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Menu Planning: Holiday Comfort, Holiday Joy

Menu planning: holiday comfort, holiday joy

A healthier take on holiday classics makes for a very merry season, no matter how your healthcare community chooses to celebrate.

Making spirits bright is a big part of the holiday menu, and nothing can beat comfort-food classics for flavor, enjoyment and nourishment. During this season of giving, you can serve guests a celebration of cherished and traditional favorites featuring prime rib, pork loin, turkey, chicken breast and shrimp.

Our winter recipes are more than just a warm and hearty way to add a little cheer to the season. They are a feast for the senses. Visual temptations. Aromatic delights. Succulent textures. These are a few of diners’ favorite things about the season known for great eating. Even with a focus on making every meal special and creating memories, there’s no need to sacrifice flavor while providing health and nutrition benefits.

These holiday-inspired dishes are not only delicious, they utilize healthy cooking methods, fresh and colorful ingredients, as well as unique presentations. This allows you to prepare for any possibility—an elegant occasion, a festive dinner or a casual gathering. Breaking out your best for a meal shared with loved ones? Spreading some everyday holiday cheer? No matter. At the center of it all is enjoyment, and classic comfort-food proteins are a tasty solution.

Nothing brings back holiday memories or makes a meal feel special like a perfect cut of beef, and our roasted prime rib is ideal. Thin slices of tender, juicy beef with a hollandaise sauce, broccoli and Mediterranean mashed potatoes is a holiday classic.

As the days grow shorter, a smoked pork loin provides the pleasure of indulging in a meal that tastes is if it has been slow-cooked over a warm fire. Served with a small salad, fresh fruit and golden hash-brown potatoes, it adds pleasure to any day.

The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without turkey, and we have two options that elevate this traditional protein. Turkey tenderloin schnitzel is a delicious twist on a German classic. Lightly breaded turkey slices with a cranberry-orange relish and a side of smashed Yukon potatoes could become a new favorite. The turkey cavatappi recipe takes turkey tenderloins and combines them with Italian pasta and a hearty mushroom and green pea sauce. Old-World flavors meet traditional holiday fare. 
  
Turkey isn’t the only poultry popular during the holidays. Chicken breast is something you can call on during the holidays and beyond. What makes this dish special is the bed of quinoa duxelles upon which the chicken and accompanying vegetables are served. Sauteed mushrooms and shallots simmered in white wine and combined with quinoa make an eye-pleasing presentation.

Shrimp, always popular during the holiday season, takes a star turn in our Shrimp De Jonghe recipe. It’s a colorful fiesta of tender shrimp, chopped spinach, a three-grain blend and finished with charred tomatoes.

Happy eating, and happy holidays indeed.