With a thrilling feel in our hearts, we - the Crownhealth Team - wish a Merry Christmas to you and your families! May the closeness of friends and the comfort of home renew your spirits this festive season.
Despite all the challenges of 2020, we - and you especially - did a fantastic job! So may this Christmas end the present year on a cheerful note and make way for a fresh and bright New Year.
This Holiday season is not so much about parties or gift-giving as about love and care. And one of the best ways to show your appreciation to your loved ones and yourself is to treat them with festive, delicious, and healthy dishes.
HAND-PICKED X-Mas Menu
To make your celebration not only fun but healthy, the Crownhealth Team prepared a hand-picked menu list to stir your imagination and inspire. We hope you're going to love it!
Chickpea bruschetta with sun-dried tomatoes
This 10-minute simple and bursting with fresh flavor chickpea bruschetta will please everyone's tastes. A perfect appetizer to chew before everyone is waiting for the main X-Mas dish.
[10 Small Servings]
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 gluten-free baguette
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 2 Tbsp chopped parsley leaves, plus extra to serve
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 tsp fine salt, or according to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- Smash the chickpeas and add the parsley, extra virgin olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice, salt, and pepper (to taste). Mix it well!
- Cut the baguette into diagonal slices (about 1/2 inch thick), arrange in a baking sheet, and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C until crisp and dry. Alternatively, toast the slices in a pan with a little of olive oil and cook for a few minutes until golden.
- Rub the toasts with the garlic and top them with the chickpea mixture, sprinkle with extra parsley and drizzle olive oil.
Warm Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
A warm salad made with roasted butternut squash, cranberries, spinach, and candied pecans.
- 1 medium-sized butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
- 3-4 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
- 1/4 cup raw pecans
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 cups baby spinach or arugula (chopped)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
- Sea salt + black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C and position a rack in the center of the oven.
- Toss butternut squash cubes in 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until just tender.
- While roasting, prepare your pecans by heating a medium skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add pecans and toss or stir until toasty and fragrant, being careful not to burn. Remove from the skillet.
- To the same skillet add 1 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp brown sugar and stir to combine. Then add pecans back in plus a pinch of salt and toss for a minute or two until fully coated and fragrant. Transfer to a plate to cool, spreading to make sure they don’t stick together.
- Chop or loosely tear your greens and add to a serving bowl along with the cranberries. Once the butternut squash is done, toss it right into the bowl along with the pecans.
- Add the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar and toss. Add more salt or pepper if desired.
Mushroom & Chestnut Rotolo
Serve this vegan bake for a dinner party, or on Christmas Day. The honeycomb effect of rolled lasagne sheets looks amazing and the crispy sage is adds the festive feeling to it.
- 30g dried mushrooms
- 240g chestnuts
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 3 banana shallots (finely sliced)
- 3 fat garlic cloves (crushed)
- 3 rosemary sprigs
- 500g fresh wild mushrooms (brushed clean and roughly chopped)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 125ml vegan white wine
- 350g vegan dried lasagne sheets
- 4 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
- ½ small pack sage leaves picked
- truffle oil (optional), to serve
- Soak the dried mushrooms in 350ml boiling water and set aside until needed. Blitz ¾ of the chestnuts with 150ml water until creamy. Roughly chop the remaining chestnuts.
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Fry the shallots with a pinch of salt until softened, then add the garlic, chopped chestnuts, and rosemary, and fry for 2 mins more. Add the wild mushrooms, 2 tbsp oil, and some seasoning. Cook for 3 mins until they begin to soften. Drain and roughly chop the dried mushrooms (reserve the soaking liquid), then add those too, along with the soy sauce, and fry for 2 mins more.
- Whisk the wine, reserved mushroom liquid, and chestnut cream together to create a sauce. Season, then add half to the mushroom mixture in the pan and cook for 1 min until the sauce becomes glossy. Remove and discard the rosemary sprigs, then set the mixture aside.
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil and get a large bowl of ice water ready. Drop the lasagne sheets into the boiling water for 2 mins or until pliable and a little cooked, then immediately plunge them into the cold water. Using your fingers, carefully separate the sheets, and transfer them to a clean tea towel. Spread a good spoonful of the sauce on the bottom two-thirds of each sheet, then, rolling away from yourself, roll up the shorter ends. Cut each roll in half, then position the rolls of pasta cut-side up in a pie dish that you are happy to serve from at the table. If you have any mushroom sauce remaining after you’ve rolled up all the sheets, simply push it into some of the exposed rolls of pasta.
- Pour the rest of the sauce over the top of the pasta, then bake for 10 mins or until the pasta no longer has any resistance when tested with a skewer.
- Meanwhile, put the breadcrumbs, the last 2 tbsp olive oil, sage leaves, and some seasoning in a bowl, and toss everything together. Scatter the rotolo with the crumbs and sage, then bake for another 10 mins, until the top is golden and the sage leaves are crispy. Leave to cool for 10 mins to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce, then drizzle with a little truffle oil, if you like, before taking your dish to the table.
Vegan Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies
These vegan gluten-free gingerbread cookies are a perfect treat to make this Christmas season. They're top 8 allergen-free, so everyone can enjoy these!
[20 Small Servings]
- 1/2 cup vegan buttery spread
- 1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 5 Tablespoons unsulfured molasses
- 3 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 2 1/4 cups gluten-free flour blend
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- Place the vegan buttery spread and the brown sugar in a mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until smooth and combined, about 30 seconds.
- Add the molasses and unsweetened applesauce and continue to mix. Reduce the speed to low and add half the gluten-free flour blend. Mix until combined.
- Add the other half of the gluten-free flour blend, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix on low speed until smooth and combined.
- Divide the dough into two portions and wrap in plastic wrap. Pat into discs, and chill in the freezer for one hour, or the refrigerator for two hours.
- Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line a cookie sheet or two with parchment paper.
- Line a surface with waxed paper, and dust lightly with gluten-free flour. Place a chilled disc of dough on the waxed paper. Dust a rolling pin with gluten-free flour and roll the dough out until it reaches a thickness of about a half 0.6cm.
- Cut out the cookies using a gingerbread man cookie cutter. (Or if you prefer, a gingerbread girl cutter).
- Place the cookies on the prepared cookie sheet and bake at 175°C degrees for 11 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet before removing.
- Repeat with the remaining dough. Makes about 20 gingerbread men cookies.
That’s all for the recipes. Good luck with all the baking and cooking! We know it's never easy, but it's so satisfying!
May you feel all the love and joy throughout the day and all year round.