Recipes and Tips Rooted in Goodness
(Family Features) When cold weather hits, it’s natural to seek comfort in a variety of forms: warm blankets, layers of sweaters and delicious, hearty meals. Winter is the perfect season for spending time indoors honing cooking skills to take your culinary creations to the next level.
Opt for Seasonal Produce
While the days of peaches and watermelons may be over, dropping temperatures bring a slew of seasonal produce made for cool-weather cooking. Think winter squash, apples, root vegetables and cauliflower. Try using a seasonal food guide to learn what produce is in season in any state at any time of the year. Cooking with seasonal produce helps ensure your food is in peak form at its most nutritional and flavorful state.
Simple Recipes for Shorter Days
With less daylight hours during the winter, many people tend to get sleepy earlier. Quick weeknight dinner recipes are usually ideal, especially when they take only 30 minutes or so to prepare. Easy dishes are perfect for those nights when you want something savory and delicious, but you also want to get into pajamas and onto the nearest couch as soon as possible. Few things are better than a warm bowl full of flavor like this taste-tempting curry recipe bursting with caramelized onion and roasted garlic notes.
Chickpea, Spinach and Coconut Curry
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, plus additional, to taste
- 1 can (29 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 jar (24 ounces) FarmToFork Caramelized Onion & Roasted Garlic Sauce
- 1 can (15 ounces) light coconut milk
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt, stirred
- 1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 2 naan flatbreads, toasted and sliced
- In large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil, ginger, garlic, onions, turmeric, salt and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Cook 6-8 minutes, or until onions begin to brown, stirring frequently. Add chickpeas, sauce and coconut milk; cook 3-4 minutes, or until heated through. Add spinach; cover with lid. Simmer 3-4 minutes, or until spinach is wilted. Mix well.
- Spoon mixture into six serving bowls and top each with spoonful of yogurt, pinch of cilantro and additional crushed red pepper, to taste. Serve with flatbread slices.
The Perks of Passive Cooking
Wintry weekends call for warming meals that bring an extra sensation of coziness through the wafting aroma of slow-cooked dishes. Wintertime is the perfect season to break out your slow cooker or put your stove on low heat and let fragrant dishes such as Savory Harissa-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables simmer slowly and fill your home with enticing smells.
Savory Harissa-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
- 1/3 cup harissa paste, divided
- 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick slivers
- 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1 jar (24 ounces) FarmToFork Marinara Sauce, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
- 1 pound rainbow carrots, trimmed and peeled
- 1 lemon, juice only, divided
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs such as dill, mint or cilantro, divided
- 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- Heat oven to 425° F. In large bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons harissa and 2 tablespoons oil. Add onions and cauliflower; toss to combine. Spread vegetable mixture in single layer on 17-by-12-inch foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
- In same bowl, whisk remaining harissa, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 cup marinara sauce, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken; toss with tongs until well coated. Arrange chicken atop vegetables on baking sheet. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until chicken is deep golden brown and internal temperature reaches 165° F.
- Use vegetable peeler to create long ribbons of carrots. In bowl, toss carrots with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons chopped herbs and remaining oil, salt and pepper. In separate bowl, mix yogurt, remaining lemon juice and remaining herbs.
- Serve each chicken thigh with roasted vegetables, dollop of herbed yogurt, carrot mixture and 1/4 cup warmed marinara sauce.
Find Comfort in Your Favorite Foods
Almost nothing beats pasta and sauce on a chilly night. When craving warm and filling meals during winter, a quality, jarred pasta sauce like FarmToFork can add simple goodness to hearty dishes like Gnocchi with Hearty Mushroom Bolognese. Made with sustainably grown, vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh garlic, basil and onions, the sauce brings rich, distinctive flavor to a variety of cool-weather favorites from traditional pasta recipes to soups and oven bakes. During the season of giving, comfort and warmth can also be found in doing good for others, which is why FarmToFork supports Big Green, a national nonprofit organization that partners with low-income schools around the country to bring garden-based learning and food literacy curriculums to children.
Gnocchi with Hearty Mushroom Bolognese
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
- 2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 pounds button, cremini or portobello mushrooms
- 1 jar (24 ounces) FarmToFork Marinara Sauce
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound refrigerated or frozen gnocchi
- 1/2 cup pecorino Romano cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
- In food processor, pulse onions, carrots, celery and garlic until finely chopped. In large pot over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add chopped vegetables, salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.
- In food processor, pulse mushrooms until coarsely chopped. Add to large pot with vegetables. Cook 10-12 minutes, or until most liquid is evaporated, stirring occasionally. Stir in marinara sauce and butter.
- Cook gnocchi according to package directions; drain. Add to sauce mixture; mix gently. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley.
(Family Features) One of the secrets to ordering less takeout and serving more nutritious homemade meals may be as simple as keeping a well-stocked pantry of canned foods. By cooking with canned foods, you can cut down prep time, meaning less time in the kitchen and more time with family.
Canned fruits, vegetables, proteins and soups can help you get through the week with creative meals you can feel good about serving your family like Panzanella Salad and Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chili. In addition, according to a study published in “Nutrients,” kids and adults who use six or more canned foods per week are more likely to have diets higher in 17 essential nutrients, including potassium, calcium and fiber.
Canned foods can also help reduce the amount of perishable fruits and vegetables purchased then thrown away. how many times you’ve opened the fridge only to find the fresh produce you purchased only days ago has already spoiled. Because fresh fruits and vegetables are harvested at the peak of ripeness and canned within four hours, sealing in their nutrition and flavor, your family can have access to seasonal, ready-to-use fruits and vegetables year-round. Simply reach in your pantry – or your “cantry” – and get cooking.
