*cover bottom of pan with thin layer of sauce and cover with a layer of noodles

*use about 1/2 the filling to cover the noodles

*cover the filling with a thin layer of sauce

*cover the sauce with about 1/2 the mozzarella

*cover with more noodles

*cover with the rest of the filling

*cover with a thin layer of sauce

*cover with the remaining mozzarella

*cover with the noodles

*cover with a thin (and last!!) layer of sauce

*sprinkle with the parmesan


Bake at 375 for 35 min covered with foil. After 35 min, bake uncovered for 10 more min.

Let it stand for a few minutes before serving.

I always serve this with garlic bread (hot from the oven) and a hearty organic salad!

From Bonnie Witkin


Pisto Manchego – Spain’s ratatouille

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion – chopped
4 minced cloves of garlic
2 pounds zucchini – or a combination of green and yellow summer squash – diced
1 28 oz can of chopped tomatoes – drained – set aside juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste – at least one teaspoon
lots of freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat – add onion – stir often until just about tender.
Add the garlic – cook for another minute or two
Stir in squash and 1/2 teaspoon of salt – toss together for 5 minutes – until squash is coated with oil and beginning to soften
Addd the tomatoes and sugar – then salt to taste
turn the heat to medium – high
stir often – every 5-10 minutes
Add the juice from the tomatoes plus 1/4 cup water
turn heat to medium low
cook uncovered for 30-35 minutes – until veggies are easy to mash.
Stir often – adding water as necessary – until it is absorbed. – every 10 minutes or so

Great as a side dish
Great over baked potato
Served with eggs (easy over) in Spain
Great for few days in the fridge
Garlic Roasted Green Beens
2 pounds trimmed green beans
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic – minced
2 teaspoons lemon zest

heat oven to 400
toss beans, oil, garlic, zest
single layer – roasting pan – 15 minutes until wrinkles
season with salt and pepper

From Julie Silver


Party Chili Recipe

If you are making chili for a large crowd, this chili recipe serves 16 guests. Try different kinds of meat for variation.

Party Chili Recipe Ingredients

- Olive oil

- 4 medium onions, chopped

- 2 medium green peppers, chopped

- 8 pounds ground beef

- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste

- 2 large cans(1 lb-13oz) cans stewed tomatoes

- 2 1lb cans tomato sauce

- 1 7oz. can chili salsa

- 6 cloves garlic, minced

- 2 3oz. jars chili powder

- 1jalapeno pepper (seeded, de-veined and chopped)

- 2 tablespoons salt

- 1 tablespoon oregano

- 2 teaspoons garlic powder

- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper

Party Chili Recipe Directions

Brown meat in large skillet (you may have to do 2 batches of browning) and drain. Heat oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Saute onions, green peppers, and garlic until softened, about 10 minutes. Add meat, tomato paste, stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir in garlic powder, chili powder, salt, black pepper, oregano, chile salsa, and jalapeno. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 hours, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Season to taste with salt and pepper halfway through cooking time.

Courtesy of Famous Chili Recipes.


Seafood Chili Recipe

A variation of a traditional chili recipe, this one is sure to WOW your guests! This recipe requires preparation of the sauce 1 day in advance or at least several hours to allow cooling in the refrigerator.

Seafood Chili Recipe Ingredients

- 4 Tablespoons olive oil

- 2 cups chopped onion

- 2 leeks, white part only, chopped

- 10 garlic cloves, minced

- 5 Teaspoon dried oregano

- 35 oz Italian plum tomatoes, not drained

- 16 oz clam juice

- 2 Cups dry red wine

- 1/2 cup chili powder

- 5 Teaspoon toasted cumin seed

- 1 Tablespoon salt

- 1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper

- 2 medium red bell peppers, chopped

- 12 Littleneck clams

- 12 mussels, scrubbed and debearded

- 1 1/2 pound grouper cut into 1 inch pieces

- 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

- 3/4 pound Bay scallops

- Fresh cilantro for serving

Seafood Chili Recipe Directions

Heat oil in heavy saucepan over low heat. Add onions and leeks. Cover and cook until tender, usually about 15 minutes. Add garlic and oregano, and cook another 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, breaking up large pieces with a spatula. Stir in the clam juice, wine, chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne. Slowly bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for 1 hour. Add bell peppers and simmer for 20 minutes. Refrigerate overnight.

Bring sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to a brisk simmer. Add clams and mussels. Cover and cook until shellfish open, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Discard any shellfish that do not open. Gently stir in grouper and shrimp. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Add scallops. Cover and simmer until fish is just opaque, about 3 minutes.

