Holiday and Seasonal Recipes

Holiday and Seasonal Recipes Blog, Naturna Institute, December 2016

In celebration of the holidays, the Naturna team shares favorite dishes and sides. Enjoy a mix of healthy and delicious recipes with some healthy tips.

Recipe from Christina Burns, Founder and Doctor of Chinese Medicine
A Christina original!

Chocolate Avocado Mousse
Serves 2 (double recipe as desired)

1 medium avocado
2 dates
1/2 cup almond, cashew, coconut or hemp milk (depending on desired creaminess)
1-1/2 tbsp pure organic cocoa powder
1 tbsp (sweeten to taste) pure Maple syrup — No “Aunt Jemina” corn-syrup variety. Yuck!
Optional: 1 tbsp chia seeds for omegas, well-blended to create a smooth consistency

1. Toss everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Voila!
2. Serve immediately or let cool and set in the fridge 1-2 hours
Avoid eating too much at night as the chocolate packs a caffeine kick.

HEALTHY TIP: Avocados are rich in nutrients, including Vitamins K, Folate, C, Potassium, B5, B6, and E, to list a few.
Enjoy this low-glycemic, healthy-fat superfood mood lifter.

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Recipes from Kirsten Jordan, Functional Nutrition Coach

Main Dish

Salmon or Cod in Cartoccio
Makes 2-3 servings
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1-1.5 lbs wild caught cod or salmon
Capers, enough to garnish generously
Pepper to taste
1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Lemon

1. Place fish on a large piece of aluminum foil.
2. Generously garnish with capers, 1/2 sliced lemon, black pepper and 1 tbsp olive oil.
3. Fold aluminum foil into a package, folding all 4 edges together on the top to create a pouch for the salmon.
4. Place package on a cookie sheet or in a Pyrex dish then put in the oven for 20 minutes. Periodically, check for desired doneness.
5. Remove and serve immediately or cool and serve at room temperature.
6. Use the 2nd half of the lemon for additional flavor.

HEALTHY TIP: Salmon contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids that decrease inflammation and improve brain function.

Side Dish—A Family Favorite

The following recipe is a family favorite. We use it every year at Thanksgiving and at Christmas at least every other year. It’s addictively delicious and the perfect accompaniment to turkey or a vegetarian holiday meal. My brother is quite lactose intolerant which is why this modified version came about along with several tweaks over the years making it what you see below. I recommend making enough for 12 people if you are serving more than 8, otherwise you might not have enough!

Sweet Potato and Carrot Puree
(This recipe has been adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook)
Makes approximately 6 portions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

4 large sweet potatoes (2 lbs)
1 lb carrots
2-1/2 cups chicken broth (unsalted)
1 tbsp coconut sugar or maple syrup
12 tbsp ghee warmed to a soft consistency
Celtic Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
½ cup of full fat greek yogurt OR plain coconut yogurt
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Dash of cayenne pepper optional

1. Wash potatoes well and cut a small deep slit in the top of each. Set them on a cookie sheet in the center rack of a preheated 375 degree oven and bake for about 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork (could be longer).
2. Meanwhile, peel and trim carrots and cut them into 1-inch lengths. Put them in a saucepan and add the chicken broth, coconut sugar, 2 tablespoons of the ghee, and some salt and pepper to taste. Set over medium heat, bring to a boil, and cook uncovered until water has evaporated and carrots begin to sizzle in the butter, about 30 minutes. The carrots should be tender. If not, add a little additional water and cook until carrots are done and all liquid has evaporated.
3. Scrape out the flesh of sweet potatoes and combine with carrots in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
4. Add remaining butter and yogurt and process until very smooth.
5. Add nutmeg, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Add cayenne, if you like and process briefly to blend.
7. To reheat, transfer to an ovenproof serving dish and cover with foil. Heat in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until steaming hot.

Anchovy Hot Broccoli
This side dish will add some heat to any meal.

1 lb Broccoli
1 Small Can Anchovies
Olive Oil to taste
Red Pepper Flakes to taste

1. Steam broccoli until tender but not soft
2. Mash anchovies with some additional olive oil in a pan
3. Add broccoli and stir/mash all together with a wooden spoon
4. Add red pepper flakes if you like it hot
5. DON’T add any salt! Canned anchovies are salty.
If the flavors seem a bit intense, add more broccoli to the next batch you make.

HEALTHY TIP: Anchovies are full of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which lower inflammation and help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Coconut Flour Pancakes
A yummy recipe to start your holiday celebration.

