Editor's Note: The Holidays herald a slew of additional demands on the already over-scheduled working woman. Perhaps one of the most stressful demands is planning your Holiday dishes to entertain family, friends and colleagues.

We have taken some of the work out of the Holiday Menu dilemma by inviting Nicole Cormier to share a dozen of her favorite recipes, ranging from quick but delicious appetizers, to warm, lingering desserts. Enjoy!

Twelve Delicious Living Recipes
for the Holidays

by Nicole Cormier, RD, LDN


Cucumber Rounds and Smoked Salmon Canapes

  • 1 loaf of cocktail rye bread
  • 2 packages of Laughing Cow Light (flavored optional)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 package of smoked salmon (optional)
  • Fresh Parsley

Spread each bread slice with 1 teaspoon of Laughing Cow Light cheese. Run tines of fork down sides of cucumber. Cut into thin slices. Place two slices, overlapping on bread. Cut smoked salmon into 1 x 2 inch pieces. Place on top of cucumber slices. Garnish with a small sprig of parsley. Makes 40 appetizer servings.

Sweet n' Sour Meatballs

  • 16 ounces of ground turkey breast
  • 1 jar of apricot preserves (low sugar)
  • 1 cup of barbecue sauce
  • 16 ounce can of pineapple chunks, drained
  • 8 ounce can of whole water chestnuts, drained and cut in half
  • 1 large green pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces

Form turkey into 46 meatballs (large marbles). Place in nonstick skillet and cook until lightly browned. Drain off fat. Meanwhile, combine ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then add meatballs. Reduce heat and simmer 8-10 minutes. Keep hot in warming tray. Makes 23 servings (2 per serving).

Jolly Cheese Ball

  • 1 – 2 Packages of Laughing cow light cheese
  • 1/4 cup of sliced almonds
  • Ak Mak Crackers
  • Kame Rice Crackers
  • Wasa Crackers
  • 1 cup of baby carrots
  • 1 cup of slices celery sticks

Form cheese wedges into a ball in the center of a platter. Cover with almonds and serve with crackers and vegetables.

Soup and Salad

Pumpkin White Bean Soup

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 15 oz canned pumpkin
  • 3 1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth
  • 15 1/2 oz canned white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 tsp ground oregano
  • 1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Coat a large soup pot with cooking spray and set over medium-low heat. Add onion, cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Stir in pumpkin, broth, beans and oregano; simmer 8 minutes.

In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth. (Note: Make sure not to overfill blender in order to avoid splattering.) Return soup to pot and reheat; season with salt and pepper. Or use a "stick" blender and blend it in the pot. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top each with 1 tablespoon of grated cheese. About 1 cup per serving.

Sophisticated Beets and Goat Cheese Salad

  • 5 cups sliced prepared pickled beets
  • 5 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
  • 10 pecan halves
  • 10 cups of arugula

Place 1 cup of arugula on each of 10 small plates, then place ½ cup of beets on each plate. Top beets with ½ tablespoon of goat cheese and garnish with 1 pecan half. Makes 10 salads.

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Roasted Vegetable Salad

  • 1 large sweet potato, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 large red onion, quartered
  • 1 cup cauliflower flowerets
  • 1 medium-size sweet green or red pepper, cut into 8 pieces
  • 12 stalks (1/3 pound) thin asparagus, trimmed
  • Four 3-inch-wide portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. In large bowl, combine the sweet potato, onion and ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Spread on rimmed baking sheet. Roast 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables are fork-tender. In same bowl, combine remaining oil, the cauliflower, pepper, and asparagus. Spread vegetables out on another rimmed baking sheet and add to oven with first pan. Roast 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are fork-tender. Meanwhile, place mushrooms on rimmed baking sheet and roast about 3 to 5 minutes. To serve, transfer vegetables to a large serving plate.

Veggies and Quiche

Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Tangy Vinaigrette

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled
  • Water to cover
  • 1 tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil


  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

Put potatoes in a saucepan. Add water to cover and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. In a bowl, slice into 1-inch pieces. In a separate bowl, combine soy sauce and oil. Brush on both sides of potatoes. Grill or broil slices until browned. Combine scallions, parsley, garlic, ginger, vinegar, and soy sauce. Drizzle mixture over potatoes. Serve hot or cold.

