(Family Features) Holiday gatherings, even in a time when smaller groups are encouraged, take on special meaning for many families. Part of the joy comes from the food that’s shared among loved ones from appetizers and sides to the main course.
This year, you can enjoy those meaningful moments with your closest family members and friends by putting together a menu that keeps smiles on faces from the first bite to the last. Start with your favorite among the nearly endless appetizer options that symbolize the season then enjoy a tender tri-tip alongside bacon-wrapped asparagus and a twist on classic, roasted potatoes.
Visit Culinary.net to find more holiday menu ideas.
Start Your Seasonal Celebration with Small Bites
While main courses, sides and desserts may be what holiday memories are made of, you can calm family members’ and guests’ appetites with an array of appetizers like these:
Fresh fruit and vegetables
A Simply Tasty Side
Many recipes commonly associated with the holidays are accompanied by lengthy ingredient lists or hours spent in the kitchen. However, all that time and effort doesn’t have to be used on this year’s side dish when you opt for a simple yet mouthwatering option.
You can feel good about what you’re feeding your family this holiday season while saving prep time by serving this Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus made with Coleman Natural bacon, which contains no artificial ingredients or preservatives and is sourced from American family farms that humanely raise their animals with no antibiotics or added hormones. Whether it’s served as a side dish or an appetizer, it calls for just a handful of everyday ingredients for a dish you can be proud of.
Visit ColemanNatural.com/Recipes for more seasonal recipe inspiration.
- 20 asparagus stalks
- 10 slices Coleman Natural Hickory Smoked Bacon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wrap 2 asparagus stalks with 1 slice bacon. Repeat with remaining asparagus and bacon. Place bundles on baking sheet. Drizzle asparagus ends with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake until asparagus is cooked through and bacon is crisp, about 20 minutes.
A Tender Holiday Tri-Tip
Centering your holiday meal around a flavorful cut of meat can make the celebration truly memorable, especially when it’s cooked to perfection over the hot flame of a grill.
This year, take your family’s main course to the next level with a Garlic Herb Tri-Tip lightly seasoned with garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper to let the naturally flavorful New Zealand grass-fed beef speak for itself. Because the animals roam and graze freely over lush green hills and pastures year-round, New Zealand grass-fed beef is leaner, more finely textured and tastes just as nature intended.
Find more recipes and holiday meal ideas at beefandlambnz.com.
Garlic Herb Tri-Tip
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 New Zealand grass-fed beef tri-tip (2 1/2-3 pounds)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- Preheat grill to high heat.
- Rub tri-tip with olive oil. Add minced garlic and use hands to evenly distribute.
- Combine chopped thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper; cover oiled tri-tip on both sides with spice blend.
- Place tri-tip on hottest part of grill and sear 2-3 minutes.
- Flip tri-tip and transfer to indirect heat. Continue grilling until internal temperature reaches 135 F for medium-rare.
- Transfer meat to platter, cover with foil and let rest 10 minutes.
- Slice across the grain and serve.
An Easy but Impressive Side
Every holiday meal comes with plenty of traditional and family-favorite dishes, and one of the most common on tables is potatoes. Whether they’re roasted, mashed or anything in-between, they’re among the most versatile options for the holidays.
This year, you can save time on seasonal favorites with Creamer potatoes from The Little Potato Company. They are ready to use, with no washing or peeling required, and they’re small and consistent in size so they cook quickly.
Try them roasted, boiled, smashed or mashed whether you’re making a quick weeknight dinner or getting a festive meal on the table. This holiday season, try these Little Hasselback Potatoes for a twist on the classic roasted variety. For an easy cooking hack, slice the potatoes on a wooden spoon to prevent cutting all the way through.
Visit littlepotatoes.com for more holiday recipe inspiration.
Little Hasselback Potatoes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 bag (3 pounds) The Little Potato Company Holiday Blend
- 10 sprigs thyme, removed from stem
- 6 sprigs parsley, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- sour cream (optional)
- cooked bacon pieces (optional)
- green onion slices (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Lay wooden spoon flat on solid surface and place one potato in spoon. Using paring knife, slice 1/8-inch thick slices along length of each potato one at a time.
- In bowl, toss potatoes, thyme, parsley, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Place potatoes on parchment-lined baking sheet, cut sides down. Bake 10 minutes, flip and bake 10 minutes, or until soft.
- Serve with sour cream, bacon and green onion, if desired.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Holiday small bites)
(Family Features) It’s true that classics never go out of style, but they can also evolve to keep current while still maintaining their original appeal.
For example, take the iconic tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich duo. Today’s tomato soup might be seasoned with herbs and garlic, and the grilled cheese might swap goat cheese and mozzarella for the traditional American or cheddar. Meatloaf could be prepared with sriracha replacing Worcestershire sauce or other seasonings.
Another updated idea is for stuffed peppers. It’s easy to give them a Tex-Mex spin simply by using a can of READ Southwestern Bean Salad as the base for the filling. The salad already has black and kidney beans, hominy and corn in it, as well as a slightly spicy dressing. Build on that flavorful combination by adding browned ground beef or turkey, cheese and tortilla chips. Poblano peppers could be substituted for bell peppers for an even more authentic south-of-the-border flair.
While this meal in a pepper bakes, make a salad of spinach or other greens topped with avocado slices and orange segments. Dinner is done and on the table in under an hour. For more easy, flavorful dinner ideas, visit READsalads.com.
Southwestern Bean Salad Stuffed Peppers
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 1 can (15 ounces) READ Southwestern Bean Salad
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
- 1/2 pound ground lean beef (90 percent lean)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 3 large bell peppers, any color or combination
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup crushed tortilla chips, plus 1/4 cup (optional), divided
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
- Drain bean salad; discard liquid. With fork, mash half of beans until chunky. Combine with remaining beans. Stir in cumin and jalapeno, if desired; set aside.
- In medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef and onion 8-10 minutes until ground beef is completely cooked, stirring frequently.
- Cut bell peppers in half, lengthwise. Remove membranes and seeds. Line baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray (or brush lightly with vegetable oil).
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Combine ground beef and onion mixture with bean mixture. Stir in 1 cup tortilla chips and 1/2 cup cheese. Divide evenly among peppers. Arrange peppers cut-side up in prepared pan; peppers should fit snugly. Top with remaining crushed tortilla chips, if desired. Bake, covered, 25 minutes, or until peppers are tender and filling is heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake, uncovered, until cheese melts.
Variation: Ground chicken or turkey breast may be substituted for ground beef. Add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil to skillet and heat until hot before adding ground chicken or turkey and onion to skillet.
Nutritional information per serving: 252 calories; 15 g protein; 20 g carbohydrate;
13 g total fat; 370 mg sodium; 40 mg cholesterol; 5 g dietary fiber; 9 mg iron; 0.07 mg thiamin;
708 IU vitamin A; 34 mg vitamin C.