Bon EYEppetit: Holly jolly holiday platter

Veggie wreath and dip

Give your eyes a reason to be healthy and bright this holiday season with a holly jolly appetizer full of nourishment for your eyes. Encircled in a potpourri of fresh vegetables, including kale and broccoli (both containing the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin)1 and a carrot-sprinkled dip infused with beta carotene, this wreath-inspired platter not only helps reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration,1 but it also helps improve visual acuity.2

Veggie Dip

Serves: 5+
Time: 5 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
2 cups sour cream
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tbsp dried dill
1/4 cup fineley grated carrots
¼ cup broccoli floret tips
+ pinch of salt (to taste)
+ parsley garnish (optional)

Steps:

  1. Rinse all fresh ingredients.
  2. Using the fine side of your grater, grate a peeled carrot into fine shreds.
  3. Using scissors, cut tips of broccoli florets.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sour cream, fresh veggies, and spices, mixing well. Add additional seasoning to taste.
  5. Place in a covered container overnight to allow flavors to set.
  6. Serve dip in a small bowl in the center of the wreath. Garnish with parsley.

Veggie wreath

Serves: 5+
Time: 25 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
1/2 kale bunch.
8 cups broccoli florets.
3 cups trimmed brussels sprouts.
3 cups trimmed green beans.
1 cups snap peas.
2 cups cauliflower florets.
9 grape tomatoes.

Steps:

  1. Rinse all fresh ingredients.
  2. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil on the stove. Next to the stove, prepare an ice bath.
  3. In boiling water, blanch broccoli for 1-2 minutes, removing with a draining spoon. Transfer broccoli to ice bath and chill. Repeat with Brussels sprouts, green beans, and the snap peas.
  4. Once all blanched vegetables are chilled, set them aside and let dry.
  5. On the platter, arrange kale in a full circle around the edges of the platter, with the stems pointing inward.
  6. Next, top the kale with broccoli in a full circle followed by the brussels sprouts, green beans, snap peas and cauliflower.
  7. Next, use the grape tomatoes to create small garnishes that resemble holly.

[1] American Optometric Association, Lutein and Zeaxanthin – Eye-Friendly Nutrients.. https://www.aoa.org/. Accessed June 1, 2018.
[2] US National Library of Median National Institutes of Health, Dietary Sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin Carotenoids and Their Role in Eye Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/. Accessed June 1, 2018.