Students Sample Healthy Holiday Dishes

On Thursday, students stopped by and sampled some healthy holiday-themed food items created by our Executive Chef Brandon. HPU’s very own Dietitian, Allyson West explained that these different food options are a great and tasty way to substitute other holiday dishes for fresher and healthier options. Students enjoyed sampling some of the delicious dishes such as the Honey Glazed Pear & Ricotta and the Butternut Squash & Grape Crostini. Anyone wishing to recreate these dishes this holiday season can use the recipes located below.


Butternut Squash and Grape Crostini

Yield: 12 portions


  • 2 cups butternut squash, 1/8 inch cubes
  • 2 cups grapes
  • ½ cup diced shallot
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 whole-grain baguette
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh herbs, rosemary, thyme, sage
  • 1 tbsp honey, plus 1 tsp more for garnishing
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper


-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the butternut squash into small cubes and break apart grapes into clusters. Toss butternut squash with olive oil and half of the herbs and ¼ tsp of salt and a pinch of pepper. Spread out onto the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Add grapes and shallots (drizzled in olive oil) and continue to bake 10-12 minutes.

Combine the goat cheese with the remaining herbs, salt, and honey.

-Slice baguette into 1/4 inch thick rounds on a bias.  Spread goat cheese mixture onto the rounds. Top with squash and grapes, then, drizzle with extra honey.


Pear with Housemade Ricotta and Honey

Yield: 18 portions


  • 1 small under-ripe Pear (such as a Bartlett)
  • 4 cups 2% fat milk


  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup Honey


For the Pears:

Very thinly slice pears lengthwise with a mandolin or chef’s knife and place in a single layer on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake in a preheated 225 degrees oven 1 1/2 hours. Flip slices and continue baking until darkened slightly and edges have curled (they should still be pliable), 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a wire rack and let stand until cool and crisp. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


For the Ricotta:

Line fine-mesh sieve with a layer of heavy-duty cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl. Slowly bring milk, cream, and salt to a rolling boil in a 6 qt heavy duty pot under moderate heat stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Add lemon juice, then reduce heat to a low simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles, 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into the lined sieve and let it drain for 1 hour. After discarding the liquid, chill, and reserve the ricotta in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.




Top one slice of dried pear with 1 tsp of ricotta and drizzle with honey- serve immediately so pear doesn’t become soggy