I’m more ready than ever to gather with friends and family and enjoy the holidays this year. Here are some of my favorite traditions include bright and bold flavors, lots of crunch, and tons of fruits and veggies from start to finish. I hope you find some inspiration for the next time you host!


Most of us don’t cook a large meal every day, so it can be hard to nail the timing.  Special occasion meals in my house almost always make it to the table late, but I like to prepare a veggie snack ahead of time to keep hungry guests from becoming hangry guests.

  • A simple veggie platter is easy to put together and a variety of veggies will satisfy most palates without being too filling. Salad dressing or dip is always a hit, but try mixing things up this year with a seasonal Pumpkin White Bean Chipotle Dip or a zippy Harissa Yogurt Dip with roasted veggies for a new take on the traditional platter.
  • Elegant endive spears are a crunchy and bright contrast to the meal. Check out this article for Endive Appetizers, 3 Ways or try these artichoke stuffed endive spears.

Veggie Sides

While gravy, mashed potatoes, and mac n’ cheese are delicious, I like to include something bright and bracing to add variety to the table.

  • Radicchio is one of my favorite chicories, it adds a unique and delicious bitter note to recipes. This Tangy Cherry Brussels Sprouts Slaw is a great way to add radicchio to the table and save some oven real estate!
  • Everyone loves Butter Lettuce. This simple Pear and Celery Salad is a refreshing welcome addition to my holiday table.


After a heavy meal, I don’t always crave dessert.  This year, I think I’ll include something lighter and something savory along with the traditional dessert spread.

Year-round Holiday Cheer

Pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and cranberries are all foods that we tend to associate with the holidays, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Enjoy these flavors all year with canned, frozen, or long-keeping foods like squash.

I hope your holidays this year are filled with lots of friends, family, delicious food, and traditions new and old!

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