Makes 8-10 small pancakes for 1-2 people

2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp raw honey
3 large eggs
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp sea salt

1. Cream together the coconut oil and honey. Add the eggs one at a time.
2. Add coconut milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
3. Add coconut flour. Mix until smooth.
4. Lastly, add cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
5. Do not overmix. Overmixing will result in the baking agents (cream of tartar & baking soda) to not work.
6. Add ghee or coconut oil to a crepe pan heated to medium.
7. Ladle a small amount of batter into the pan to create the pancake.
8. Flip the pancake once when bottom is light brown. NOTE: The pancakes will not bubble as much as “regular” pancakes.
9. Serve immediately with a drizzle of maple syrup or other toppings.

HEALTHY TIP: Paleo-friendly coconut pancakes help stabilize the blood sugar.

Loving Leftover

Cooked “Salad” made with Leftover Ingredients

Baked sweet potatoes
Leftover turkey (leg, thigh, wing, breast) or chosen protein in bite-sized pieces
Leftover cooked or raw spinach
Fistful or arugula, optional
2 tbsp Vinaigrette (choice of oil and vinegar or salad dressing of your choice)
Lemon juice for flavor if wanted

1. Mix sweet potatoes, turkey (or chosen protein), spinach and arugula in bowl.
2. After mixing, add Vinaigrette
3. Warm in a pan to desired temperature. Can also be eaten cold.
4. Add lemon juice for flavor

HEALTHY TIP: Turkey contains vitamins B-6 and B-12, niacin, choline, selenium, zinc, and Tryptophan, which produces a relaxing effect.

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Recipe by Annie Caton Wong, Social Media Marketing

These wontons are easy to make, delicious and a fun activity for the entire family. You can make these in advance, double or triple the recipe, and freeze wontons so that they’re ready to be cooked for a special occasion. The below instructions are adapted from this recipe.

Pork and Spinach Wontons Recipe

2 cups finely chopped shiitake mushrooms
3/4 lb chopped raw shrimp (defrost if frozen)
2 tsp salt
1 pound ground pork
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup finely chopped chives
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin or Chinese rice wine
3 tsp roasted sesame oil
1 tbsp Arrowroot or cornstarch

For the Wrapping
60 to 100 wonton wrappers, defrosted (square or circular shape both work fine but the below folding instructions are for square shaped wrappers)
1 egg, beaten

For the Ginger Broth
2 quarts vegetable or chicken broth
2 thumb-sized pieces of ginger, sliced
3 cups of spinach or bok choy
Sprigs of cilantro, optional


  1. Saute mushrooms in 1 Tbsp roasted sesame oil with a pinch of salt.
  2. Place the cooked mushrooms in a large bowl.
  3. Add the ground pork, ginger, garlic, chives, tamari, mirin, 2 tbsp sesame oil, and arrowroot starch. Mix well.
  4. OPTIONAL: Heat up a small frying pan over medium heat, add in a touch of cooking oil. Cook a spoonful of the dumpling filling and taste. Adjust seasonings to the dumpling filling if you wish.
  5. In a small bowl, beat the egg (this will act as a binding agent while folding the wontons).
  6. Take one wonton wrapper, place 1 scant teaspoon of the dumpling mixture in the middle. Paint the outer edge of the wonton wrapper with egg. Fold wrapper over like in a triangle shape and seal tightly all around. Make sure there are no air pockets or holes in the wonton. Fold the two triangle points together and seal to make the wonton shape. If you’re feeling extra creative, try experimenting with a variety of folding styles!
  7. Place folded wonton on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper and cover with plastic wrap or barely damp towel to avoid drying out. If you find the wontons are sticking to the surface, dust it finely with flour. When wonton are all folded, you can store or freeze. them.
  8. For the broth: Bring the broth and ginger to a simmer in a large stock pot and turn the heat to medium-high. Add in the spinach and a batch of wontons. When the broth starts to boil, lower it to a gentle boil. Once the wontons are floating and the wonton skins appear translucent, they should be done. Discard the ginger slices. Serve wonton and broth with few cilantro leaves if desired!

Storage tips:

  • If you want to freeze the wonton, place all the UNCOOKED wontons flat on a plate. Do not crowd. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze. Once the wonton are frozen, you can gather them up and store in freezer bag. This ensures that the wonton freeze individually, otherwise if the wonton froze and stuck together, it would be nearly impossible to cook.
  • When ready to cook wonton, they can go from freezer to a simmering broth. Follow exact cooking instructions as noted above. Since the wonton is frozen, it will take longer time for the broth to return to a simmer — so it’s self timing!

HEALTHY TIP: Broth based recipes are easy to digest and provide great mineral content.

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