YMCA Holiday Recipes

Salad de Nochebuena

  • 4 medium beets, roasted
  • 4 clementines 
  • 2 red apples
  • 2 green apples
  • 1 medium jicama, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Remove seeds from pomegranate.  Peel and section clementines. Wash and chop apples and toss in a little bit of lemon juice to prevent discolouration. Peel and chop jicama into 1cm cubes.  Cut romaine into bite size pieces. Peel and cut beets into half-moons. 

In another bowl, combine yogurt, sugar,  with salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze a bit of beet juice from the beet to colour it.  

To plate the salad, arrange beets and clementines alternating on outside of large tray.  In a large bowl, mix together the bowls of romaine, jicama, and apples and then place in centre of tray.  Mix some salad dressing with the romaine, jicama, and apples. Drizzle salad with leftover dressing and then top with pomegranate seeds, chopped cilantro and pumpkin seeds.


  • 7  cups wheat berries (raw)- cooked ahead in milk 
  • 1 1/2  cup of milk
  • ½ cup of poppy seeds
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups of raisins
  • 1 1/2 cup dry apricots, chopped
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp salt


Combine all ingredients into a medium size pot and gently simmer to meld the flavours together and milk has thickened. Serve warm. 

Mock Mince Meat Pies

  • 5 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 ½ cups dried currants
  • 1 cup gold raisins
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons molasses
  • 6 Tablespoons orange juice (juice of 1 orange)
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground all-spice
  • Salt
  • 30 puff pastry pie tops (done ahead)

In a food processor pulse apples into small pieces, working in batches if necessary. Transfer apples to a large saucepan. Place all dried fruit in the food processor and pulse until they begin to stick together. Add to saucepan with apples. Add remaining ingredients. 

Simmer over medium-low heat until mixture is very thick, stirring often, for about 10-12 minutes. Divide mixture between jars and allow to cool slightly before topping with puff pastry round. 

Latkes and Applesauce

  • 9 cups peeled and shredded potatoes (about 9 Yukon gold potatoes)
  • 1 large onion finely chopped (done ahead)
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 McIntosh apples
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1 orange

Squeeze shredded potato in a clean cloth to remove as much liquid as possible. 

In a bowl, stir the potatoes, onion, eggs, scallions, cornstarch and salt together.

In a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot. Place golf ball-sized handfuls of the potato mixture into the hot oil, pressing down on them to form 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick patties. Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other. Once finished, arrange on a platter covered with paper towels. 

For the applesauce: 

Peel and core apples, then slice into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place apples in a medium saucepan along with cinnamon, orange zest and juice. Place over medium heat, covered, and cook until soft and thick, about 10 minutes. Put the applesauce in the food processor and blend until smooth.  Serve with latkes.

Peruvian Hot Chocolate

  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 cinnamon stick
  • 8 cups of milk
  • 2 cans (410g) of evaporated milk
  • 2 cans (395g) of sweetened condensed milk
  • 200 grams of Latin drinking-chocolate bar, chopped finely (Abuelita, Taza, Ibarra)
  • 1 cup of cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch

Bring water and cinnamon stick to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Add the regular milk, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk. Stir to combine, bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine chopped chocolate and cocoa powder. Remove one cup of the hot milk mixture and add to the small bowl with the chocolates. Set aside for a few minutes so the chocolate begins to melt and then stir to dissolve chocolate and cocoa powder. Return this chocolate mixture to the pot. Cook over low heat for 5 more minutes.

Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup of cold water (you can use the same bowl from the chocolate) and add to the milk mixture; whisking continuously. Stir and cook over low heat for 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat, remove the cinnamon stick and serve hot.

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