plan ahead for the holidays | OUTVisions for LGBT Professionals

plan ahead for the holidays

your meal guide for the winter holidays

plan ahead for the holidays
therese degrasse

The holidays are the quintessential days for entertaining but one doesn’t need to be chained to a stove in order to present a spectacular meal.

The menu below is the perfect plan ahead meal for New Year’s Eve or any of those “in between” holiday gatherings.  All the recipes below are actually better served the day after preparation.  I have also included a delicious soup, main and dessert option for your vegetarian friends.  They should never be an afterthought!

Chipotle Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Yields 12 portions

1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cooking onions, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
2 Roma tomato, diced
Pinch of cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 md butternut squash, roasted, skinned & seeded
2 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced 
2 tbsp puree of chipotle
1 tsp of pure maple syrup
1 tbsp of grainy Dijon mustard
1 tsp of smooth Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a stock put sauté onions in vegetable oil until lightly browned. Add carrots, celery, tomato, cinnamon and cumin.  Continue to sauté for about 5 minutes. Add squash, potato, chipotle, maple syrup and both mustards.  Cover mixture with water (just until all ingredients are submerged).  Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for one hour. Puree soup until smooth adding olive oil for a lacquer consistency. This soup develops flavour when refrigerated overnight and served the next day.

Mushroom Stroganoff

1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 minced red onion
2 stalks celery, finely minced
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
3 tbsp tomato paste
12 mini red potatoes, cut into even wedges
1 cup eggplant, diced and roasted
6 cups assorted mushrooms, sliced and lightly sautéed
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp tamari
2 cups of vegetable stock
1/2 cup engevita yeast
4 cups crumbled tempeh
Salt and pepper to taste


1/2 cup chickpea flour mixed with ½ cup of water.

Blend until smooth.

In a stock pot over low heat sauté garlic, onions, celery and all spices for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients (except for thickener) and simmer over medium heat for about 40 minutes. Slowly add in thickener, allow to cook for another 20 minutes. This dish is best served when refrigerated overnight and served the next day.

Spectacular Short ribs

Yields 12 portions

Dry Rub

1/2 cup white sugar
4 tbsps sumac
1 tbsp dry cumin
1/2 tbsp dry mustard
1/2 tbsp Cajun spice
1 tbsps turmeric
1 cup olive 
2 cloves crushed garlic

Combine ingredients in a bowl and rub over 12 portions, 5 ounce French Cut Short Ribs

Cabernet Franc Sauce

4 cups ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup grainy Dijon
1 bottle Worcestershire
12 shallots finely minced
1 bottle Cabernet Franc 
1 cup honey
2 tbsps smoked paprika
1/2 cup hot sauce
1 cups Hp Sauce
1 tbsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cloves
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1 clove crushed garlic
4 cups water

Bring all ingredients to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes.

Braising Short ribs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a braising pan arrange dry rub covered ribs and fill ½ the pan with water, cover with plastic wrap and foil and bake cover for 3 hours. When cool toss ribs generously in Cabernet Franc Sauce, allow to marinate overnight. Grill each piece of short rib until the center is piping hot or roast in the oven for about 25 minutes (400) turning ribs once during the cooking process.

*This is a very rich dish that is best served with sautéed green vegetables or a rich green salad*

One Bowl Decadent Vegan Chocolate Cake

1/2 cups of flour
1 cup of white sugar
1/4 cup of high quality cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1tbsp raspberry vinegar
Scant 1/2  cup of olive oil
1 tsp of vanilla pure vanilla extract
1 cup of cold coffee

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and raspberry vinegar use a whisk until fully blended. Add remaining ingredients blend until mixture is smooth. Evenly pour your batter into a non-stick Bundt pan, tap the bottom of the pan on a study surface about 5 times to remove excess air.

Bake for 35-45 minutes and allow to cool for 1 hour before slowly removing from the Bundt pan.

Quick and Simple Dessert Sauce

Combine 1 cup of your favourite Riesling and 1 cup of your favourite berry jam, bring to a simmer and serve warm alongside chocolate cake.

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Authortherese degrasse

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