I often hear from friends about how they can’t believe how much they ate at a holiday event. They complain about feeling sluggish, gaining weight and wonder how I survive the holidays.
Rather than survive, I would rather thrive! So I have a few strategies that help me feel great throughout the season.
- Bring a delicious healthy dish to share. This way you know there will be at least one thing that you will eat and you can show others how delicious your healthy lifestyle is!
- Eat something whole and nutritious so that you won’t be hungry at the party.
- Focus on socializing and connecting with friends and family rather than eating.
- Decide ahead of time which foods you choose NOT to eat. As a vegan, it’s easy, since much of what you find on the buffet table typically contains some animal products. I don’t feel deprived, though, because I have already eaten something before leaving home, and I brought a dish that I love!
- Commit to only one dessert. Or, if you must, a small taste of two. Choose wisely!
When it comes to gift-giving, try to be mindful in your choices. Check out my previous post on Mindful Gift-Giving for ideas.
This is a favorite among raw newbies and raw foodies alike. I had the pleasure of serving samples of this recently and received rave reviews. It consists of thinly sliced zucchini filled with cashew cheese and topped with Marilyn’s Marinara Sauce and Basil Pesto.
Cashew “Ricotta” Cheese
(recipe adapted from Raw Food Real World. by Matthew Kenny & Sarma Melngailis)
1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked 2 hours or more
1 medium shallot, peeled and chopped
zest of one lemon
2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbs. nutritional yeast
1/2 to 1 tsp. Himalayan or Celtic salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup water (depending on desired consistency)
2 Tbs. minced fresh parsley
- Place all the ingredients EXCEPT the water and parsley in a food processor fitted with the S blade and process until as smooth as possible.
- Add water, small amounts at a time to achieve the desired consistency. If making lasagna, you will want a softer consistency so it is easier to spread.
- Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lemon juice if desired.
- Transfer to a medium bowl and fold in the minced parsley.
Stored in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator, cashew ricotta will keep for 3-5 days. Tastes best served at room temperature.
1/2 zucchini per serving
batch of cashew ricotta
- Cut off both ends and peel the zucchini if desired (or if not organic).
- Using a mandonile or a vegetable peeler, slice the zucchini lengthwise very thinly.
- Lay three slices side by side, overlapping a little. Cut the overlapped strips in half. This will make two rollatini.
- Place a spoonful of cashew ricotta across the sliced zucchini at the end closest to you. Roll the zucchini around the cheese. Repeat until you have three to five rollatini per serving.
Top with Marilyn’s Marinara Sauce and Basil Pesto.