Holistic Recipes to Keep the Holidays Joyful

Serving an all natural main dish with great presentation suitable for a crowd can keep family and friends healthy and happy during the holiday season. These are a few ideas that are easy to prepare and an excellent choice for holistic eating.

  • Traditional Seafood Cioppino

This classic Italian fish stew originated at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Wine is an important ingredient that ties the flavors together.


  • 2 lbs of shellfish (a mixture of oysters, clams and mussels)
  • 1 lb of dry sea scallops
  • 1 lb of raw shrimp, 21-25 count, peeled and deveined
  • 1 2-3 lb Dungeness crab steamed and cut into sections or 8 oz lump crabmeat
  • 3 cups of chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups of fish stock
  • 2 ½ cups Pinot Noir or Merlot red wine
  • 5 slices of sourdough bread, halved
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic flavored olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil and/or parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste


Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or deep soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and celery and stir until lightly browned, 7-9 minutes.

Add stock, tomatoes, wine, red pepper, fennel seed, bay leaves and oregano and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, partially covered. Strain and discard the solids, and season remaining broth with salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil.

Brush sour dough bread with garlic flavored olive oil and toast lightly.

Add shellfish, shrimp and scallops to broth and cook for around 4 minutes, stirring gently. Add crab, cover and cook an additional 2 minutes. Shellfish should be open and shrimp not opaque. Discard unopened shellfish.

Serve over toasted bread placed at the bottom of a soup bowl. Sprinkle cioppino with basil or parsley.

  • Festive Pea and Shrimp Risotto

Risotto is a creamy rice dish with any number of ingredients. This pea and shrimp recipe is perfect for a holiday main course for a crowd.


  • 12 cups of Italian “risotto” rice (Arborio or carnaroli)
  • 1 lb raw wild caught shrimp 21-25 count, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup Parmiagiano Reggiano cheese, shredded finely
  • 5 cups seafood stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped shallots or onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste


Simmer fish stock in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to below a simmer.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat and add shallots or onion. Cook until softened, around 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add hot liquid in ½ cup increments, followed by a splash of wine, and stir after each addition until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add the shrimp and peas with the last addition of liquid. Stir around 4 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed by the rice and the shrimp is just about cooked through. The risotto will be creamy and tender – 25 to 35 minutes cooking time total.

Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in ¾ cup of cheese, lemon juice and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and serve.

  • Holiday Sole Fillet en Papillote

Serve individual sole fillets with vegetables en Papillote, in a bag, for a healthy holiday meal with a distinctive presentation.


  • 4 4 oz sole fillets
  • 1 zucchini squash, julienned
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Large squares of parchment paper


Mix zucchini, carrot and garlic in a bowl. Add oil and season with salt and pepper to taste and toss. Place one fish fillet in one sheet of parchment paper and season with salt and pepper. Divide vegetables and place on top of the fish, add 2 lemon slices, 2 sprigs of thyme, olive oil and 1 tablespoon of white wine.

Fold the parchment paper around the edges tightly in ¼ inch folds and create a half-moon shape.

Arrange parchment paper packets on a baking sheet, and bake at 375 degrees for around 12 minutes until the fish is cooked through.

Cut open packets and serve on parchment paper on a plate.