With the holidays safely behind us and packed away in storage boxes for another year, I’m ready to out myself as a bad little culinary enthusiast. [No, not “foodie,” that’s a dirty word in this household.] Yes, I admit it, I took many shameless shortcuts. While I continued to bake and cook like mad, it was mostly at work for our endless catering requests and special orders, not at home. That’s why I was lucky enough to be gifted a main celebratory dish from my favorite local restaurant and place of employment, Health in a Hurry.
A seasonal specialty offered for a limited window of time during the winter, our stuffed miniature pumpkins are both a delight to look at and to devour. Filled to bursting with a hearty melange of brown rice, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, and herbs, this simple yet satisfying dish is excellent as either a main or a side, depending on the rest of the festive feast. Personally, one of these babies on a plate smothered in a sea of chickpea gravy is all I need for a happy holiday, thank you very much.
Then, come Christmas day, I found myself at a loss. Typically celebrated with a yule log of some fashion, I woke up that morning empty handed. However, a few cheap tricks later, and I had a reasonable substitute to present… A savory sushi yule log!
Keeping the theme with red and green fillings of avocado, red pepper, cucumber, and scallion, it was far more simple than my favorites, but it certainly fit the bill. Though truthfully no more than an uncut maki roll, dressed up with parsley “moss” on top and enoki mushrooms for that “authentic” forest-floor look, it was every bit as merry as many simpler bouches de noel.
Alright, so I’ve aired my edible sins… Now fess up, what culinary shortcuts did you take this past holiday season?