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Cozy Fireside Eats for the Holidays

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We all know how harried we can become during the holiday season, and settling into cozy cushions in front of a fireplace is the perfect antidote. If you’re trying to hunker down and create some order in the next month, these recipes with accompanying mocktails will help warm your soul.

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Creamy Feta Dip

Creamy Feta Dip
Zesty Sparkler Mocktail

Serve your delicious Creamy Feta Dip with this zesty sparkling mocktail and you’ll have folks lining up for more. For an extra flavour boost, add a little fresh tarragon.

Soup with Charred Veggies and Spicy Harissa

Cozy comfort in a bowl—this dish with charred vegetables offers flavours from Tunisia and other regions in the Middle East. And who wouldn’t want a bowl of Middle Eastern spices to warm the tongue while satisfying the belly on a cold winter night?

Spicy Harissa Mocktail

The perfect companion for our Middle Eastern-inspired comfort in a bowl, this mocktail is as easy as it is unique and delicious.

Curried Dal with Forbidden Black Rice

This one-dish curry is a perfect dish to have on hand when the fire’s cozily crackling and guests are lingering. It takes just minutes to prepare and no time to cook. Serve ladled over steaming forbidden black rice, it’s comfort in a bowl. Plus, it’s low on dishes too!

Curry Companion Cooler

Most curries are well served with nonalcoholic semi-sweet white wines such as Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer. But if you’re looking for a mocktail with a different punch, a mixture of lime, mint, and ginger is also refreshing and cooling.

Smoky Paella with Asparagus and Prawns

With its smoky paprika and subtle earthy flavours of saffron, anyone eating this paella will be looking for seconds. It’s a delightfully cozy dish and easy to make ahead for a crowd. Serve with crusty bread, a dish of roasted Spanish olives, and roasted peppers; finish with a drizzle of good quality olive oil.

Paella Sparkler

A nonalcoholic full-bodied red wine works well with this Mediterranean staple-with-a-difference. But if you’re looking to keep it light, simply fill a glass with ice, sparkling water, and equal parts fresh mint and lemon slices. It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that.

Mediterranean Orzo with Citrus Spiked Gremolata

This recipe is something of a classic; it’s so easy to make. But this version introduces a little extra zing for when the season revs up and all you want to do is curl up in front of the fire for a cozy eve. All it takes is one pot for cooking and a single bowl to toss with remaining ingredients. It doesn’t get much easier than that. The gremolata gives it that zesty, zingy punch.

Zesty Mediterranean Mocktail

With tons of citrus hints in this dish and the pungent Greek flavours of olives, artichokes, and garlic, keeping it simple is the perfect choice. Fill a beer glass with ice cubes and top with equal parts unsweetened grapefruit juice, sparkling soda, and a splash of honey syrup. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

Maple Pecans

Here’s the perfect recipe for a fireside snack attack. It’s so easy and can be made ahead and stored in a tightly covered container in the fridge or freezer without losing crispness. Delicious served with a hot toddy.

Dreamy Maple Sipper

This cozy winter drink is perfect for sipping by the fireside. Serve it up with our Maple Pecans. It’s soothingly delicious and creamy served hot or cold.

No-Bake Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Tarts are timeless, and a good tart is always a people-pleaser. And who doesn’t love something with chocolate in any form? This classic tart is so easy to make with fresh fruit and hints of orange in a delicious chocolate crust. Once firm, it cuts like a dream into 16 easy slices.

Warming Blueberry Orange Tea

This is a spin off the classic, without the Grand Marnier. The depth of orange is derived from a generous piece of orange peel simmered in the tea.

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Going Pro

You might think of protein as something you mainly get from a meal and, therefore, not a component of dessert. But, if you’re going to opt for dessert from time to time, why not consider working in ingredients that go big on this important macronutrient? It’s easier (and more delicious) than you may think! Protein is an essential part of every cell in your body and plays a starring role in bone, muscle, and skin health. So, certainly, you want to make sure you’re eating enough. And it’s best to spread protein intake throughout the day, since your body needs a continual supply. This is why it can be a great idea to try to include protein in your desserts. When protein is provided in sufficient amounts in a dessert, it may help you feel more satiated and help temper blood sugar swings. Plus, in many cases, that protein comes in a package of other nutritional benefits. For instance, if you’re eating a dessert made with protein-packed Greek yogurt, you’re not just getting protein; you’re getting all the yogurt’s bone-benefitting calcium and immune-boosting probiotics, too. Adding nuts to your dessert doesn’t just provide plant-based protein, but it also provides heart-healthy fats. Yes, desserts need not be just empty calories. Ready for a treat? These protein-filled desserts with a healthy twist are dietitian-approved—and delicious.