A more magical holiday than one spent in Tahoe is hard to imagine! We’re wishing you a glorious time here in the mountains, and may good health and happiness follow you through the New Year.
Holidays bring many traditions and memories to mind for all of us. No matter what or how you celebrate, good food is always a welcome accompaniment to the festivities. This month, we are sharing a few delicious recipes to warm your days. Starting with the healthy, gluten free variety, you’ll find delicious alternatives to Grandma’s recipes.
If you’re just looking for yummy and easy, we’ll share a couple of those good old rib-sticking recipes like Mom used to make (don’t even try to find the nutrition values in these- pure comfort, no calorie counting here!).
Our thanks to thehealthyapple.com and tessadomesticdiva.com for letting us borrow from their web sites to share these first three recipes with you. Take a look at the sites for many more ideas.
Give Kathy at Tahoe Destination Vacation Rentals a call with any questions you have about what’s hot in Tahoe for the holiday season. Let her be your personal assistant to find the perfect rental home for you, dining, activities, and entertainment. She can be reached at 800.343.9772.
Quick & Easy 2 Ingredient Pulled Pork for Tacos
Prep time: 15 mins, Cook time: 3 hours, Serves: 6
• 1 tablespoon oil
• 2-3 pounds pork butt roast (I have used several cuts, whatever is on sale), cut into quarters
• 12 ounces (or more is OK too) favorite green salsa (really any salsa)!, we use Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde
• salt and pepper
1. In a large stock pot or saucepan, heat the oil over medium high heat.
2. Liberally salt and pepper all the roast pieces. Brown the pieces on all sides.
3. Transfer to a crock-pot and pour the salsa over the top.
4. Alternately, keep the roast in the stockpot and do the same.
5. In the crock-pot, cook over low heat about 3-4 hours, until the meat starts to break apart at the touch of a fork. Same process on the stove, just cover and simmer for 2-3 hours until fork tender and shreddable.
6. Sometimes, I cut the roast into quarters part way through to speed the process up. The long, slow simmering slowly breaks down the tough meat fibers until they are tender. If they aren’t tender yet, it just means more simmering!
7. Serve as a filling for tacos, enchiladas, or by itself is great too!
Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Pie
Serves: 12, Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free, Prep time 15 mins, Cook time 1 hour
• 4 large sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and cooled
• 4 Tbsp. Earth Balance Vegan Butter Sticks, softened
• ¾ cup brown sugar
• 2 tsp. honey
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 1 tsp. Simply Organic Cinnamon
• ½ tsp. Simply Organic Nutmeg
• ½ tsp. sea salt
• ⅛ tsp. Simply Organic All-Spice
• ¼ cup dairy-free milk such as So Delicious
• 1 tsp. Simply Organic Almond Extract
• 1 9 inch gluten-free pie shell
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, beat sweet potato flesh and butter until creamy. Stir in remaining filling ingredients; mix until smooth.
3. Transfer mixture into prepare pie shell.
4. Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside for 15 minutes before serving.
Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 200 cal • Fat: 6.2 g • Protein: 3 g • Carb: 38.7 g • Fiber: 2.8 g • Sugar: 26.1 g • Sodium: 237 mg
Paleo Coconut Secret Bars/Homemade Healthy Mounds
Prep time: 20 mins , Total time: 20 mins , Serves: 16
• 4 cups grated, unsweetened coconut
• ½ cup softened or melted coconut oil (Trader Joe’s sells 16oz organic for $5.99)
• 2-4 tablespoons coconut nectar (I liked this best, however you could use real maple syrup, honey, or agave)
• Roasted whole or slivered almonds (optional)
• 1½ cups dark chocolate pieces (OR you can sweeten your own baking chocolate squares-the ones with no sugar. I did a mixture of 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate/1/4 cup coconut nectar/40 drops vanilla creme stevia. Another great option is ½ cup food grade cocoa butter mixed with ½ cup cocoa powder and sweetener to taste. I use about 2-3 tablespoons worth. I always add a dash of salt too.)
• 1 tablespoon coconut oil
1. In a food processor, put the filling ingredients and process for several minutes. The mixture should soften and heat the coconut oil and the coconut pieces should begin to break down and move smoothly. The less time you process, the more chunky it will be. Some time is necessary so that the mixture will bind well.
2. Taste for sweetness, add more if you like. Coconut nectar gives the mixture a slight tan coloring…just like the original!!
3. Line an 8 x 8 or similar sized pan with waxed paper or parchment.
4. Pour the coconut filling in and spread around evenly. If you would like to use almonds, now is the time. Press them in!
5. Place the pan in the fridge or freezer to speed the solidifying process.
6. Meanwhile, melt your chocolate with the coconut oil.
7. Once solid, lift the whole chunk out by lifting the paper. Cut into desired shapes. Dip each piece in the chocolate, letting the excess drip back before laying it on A Silpat, parchment, or waxed paper to solidify. Store in an airtight container on the counter or in the freezer. Unlike most coconut oil delicacies, these are solid at room temp and travel well out of refrigeration, at least here in the cooler NW!
8. SHORTCUT?: I have also done these the easy way by spreading the chocolate coating right over the top of the whole pan and forgoing the dipping process!
And on the other side of the Health-O-Meter:
No Peek Beef Tips
3 pounds stew beef
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can mushroom pieces
½ package onion soup mix
1 can ginger ale
Layer ingredients as given in greased 9 X 13 pan. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 300* (NOT 350) for 3 hours and do not peek! Even when it starts to smell really good- resist the urge! Serve with rice or mashed potatoes. Serves 4-6
6 cups self-rising flour
2/3 cups white sugar
2 cans beer
Mix all ingredients
with a spoon until smooth. Grease 2 loaf pans, divide batter between them. Bake at 350* 35-45 minutes until golden. Remove from pans immediately and brush with melted butter on all sides. Serve warm!
2 cans cherry pie filling
1 can pineapple tidbits in juice
1 white cake mix
2 sticks butter or margarine
Grease 13 X 9” pan. Dump in pie filling, pineapple in juice and level with a spoon. Pour dry cake mix evenly over fruit (do not mix). Cut the butter into pats and evenly place on top of cake mix layer. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake 1 hour until golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream.
You may substitute different flavors of pie filling and/or cake mix. This is fondly known as “Dump cake” because you dump all the ingredients in the pan and bake!
Happy Holidays and Happy Eating!