The holidays are all about family, celebration, giving and thankfulness; but let’s be real, the unifying factor around all of this is food! Whether you’re preparing a new dish on the Christmas dinner table is going to be, revamping a traditional dish or deciding what to surprise your coworkers with at the potluck dinner, check out some creative holiday meal ideas.
• Easy, Holiday Glazed Ham
o 1 spiral-sliced half ham
o 1 20-oz can pineapple slices, juice reserved
o 15 to 20 whole cloves (optional)
o 1 small jar maraschino cherries
o 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
o 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1. The first thing you want to do is preheat the oven, then follow the cooking instructions for the ham that are located on the package.
2. After 30 minutes of cooking time take the ham out of the oven.
3. Decorate the ham with pineapples and secure them onto the ham with toothpicks or whole cloves.
4. Follow this up by placing a cherry in the center of each pineapple and securing it in the same way.
5. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, mustard and a reasonable amount of pineapple juice, just enough to make a thick glaze to cover the ham.
6. Once the glaze has been heated, spread it over the ham and bake it for another 30 minutes.
• Roasted Kabocha Squash, Haricots Verts, Mushrooms and Pepitas
o 4 cups 1/2-inch-diced kabocha squash
o Extra-virgin olive oil
o 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
o Crushed red pepper
o Kosher salt
o 1 pound haricots verts, stem end removed
o 1 pound oyster mushrooms, pulled into bite-size pieces
o 1/2 cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds), for garnish
o 1 bunch fresh chives, finely diced, for garnish
1. The oven should be preheated at 375F
2. The squash should be tossed with olive oil, cinnamon, crushed red pepper and salt.
3. From here, the squash should be placed on a sheet tray and put in the oven for 30 minutes/ until soft.
4. The haricots verts should also be tossed with olive oil, crushed red pepper and salt (no cinnamon).
5. Place this on foil and roast it for about 16 minutes.
6. The same should be done to the mushrooms for 14 minutes.
7. Roast pepitas in foil for no more than 8 minutes.
8. When each set is done, combine all of the vegetables and enjoy the healthy combination with your roasted ham!
In 1968, Chinese-American physician Robert Ho Man Kwok penned what he thought was a lighthearted letter to The New England Journal of Medicine. He wrote of experiencing numbness, palpitations, and weakness after eating in Chinese restaurants in the US, and wondered whether the monosodium glutamate used by the cooks here might be behind his strange illness. The consequences of Kwok’s letter were far-reaching and devastating. MSG, then a common food enhancer, was immediately tagged as a toxin in the public eye, a move supported by flawed “research”, and was removed from nearly every commercially-available food found on store shelves.