I love the holidays! There is a fun buzz in the air, a hustle and bustle in the stores, so many parties to attend, great food, creative cocktails and little voice in our head that says "go on, indulge, it's that time of year, and you deserve it"!

And, it's true - We do deserve it! 

But, indulging need not mean heavy, high fat, calorie rich meals and an overload on sweets that leave you feeling sluggish, bloated and have your belly bursting and your waistline rather constricting come January.

There are so many beautiful dishes that are flavour packed and equally festive without the need for cream, butter or flour. Get creative and wow your guests with some new flavours and dishes they won’t be expecting. There is no doubt that many of them will be equally thankful for the change. 

Here are FIVE tips I share in my cooking classes for healthy gourmet cooking with fabulous flare. 

1. Lean entrees are gorgeous too! A beautifully stuffed turkey breast or two will roast up really nicely and make for super easy carving. Or, try a nice rosemary, pepper crusted whole beef tenderloin with a simple pan jus – skip the flour and use natural reducing methods to thicken (gently simmer over time).  


2. When planning your meal, remember that we eat with our eyes first. After you’ve selected your main entrée, choose a selection of colourful vegetable sides. Balsamic glazed carrots, lemony roast beets, dill tossed green beans with toasted almonds are all simple sides that don’t take long to prepare, but are very palate pleasing. 


3. Include something crunchy. It helps give us a feeling of satisfaction a midst so many softer to the tooth, rich dishes. Preferably a nice salad or slaw. A fabulous Kale salad with nuts, red onions and dried fruit does the trick, as does a great fennel and apple slaw. 


4. Get creative with your stuffing and mash. Use a combo of sautéed mushrooms, quinoa, brown rice and herbs to create gluten free stuffing served on the side. In place of mashed potatoes, try using cauliflower, celery root and parsnip. Just roast and toss into your food processor with some roasted garlic for a whole new take. Butternut squash and yams also make for amazing mashed potato alternative sides. 


5. A little garnish goes a long way. Dress up your platters and plates with fun splashes of seasonal creativity from clementine slices and chestnuts, to pomegranate seeds and mint sprigs. It is about feeling special and decadent. 

Food is our passion; we are excited to share it with you.