Top with cilantro and serve.

Courtesy of Famous Chili Recipes.


Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Many vegetarian chili recipes use a variety of beans instead of meat. Here, fresh vegetables are blended with beans to make a pleasing combination. This recipe for vegetarian chili is a sure winner with people who prefer a non-meat meal every once in a while

Vegetarian Chili Ingredients

- 1 large red onion, chopped

- 2 red bell peppers, chopped

- 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch slices

- 5 garlic cloves, chopped

- 1 medium zucchini, chopped

- 1 14oz can kidney beans, drained

- 2 16oz cans diced tomatoes

- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste

- 2-3 finely chopped, seeded Anaheim (for mild vegetarian chili) or jalapeno (for hot vegetarian chili) peppers

- 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin

- 1/2 teaspoon oregano

- salt and pepper to taste

- 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil

- 2 cups vegetable broth (or water)

Vegetarian Chili Directions

Brush olive oil on the eggplant slices. Grill eggplant until just tender, flipping once during cooking. This usually takes approximately 5 minutes per side. Remove eggplant from grill and cut into 1/2 inch squares.

In large saucepan, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion and bell peppers and cook while stirring for 3 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add garlic to onions and peppers and cook for 2 minutes with stirring.

Add tomatoes, chiles, cumin, and oregano. Salt and pepper to taste at this point. Bring vegetarian chili just to the point of boiling then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in the zucchini, eggplant, kidney beans and vegetable broth. Add the tomato paste and stir until thoroughly mixed.

Return your easy vegetarian chili to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for approximately 45 minutes.

This vegetarian chili recipe can be served over rice or pasta for a more hearty meal. I also enjoy grating fresh parmesan cheese over the chili and adding raw onions just before serving this dish.

Courtesy of Famous Chili Recipes.


Roasted Turkey with Balsamic Brown Sugar Sauce

Serves 10


1 whole turkey (about 15 pounds), thawed

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

3 to 4 cloves garlic

1/2 cup water

For the sauce

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup defatted pan drippings

3 tablespoons brown sugar


Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Rinse the turkey inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey breast-side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Rub the turkey with the oil, a sprig of rosemary and garlic cloves. Place all of the rosemary and garlic inside the bird. Loosely tie the legs together. Place into the middle of the oven.

When the skin is light (after about 1 1/2 hours) cover the breast with a tent of foil to prevent overcooking the breast. Check the doneness after the bird has roasted about 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Turkey is done when the thigh is pierced deeply and juices run clear (180 to 185 F) or when the breast muscle reaches 170 to 175 F.

Remove the turkey from the oven. Let it stand about 20 minutes to allow juices to settle in the meat. Deglaze the pan by adding 1/2 cup water. Stir to scrape up browned bits. Pour pan drippings into a gravy separator. Reserve 1 cup of defatted pan drippings for sauce.

To make the sauce, in a pan or microwave dish, stir together the vinegar, defatted pan drippings and brown sugar. Warm the sauce until the flavor is just released, about 15 seconds in the microwave, or over low heat on the stove until steam “escapes.” Don’t boil.

Carve the turkey and drizzle turkey slices with the warmed brown sugar sauce. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis

(per serving)

Serving size: 5 ounces light and dark meat

Calories 247 Cholesterol 79 mg

Protein 34 g Sodium 78 mg

Carbohydrate 10 g Fiber trace

Total fat 6 g Potassium 378 mg

Saturated fat 1 g Calcium 30 mg

Monounsaturated fat 2 g

Acorn Squash with Apples

Serves 2 (double or triple the ingredients to feed more…)


1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and sliced

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 small acorn squash, about 6 inches in diameter

2 teaspoons trans-free margarine


In a small bowl, mix together the apple and brown sugar. Set aside.

Pierce the squash several times with a sharp knife to let the steam escape during cooking. Microwave on high until tender, about 5 minutes. Turn the squash after 3 minutes to ensure even cooking.

Place the squash on a cutting board and cut in half. Scrape the seeds out of the center of each half and discard the seeds. Fill the hollowed squash with the apple mixture.

Return the squash to the microwave and cook until the apples are softened, about 2 minutes.

Transfer the squash to a serving dish. Top each half with 1 teaspoon margarine and serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis

(per serving)

Calories 270 Cholesterol 0 mg

Protein 2 g Sodium 140 mg

Carbohydrate 52 g Fiber 5 g

Total fat 6 g Potassium 1,015 mg

Saturated fat trace Calcium 104 mg

Monounsaturated fat 2 g


crockpot-three-bean-turkey-chiliAllison’s Awesome Home-Made Chili Without A Recipe- For Every Type Of Eater!

