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Happy Eating, Happy Holidays

Following a healthy eating plan can be difficult especially during the holiday season. When the festivities roll around there are numerous social gatherings with even bigger assortments of baked goods…it is a tough time to say no to just one more slice of pie.

But there are few recipes that you could use this year that can still satisfy your sweet tooth without deterring away from your healthy eating routine. Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too with these delicious gluten free and low calorie recipes. Moreover, you can have that ooey gooey macaroni and cheese!

Vegan Mac N Cheese 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash (1⁄2-inch cubes)
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, plus 1 tablespoon for the bread crumbs
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea1 salt, plus 1⁄2 teaspoon for the sauce, plus ⁄2 teaspoon for the bread crumbs
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1⁄4 teaspoon for the sauce, plus 1⁄4 teaspoon for the bread crumbs
  • 2 cups full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, plus 2 tablespoons for the bread crumbs
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Few drops Tabasco sauce or other similar hot sauce (optional)
  • 3⁄4 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (made from about 3 pieces of toasted gluten-free bread, which are cooled, then pulsed in a food processor)
  • 11⁄2 teaspoons paprika
  • 8 ounces gluten-free pasta elbows or shells, cooked according to the package directions

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Toss the butternut squash cubes, onions and garlic with 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil, 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon of the pepper in a large bowl. Spread the squash mixture on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until the squash cubes are soft and golden brown, around 40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the coconut milk, thyme and bay leaves in a medium saucepan, and bring the coconut milk to a rolling boil over medium heat. Turn off the heat and let the coconut milk steep for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs with a slotted spoon.
  4. Combine the cooked coconut milk, the squash mixture , 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt, the remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper, 2 tablespoons of the yeast, the dry mustard, turmeric, and Tabasco sauce in a blender and process until smooth. Set the butternut squash sauce aside.
  5. Toss the bread crumbs with the remaining 1 tablespoon coconut oil, the remaining tablespoons nutritional yeast, the remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, the remaining 1⁄4 tea- spoon pepper and the paprika. Set the bread crumb mixture aside.
  6. Arrange the cooked pasta in a large bowl. Pour the reserved butternut squash sauce over the pasta and combine well. Spoon the pasta into a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Sprinkle the reserved bread crumb mixture over the pasta and bake for 20 minutes, or until top is golden. Spoon out, serve at once and enjoy each bite!
+My Natural Sistas Kimberly Synder

Chewy Chocolate Avocado Brownies

The Holidays would not be complete without dessert! Monique of Divas Can Cook spiced up the typical preparation of chocolate brownies! This recipe is for vegans, chocolate lovers, and healthy eaters alike!  

Ingredients

  • 1 cup avocado, pureed (about 2 avacados)
  • ¾ cup golden agave
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (can use up to ¼ cup less if desired)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup whole wheat
  • ¼ cup all-pupose flour
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. Line a 8 X 8 inch baking dish with greased parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl mix together avocado, agave, coconut oil, eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Stir in cocoa powder and salt.
  5. Mix in flours.
  6. Pour batter in
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until center is set.
  8. As soon as brownies come out of oven sprinkle the tops with chocolate chips.
  9. Allow the chocolate chips to melt slightly and then place the brownies into the freezer until chocolate is firm.
  10. Cut cooled brownies into squares.
  11. Store in the fridge.

These are just two dishes you can bring with you at the next family gathering, that you can enjoy as well.

However keep these things in mind:

  1. Portion size matters – remember have a slice of cake, not the whole cake.
  2. Eat your fruits and veggies – still through your commitments! Do not fall short.
  3. Sleep – Resting well makes all the difference.

Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday!

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