The holidays are a time to gather with family and friends. And holiday snacks and appetizers are meant to be shared and savored together! I love this special holiday party menu that is fresh, easy, fun and even healthy! But most of all it tastes delicious! This Mediterranean based themed party menu and features soccas. If you are not familiar with these little pancakes made with garbanzo bean/chick pea flour, you will want to read more to find out how to make these tasty treats and see how I topped ours! I think this combination will become a new family favorite!
I also want to share a few ways to survive those holiday parties and at the end of my post, I have a great exercise tip to share from Michelle Kuhnen who works with Dr. Sean Simmonds from Specialized Physical Therapy!
Festive Holiday Soccas
This appetizer can also make a light, supper to eat after a big day holiday shopping. I love the combination of ingredients and it is so colorful! If also makes a great appetizer or meal any time of year!
Makes 2 servings (1 pancake each)
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 clove of garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, if desired
2 tablespoon olive oil
Mix all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and allow to sit for about 30 minutes. Grease the bottom of a 12 inch iron skillet and add it to the oven while it is preheating to broil. Pour in half of the batter in the skillet and place under the broiler for about 4 minutes until golden brown & starting to brown. Carefully take out of the skillet and put on platter. Cut into 6 slices. Serve the toppings in small bowls around the soccas. Make the second one.
Toppings for Soccas
I used what was available this season from my local farmers’ market to create the toppings for my soccas!
Crumbled Feta cheese
Arugula Salad (see recipe below)
Sweet Potato and Cranberries (see recipe below)
Toasted Pecans (see recipe below)
Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Cranberries
This Mediterranean influenced recipe is a variation of my Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Fig recipe in my book Farm Fresh Nutrition. Both versions are delicious. I spiced this one for the holidays!
Makes 5 servings
2 sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced and cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup onions, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon, freshly crushed corrander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In an iron skillet, add oil and sweet potatoes. Begin roasting about 8-10 minutes and add onions, cranberries and spices. Continue to roast until onions begin to caramelize 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool and add to the tray of soccos toppings or even eat as a holiday side dish.
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1 tablespoon butter or Earth Balance tub margarine
1 teaspoon rosemary, crumbled
In a round cake pan, add melted butter, toss in the nuts and sprinkle with rosemary. Bake at 350 degrees until slightly browned about 5 minutes.
2 cups of arugula
Drizzle with Lemony Garlic Greek Salad Dressing in the post below!
In the blog post below check out some tips on some ways to survive the holiday party season!
As a registered dietitian nutritionist in Asheville, I love making tasty, seasonal foods for my family and friends! I enjoy sharing ideas with my clients and readers for a fresh, new approach to eating! If you are new to my blog welcome and I hope that you come back soon! If you have been reading my blog for awhile, share with your friends so they can enjoy too! Find out the ways that we can work together here!
Healthy for the Holidays Exercise Tip of the Week
During the holidays, many of our friend and family time sometimes involves sitting and talking on the couch. Here are a few tips for taking care of yourself during your visit, choose a supportive chair and use good form to sit and stand. Your back and hips will thank you!
Start with your feet shoulder width apart, shift your weight into your heels, keeping your chest and shoulders back, slowly lower into chair. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times to help improve strength.