I must confess; I make GREAT Chili, without a real recipe. Of course, everything is a matter of one’s taste! My girlfriends have been bothering me for days now to give them my “secret” recipe for Turkey Chili with loads of beans. Although somewhat embarrassed, I promise I haven’t been holding out for any reason other than I don’t ( I can’t) follow a recipe, so writing one is difficult. For me, recipes require following way too many rules; tedious measuring, tossing, whisking, sifting, folding, draining, boiling for 30 seconds, simmering for 10, cover on, cover off — I can’t stand it. Too much focused attention needed. Obviously, I prefer unstructured cooking; no books, no emails, no phone calls or index cards) In my house it’s either my style of cooking, go to subway or starve! So, here it is — have at it!

This is how I made chili last week: Makes enough for 6-8 big eaters with plenty leftover!

1- 3 pounds of white meat ground turkey unless you don’t eat meat — use tempeh or nothing!

2 -1 large white onion chopped

3 -minced or crushed garlic from a jar — a few heaping spoonfuls

saute’ above ingredients with olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper


In a large soup pot on the same stove, mix together:

4 large cans of your favorite beans — kidney, pinto, garbanzo, black beans, whatever. I prefer kidney, red and white and pinto beans

2 large cans of diced seasoned organic tomatoes — I try to use ALL organic ingredients!

1 medium can of tomato paste and a can or two of water

1 large can of drained corn — drain the beans too!

3-4 packages of your favorite chili seasoning mix without the mesa flour

sea salt and ground black pepper to taste (of course)

Toss in the turkey and onions-mix and cook for an hour SIMMER…..always better the next day!

Sprinkle with your favorite cheese and serve. Voila!

Please don’t email me for calorie info because I don’t know or care! Obviously there is minimal fat and all the ingredients are healthy! Portion management is probably your best bet. Or eat until your feel full! (yeah right!)

From Allison Stuart Kaplan


Kelly Ripa’s Spicy Pumpkin Soup With Mexican Cream & Toasted Pepitas

(serves 7)


3 tbsp. butter,

3 cups finely chopped onions,

1 1/2 (15 oz) can of solid pack pumpkin,

1 cup whole milk,

3/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper,

2 1/2 cups canned chicken broth,

3/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) toasted.


Mexican Cream,

1/4 cup sour cream,

1/4 cup coconut milk,

1/2 tsp. fresh lime juice.

In a large heavy metal pot, melt butter over a medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent (about 10 minutes). Add to pot: pumpkin, milk and crushed red pepper and stir. Remove pot from stove and pour mixture into a food processor and puree. Return pureed mixture back to pot and add chicken broth. Simmer for 10 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls, add a dollop of Mexican cream mixture and sprinkle with toasted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds).

In a small bowl combine and whisk sour cream, coconut milk and fresh lime juice.

Cover and chill for 2 hours. Mexican cream can be made 1 week ahead, but keep chilled.

In a regular bowl, in a gourd, in a small pumpkin or in a small glass pumpkin tureen. Tureens can be lined with fresh lime juice and salt.

From Brenda Strausz


My first success – turkey breast, whole berry cranberry sauce, and an envelope of onion soup mix


1 turkey breast, thawed in refrigerator

1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix (I used the herb one)

1 can cranberry sauce


Place the turkey in the Crock Pot. Mix together cranberry sauce and soup mix and pour over turkey.

Cook on high for 2 hours, then on low for 6 to 7 hours.

(Turkey breast should read 170° to 180° on a meat thermometer)

From Brenda Strausz




France’s Apple, Chocolate, Walnut Cake

My mother’s name was Frances, who passed away 3 1/2 years ago, She always made this cake during the fall season, which is why to this day, it brings back so many fond family memories.

Eating this cake and sipping my favorite tea is a treasured moment. My family and friends make this recipe and it’s nice to know that this part of my mother is being passed down.

My daughter Mollie, feels our holiday and festive meals must be finished with this heavenly cake.

I lived in Boston for 15 years and for a time while I was there, this amazing cake was actually sold at the well known Savenor’s Grocery store on Charles St. as “France’s Apple, Chocolate, Walnut Cake”.

FYI, Savenor’s is a grocery store that was frequented by Julia Child.

The beautiful thing about this deliciously cozy recipe, is that after the first time you make it according to the original recipe, you can do variations using your favorite spices, dried fruit, such as dried apricots, milk, dark or white chocolate chips. Sometimes I use dark chocolate chunks. It’s all up to you to wherever your taste buds take you.

