Old Man winter is here and with it the need and desire to stay inside binge watching TV and consuming cookie dough straight from the package. But just because it’s dreary out doesn’t mean your plate has to be. The farmer’s market may not be open, but seasonal produce is still available, and winter has some great options: Brussels sprouts, collard greens, grapefruit, kale, kiwi, leeks, sweet potatoes, turnips, tangerines, oranges, endive, the list goes on and on. Here are a couple of recipes that are sure to warm you from the inside out.
Cold weather and soup go together like Tom & Jerry, peanut butter and jelly, wine and cheese. Add in the simplicity of a slow cooker and you’ve got a nutrient rich meal you can put together in minutes. This Slow Cooker Sweet Potato, Chicken and Quinoa Soup from Chelsea’s Messy Apron has minimal prep, tastes delicious and it’s versatile – Throw extra veggies in, use a chili season packet instead of the other herbs and spices, don’t have chicken broth on hand, use vegetable. Throw it all into the crock pot on high for 3-5 hours until chicken is tender. Use two forks to shred the chicken, stir and enjoy.
Sweet Potato, Chicken and Quinoa Soup – Ingredients
1 and 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts1 cup quinoa 2 pound large sweet potatoes peeled and chopped ~3-1/2 cups1 can (15.25 ounces) black beans drained and rinsed1 can (14.25 ounces) petite diced tomatoes (not drained)1 teaspoon minced garlic4 tablespoons of chili powder1 teaspoon onion powder2 teaspoons paprika2 tablespoons cumin1 teaspoon cayenne1 teaspoon oregano5 cups low sodium chicken brothSalt and Pepper to tasteOptional: fresh parsley
On the opposite end of the spectrum salad isn’t exactly what we think of when we think winter, but don’t let that get in your way of enjoying a hearty salad full of fresh produce. This simple warm brussels and persimmon salad from Yummly Rich Recipes uses the very underutilized persimmon and makes a vibrant side for any table.
Warm Brussels and Persimmon Salad – Ingredients
•2 lbs brussel sprouts, halved•2 persimmons, cubed•2 cups balsamic vinegar, reduced•Salt and pepper to taste•1-2 tbl ghee, oil, or butterIn a small sauce pan, reduce your balsamic vinegar. Bring it to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Let lightly boil for about 10 min or until it is reduced by 1/2.While balsamic is reducing, heat up some oil or ghee (or butter) in a skillet.Once hot, take your brussel sprout halves and let sauté for 3-5 min, stir around and let cook another 3-5 minutes.Take your cubed persimmon and add it to the brussel sprouts. Cook up another couple of minutes or until persimmons get a little soft.Pour the balsamic reduction over top and mix well. Sprinkle with a little salt.
Finally, cap your night off with a hot cup of tangerine tea. Tangerine peels are full of antioxidants with incredible health benefits, like lowering blood sugar, and bad cholesterol levels, reducing cold and flu symptoms and soothing an upset stomach. Creating a tea with the peel is an easy way to take advantage of all its properties.
Peel a tangerine taking care to retain the white pith. Let the peel dry naturally, overnight. In the morning, boil a cup of pure water, tear off a couple of small pieces of the dried Tangerine peel and place in the cup of hot water and seep for 2-3 minutes. Dried tangerine peel will last for at least two months if kept in a dry sealed container and store it in a dark, cool place. Recipe from healthyboomerbody.com.