Holiday Spinach, Sausage, and Broccoli Quiche

  • 1 Al Fresco Chicken Sausage link
  • 2-3 cups Frozen Spinach
  • 2-3 cups Frozen Chopped Broccoli
  • 1 quart carton of Egg Beaters
  • 1 cup of Fat-Free Shredded Cheddar Cheese (Kraft)
  • Dash of Italian Seasoning
  • Dash of Pepper

Using a 9 X 13" casserole dish, lay spinach and broccoli evenly across the dish. Add seasonings and place sliced chicken sausage pieces evenly on top of spinach and broccoli. Sprinkle shredded cheese throughout dish. Then, pour carton of Egg Beaters over all ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees until quiche is cooked all the way through (about 45 min). Cut into 4 x 4 squares and serve with fresh fruit.


Almond - Pear Gratins

  • 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1⁄2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 1⁄4 cups water
  • 4 almond-flavored herbal tea bags
  • 5 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 firm Bosc pears

Preheat oven to 300°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat it with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, mix together sugar and orange zest; set aside. In another bowl, whisk egg white until frothy; add almonds and toss to coat thoroughly. Drain almonds in a sieve, then toss with sugar/zest mixture.

Spread coated almonds on prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Stir well, spread almonds again and bake for 5 minutes. Stir again and bake until toasted and crisp, about 2 minutes more. Loosen the almonds from the baking sheet with a spatula; set aside. Increase oven temperature to 450°F.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Let steep for 10 minutes. Squeeze out the tea bags, letting the liquid drip into the pan, then discard bags. Stir brown sugar, orange juice and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice into tea; set aside. Peel pears, halve lengthwise and cut out core. Toss with the remaining 3 teaspoons lemon juice. Place pear halves, cut-side down, in 4 individual gratin dishes and put the dishes on a baking sheet. Spoon tea mixture over and around pears. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until pears are tender, basting from time to time. Sprinkle reserved sugared almonds over pears. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Maple - Pumpkin Custards

  • 1 1⁄2 cups 1% milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3⁄4 cup maple syrup, preferably Grade B dark amber
  • 3⁄4 cup canned unseasoned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons whipped cream
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Preheat oven to 325°F. Put a kettle of water on to heat for the water bath. Line a roasting pan with a folded kitchen towel. Heat milk in a small saucepan over low heat until barely steaming but not boiling. Whisk eggs and syrup in a large bowl until smooth. Gently whisk in the warm milk (a little bit at a time so the eggs don't cook). Add pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; whisk until blended.

Divide the mixture among six 6-ounce (3⁄4-cup) custard cups. Skim foam from the surface. Place custard cups in the prepared roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the custard cups. Place the pan in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 45 to 50 minutes, or until custards are just set but still quiver in the center when shaken.

Transfer custards to a wire rack and let cool for 45 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until chilled. To serve, top each custard with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of crystallized ginger. Makes 6 servings.


Pear Spritzer

  • 1/2 pear
  • 1 cup of pear puree or nectar
  • 3 cups of carbonated water or diet 7-up

Fill half a small pitcher with ice, then add pear puree or nectar and water or 7-up. Slice pear into thin slices. Make a slit in the center of each slice. Garnish 4 glass rims with pear slices. Makes 4 spritzers.

Spiced Coffee

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon of whole allspice
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 2 packets of stevia (non-caloric sweetener)
  • 1 tablespoon of instant regular or decaffeinated coffee

In a large saucepan, combine first 4 ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in stevia and coffee. Serve hot. Makes 4 servings.

Nicole Cormier, RD, LDN

Nicole Cormier, RD, LDN is a registered dietitian and owner of the nutrition counseling company Delicious Living Nutrition.

She is certified in adult weight management from the Commission of Dietetic Registration, and the author of The Everything Healthy College Cookbook and co-author of The Everything Juicing Book.

Email nicole@DeliciousLivingNutrition.com or call 508-813-9282 Visit her website and blog at: DeliciousLivingNutrition.com
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