Recipe for France’s Apple, Chocolate, Walnut Cake:

Preheat oven at 325F

Completely cover entire 9 x 13 pan with oil

4 cups peeled apples – length slices – best with most apples except red delicious. They are too sweet for this recipe. Peel, then slice.

2 Egg beaten

Pour 2 beaten eggs over sliced apples and set aside.

Sift together – Mixture #1

2 Cups Sugar

2 1/2 Cups Flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

*you may add more cinnamon if you like.

Add Mixture #1 and alternate with 1 Cup canola oil and beat well.

This will appear crumbly

Add 1 Cup Walnuts. Though you may substitute pecans as well.

Add 1 small package dark chocolate chips.

Add 1 Cup Raisins – optional

Pat firmly into 9 x 13 oiled pan

Bake for 1 hour

From Julie C. Whitcomb


dessert-in-a-jarDessert In A Jar: Berries+Cookie+Cream

Happy monday everybody! I hope you all made the best of your weekends and will have a great week ahead of you. If you are a foodie like me, your week could be brightned even more if you try out this awesome dessert. Last week alone I made it four times allready, it’s a hit! I always liked the idea of just layering different kinds of treats on top of eachother, it sounds so simple and fun. Turns out — it is! When I went to visit a friend last week, I wanted to bring a dessert and remembered pictures from a magazine, where they put little layer desserts in a jar. Perfect for picnics or any kind “take-out” desserts. So I tried my own layer dessert combination.

I chose strawberries, blueberries, oatmeal cookies and organic quark/curd. First I put the cookies in a freezer bag and crunch them. To make the quark a bit sweeter I add a bit of agave sirup and then I layer everthing in a jar. If you’re having the dessert at home, it also looks great if you layer it in a glass. Before serving, it should sit in the fridge for about an hour to allow the cookies to become soft. And then you can just dive in with your spoon and say mmmmmmmmmm! :-)

Courtesy of Greenderella.


Fabulous Baked Fruit & Macaroons (My Absolute Holiday Favorite ) A Winner For All!

Serve with dinner or as a dessert (Itʼs almost impossible to screw up this recipe)

Canned Fruit

Drain and rinse the fruit and keep in separate bowls

2 Large cans of each:

Whole Peach Halves

Pear Halves

Apricot Halves

Pineapple Rings

Whole Dark Plums – you may need to remove the pits

Dark Red Pitted Cherries

One Dozen Large Plain Macaroons from the bakery or 3 cans of the little ones from the grocery store (Break up the macaroons and spread them out on a cook sheet to dry out for a day or two)

1/4- 1/2 cup of Cooking Sherry

1/2 cup of butter- melted


Drizzle butter in the bottom of the dish you are cooking and serving this in. Use a pretty serving dish because the recipe itself is beautiful.

Next, add a layer of macaroons – use half of the crumbled macaroons, save the other half for the top.

Now, layer all the fruit to the top of the serving dish. Save half the pineapple rings and cherries to adorn the top with the crumpled macaroons.

Finish with a layer of crumbled macaroon.

Arrange the remaining pineapple rings on top and place a cherry in the center of each ring.

Lightly sprinkle the pineapple rings with cinnamon. Done!

Bake uncovered in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 45 -60 minutes depending on your oven. Once it starts to bubble around the edges and the top is a yummy golden crispy brown it should be done. Donʼt let the fruit cook down to mush. The fruit is best baked to a very soft texture. – unless you want applesauce! Let it sit and cool for 30 minutes – then serve. Enjoy!

From Allison Stuart Kaplan


Cranberry-Apple Coffee Cake

12 servings

Active Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes (including cooling time)



1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen, thawed, chopped (see Tip)

1 1/2 cups finely chopped peeled tart apple, such as Granny Smith (about 1 large)

1/2 cup cranberry juice cocktail, orange juice or apple juice


1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup canola oil

3 tablespoons butter, slightly softened

3/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling

1 large egg

3/4 cup low-fat milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

To prepare topping: Whisk brown sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in a medium nonreactive saucepan (see Note) until combined. Stir in cranberries, apple and juice. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring. Continue to cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens and the berries soften, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

To prepare cake: Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Beat oil, butter and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, first on medium speed, then on medium-high, until well combined, about 1 1/2 minutes. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, beating until the mixture is light in color and well blended. Add egg and beat until the batter is smooth, about 1 minute longer. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half the flour mixture until just incorporated. Gradually beat in milk and vanilla until just incorporated. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until a smooth batter forms, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading to the edges. Spread the topping in an even layer over the batter; do not stir.

