Real Food Christmas Menu 2012

Happy New Year!

I hope that your year is filled with health and happiness, and my wish for you and yours is the joy of healing through real food. Let this year be filled with love, laughter, and joy.

Every year that we host Christmas, we steer a little further away from the staple dishes that I grew up with. Turkey, ham, cornbread stuffing, the obligatory green veggie, tubes of crescent rolls, pumpkin and chocolate cream pies…these foods are all at least partially processed and don’t reflect our love for seasonal, real food ingredients.

My husband’s parents are from Italy so don’t have any deep-rooted traditions that we needed to uproot, and my family is willing to indulge our newfangled food as long as it tastes good. Phew.

This year, I decided to go all out and make a completely new menu. We usually host between 12-14 people, so that’s always a little nerve-wracking.

The cheese and olive tray is the only thing familiar, but we have come away with some new family favorites and I was over the moon about how everything turned out.

The only thing I would like to replace is the cauliflower dish. It was too meh. I may go back to an old favorite or try something new. That’s the fun of being flexible.

Here is our Christmas Day menu. I hope you get some ideas for your next holiday gathering. If you have a favorite real food recipe for the holidays, share it in the comments! If there’s a recipe, feel free to share the link.


White Bean Dip (similar to my hummus recipe with Cannelini beans in place of chick peas and the addition of fresh rosemary)

  • sliced baguette
  • crackers
  • carrot and cucumber sticks

Assorted Olives

Assorted Crackers

Assorted Cheeses

  • Brie
  • Parmigiano
  • Gruyere
  • Provolone

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail (used store-bought sauce)

Maple Bacon Spiced Nuts (maple syrup, cayenne powder, chipotle powder, mixed nuts = deliciousness)


Grass-fed Local Beef Roast

Mashed Potatoes with Sautéed Kale (unrefined salt, olive oil, and cream were only additions to kale onions, and potatoes) NEW FAVORITE!

Cauliflower au Gratin (only used cauliflower and cheeses)

Pomegranate Hazelnut Salad with Maple Bacon Dressing ANOTHER NEW FAVORITE!

Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes (diced sweet potatoes, apple cider, maple syrup, unrefined salt)


Pannetone (traditional Italian Christmas bread; a cross between brioche and fruit cake)

Chocolate Pudding (used combination of local, grass-fed, raw whole milk and raw cream so omitted butter and substituted maple syrup for honey) DIVINE!

Gluten-free Sugar Cookies (this was a last minute addition by request of Katie for Santa’s cookies; we modified the recipe quite a bit & ended up using melted marshmallows for frosting)


Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.

When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.

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