Five Easy Holiday Recipes

Five Easy Holiday Recipes

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Try These Easy Recipes for Holiday Dinners and Potlucks

Get togethers can sometimes sneak up on us, and before we know it, we’re reaching for the easiest store-bought pie as we rush off to the next holiday gathering. Our Chef, Phil Sydenstricker and Dietician Ali Christensen have come up with some easy and delicious recipes so you can proudly walk into your in-laws kitchen this season holding a dish of #realfood that won’t take all day to make. All five of these holiday recipes feature whole grains, which are rich in vitamin E, B vitamins, magnesium and iron. You can feel good about offering these impressive sides to your friends and family since whole grains are a part of a balanced diet and contribute to your overall health by helping to prevent chronic disease. When you increase whole grains in your diet, you can help to reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and high cholesterol.

Try All Five Recipes

Ingredients: Kombucha-Infused Quinoa
32 oz cooked Red & White Quinoa
2 Each (15.2 fl oz)- Ginger Flavored Kevita
Master Brew Kombucha
Salt & Pepper to taste

Ingredients: Persimmon Asian Pear Chutney
4 each Medium Fuyu Persimmons
2 each Large Asian Pears
¹⁄₃ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
¼ cup Brown Sugar
¹⁄₃ cup Water
2 tsp- Chinese 5 Spice
Salt to taste

Ingredients: Cashew Garnish
2 Cups Whole Cashews
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp Mixed Black & White Sesame Seeds
½ Cup Sliced Green Onions


  1. Add the cooked quinoa to a saute pan with both bottles of ginger kombucha. Cover and simmer for 45-50 minutes.
  2. Peel, de-core, and small dice persimmons and Asian pears. Add diced fruit and all other Persimmon Asian Pear Chutney ingredients to a heavy bottomed sauce pan and simmer on low for 35-40 minutes. Set aside for service.
  3. Toss whole cashews, sesame seeds, and sesame oil in a bowl until evenly coated and then place on a parchment lined sheet pan. Toast in a 350-degree oven for 5-7 minutes. Set aside for service.
  4. Remove quinoa from stove and season with salt and pepper to taste. The quinoa should be more broken down and softer than the original cooked product. The Quinoa Congee should also be wet with additional residual kombucha liquid. Do not strain out the liquid. Serve congee hot and top with persimmon Asian pear chutney and cashews.

Ingredients: Grain Salad
32 oz cooked Farro, Black Pearled Barley, and Freekeh (combine these ingredients at will, then cook per instructions on package)
2 cups (cooked) Butternut Squash
1 cup Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 cup Dried Cranberries
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
20 oz Baby Spinach
Salt & Pepper to taste

Ingredients: Maple Balsamic Dressing
1/4 cups Dijon Mustard
3/4 cups Balsamic Vinegar
1 cup Maple Syrup
2 cups Olive Oil Blend (90/10 canola to olive oil)


  1. Prepare the Maple Balsamic Dressing. Reserve for service.
  2. Toss pumpkin seeds in 1Tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp cayenne pepper and toast for 5-6 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool and reserve for service
  3. Peel, medium dice, season the butternut squash with 1Tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast the butternut squash for 25-30 minutes. Cool and reserve for service.
  4. In a large bowl, mix super grain medley, butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Place 2 oz of raw baby spinach down as the base to the salad. Add 6oz of the grain medley mix from the previous step. Last, drizzle maple balsamic to taste.

The Maple Balsamic dressing should be blended in an immersion blender slowly and thoroughly in order to combine all ingredients to a smooth consistency.

32 oz cooked Farro
2 cups Artichoke Hearts (canned & drained)
1½ cups Kalamata Olives (canned & drained)
2 cups Blistered Cherry Tomatoes
2 cups Grilled Halloumi Cheese
2 each Navel Orange
2 each Lemon
2 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
1 each Small Diced Red Onion
2 each Rosemary Sprigs
2 each Thyme Sprigs
1 Tbsp Crushed Red Pepper
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Green Onions for Garnish


  1. Peel lemon and orange rinds with a peeler, reserve the peeled lemon and orange for their juices.
  2. Cook the farro according to package instructions.
  3. In a large sauté pan, add olive oil, garlic, red onion, citrus peels,
    crushed red pepper, and whole thyme and rosemary. Sweat on medium-low for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Grill halloumi cheese for 4 minutes on each side. Remove and let cool for 3-4 minutes before cutting into bite sized pieces.
  5. Add artichokes, olives, and tomatoes to the sauté pan and sweat on medium heat for 5-6 minutes.
  6. Squeeze the juice of the lemons and oranges into the sauté pan and remove the large peels and whole rosemary and thyme.
  7. Mix the farro and the sauté pan with all liquid in a large mixing bowl.  Season with additional olive oil and salt and pepper if needed.

Ingredients: Citrus Mint Freekeh
32 oz cooked Freekeh
2 cups Chopped Mint
1 cup Green Onions
1 cup Parsley
2 each Navel Orange
2 each Lemon
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Ingredients: Lamb Meatballs
5 lbs Ground Lamb
3 1/4 tsp Curry Powder
4 1/4 Tbsp Cumin
4 1/4 Tbsp Coriander
2 Tsp Cinnamon
2 Tbsp Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 cup Fresh Italian Parsley
3/4 cup Fresh Mint
1 ½ Tbsp Fresh Lemon Zest
1 ½ Tbsp Fresh Orange Zest

Preparation, Citrus Mint Freekeh

  1. Cook Freekeh according to package directions
  2. Chiffonade (thinly slice) mint, chop parsley, finely slice green onions.
  3. Slice lemons and oranges into 3/4” rounds and char them on the grill for 5-6 minutes.
  4. In a mixing bowl add the steamed freekeh, chopped herbs, juice of the charred citrus, olive oil, and S & P as needed.
  5. Prepare lamb meatball recipe

Preparation, Lamb Meatballs

  1. In a designated sanitized sink or container soak mint and parsley in Anti-Microbial Fruit & Vegetable Wash, then agitate for no longer than 90 seconds, allow to drain in a colander or strainer.
  2. Chop Mint and Parsley.
  3. Place all the ingredients into a 40 qt mixer, on low speed or setting gently combine all the ingredients
  4. Form meatballs to golf ball size, place on sheet pan and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165°F degrees