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The holidays can be a tough time to think healthy when it comes to food. The truth is, most of us do not keep very many healthful pie, cookie and snack recipes top-of-mind. So we’ve done some of the work for you. Whether you need to prepare snacks and appies or you’re bringing a side dish to a dinner party, we’ve put together a few of our favorite brain healthy, mediterranean style recipes for your holiday get togethers.

Crab Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 OZ crab meat
  • 1 TSP chili sauce
  • ¼ TSP Dijon Mustard
  • 2 TBS Mayonnaise (Hellman’s Canola is a healthier choice)
  • ½ TSP Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 springs onions, finely chopped
    (use only the white parts)
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh basil
  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 TBS sea kelp (this is a powder found in the spice section of most grocery stores that is a healthy alternative to salt)

Directions

In a mixing bowl, combine the crab meat, chili sauce, mustard, mayo, Worcestershire sauce, spring onion and herbs. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Using a serrated knife, cut a very thin slice from the stem end of each tomato. Carefully scoop out the pulp and seeds with the tip of a teaspoon.

Sprinkle the insides of the tomato shells with sea kelp. Invert them on a paper towel and let them drain for 15 minutes to get some of the water out of the tomatoes. Using a small spoon, stuff the tomatoes with the crab, mounding the filling slightly on top. Serve cold.

Get a printable version of the Crab Stuffed Cherry Tomato Recipe and watch me make it in this video:

Cinnamon Toasted Almonds

Brain healthy AlmondsIngredients

  • 1 LB almonds
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 TSP vanilla
  • ¾ CUP brown sugar
  • ¼ CUP coconut sugar
  • ½ TSP fine sea salt
  • 2 TSP cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 225ºF
  2. Whisk the egg white and the vanilla until fluffy
  3. Stir almonds into the egg white mixture
  4. In separate bowl, combine the sugars, salt, and cinnamon
  5. Pour the almonds into the sugar mixture and mix to coat
  6. Spread almonds onto a cookie sheet into a thin layer
  7. Bake for 1 hour, tossing every 15 minutes
  8. Let cool and eat

Get a printable version of the Cinnamon Toasted Almond Recipe.

Turkey Meatballs With Mint Infused Gravy

Ingredients

Turkey MeatballsMeatballs

  • 1 ¼ LBS ground turkey
  • ½ CUP fresh chopped baby spinach
  • ¼ CUP fresh chopped parsley
  • ¼ CUP fresh diced onions
  • ½ TSP cinnamon
  • ¼ TSP nutmeg
  • 2 TSP ground flaxseed
  • 13 CUP wheat germ
  • 2 TSP dulse flakes
  • 2 TSP rice bran (optional)
  • ½ TSP kelp powder
  • 2 eggs to bind
  • 2 TSP olive oil

Gravy

  • 1 CUP plain yogurt
  • 1 ½ CUPS of water
  • 2 TBSP fresh chopped mint
  • 2 TSP low-sodium turkey base Arrowroot (cornstarch substitute) to thicken

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F. Mix ground turkey, spinach, parsley, onions, eggs and olive oil together. Mix all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to ground turkey mix and stir together (you may also use a countertop mixer.)

Shape into 2″ balls and place on cookie sheet.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until starting to brown.

Get a printable version of the Turkey Meatballs with Mint Gravy Recipe

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Quinoa SaladIngredients

  • 1 CUP of quinoa (you could also make this dish with couscous, rice or your favorite pasta)
  • 2 CUPS of water
  • 1 CUP of cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ CUP of fresh basil leaves, minced
  • ¼ CUP baby spinach, chopped
  • ¼ CUP of olives, chopped (green, black, and/or kalamata)
  • ¼ CUP of balsamic vinaigrette
  • 2 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ TSP SLR’s Spice of Life or your favorite herb and spice blend

Directions

  1. In a medium pot, add quinoa and water until a boil
  2. Reduce water to a simmer and cook the quinoa until all the water is absorb (stir quinoa every 5 minutes so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot)
  3. Add the tomatoes, basil, olives, balsamic vinaigrette, and olive oil to the cooked quinoa and mix all the ingredients together
  4. Serve hot or cold; Serves 8

Download a printable version of this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Recipe.

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry Dark Chocolate CookiesIngredients

  • 1 ¼ CUP Butter (soft, transfat free)
  • 1 CUP Honey
  • ½ TSP Stevia
  • 1 CUP Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 CUP White Flour
  • 1 CUP Quick Oats
  • 1 CUP Applesauce
  • 2 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 ½ CUP Dried Cranberries (soaked in hot water)
  • 1 ½ CUP Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1 TBSP Cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP Ground Flax Seed
  • 1 TSP Wheat Germ
  • 1 TBSP Kelp

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300° F.
  2. In mixing bowl, combine flours and oats; mix well and set aside.
  3. With electric mixer, blend butter, applesauce and sweeteners; scrape sides of bowl; add vanilla and eggs. Mix at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Add cinnamon, wheat germ, flax seed, kelp, flour mixture, dark chocolate and dried cranberries.
  5. Blend these all together – DO NOT OVER MIX.
  6. Use a well rounded tablespoon to place cookies on parchment paper about 1 1⁄2″ apart.
  7. Bake 14-18 minutes until light brown. Cool on rack. Makes 30 cookies.

Download a printable version of this Healthy Oatmeal Cookie Recipe.

 

There is no question that eating a Mediterranean diet rich in brain healthy foods can benefit people at any and every age. It reduces inflammation, regulates blood sugar, promotes heart health and scientists are now finding it may have an effect on delaying the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Learn more about the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet and discover more brain and heart healthy recipes.

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