A New Feast for the New Year!

A new year means trying new things, right? Well, with that said, I am about to give you a completely alternative feast to enjoy throughout the holiday season. No, it’s not a standing rib roast recipe. Guess again…nope, it’s not a yule log, either.

A new year means trying new things, right? Well, with that said, I am about to give you a completely alternative feast to enjoy throughout the holiday season. No, it’s not a standing rib roast recipe. Guess again…nope, it’s not a yule log, either. 

Okay, I'll tell you…it’s an "eclectic" meal that has come to you from a few different places. One of the recipes is from your’s truly, another is my mother's, and to top it all off – I’m sharing a favorite recipe from my yoga instructor! Put them all together and you've got a holiday miracle!

It’s the New Year, and I know you are all itching to try new things, so how about a really tasty, healthy, non-traditional meal? Without further ado, the menu for the New Year is as follows: a delicious lentil loaf with a rutabaga garlic puree and topped with a shitake mushroom gravy! Are you drooling yet?

Let’s get this party started...

My Mom’s Finger Lickin’ Lentil Loaf

1 cup of cooked lentils
1/2 cup of cooked brown basmati rice
1 cup of rolled oats
½ block extra firm tofu
2 medium chopped onions
¼ cup of chopped green peppers
½ cup of chopped red peppers
¼ cup of grated carrots
3 cloves of crushed garlic
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
1 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tbsp of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp of cumin
1 tbsp of thyme
1 tbsp of turmeric
Pinch of sea salt and pepper


1. Cook lentils and brown basmati rice as directed by package. After the lentils are cooked, slightly smash them together with a fork.  Do not completely smash them; leave some of them still whole.  Add the rice to the mixture in a bowl.
2. Start placing all other ingredients in the bowl as well. Take the block of tofu and mash it completely in a separate bowl and then drop it on top of the rice/lentil mixture. Next, grate carrots, chop the onions and peppers, and place in the bowl as well.
3. Measure out rolled oats and place in bowl.
4. Put all wet ingredients in at this time. Put the Dijon mustard, soy sauce, olive oil in the bowl.
5. Lastly, place all seasonings in the bowl.  Crush the garlic with a garlic press. Measure out cumin, thyme and turmeric and place in the bowl.
6. Use a large fork to mix ingredients well (or just use your hands – they work the best!) and incorporate all the ingredients well.
7. Take out a baking dish and spray lightly with olive oil spray and place the large mound in the dish and form it into your loaf.
8.  Cook in the oven covered for 25 minutes and then let the top brown for the last ten minutes.
9. Enjoy!
Nancy’s Pureed Garlic Rutabaga “Potatoes” 

1 ½ pounds of rutabagas (the smaller rutabaga you find, the sweeter and more tender and yummy it will be…so, get the smallest ones you can find!)
¼ cup of unsweetened rice milk
2 tbsp goat cheese
3 cloves of garlic
Course ground black pepper
Salt to taste


1. Wash and peel all of the rutabagas. Cut them into cubes and put them into a pot. Once they are all in the pot, cover them with water and begin to heat water to a boil. Cook the rutabagas until you can pierce your knife through them.
2. Put the cooked rutabagas, goat cheese, rice milk and garlic cloves into a food processor. Puree until they are completely smooth. Once they are pureed, scrape out with a spatula and before you serve them, put the coarsely ground black pepper on top and sea salt, if desired.
3. Enjoy!

My Yoga Instructor, Patty Jackson's, "Put on Top of Anything" Shitake Mushroom Gravy...that is TO DIE FOR!

1 lb. shitake mushrooms
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
A pinch of salt
3 cups spring water
1/4 cup shoyu (soy sauce)
1/4 cup kuzu (thickener)
1 tbsp mirin (optional)

A piece of ginger (the size of your thumb)


Wash, dry, and slice mushrooms. Heat oil in skillet; add mushrooms and salt and saute until soft. Add 2 1/2 cups water and the shoyu – stir it in with a wooden spoon and bring to a boil. Lower flame and simmer 5 minutes. Dissolve the kuzu in 1/2 cup water and stir this into the skillet. Add the mirin, if desired, and continue stirring until gravy is clear. Grate the ginger, place the grated ginger in your hand and squeeze out the juice on the gravy. It is ready to serve.

Have fun this new year trying NEW things. I hope as you continue to read this blog, you will be inspired to do so. Eat this meal in renewed health this NEW YEAR!

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