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Your Go-To Guide for Hosting for the Holidays

Your Go-To Guide for Hosting for the Holidays

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s time to prepare for festive gatherings with family and friends that the following weeks bring. Whether you’re gearing up to host a soirée or simply eager to contribute a delectable dish, this blog is your go-to guide for hosting memorable dinner parties.

In this blog, I’ll be sharing invaluable tips for menu-planning, mouth-watering recipes curated for both taste and wellness, and insights from my dear friend Nnenna, who is a master at creating unforgettable moments. Read on to discover the perfect blend of festive indulgence and health-conscious delights, ensuring your holiday gatherings are not only delicious but also nourishing for the body and soul.

Q: Please share some recipes or advice when hosting a dinner party for 12.

A: I tend to think of any menu, whether for 4 or for 12, as a unified meal that has to tie together. My biggest advice is to pick a main protein that can be prepared family style and make that the center of the meal or showstopper, and then build the rest of the menu to complement it. I make side dishes that incorporate similar ingredients or complimentary tastes throughout all dishes. For example, I’ll use lemon throughout all the dishes to tie the meal together. I typically create plant-forward menus, incorporating at least two to three veggie-based dishes, even when the protein is meat. Strive to make the menu as colorful as possible to provide a richer nutrient profile.

My motto is: never waste a meal on empty nutrition; rather, make it tasty so you enjoy it!

Q: What are some examples of healthy, easy to make desserts?

A: I love fruit-based desserts like tarts, tartines, and pies. You can keep the ingredient lists very simple and it will still be delicious. My second favorite desserts are cookies or simple dark chocolate because you can have just one piece and it satisfies!

Q: What are your most popular salad recipes?

A: I LOVE salads! I could eat a salad everyday and still not get bored.  I love simple green salads with butter, bibb, green, and red leaf lettuces. The greens are delicate in flavor but hearty enough to add other thinly sliced veggies and citrus in the dressing. My all time favorite salad is a quinoa salad. Quinoa is a complete protein on its own so it’s a nutritious salad that is completely plant based. It looks like a grain, but it is not – it’s actually a seed. With quinoa, I usually add loads of other veggies and lentils or black beans with lemon and olive oil and it’s done.

When anyone in my family needs a boost of immunity, I prepare my healing kale salad. Start with raw, thinly sliced, massaged kale. Next, top the greens with raw pepitas, sunflower seeds, and red onions soaked in a citrus dressing.  This salad adds chlorophyll to the blood and helps to boost the body’s system.

After reading this Q&A, may your gatherings be filled with laughter, love, and the joy of savoring delicious, nourishing meals. Remember, the art of hosting extends beyond the table settings and into the hearts of those gathered. So, as you embark on your holiday festivities, here’s to creating memories that linger long after the last bite.


Juliette Hohnen

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