Healthy Holiday & New Year’s Recipes

The holidays are all about getting together with family, friends, and of course delicious food. I asked two of my amazing food blogger friends to join us today on Kouzounas Kitchen, to share with us the healthy recipes for the holidays.

Please give a warm welcome to Athina, from Kicking Back The Pebbles Blog, and Catherine from Lila Ruth Grain Free Blog. Learn how to make healthier recipes for Christmas & the New Year.

Guide:  Follow Kicking Back The Pebbles in green font, and Lila Ruth Grain Free in red font.

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Food Blogger Biography

Let’s start with Athina, one of my dearest friends in Greece, who blogs over at Kicking Back The Pebbles. 

Kicking Back The Pebbles Blog

A stalwart bookworm ever since I can remember myself. I studied English & American Literature and became an EFL/ESOL Teacher. I successfully(!) combined teaching and working as an executive secretary, in a big advertising company and a law firm, for several years. As of lately, I’m a freelance writer, line editor, and blogger at Kicking Back The Pebbles. Also, a bit ironic by nature but, all in all, quite easy-going. Partner to 1 & mother to 2 cats. I once tried to give up coffee and then swore to never make that mistake again…

Lila Ruth Grain Free Blog

Catherine Culpepper, the woman behind Lila Ruth Grain Free, is a recipe developer and food blogger. She provides delicious grain-free alternatives to traditional baked goods without sacrificing taste or proper texture. Her Grain-Free journey began several years ago when she made the choice to cut out all grains from her diet. She decided to take on the task of creating her own recipes and this process has resulted in a deep love and passion for baking and creating food for herself and others. 

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Favorite Holiday Recipes

Roasted Carrot Saffron Soup

I have been including my Roasted Carrot Saffron Soup in my Christmas menu, repeatedly, in the past few years. I realize most people would not think of carrot soup as a holiday dish but hear me out: “Charring” the roasted carrots and adding saffron to the mix makes for a very interesting, flavorful combo. You can substitute the light cream with vegan soy cream and turn this into a completely cholesterol-free recipe. I believe it can stand as a great side dish on any festive table.

~Recipe link: ROASTED CARROT SAFFRON SOUP RECIPE

roasted-carrot-saffron-soup-kicking-back-the-pebbles

Gingerbread Spice

My homemade, free of added preservatives, Gingerbread Spice Mix is something I also concoct every year this time. It can be used in all your holiday baking. Feel free to sprinkle merrily on your latte or hot chocolate! It’s a great idea for a really sweet hostess gift or stocking stuffer as well.

~Recipe link:  GINGERBREAD SPICE RECIPE

gingerbread-spice-mix-kicking-back-the-pebbles

Cranberry-Cherry Pie

I love my cranberries at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but this year I decided to integrate them into a cherry pie and it has now become my very favorite holiday dessert recipe! The cherry/cranberry combination is just magical and it has the perfect sweet to tart ratio. The colors themselves are also lovely and it makes for a festive pie, excellent for the holidays.

cranberry-cherry2

Recipe Link: Cranberry Cherry Pie

Grain-Free Stuffing

My great-grandmother made the world’s greatest stuffing, in my opinion. So much so, that all others seemed to pale by comparison. That’s why I really wanted to develop a grain-free version of her simple and savory recipe, nothing else would do! It truly is a comfort food and the holidays just wouldn’t feel the same without it. 

stuffing1-copy

stuffing2

Recipe Link: Grain Free Stuffing

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Stay On A Healthy Track

Staying on a healthy diet, for me, is all about maintaining balance. I believe in clean eating and in consuming food that’s locally & ethically grown, is seasonal, not heavily processed, and contains no additives or artificial flavorings. I do, thus, relate the importance of staying on a healthy diet with one’s overall approach to life. Other than benefiting on a personal, physical level you also promote ethics, sustainable growth, fair trade, and environmental awareness. 


I believe that a proper diet is one of the keys to health. A balanced diet, fine tuned to your specific needs, can truly be a form of medicine or preventative care at the very least. Just a little bit of effort in this area goes a long way. The less tax and strain we put on our bodies, the more effortlessly they can function. 
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Favorite Quote

“It is no less difficult to write sentences in a recipe than sentences in Moby Dick.” Annie Dillard

“Never, never, never give up.”  Winston Churchill

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Stay Connected 

Follow Kicking Back The Pebbles 

Follow Lila Ruth Grain Free 

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have-a-spectacular

Thank you to my friends Athina & Catherine for joining me on Kouzounas Kitchen. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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