Holiday Recipes From Our Team To Yours

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

What’s a holiday season without indulging in some traditional food with family and friends? At Cosmic Centaurs, we believe that this ritual can also be done with your team, whether it’s an in-office potluck, or a team lunch on Zoom.


To help you bring this to life, we wanted to share a few holiday recipes, from our team to yours. Some are cultural dishes, others are family recipes passed down from generation to generation, they range from appetizers to main dishes to dessert and we promise that all of them are delicious!


Recipes

Appetizers

  • Pumpkin Soup

  • Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad

Main Dishes & Sides

  • Cooked Stuffed Vine Leaves

  • Chicken Harissa

  • Sweet Potato Casserole

Dessert

  • Vegan Apple Crumble



Pumpkin Soup

Serves 8 people

“Every year around Christmas the weather gets a little colder, and soups come in season. Coming from a Lebanese family, my dad has always been a huge fan of lentil soup. We grew bored of it, so we decided to experiment with the ingredients we had in the fridge, and found some leftover pumpkin. From then on, pumpkin soup became a family favorite.”

- Karma Hibri, Marketing Executive


Picture taken from HealthyFood.com


Ingredients:

  • ½ pumpkin or 1 small pumpkin

  • Sweet potatoes (measure the weight of the pumpkin, and halve it for the sweet potatoes)

  • 1 ½ liter chicken stock

  • Salt & black pepper to taste

  • 125 mL of cooking cream

  • (Optional Spices: a hint of cinnamon & cumin)

Instructions:

  • Peel and dice the pumpkin and sweet potatoes into cubes of around 3cm long and thick.

  • Place the veggies in a big pot and add chicken stock until everything is submerged.

  • Place the lid onto the pot and bring to a boil. A pinch of salt could be added. Boil for approximately 25-30 minutes on medium heat or until a fork passes through easily.

  • Use a food processor or blender and blend the soup until it is smooth. We prefer the soup to be a bit thick and if the soup is too thick add some more stock to water it down.

  • Add salt to taste (you can add the optional spices at this stage, but the soup is just as good without).

  • Return the soup to the pot and bring to a gentle boil, then turn off the heat and add a dollop of cooking cream to add some creaminess and mix the soup.

  • Add ground black pepper onto your bowl for maximum flavor.

Cooked Stuffed Vine Leaves

Serves 6-8 people

Marilyn shared her recipe from her food blog, permanenthunger.com: “As a Lebanese expat, cooked stuffed vine leaves are the one dish I can never let go of! It has always been one of our favorite running traditions in my family, and I can’t count how many times I’ve made this dish as comfort food late at night. ”

-Marilyn Zakhour, CEO & Founder


Ingredients:

Note: This dish can be prepared a day before getting cooked

  • 400 grams of minced beef

  • 10-12 lamb chops

  • A jar of preserved vine leaves (if possible, fresh vine leaves)

  • 10-12 garlic cloves

  • 2 cups of rice

  • 2 lemons juiced

  • Salt & Pepper to taste

  • Ghee (vegetaline)

Instructions:

  • Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper, fry them in ghee (vegetaline) for 2 minutes on each side, then place them at the bottom of your pot in a circular fashion.

  • Cook the minced beef in ghee (vegetaline) until cooked through, seasoning it with salt and pepper.

  • Add the rice to the meat for 2 minutes, stirring it to ensure the rice becomes covered in fat.

  • Boil the vine leaves in water for a few seconds, until they become soft.

  • Place the vine leaf on a working counter, place the tiniest amount of stuffing, fold the side (as you would with a t-shirt), then roll the vine leaf to create a tightly packed cylinder.

  • Place the vine leaves on top of the lamb chops. Place garlic cloves in between the vine leaves layers, at random.

  • When you’re ready to cook them, sprinkle the top layer of the vine leaves with salt, pour enough water to cover, pour in the lemon juice.

  • Place a plate on the vine leaves to push them down (adding pressure to make sure they don’t loosen up while cooking).

  • Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat, and cook them for another 30 minutes or until the vine leaves are cooked through (take one out to taste).

  • Add salt or lemon juice if needed.

  • Once cooked, ask someone to hold the plate in place, while you pour out the sauce into a saucer (you will use this as the sauce for the dish when you serve it) and to reheat it the next day.

  • Once the water has been removed, place a large flat dish on the pot and flip it. Gently shake the vine leaves out of the pot, trying to keep everything in place while doing so.


Chicken Harissa

Serves 3-4 people

“Well, there are only a few things in life that are better than plopping a chicken in the oven and roasting it to perfection, but have you ever tried it with some harissa paste on top? My wife and I have recently become more adventurous with our food and what’s more exciting than adding spiciness to our dishes. For the days where we can’t be bothered with cooking, I sub in with my limited skills and manage to whip a fully roasted chicken in no time.


The recipe has been inspired by Jamie Oliver. While we are a firm Gordon Ramsay household, sadly to his horror we have shared a meal with the dark side, but we must give Jamie his credit, the chicken is pretty good. We tinkered a bit with the recipe, but when push comes to shove, we always go back to the basics.”

