For those of you who are trying to offer at least a few healthier options this holiday season, take note. We start our week of recipes with three healthy dishes: Sweet Potato Hummus; Pumpkin, Fennel, Kale & Quinoa Salad; and a Holiday (Frozen) Yogurt Fruit and Nut Bark.
If anybody knows first-hand the balance of cutting calories but not flavor, it’s Executive Chef of the Williamsburg Inn Travis Brust. He’s been experimenting with ingredients in a personal and professional effort to get fit.
“As a Chef, I look at everything as an achievable challenge, it’s just a matter of how determined I am to get the job done and how fast I need to move to complete the task ahead. At 34 years old I am 100 lbs less than I was in 2009 and I feel terrific! I am looking forward to a heart healthy holiday season (although I’m sure there will be a couple of cheat meals in there… I mean a Chef has to indulge every once in a while…”).
To kick off our Feast Week Challenge, Chef selected low-fat versions of an appetizer, main dish, and dessert. After you watch our videos, scroll down to the very bottom to click (and print) his recipes!
This recipe is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. And you can skip the calorie-laden chips and crackers you might traditionally serve with hummus. Chef Travis is going to show you how to make Parmesan Cheese Crisps. Not only will you impress your friends and family with the flavors, you’ll also be able to blow them away with you fancy presentation. Enjoy!
You’ve heard a lot about super foods… well this recipe combines some of the top contenders included pumpkin, quinoa, and hemp seeds. You can serve this as a first course to your guests or if you’re like my family (who prefers buffet style during the holidays), you can just add a large bowl and people can serve themselves!
This is one of Chef Travis’ favorites! Like so many of us, he loves ice cream but not the calories that come with it. This recipe uses Greek yogurt and the sugar is all natural. It comes from the dried apricots, cherries, and cranberries (the perfect holiday flavors), plus fresh raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Not only are the flavors fabulous, the colors really pop. It would make for a beautiful addition to your Thanksgiving (or Christmas) after-dinner dessert selection.
We hope we’ve set you up for culinary success. If you try these recipes, we want your reviews. Be sure to upload your feedback (and pictures) in the comments below.
- 1 cup Sweet potato, diced and steamed then chilled
- 1 cup Chick peas
- 1/4 cup Tahini paste
- 1/2 each Lemon, zest and juice
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp Cumin, ground
- 1 pinch Cayenne pepper, ground
- 1 Tbsp Garlic cloves, roasted
- 2 Tbsp Chives, minced
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- CRANBERRY RELISH
- 1/2 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Shallot, minced
- 1/2 Chili, minced
- 1/2 cup Cranberry, dried, chopped
- 1/2 cup Apple, diced small
- 1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)
- CHEESE CRISPS
- 8 oz Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 Tbsp Parsley, minced
- 1 Tbsp Thyme, minced
- 1 Tbsp Chives, minced
- Pepper (to taste)
- Steam the sweet potatoes in a steaming basket over boiling water till fork tender, chill the potatoes.
- Place garlic cloves into a small purse of aluminum foil with a touch of olive oil and roast in a 350 degree oven till golden brown and tender.
- In a food processer add the potatoes and the chick peas.
- Blend till very smooth then start to add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, spics and olive oil.
- Season the mixture and fold in the chives.
- In a sauté pan add the olive oil then the shallot and cook for 2 minutes
- Add the chili, cranberry, apple and vinegar and cook down till almost dry
- Season with salt and pepper
- Toss the cheese and herbs together
- Season lightly with pepper
- Sprinkle the cheese mixture into 2-3 inch round patterns on a silicone mat
- Toast the crisps in a 350 degree oven till lightly golden and crispy about 10-12 minutes
- Place the hummus in a proper bowl and garnish with the relish and place on the side the crisps and perhaps some of your favorite crispy vegetables
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Olive oil
- 2 cup Pumpkin, diced medium sized
- 1 bulb Fennel, small diced, reserve the tops for the salad
- 2 cup Kale, baby if possible or sliced thinly
- 2 cups Arugula, baby if possible
- 1 cup Quinoa, cooked and chilled
- 1/2 cup Superfood dressing (recipe below)
- 2 Tbsp Herbs, minced (Tarragon, parsley, chives)
- 1/4 cup Pumpkin seeds, toasted and salted
- 1/4 cup Dried cherries, chopped
- Kosher Salt & Pepper
- SUPERFOOD DRESSING
- 2 oz Fresh goat cheese
- 8 oz Plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp Hemp seeds
- 2 Tbsp Fresh herbs, minced fine
- 2 Tbsp of Minced Chives
- 1 each Lemon, lemon zest and juice
- 1 Tbsp Tarragon vinegar
- Kosher Salt & Pepper
- Toss the diced pumpkin and fennel with the olive oil and roasted on a sheet pan in a 350 degree oven till golden brown and tender.
- Cool the pumpkin and the fennel completely.
- Toss the pumpkin, fennel, kale, arugula, quinoa and herbs with the dressing.
- Place neatly on a plate or salad bowl and garnish the top with the toasted pumpkin seeds and cherries.
- First, bring the cheese to room temperature.
- Mix together the cheese, yogurt, hemp seeds, herbs, lemon juice, zest and vinegar.
- Season with kosher salt and cracked pepper.
- 1 cup Mixed berries
- 1/2 cup Dried Fruits, chopped
- 1/4 cup Pecans, chopped
- 1/4 cup Walnuts, chopped
- 8 oz Plain Greek yogurt
- 2-3 leaves Fresh Mint, minced
- First, cut any large berries down in size, for example, cut black berries into quarters and raspberries in half, blue berries can remain whole.
- Place all of the berries onto a silicone mat and place in freezer to full freeze.
- In a bowl fold together all of the other ingredients.
- Then toss in the frozen berries and place back on the silicone mat on a sheet pan and spread till a nice even layer about ¼ inch thick.
- Place back in the freezer over night.
- When ready to serve, pull from the freezer and break the bark into pieces.
- Gobble up this healthy and tasty holiday treat!
And check back tomorrow for three hearty sides from Chef Scott including Brussels Sprouts (with duck bacon), Bourbon-Glazed Carrots, and Whipped Creamsicle Sweet Potatoes (yes, they taste as dreamy as they sound!)
Thanks to our photographer and production crew for help with this post. Dave Shelton, Tom Green, Jorin Hood, Resa Curley, and Charlie White.