Bake the cake on the middle rack until the top is puffed in places and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (the fruit topping will still be moist), 40 to 50 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar over the top. Transfer the pan to a wire rack; let stand until cooled to warm, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan sides and cut the cake into wedges.

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and store at room temperature for up to 2 days. | Equipment: 9-inch springform pan

Tip: To make quick work of chopping cranberries, place whole berries in a food processor and pulse a few times until the berries are coarsely chopped.

Note: A nonreactive pan–stainless steel, enamel-coated or glass–is necessary when cooking acidic foods, such as tomato or lemon, to prevent the food from reacting with the pan. Reactive pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can impart an off color and/or off flavor in acidic foods.


Per serving: 268 calories; 8 g fat ( 3 g sat , 3 g mono ); 26 mg cholesterol; 47 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 3 g fiber; 113 mg sodium; 114 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (20% daily value)

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 3 other carb, 1 fat (mono)


Warm chocolate souffles

Serves 6


1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

6 tablespoons hot water

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon canola oil

3 tablespoons all-purpose (plain) flour

1 tablespoon ground hazelnuts (filberts) or almonds

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons honey

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup 1 percent low-fat milk

4 egg whites

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon confectioners’ (powdered) sugar

1 cup raspberries


Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly coat six 1-cup individual souffle dishes or ramekins with cooking spray or coat a 6-cup souffle dish with the spray.

In a small bowl, combine the cocoa and hot water, stirring until smooth. Set aside.

In a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the canola oil and stir to combine. Add the flour, ground hazelnuts and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in the brown sugar, honey and salt. Gradually add the milk and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir into the cocoa mixture. Let cool slightly.

In a large, thoroughly cleaned bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the granulated sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and beat until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the cocoa mixture to lighten it. Then fold the remaining egg whites into the cocoa mixture, mixing gently only until no white streaks remain.

Gently scoop the cocoa egg white mixture into the prepared dishes (or dish). Bake until the souffle rises above the rim and is set in the center, 15 to 20 minutes for individual souffles or 40 to 45 minutes for the large souffle. Cool the souffles on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the top with the confectioners’ sugar. Garnish with raspberries and serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis

(per serving)

Calories 184 Cholesterol 7 mg

Protein 6 g Sodium 106 mg

Carbohydrate 30 g Fiber 4 g

Total fat 7 g Potassium 248 mg

Saturated fat 2 g Calcium 58 mg

Monounsaturated fat 3 g

Last four recipes above courtesy of Mayo Clinic.


Pumpkin Sweet Potato Bars


3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup butter softened

1/4 cup mild molasses

2 1/4 cup flour

1 1/2 t baking soda

1 t pumpkin pie spice

1/3 c crushed ginersnaps

Put into a greased 9X 13 or 8 X 8 and bake for 5 minutes


1 15 ounce can of pumpkin

1 1/2 c cold mashed sweet potato

1/2 c sugar

2 ounces of cream cheese, softened

1 t vanilla

’1 t pumpkin pie spice

Mix and pour over bar crust

Cook at 350 unti almost solid


1 c cushed pecans

1 T butter

1 T brown sugar

Put on top of filling and cook for 10 minutes more or until solid.

From Brenda Strausz


Lemon Lime Cupcakes with Cool Whip Frosting


1 1/2 cups butter

3 cups white sugar

5 eggs

2 tablespoons lemon extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup lemon-lime soda (e.g. 7-Upâ„¢)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 12 cup muffin pans and line with paper baking cups.

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl using an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 15 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing each until well blended. Stir in the lemon extract. Stir in the flour, alternating with the lemon-lime soda, just until the batter is smooth. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.

Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter. Spread cool whip on top when completely cool.

From Lauren Stewart

You may also enjoy these recipes and Thanksgiving articles:

Great Read! FOOD FOR A BETTER MOOD: Eating Well And Feeling Good Through The Holidays

Giving Thanks

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Giving Thanks…and Gratitude

 Greener By The Minute: Easy Ways To Go Green on Thanksgiving

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  1. Gasp; this is simply amazing; thank you so much! Allison, it’s hard to send an e-mail to—I have tried. I wish you and the entire staff the loveliest of holidays. I hope everyone has a blessed, fun, and faith filled Thanksgiving. I give thanks for the many wonderful people who have come into my heart from askinyourface.

    • Thank you Shen! From the entire team at – A huge THANK YOU!. You are truly a special lady and we are so very grateful for your continued readership and support. Wishing you a beautiful Thanksgiving Day, filled with everything delicious. As I told my students this week; fill yourself up; stuff yourself full, with everything good this holiday season and let the leftovers go…..Namaste! With love – Allison

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