- Benny Chan, Consultant

Picture taken from Jamie Oliver.


Ingredients

  • 1 chicken

  • 4 bell peppers of different colors

  • 2 red onions

  • 2 tbsp Harissa paste (or more if you enjoy the taste of spice)

  • Olive Oil

  • (Other Veggies can be added. We’ve tried it with carrots, sweet potatoes and eggplants…)

  • Salt & black pepper


Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 °C

  • Peel and quarter the red onions

  • Cut the bell peppers into large chunks and deseed them

  • Spatchcock (yes that is the correct term) the chicken. This simply means cutting out the chicken's backbone and pressing the bird flat so that it cooks at the same time (this step is optional but recommended for a juicy chicken)

  • Score the chicken thighs, this is done to avoid dry breast.

  • Place all the veggies in a tray and add salt, freshly ground black pepper, some of the harissa paste, and some olive oil.

  • Repeat the same process with the chicken making sure to lather it with the rest of the harissa paste, until it’s completely coated in red and place it on top of the vegetables.

  • Drizzle a little olive oil on top of all the ingredients and place the tray in the oven.

  • Roast the chicken for 50 minutes, or until it’s cooked through, and enjoy!

Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad

Serves 10 people “Tabbouleh is the most popular salad in Lebanon, a status it shares with the ever-loved fattoush. In my family, we are team tabbouleh, and we always have it on our Sunday and Holiday lunches! The combination of parsley, tomatoes, and onions is one that simply cannot be competed against.”

- Daniella Tannous, Consulting Intern


Picture taken from Culinary Hill


Ingredients

  • ¼ cup bulgur

  • 1 medium white onion (a spring onion can also be used)

  • 1 kg tomatoes

  • 2 bunches of parsley

  • Lemon, olive oil and salt for dressing


Instructions:

  • Wash the bulgur with water, then drain the water.

  • Chop the tomatoes into small (tiny!) pieces and add them on top of the bulgar to soak them with the tomato juice. This makes the bulger easier to chew later.

  • Chop the onions into small pieces too, and add them to the mix.

  • Chop the parsley well into very small and thin pieces.

  • Add the dressing made of lemon juice, olive oil and salt, based on your taste preferences.

  • Mix everything together until all the flavors and ingredients are combined.

  • Leave it in the fridge for a while because it’s best consumed cool.


Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves 8-12 people

“My family and I were introduced to sweet potato casseroles when we were invited to our first ever Thanksgiving dinner. An epic chef who I call Madre took the recipe and began making it every Christmas as a side dish to our turkey. Some people enjoy marshmallow toppings instead of the crushed pecans, but I generally don’t really like them.”

-Anwar Choucair, Consultant

Picture taken from Cooking New York Times


BASE:

  • 3 cups of mashed sweet potatoes

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • ½ cup melted butter

  • 2 beaten eggs

  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla

  • ⅓ cup of milk


TOPPING:

  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • ¼ cup flour

  • 2 ½ tablespoons of melted butter

  • 1 cup of crushed pecans (can add more, depending on your liking)


Instructions:

  • Peel and chop sweet potatoes before steaming them until they are nice and tender

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C

  • Once the sweet potatoes have cooled, place them in a bowl, and add the sugar, melted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and milk

  • Stir the mixture well

  • Pour the mixture in a baking dish

  • In a bowl, place your crushed pecans with brown sugar, flour and melted butter and mix well until a crumbly texture is achieved

  • Distribute the crumble on top of the sweet potato mixture and place in the oven for around 40 minutes

  • Let it cool and enjoy!


Vegan Apple Crumble

Serves 8 people

“As someone who is plant-based, it can be challenging to find something on the holiday buffet that meets my dietary needs. So given dessert is my favorite course, I wanted to find something that I could take to parties or serve when hosting that would be yummy for everyone, not just those who are plant based. Something about apple and cinnamon deserts always feels festive, so this Minimalist Baker inspired recipe just hits the spot.”

-Tala Odeh, Consultant



BASE

  • 6 medium-large Granny Smith apples

  • 2-3 Tbsp or 30 ml lemon juice

  • 2/3 cup brown or coconut sugar

  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 6 Tbsp flour (or 3 tbsp tapioca starch)

  • 1/4 cup water

TOPPING

  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup almond flour

  • 1/2 cup flour

  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or sliced almonds, halved pecans etc)

  • Pinch pink Himalayan salt

  • 1 tsp maca powder

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil (or vegan butter)


Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 180C.

  • Chop your apples, mix them with all base ingredients and put them in your baking dish. I use a 38x26cm oven-safe dish

  • Mix in all your dry toppings ingredients and then add in your coconut oil mixing until you get a relatively crumbly texture

  • Add your topping to the apples in your dish and put into the oven for around 25-35 minutes, optional to add your broiler setting for the last few minutes.

  • Serve with vanilla ice cream, vegan or otherwise and enjoy!