Short on time, money or ideas for the holidays? Whole Foods Market is your one-stop solution for everything festive and fun this season from easy green gift ideas to money-saving entertaining tips and recipes to delicious feasts that will wow even the most stubborn family grinch. To further indulge in the holiday spirit, drop by your neighborhood Whole Foods Market on Thursday, December 3 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the annual Taste of the Holidays event. Sample a variety of tasty foodie favourites, get inspired by gift ideas from local vendors and enjoy mouth-watering demonstrations from local chefs – caroling and mistletoe included!

 

“Green” giving

 

Take the concept of gifting to a joyful new level with items that care for the environment as well as the person on your nice list. Whole Foods Market offers “green” ways of giving that will fit even the tightest of budgets!

 

  • Reusable FEED 100 Bag – each $10 bag represents a donation of 100 meals to children in Rwanda so the 100 per cent organic cotton and natural burlap bag is actually 101 gifts in one.
  • Responsible décor – bouquets of Whole Trade flowers like Germini Daisies ($9.99) are grown in B.C. using strict criteria for ethical trade and eco-friendly farming and are sure to brighten every holiday table.
  • Green wrapping – save gift wrap, ribbons and bows throughout the year and design patchwork paper or gift tags with leftover materials. Alternatively, make your decoration edible by attaching an organic candy cane instead of a disposable bow.
  • Go homemade – create a personalized gift that will warm the heart and the stomach such as dipping oil, fresh bread or cookie mix using the “gifts from your kitchen” recipes at www.wholefoodsmarket.com/holidays.
  • Gift cards – guarantee your loved ones will get what they want with a recycled-plastic gift card to Whole Foods Market. No waste necessary.

Take a big bite out of party costs with “small bites”

 

For the budget-minded host with a family of ten on the way into town, a focus on presentation and portioning can help create the finest flavours of the season without sacrificing quality or funds. Whole Foods Market “small bites” recipes cost less than $0.50 per piece* and are sure to provide flair to your holiday spread!

 

Cranberry Cheddar Sausage Bites

 

Makes two dozen http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/recipe.php?recipeId=2625

 

 

  • 1 lb bulk pork sausage
  • 1¼ cups 365 Everyday Value® Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup shredded cranberry cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp 365 Everyday Value® Organic Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tsp 365 Everyday Value® Baking Powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 365 Everyday Value® Cranberry Sauce (optional, for dipping)

Preheat oven to 350?F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Shape mixture into twenty-four 1½ balls and arrange on prepared baking sheet about 1” apart. Bake until cooked through and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm or at room temperature, with cranberry sauce for dipping, if desired.

Seafood Cucumber Stacks with Lemon Cream and Chives

 

Makes two dozen http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/recipe.php?recipeId=2631

 

  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 bunch chives, finely chopped, divided
  • Zest and 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (4-ounce) package Whole Catch™ Smoked Salmon OR 4 ounces smoked trout OR 8 ounces crab meat OR 12 medium peeled, deveined and halved cooked shrimp
  • 1 seedless cucumber, cut into 24 slices

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, half of the chives, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. If using salmon or trout, cut into 24 bite-sized pieces. Arrange a piece of seafood on each cucumber slice then top with a dollop of sour cream mixture and garnish with remaining chives.

*cost of ingredients is an approximation and slight variations are possible Five money-saving tips for entertaining

  1. 1. Use lots of veggies – they are filling, affordable and the frozen varieties are perfect for easy cooking. Sprinkle with an additional ingredient such as chopped herbs or nuts to add a homemade touch.
  2. 2. Buy only what you need – utilize the Whole Foods Market “servings calculator” at www.wholefoodsmarket.com/holidays to help determine how much of each ingredient is needed per person.
  3. 3. Splurge smart – plan an overall holiday budget and choose the time and place to go all out on a special meal. Make up for the splurge by saving on other meals.
  4. 4. Beat the bar tab – instead of offering a full bar, create a custom cocktail to be your seasonal signature. Buy a unique mix such as acai juice or choose an innovative garnish such as pomegranate seeds or a gooseberry.
  5. 5. Don’t throw in the towel – even on a small budget you can still enjoy festive and decadent ingredients by watching quantities. Small tastes can often have a big impact.

 

 

Visit the elves at Whole Foods Market

 

If the idea of creating your own holiday meal is too daunting amid the extra hustle and bustle of the season, visit the Whole Foods Market holiday table from December 4 to December 22 to order a delicious pre-prepared feast to satisfy the masses. Simply choose your entrée, let us know your desired pick-up time and Whole Foods Market will take care of the rest. The experts are available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily to help assist with your order and answer any of your holiday meal planning questions.

 

 

  • Fully cooked entrée selections include: an Oven Roasted Diestel Turkey Dinner – $99.99 (Organic – $119.99), Natural Smoked Diestel Turkey Dinner – $119.99 or Spiral Cut Honey Glazed Ham Dinner – $119.99.

 

 

Each meal serves approximately eight guests and comes with fresh green beans with shallots and herbs, savory herb stuffing, country mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, dinner rolls, classic cranberry relish and traditional pumpkin pie.