Warm Food for Winter (Winter 2014)

Enjoy these three delicious, healthy, and easy recipes for winter:

Red Lentils with Coconut Milk

This recipe, from Cook's Quick Recipe, is super fast and tasty --- even children will enjoy the mild and slightly sweet flavors. Lentils are a mighty source of nutrition for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Not only do the help lower cholesterol but they also serve as a source of seven important minerals, B-Vitamins and protein. 

The spice in this dish, Garam Masala, is a multi-spice combination that often includes: coriander, ginger, cloves, cardamom, fennel, black pepper, tumeric and nutmeg (although the mixture can vary by region). Apart from enhancing the flavor of the lentils, these spices are widely believed to stimulate digestion.   

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 small Onion, chopped
  • 4 medium cloves of Garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 1/4 cup Split Red Lentils
  • 1 cup unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped Cilantro (optional)
  • 3 medium Tomatoes chopped (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Combine the Oil, Onions and 1 tsp of Salt in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the Onion softens and just begins to brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the Garlic, Ginger, and Garam Masala and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add Lentils, Coconut Milk and 3 cups of Water, bring to a boil.

2. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover, simmer until the Lentils break down and form a thick puree, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in the Cilantro and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Tomatoes, Rice* and Veggies of your choice.

*Low Carb Option: Serve over a bed of thinly sliced steamed cabbage. 


Roasted Squash with Lime

Squash is a favorite winter food. It has many health benefits and can work for whichever type of diet your friends and family may have. This recipe was taken from epicurious.com but you can find a few of our adaptations and variations below.  

  • 1 Butternut Squash (approximately 3 1/2 lbs), peeled, cut crosswise into 1/2" thick slices or cubed
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) Butter**, melted
  • 4 teaspoons fresh Lime juice, plus 1 lime cut into wedges for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh Rosemary

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss the Squash with Oil, Butter** and Lime juice then divide between 2 rimmed baking sheets and arrange in a single layer. Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper to taste. Roast 20 minutes.

2. Turn Squash over; roast until soft and golden brown (about 20 minutes longer). Cut into wedges. Season Squash to taste with Salt and Pepper; sprinkle with Rosemary. Serve warm with Lime wedges. 

** Try using a variety of oils (ie: Coconut and Olive) instead of butter. 

Variations: Add the zest of a Lime as well to bump up the flavor. Or experiment with different types of squash - some have edible skins and are thus even easier to prepare. Or instead of Rosemary, add a tablespoon of pure Maple Syrup. 


Baked Pears

This simple dish, created by Dr. Jennifer Tufenkian, is so tasty! Your whole family will love this dish. It is definitely one of those recipes where the sum is greater than its parts. Jenny recommends using BOSC Pears for their more complex and interesting flavor --- but any pear in your fruit dish will work. 

1. Rinse Pears; slice in half and core. Place the sliced side down in a baking dish. Add about 3/4 inch of water and sprinkle Pears with Cinnamon. 

2. Bake at 350°F for about 90 minutes or until the Pears are very soft when poked with a fork. The time will vary depending on the ripeness of the Pears. (You may bake the Pear at other temperatures as well if you are using your oven for another item.)

Baked Pears are great plain for dessert, or with other meals (ie: Oatmeal or Sausage Breakfast). Make a big pan of pears and enjoy them throughout the week in a variety of ways. For a speical dessert add coconut ice cream and chopped hazelnuts. Yum, enjoy!


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