Three Great Holiday Recipes

The following three recipes are from Jeanette Bessinger, the Clean Food Coach,

Autumnal Antioxidants: Cranberry-Orange Relish

This tangy orange-cranberry relish is made with fresh cranberries, not canned, and less than half the sugar of conventional canned relish. You may not realize it, but cranberries are one of the healthiest foods on earth. They have one of the highest antioxidant ratings, and are loaded with plant compounds known as flavonoids, which may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. Emerging research also indicates that they may help protect brain cells. In any case, they taste great, and this fabulous relish is a perfect complement to the heady, herb-infused turkey!

  • 4 cups (440g) fresh cranberries, or 2 8-oz (225-g) bags frozen/unsweetened, thawed and rinsed
  • 2 oranges, peeled and halved
  • ½ cup (230 g) raw honey, or more or less to taste (or palm sugar)

In a blender or food processor, blend together the cranberries, oranges and honey until a juicy relish is formed.

Yield: 12 to 14 servings

Notes from Chef Jeannette:

Cranberries are not only delicious and nutritious, but also beautiful. If you wish to serve a canapé or cheese platter during a holiday gathering, fill your serving platter with a bag of fresh cranberries and place the food items on the top –lovely!


Holiday Waldorf Salad

Adapted from The Healthiest Meals on Earth: The Surprising Unbiased Truth about What Meals to Eat and Why by Dr. Jonny Bowden and Jeannette Bessinger for Fair Winds Press.


  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Juice from 3 tablespoons grated ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey or coconut nectar, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger, optional
  • 2 small crisp red apples (such as Macoun or Pink Lady), cored and chopped into small pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup purple seedless grapes, cut in half, optional
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries, cherries or chopped figs or dates
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted walnuts or caramelized almond slices, coarsely chopped
  • 8 cups chopped hearts of Romaine

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, orange juice and gingers. Set aside.

In a salad bowl, combine all remaining ingredients through Romaine.

Pour dressing over the salad and toss together to coat.

Yield: 6-8 Servings

Notes from Chef Jeannette:

Replacing conventional mayonnaise with high protein, pastured, organic Greek yogurt transforms this timeless dish into a healthy classic.



Easy Spiced Pumpkin Pie

By Jeannette Bessinger, the Clean Food Coach,

After years of baking pumpkin pies I’ve simplified a formula for a delicious, no-bake version that is grain-free, dairy-free, speedy and easy to make, even for non-bakers like me! This is sort of an interactive recipe because you need to decide what your priorities are –i.e. are you looking for the highest protein and lowest glycemic load? Try the tofu and Orange NuStevia combination. Don’t eat soy? Go with the avocado for the binder (it will not set as firmly as the soy). Looking for something a little sweeter and more traditionally flavored? Use canned pumpkin and pure maple syrup. You can even put the filling into a traditional baked flour crust – it’s still going to be a much healthier pie than any conventional option. Experiment a bit to hit the sweet level you enjoy and make it your own, tailored to your personal tastes and dietary goals.

Crust Option #1

  • 2 cups macadamia nuts (raw or roasted)
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • Pinch salt


Crust Option #2

  • 2 scant cups walnuts
  • 1/3 cup fresh pitted Medjool dates (soak for 15 minutes if they are not soft and fresh)
  • 1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch salt


  • 2 cups fresh-cooked pumpkin * (or sweet winter squash, such as kabocha), drained if runny
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or ½ cup rice syrup
  • 1 12.3-ounce package firm silken tofu or 2/3 cup lightly mashed ripe hass avocado
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • Pinch salt


To make the crust, combine all the crust ingredients from either option 1 or option 2 in a food processor. Slowly pulse and process, turning the mix over occasionally for even processing, until it looks like fine crumbs and holds together well when you pinch it between your fingers. If it’s under-processed it will not stick together, but if it’s over-processed, it will turn into an oily nut butter.

When the consistency is right, transfer contents into a 9-inch pie plate and press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the plate, scalloping around the edges with your thumbs, if desired. Place the crust in the freezer to help it set while you prepare the filling.

To make the filling, combine the pumpkin, sweetener, spices and salt in a food processor and process until smooth and well-mixed. Add the tofu or avocado and process until completely incorporated (it takes a little longer for the tofu, and a little less time for the avocado). Spoon the filling into the crust and refrigerate for two hours to set completely. You can serve the pie at room temp, but it will be very soft.

Yield: 8 servings

Notes from the Clean Food Coach:

*To cook a sugar pumpkin (or any large winter squash), simply cut it in half and remove stem and seeds. Cut each half into quarters (or eighths if the pumpkin is more than a few pounds) and cook on low in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours or until tender. Scoop out the flesh for use and discard the skins. Puree the cooked flesh in a food processor and drain in a double mesh sieve for at least 30 minutes if runny.

You can also use high quality organic cooked pumpkin, but it will taste a bit blander than fresh-cooked –consider adding another half teaspoon of ground ginger or cinnamon to the filling.




  1. Bmccoy

    Why can’t I Pin this to Pinderest ???

  2. Michelle Mosher

    You can now. I just added it to the site! Thank you