Naughty or Nice?

Feeling naughty?

Don't give a flying fig about your waistline or cholesterol level over the holidays? Would you rather chew the fat than gnaw on a carrot stick?

If holidays are about happily overindulging now and worrying about the bulge later, welcome to the club. And really, what screams overdoing it more than three pounds of bacon? Who wants to tie ribbons on packages when you can weave strips of bacon together, then wrap it around several more pounds of sausage and barbecue?

Shane Heavener of 12 Bones Smokehouse seems to work his magic with the naughty in mind. For those of you that have heard about the Bacon Explosion, a cult hit circulating through the interwebs and clogging the arteries of pork fans everywhere, you'll recognize this recipe.

Heavener rolls sausage and duck in bacon lattice, the smokes the whole shebang. He calls it the “turducken smoked fatty.” Xpress had a chance to taste it, and we call it delicious. Heavener's lightened his up a touch with turkey sausage and pulled bird, but feel free to experiment using his recipe as a guideline.

For more information about 12 Bones, visit

Feeling nice?

After a full month of sumptuous eating, some folks might be left wondering how they’re going to keep that dreaded spare tire away. Who wants to miss out on grandma’s cheesy potato-bacon gratin or mom’s four-stick-of-butter chocolate cake (a la Paula Deen)? Then there’s all of the holiday parties with their platters of cookies, mini-quiches and candy, all washed down with a glass of spiked eggnog or three.

Come January, many of us are going to wonder how we’ll take off those 10 pounds by bathing suit season. There is at least one tasty solution for the holiday flab problem, should you have the willpower: Don’t put the pounds on to begin with. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, right? Plenty of Asheville’s restaurants have menus full of options for both delicious and healthy eating — and you thought the two were mutually exclusive.

“Don’t overeat, just eat until you’re full,” advises Shanon Blair, co-owner of the all-vegetarian Green Light Café on Lexington Avenue; a simple but great reminder when you start reaching for seconds.

Whether you are a vegan, vegetarian or just looking for nourishing alternatives, Xpress provides you with a few ideas to leave you feeling light and satisfied this holiday season.

Chef Jason Sellers of the Laughing Seed Café shares his recipe for whole grain and vegetable pilaf. Cherries, beets and other root vegetables jazz up this colorful dish to make a great accompaniment to holiday meals.

Over at the Green Light Café, Blair shared her recipe for nut roast and vegan cream-cheese cupcakes. “It was holiday time,” Blair explained, “and we were all burnt out on tofurkey, so we thought: fix some kind of roast that was rich in your protein and your vegetables and so it’s not just all grain, you know, it’s a nice balance of grains, nuts and vegetables.”

For more information about Laughing Seed, visit For more information about Green Light, visit

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