We are all much too familiar with what the winter season brings with it, right?! EATING!! It’s so easy to get wrapped up in cozy winter sweaters and let loose when visiting family for the holidays! Winter foods are my kryptonite! While indulging is fun in moderation, it could lead to that nasty cold that will make its way throughout your whole family! Here are a few tips on what to munch on this holiday season.

  • Start your day with porridge, it’ll keep you full the entire morning and spice it up by adding some nuts and/or dried fruits for yummy toppings!
  • Look for sources of zinc to help boost your immune system, like legumes or some fresh spinach for example.
  • If you have a sweet tooth try to skip the sugary foods and substitute for sweet root veggies and soups!
  • Increase B12 intake, try foods like salmon or cod, and even milk and cheese are helpful in moderation

Here are links to a few of  my favorite winter recipes, always remember to locally source your groceries as much as possible! It’s important to know where your food comes from, you’re putting it inside your body so treat it nicely…it’s the only one you have!

 

Porridge-Lots of Ways

 

Ingredients

  • 160 g rolled porridge oats
  • 600 ml milk, organic soya milk or water

Method

  1. Place the oats and the milk or water in a large pan over a medium heat.
  2. Add a tiny pinch of sea salt and stir with a wooden spoon.
  3. Bring to a steady simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring as often as you can to give you a smooth creamy porridge – if you like your porridge runnier, simply add a splash more milk or water until you’ve got the consistency you like.
  4. Jazz up your porridge with your favourite combo of fresh fruit, nuts and seeds, sweetening to taste.

Chili Chicken with Drunken Pinto Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 whole free-range chicken , butterflied (ask your butcher to do this)
  • ADOBO-STYLE RECADO
  • 3 ripe plum tomatoes
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 dried chipotle chillies
  • 4 dried guajillo chillies
  • 4 dried ancho chillies
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 10 allspice berries
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 100 ml cider vinegar
  • 2 limes
  • DRUNKEN PINTO BEANS
  • 1 white onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 fresh jalapeño chillies
  • olive oil
  • 2-3 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 ripe plum tomatoes
  • 2 x 400 g tins pinto beans
  • 1 x 330 ml bottle lager-style or dark Mexican beer, depending on your preference
  • 6 sprigs of fresh coriander

Method

 

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
  • To make the adobo-style recado, halve and place the tomatoes in a small roasting tray with the unpeeled garlic cloves and roast for 30 minutes or until soft.
  • Transfer to a plate and allow to cool, then remove the garlic skins.
  • Place the chipotle, guajillo and ancho chillies in a bowl. Pour over enough boiling water to just cover them and leave for 15 minutes to soak. Drain the chillies in a small colander, reserving the liquid for later.
  • Place the chillies, garlic, tomatoes, oregano, allspice, whole cloves, cumin seeds, ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of sea salt and some black pepper in a food processor and blend to a paste.
  • Add the vinegar, lime juice and 6 tablespoons of the reserved liquid and blitz again. Transfer to a large non-reactive bowl.
  • Place the chicken in the marinade, cover with clingfilm and marinate for 3 to 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature. Preheat a barbecue or cast-iron griddle pan to a medium heat.
  • Cook the chicken, turning once, for 15 to 20 minutes on each side, occasionally adding some more marinade with a brush during cooking.
  • Transfer to a board, loosely cover with foil and leave it to rest for a few minutes.
  • To make the drunken beans, peel and thinly slice the onion and garlic. Deseed and slice the jalapeño chillies.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion, garlic, chillies and bay leaves and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened.
  • Peel, deseed and chop the tomatoes, then add to the pan with the beans. Stir well, season with salt and black pepper and add the beer.
  • Stir again, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes while the chicken is cooking. Chop and stir in the coriander leaves and remove the beans from the heat.
  • Transfer the chicken to a board, chop it up into 6 pieces and divide among serving plates. Serve with the drunken pinto beans.

 

 

 

Spiced Vegan Lentil Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed
  • Juice of ½ to 1 medium lemon, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. One-fourth cup olive oil may seem like a lot, but it adds a lovely richness and heartiness to this nutritious soup.
  2. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.
  3. Pour in the lentils, broth and the water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
  4. Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Securely fasten the lid, protect your hand from steam with a tea towel placed over the lid, and purée the soup until smooth. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot. (Or, use an immersion blender to blend a portion of the soup.)
  5. Add the chopped greens and cook for 5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the juice of half of a lemon. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing. Serve immediately. Leftovers will keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator, or can be frozen for several months (just defrost before serving).

Savory Roasted Root Veggies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced, raw beet
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • White Onion, Large
  • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 365 Everyday Value, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 16.9 fl
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup torn beet green

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Place the beet, carrot, onion, potatoes, garlic, and garbanzo beans into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Drizzle with the olive oil, then season with thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring once midway through baking. Remove the baking dish from the oven, and stir in the wine. Return to the oven, and bake until the wine has mostly evaporated and the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes more. Stir in the beet greens, allowing them to wilt from the heat of the vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

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