Eating 'clean' is not something you typically think about during the holiday season, but maybe you should. Candice Kumai shared some tips with Weekend Express.
The cookbook author and former "Top Chef" contender, has partnered with 1,000 Days, a global initiative to improve nutrition for mothers and children from pregnancy to the child's second birthday.
Here are the recipes:
Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese
1 medium pumpkin, peeled, halved, seeded and chopped into 1-inch cubes (canned pumpkin is a-ok! Approx 1 ½ 15 oz. cans)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
3⁄4 cup canned light coconut milk
4 cups pasta shells or penne, cooked and drained
1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Gruyère or Parmesan cheese (vegans, use nutritional yeast instead)
Coconut oil or olive oil cooking spray, for the pan
Herbed bread crumb topping
1⁄2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 cup finely chopped kale leaves
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly coat a 9x13-inch pan with coconut oil or olive oil cooking spray.
In a large saucepan, combine the pumpkin, garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, salt, broth and coconut milk. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, and making sure all the pumpkin is submerged. Simmer until the pumpkin is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs.
Carefully place the squash mixture in a food processor or blender and puree until velvety smooth.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water, remove all excess liquid.
Spread out the pasta in the prepared pan, and pour the squash-coconut milk puree over the pasta. Gently fold in the 1⁄4 cup cheese (if using) and mix well to combine, ensuring that all noodles are coated. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place in preheated oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly and cooked through.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the topping.
Remove the mac and cheese from the oven, uncover and sprinkle the top with the herbed bread-crumb topping, followed by a sprinkle of the remaining two tablespoons grated cheese. Transfer to the broiler for two to three minutes until brown and bubbly.
Brussels Sprout Salad
Serves 4 To 6
11⁄2 lbs Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup cored, halved and thinly sliced Bartlett pear
1⁄2 cup raw walnut pieces
2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
2 teaspoons Manuka honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
Wash the Brussels sprouts and pat dry. Thinly slice the sprouts on a mandoline to a thickness of 1/8 inch. If you do not have a mandoline, use a sharp knife.
In a large bowl, whisk together the honey, mustard, vinegar, olive oil and salt. Add the sliced Brussels sprouts and toss to coat with the dressing. Add the pear slices, walnuts and blue cheese. Serve immediately.