Enjoy the deliciously green side of the holidays

BlissfulBites cookbook CoverThe holidays are synonymous with great food, fun get-togethers and even more fun gift giving. Along with favorite family recipes, here are some suggestions that can help spice up the holiday and perhaps give you some new favorites.

To start the holidays off right, delve into the Blissful Bites cookbook. This beautifully illustrated cookbook is filled with over 175 fun, easy-to-follow, delectable-looking, plant-based recipes. For vegetarians, vegans and even those who want to experience what good quality veggie meals can be, this is a great place to start. Examples include sweet potato puree, wild harvest pilaf and marinated portabella steaks. The book is filled with tips, plenty of basic explanations and menu suggestions for all seasons. It’s a super resource to help you take on new and better eating habits and satisfy almost any food craving. Author-chef Christy Morgan is a private chef and instructor to numerous Hollywood celebrities. Whether you’re a cooking pro or just starting out, this is an excellent healthy food cookbook anyone can use. It’s available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Core Bamboo cutting board

Core Bamboo’s long Sunflower bamboo cutting board

Every cook needs the right equipment, including a quality chopping board. And who says it can’t look great too! Core Bamboo has a number of beautiful, handcrafted chopping boards made of organically grown bamboo. A socially-responsible company, they employ over 2,000 artisans from around the world and each product adheres to both FDA and European equivalent standards. Their adhesives are food-safe and their lacquer comes from natural cashew trees. Among their handsome chopping boards, I loved their long Sunflower Collection board. It’s durable, good looking and priced at only $18.00. You’ll find it online at http://bit.ly/UEmIao.

Pure vanillas from the Vanilla Company

Pure vanillas from the Vanilla Company

Nothing brings a smile like sweet smells wafting from the kitchen. The Vanilla Company features rich vanilla options. Unlike many weaker supermarket choices, these pure vanilla extracts and sugars aren’t diluted and have no added artificial flavors or colors. The singular fruit from the orchid family, these vanillas originate primarily in Mexico, Tahiti and Madagascar and are produced using Fair Trade practices. There are three varieties to choose from. The more traditional Madagascan bourbon vanilla is reminiscent of vanilla ice cream and a perfect match with good coffee. The Tahitian vanilla is sweeter, fruiter and a great choice for creamy desserts and veggies. Their Mexican vanilla combines creamy and spicy, perfect for cold desserts or those with short cooking times. These delicious vanillas and vanilla-flavored sugars are an affordable luxury and not to be missed. You’ll find them online at http://bit.ly/UjSISh.

Zhi Tea's organic Cacao Chai tea

Zhi Tea’s organic Cacao Chai tea

And let’s not forget the perfect after dinner drink. Zhi Tea’s Organic Cacao Chai Tea is an excellent balance of chocolate and spices such as cardamom, ginger and cinnamon folded around a black tea base of Assam tea from India and generous amounts of Peruvian cacao nibs. Hand blended and rich in antioxidants, this dark, flavorful chai will outshine others you’ve tried before. It’s well worth the price for the great flavor. With free shipping for the holidays from Abe’s Market, it’s available online at http://bit.ly/129yEbR.

Any of these choices will surely brighten up your holidays.

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