Prairie Grass's Holiday Recipes - A Healthy Approach

This Christmas, forget the milk and cookies and set out a special dish for Santa. Chef Sarah Stegner, co-chef/owner of Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd. Northbrook, IL 60062; 847-205-4433), has created two healthy dinner ideas that will keep Santa energized and satisfied during his long flight delivering toys to kids around the world. Dishes are available at Praire Grass Cafe all month long.


Chef Sarah Stegner, co-chef/owner of Prairie Grass Cafe and her husband, George Bumbaris

The first holiday special dish is a Sautéed Whitefish on top of a cauliflower purée with delicata squash, golden raisin vinaigrette and garnished with micro greens from Three Sisters Farm.

Sautéed Whitefish with cauliflower purée, delicata squash, golden raisin vinaigrette and garnished with micro greens

The other dish certainly lives up to its name. Santa’s Treat is a savory phyllo strudel of mushroom, Brussels sprouts, greens and chestnuts with grilled heirloom carrots and onions over a cranberry vinaigrette. 

Prairie Grass Cafe

Come try these festive holiday specials at Prairie Grass Cafe and make one for Santa to try while he arranges gifts under the tree!


Phyllo strudel with mushroom, Brussels sprouts, greens and chestnuts on a cranberry vinaigrette with grilled heirloom carrots and onions

Santa’s Treat (serves 3 people)


Strudel Ingredients:

4 sheets phyllo dough

¼ cup melted butter

1 cup sautéed mushrooms (cut in quarters, seasoned and sautéed until golden brown)

1 cup sautéed Brussels sprouts (trimmed, quartered, blanched, seasoned and sautéed until lightly browned)

¼ cup sautéed kale (trimmed, chopped, seasoned and sautéed until tender

¼ cup sautéed chestnuts (shells removed, blanched, seasoned and sautéed until tender, golden brown and just a little crunchy from the caramelization)


Cranberry Vinaigrette (makes about 1 cup)


Cranberry Sauce Ingredients:

6 oz. fresh cranberries

½ cup sugar

½ cup water


Vinaigrette Ingredients:

1 cup cranberry sauce

1 tbsp. cider vinegar

1 tbsp. grated orange zest

1 tbsp. orange juice

1 tbsp. honey

1 tsp Dijon mustard



  1. In a bowl, combine the sautéed mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, kale and chestnuts
  2. Spread the phyllo sheets out and cover them with a damp towel so the dough does not dry out. Take one sheet of phyllo dough and spread it on a cutting board or clean kitchen counter. Brush phyllo with a little melted butter. Repeat the process until four layers are stacked on top of each other with butter in between.
  3. Along one edge of the phyllo, spread the vegetables and chestnut mixture out in a line and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Starting from that edge, roll the phyllo into a tight log and brush with butter.
  4. Put the strudel log in the refrigerator for 1 hour (if you would like to chill the strudel longer you can).
  5. While the strudel is in the refrigerator, combine the water, sugar and cranberries in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes and then set the cranberry sauce aside to cool.
  6. After the strudel has chilled, cut it into 3 equal lengths and put the strudels on a baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. To make the vinaigrette, put the cranberry sauce, cider vinegar, grated orange zest, orange juice, honey and Dijon mustard in a blender and puree until smooth.
  8. For a pretty presentation for Santa, spread the vinaigrette on the plate, put the hot chestnut strudel on top of it and garnish with grilled heirloom carrots and onions.


Prairie Grass Cafe

About Prairie Grass Cafe 
Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd.; Northbrook, IL) supports Chicago's Green City Market and local sustainable farms, selecting the freshest ingredients to reflect the season. Prairie Grass Cafe currently serves lunch Monday - Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Prairie Grass Cafe also serves breakfast Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays 9:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Light fare is available in the bar Monday through Friday 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information or to make a reservation, please call (847) 205-4433 or visit the PrairieGrassCafe website

Photos: Courtesy of Kurman Communications


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