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By Carolina Curlionis, Nutritionist for Apollo Health

And just like that, Christmas has arrived. This will be a holiday to remember and one that will for sure to be written about in history books. A different Christmas calls for a different menu, so we are spicing things up this season with an Italian style Christmas. The recipe for Orange Zest and Cranberry Torta is below, and the remaining KetoFLEX 12/3-friendly recipes No Bread Bruschetta, Radish and Celery Salad with Anchovy Dressing, Almond Flour Noodles, and Dairy-free Pesto, are available to members of the PreCODE and ReCODE monthly subscription program.

Don’t forget to add a side of protein of choice to this menu. We recommend a 100% grass-fed lamb chop. Lamb from New Zealand is always grass-fed, so to keep it simple, just look for one from there. Here is to your health and good-for-you food. Like the Italians say, “Salute!”

Orange Zest and Cranberry Torta

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This cake will blow your taste buds away. Something about the cranberries’ tartness mixed with notes of vanilla and hints of orange in this torta will make you swoon. This cake is the real deal, although a small piece will go a long away, especially for those with cholesterol concerns as it’s relatively high in saturated fat. Although oranges aren’t a part of the KetoFLEX 12/3 diet, orange zest is approved and adds a lovely zing of flavor! Enjoy.

Ingredients:

• 1 to 2 tbsp orange zest
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 3 eggs
• Powdered monk fruit sweetener, for topping (optional)
• 1 cup monk fruit sweetener
• 12 oz fresh cranberries
• 10 tbsp butter, softened
• 6 tbsp arrowroot starch
• 3 tbsp coconut flour
• 3 tbsp tapioca starch
• ¼ tsp salt
• 1 ¼ cup almond flour, blanched

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Using a mixer beat the eggs with the sweetener for five minutes. After beating, the mixture should be light in color and thick.
3. Add in the butter and vanilla and mix for two more minutes.
4. Add in the arrowroot and tapioca starch with the coconut flour and combine.
5. Add in the cranberries, orange zest, salt, and mix.
6. Transfer your batter to a greased 9×13 or 10-inch springform pan or a Bundt mold.
7. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until lightly browned and you can stick a toothpick in the center, and it comes out clean.
8. Let the cake cool before removing it from the mold.
9. Sift some powdered sweetener on top for a wow factor.

No Bread Bruschetta

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If you are having guests over or just miss bruschetta, give this recipe a whirl for your appetizer. Something about the taste of fresh basil mixed with olive oil and garlic makes me feel like I’m somewhere in Italy … I wish! The best way to serve these is right away so that your mushroom doesn’t get soggy. I prepare my mushrooms, and then once everyone is seated and ready to eat, I scoop in the tomato filling.

No Bread Bruschetta recipe

Radish and Celery Salad with Anchovy Dressing

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I know what you are thinking, “anchovies gross.” Prepare to be surprised by this salad. Anchovies are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B3 (niacin), and vitamin A.  Not being a huge fan of anchovies myself, I found by sneaking them into salad dressings, I can get all the health benefits without sacrificing my taste buds. The delicate crunch of the radishes and celery add a fun texture to this salad and pair well with the lemony dressing. Feel free to use whatever greens you have on hand for your base and toss in whatever other veggies you have in your fridge that need to be used. I threw some broccoli sprouts I had to use up in mine, which added a mildly-spicy taste.

Radish and Celery Salad with Anchovy Dressing recipe

Almond Flour Noodles

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Ah yes, nothing like a bowl of homemade pasta. To go with our Italian themed dinner, treat yourself to fettuccine with pesto sauce. This entree should be treated as a side dish as the majority of your plate should be made up of greens. If making your own pasta is too much work, you can purchase them from our favorite Bredesen approved brand, Cappello’s. You can find this brand in the freezer section at most upscale or health-focused grocery stores. Serve with our dairy-free pesto sauce or buy your own to save time.

Almond Flour Noodles recipe

Dairy-free Pesto Sauce

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Make this “to die for” sauce. Zesty, creamy, cheesy, and garlicky yet so healthy! Great on “zoodles” (zucchini noodles), almond flour noodles, and even on steamed veggies! This will soon be a pantry staple, and it only takes five minutes.

Dairy-free Pesto Sauce Recipe

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