4 Quick and Easy Holiday Recipes

Holidays are traditionally “feast” days when people tend to indulge in full meals with family and friends. These holiday-themed recipes are hearty and delicious. But they are also (somewhat) quick, easy, and healthy as well!


Kale and Butternut Squash Minestrone


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 2 cups 1/2 inch cubed pieces butternut squash, peeled (reserve rest of squash for another time)
  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped kale leaves (lightly packed) stems removed
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Large soup pot/Dutch oven
  • Grater
  • Peeler
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife


  1. Heat oil in soup pot/Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add onion and celery; cook and stir 5 minutes or until onion is softened.  Stir in butternut squash, beans, tomatoes, water, rosemary, salt, and pepper in Dutch oven.  Cover and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
  2. Add kale; cover and cook 10 minutes or until tender.
  3. Ladle soup into bowls; sprinkle with cheese.

Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwiches

If you are not a fan of cooking a turkey, chicken can easily substitute. This recipe calls for a rotisserie chicken, which you can cook on your own but can also be purchased from most grocery stores. Ingredients:

  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (from 1 chicken)
  • 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 mini baguettes (or 1 French bread baguette cut into 4 portions), split
  • 4 romaine lettuce leaves


  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Medium bowl
  • Small bowl
  • Blender/Food processor
  • Large skillet
  • Grater


  1. Place chicken in a medium bowl.  Process anchovy fillets, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper in a blender until smooth.  Gradually add olive oil, and process until smooth; stir in Parmesan cheese.  Pour dressing over chicken, and toss to coat.
  2. Stir together mayonnaise and garlic powder in a small bowl.  Brush cut sides of bread evenly with mayonnaise mixture.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high.  Cook bread, cut side down, in hot skillet, until toasted and golden brown, about 2 minutes.  Divide chicken mixture and lettuce leaves evenly among bottoms of toasted bread; cover with bread tops.

Mushroom and Wild Rice Blend


  • 1 can (3-1/2 oz.) mushrooms, stems and pieces
  • 1 can (10 oz.) beef broth
  • Water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup wild rice, rinsed
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Medium saucepan


  1. Drain mushrooms; keep liquid.  Mix broth, water, and reserved mushroom liquid to make 2 cups.  In a medium saucepan over medium eat, add onions to broth and bring to a boil.  Add wild rice, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Add long grain rice.  Boil again, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add mushrooms and butter.  Serve.

Cranberry Walnut Coffee Cake


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup canned whole berry cranberry sauce
  • olive or avocado oil to grease the baking dish


  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Large bowl
  • 1 Medium bowl
  • 2 Small bowls
  • 8 inch square baking dish


  1. Preheat oven 400°.  In a large bowl, combine egg, milk and oil.  In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar; add to large bowl.
  2. Pour into a greased baking dish.   Spread cranberry sauce over batter.  In small bowl combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over cranberry sauce.  Bake for 18-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients; drizzle over coffee cake.


Looking for a good gift this holiday season? Books make the best presents!




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