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Doctor’s Tip: Two tasty plant-based holiday desserts

Chocolate Raspberry Tofu Pie

This is a relatively healthy holiday dessert from eatingwell.com. It does contain quite a bit of sugar, but don’t feel too guilty for splurging a few times over the holidays. If you’re a purest, you could try substituting date paste for sugar if you make your own crust, but date paste would likely change the texture of the tofu/chocolate part.

Following are the ingredients:

· 1 ½ cups of vegan semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand available at Natural Grocers and Whole Foods)

· 12.3-ounce package of firm, shelf-stable silken tofu (unrefrigerated—Mori-Nu brand in foreign food section of City Market)

· 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

· 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen (thawed), plus more for garnish

· ½ cup confectioners’ sugar

· 1, 9-inch graham cracker pie crust

Directions:

· Put chocolate chips in a medium microwavable bowl. Microwave on medium for 1 minute. Stir, then continue microwaving on medium, stirring every 20 seconds until melted.

· Place tofu in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add the melted chocolate, maple syrup, and vanilla. Process again until smooth. Add raspberries and confectioners’ sugar and process until very smooth; scraping down the sides as necessary. Spread the mixture into the crust. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until firm. Garnish with raspberries.

Makes 10 servings. Nutritional data per serving: 310 calories; 15 g fat (6 g saturated, 6 g monounsaturated); 0 mg. cholesterol; 43 g carbohydrate; 31 g added sugars; 5 g protein; 3 g fiber, 153 mg sodium, 210 mg potassium.

Pioneer Gingerbread

This is from the Fall/22 edition of Forks Over Knives magazine.

Ingredients:

· 3 cups spelt flour (Natural Grocers)

· 1 Tbsp. baking powder

· 1 tsp baking soda

· 1 tsp. ground ginger

· 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

· 1 tsp. ground allspice

· ½ tsp. ground nutmeg

· ½ tsp. ground cloves

· ½ tsp. sea salt

· 1 cup pure maple syrup

· ½ cup applesauce

· ¾ cup molasses

· 2 Tbsp. white vinegar

Directions:

· Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 3-qt. rectangular baking dish with parchment paper. In a medium bowl whisk together the first nine ingredients (through salt).

· In another—large– bowl stir together the remaining ingredients. Add 1 cup boiling water; stir to combine. Slowly add flour mixture while stirring just until combined. (The batter will be quite thin.). Pour batter into a prepared dish.

· Bake 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in dish 20 minutes. Remove gingerbread from dish. Cool completely on a wire rack.

· Serve with a vegan lemon sauce (find recipe online) or plant-base “whipping cream” available at most grocery stores.

Have safe, healthy, happy, tasty holidays!

Dr. Feinsinger is a retired family physician with special interest in disease prevention and reversal through nutrition. Free services through Center For Prevention and The People’s Clinic include: one-hour consultations, shop-with-a-doc at Carbondale City Market and cooking classes. Call 970-379-5718 for appointment, or email gfeinsinger@comcast.net.

Family restaurant Hugo’s offers a different option, fine dining experience

New restaurant Hugo's, at 1605 Grand Ave., opens in Glenwood Springs for dinner Saturday, Dec. 12.

The plan was never to open during a pandemic, but Sandra Sovich and Hugo Muñoz said they are confident and thankful for everyone who supported them during the journey of opening their own restaurant in Glenwood Springs.

“We’d also like to thank absolutely every single contractor, electrician, the plumbers, the carpenter … they know who they are,” Sovich said.

“I also want to thank all our friends and family who supported us during this process. It was very challenging but having their support meant a lot to us and helped us to make it through.”

The mother-and son-in-law duo is backed by other family members with everyone bringing their own skills to the table to make this dream a reality.

New restaurant Hugo's, at 1605 Grand Avenue, opened in Glenwood Springs for dinner Saturday, Dec. 12.

Muñoz worked in various kitchens in Aspen previously, one including a role where he worked closely with the executive chef at the Hotel Jerome. Sovich had a career as an accountant, but both of them said they felt they were ready for a switch when they decided to own and operate a restaurant.

“I just decided to make a change because I was feeling like I needed a change. We ended up just opening a restaurant, and I don’t know why because I have no experience with restaurants at all. But he (Muñoz) is experienced,” Sovich said.

Muñoz said he wants to present another option for the community and that he will be serving gourmet American cuisine for lunch and dinner beginning on Monday, Dec. 14.

“We’re serving American food and we’re planning (for) fine dining,” Muñoz said “My dishes are … (a) nice quality and a high level of the food. (We have) dishes from every country, Mexican plates … Argentina, Nicaragua some of everywhere.”

Since Garfield County entered the red level for COVID-19, the two have had to make adjustments to the menu. The presentation of Muñoz’s entrees is an element they’ll have to sacrifice by putting them in to-go boxes for carryout or delivery.

Muñoz said he has a bistro steak dinner entree with Robuchon mashed potatoes and homemade onion rings that tends to be a customer favorite. There’s also a beet salad with cantaloupe and goat cheese that will be on the menu.

“This place is a family restaurant. Sandra’s husband is working very hard, and my wife is working very hard to (open) this place. The whole family is working very hard for this place,” Muñoz said.

While their timing may not be ideal, the family is moving forward with the opening of Hugo’s confidently and said they take pride in the quality of service they plan to provide, including the cleanliness of the restaurant in order to prioritize customers’ health.

“We have big goals and I know we can reach them. It is Covid, it is true it is scary, but I feel very, very confident we are going to make it through,” Sovich said.

The restaurant is located at 1605 Grand Ave. in Glenwood Springs, in the Van Rand Center space formerly occupied by Taipei Tokyo. For online orders, or for more information about the restaurant, visit their website here.

jpeterson@postindependent.com