For more information about the benefits of cooking with canned foods and to find more flavorful recipes, visit CansGetYouCooking.com.
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
- 1 pound day-old Italian bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 8 ounces romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2 cans (10 ounces each) tomato wedges
- 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) garbanzo beans
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) artichoke hearts
- 1 can (3.8 ounces) olives
- 1 can (1 1/2 ounces) sliced radishes
- To make dressing: In small bowl, stir together olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- To assemble salad: In large bowl, toss bread cubes, lettuce, tomato wedges, beans, artichoke hearts, olives and radishes; drizzle with dressing.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 4-8 hours
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cans (12 1/2 ounces each) white premium chunk chicken breast, drained
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
- 3 tablespoons red curry paste, plus additional, to taste
- 1/4 cup all-natural peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 can (13 1/2 ounces) coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas, drained
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) whole potatoes, drained and cubed
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) sliced carrots, drained
- 3 tablespoons lime juice, plus additional, to taste
- salt, to taste
- brown rice, cooked according to package instructions (optional)
- cilantro, for garnish
- salted peanuts, for garnish
- Grease slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add onion, garlic, chicken, tomatoes, red curry paste, peanut butter, brown sugar, ginger, coconut milk, fish sauce and soy sauce to slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours.
- Uncover and stir in chickpeas, potatoes, carrots and lime juice. Taste and add lime juice and salt, to taste, if necessary.
- Serve on top of brown rice, if desired, and garnish with cilantro and peanuts.
Source: Can Manufacturers Institute
(Family Features) For those who are always on the go leading up to the holidays, the season can feel more like madness than merrymaking. From planning get-togethers to building out a perfect menu for the events, there can be difficulties for hosts and guests alike to ensure proper nutrition is still top of mind.
Instead of sacrificing taste or eating less, aim for simple changes that give you the energy to power through the busy season. For example, instead of opting for a carb-loaded breakfast in the morning, try a low-carb Milk Chocolate Protein Muffin, which takes just a few minutes of prep and microwave time. The quick cook time leaves you with ample opportunities to run errands or divvy up precious seconds toward other activities, while the protein can fuel you for the day ahead.
Almost nothing beats warm soup on a chilly day, and this Butternut Squash and Pear Soup provides feel-good flavor without weighing you down. Finally, when snacks are on the mind – as it tends to happen when constantly on the go – Coconut Muesli Clusters are simple to make and won’t undo the nutritious efforts you’ve made throughout the day.
This full menu of tasty recipes is part of the Atkins low-carb lifestyle, a long-term, healthy eating approach focused on high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats. The plan also aims to reduce levels of refined carbohydrates, added sugars and the “hidden sugar effect,” – when carbohydrates convert to sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugar, but your body does.
An On-the-Go Energy Boost
As a hectic holiday season unfolds, it can be difficult to maintain energy while making dishes for get-togethers and keeping up with the festivities.
To stay fueled and energized throughout the season, try incorporating Atkins Plus Protein and Fiber Shakes. Sweet and creamy, they make for ideal snacks, containing 30 grams of high-quality dairy protein and 7 grams of fiber. To help ensure steady blood sugar levels, the shakes also have a low glycemic impact and are made with 20 vitamins and minerals.
Available in Creamy Milk Chocolate and Creamy Vanilla flavors, the ready-to-drink shakes provide hunger satisfaction for those who are on the go and seeking to maximize production with a busy schedule.
Find more ways to live healthier during the holidays and learn more about the benefits of a balanced, low-carb lifestyle at Atkins.com.
Milk Chocolate Protein Muffin
Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 minute
- 2 tablespoons full-fat cream cheese
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons Atkins Milk Chocolate Protein Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 dash salt
- In microwave-safe mug, heat cream cheese 10-15 seconds to soften. Add egg and blend briskly using fork. Add protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; blend until smooth.
- Microwave on high 1 minute; muffin will puff up then deflate slightly once done. Remove from mug and enjoy warm.
Coconut Muesli Clusters
Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
- Olive oil spray
- 1 cup plain protein powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup whole raw pecans
- 1 cup unsweetened whole flake shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup chia seeds or ground flaxseeds
- 1 tablespoon stevia
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup water
- Heat oven to 350° F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper, coat with olive oil spray and set aside.
- In large bowl, mix together protein powder, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, pecans, coconut, chia seeds or flaxseeds, stevia, cinnamon and turmeric.
- In large skillet, combine coconut oil, peanut butter and vanilla extract; melt completely then stir in nut mixture. Turn heat off and add eggs and water, tossing well. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and spread mixture in layer about 1/2-inch thick.
- Bake 10-15 minutes until mixture starts to brown and clumps together to make clusters. Cool completely on baking sheet then store in airtight container, refrigerated, up to 1 week.
Butternut Squash and Pear Soup
Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 medium (2 1/2-inch diameter) onion, chopped
- 2 pounds butternut winter squash, cubed
- 1 medium pear, sliced, plus additional, for garnish (optional)
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- nutmeg (optional)
- In large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add squash, pear, curry powder, salt and white pepper; saute 3 minutes.
- Increase heat to high and add chicken broth. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low; simmer 20-25 minutes, uncovered, until cubed squash is very tender. Allow to cool about 10-15 minutes.
- In blender or food processor, puree soup in batches until smooth. Return pureed soup to pot and add lemon juice and heavy cream. Stir soup over low heat until hot. Garnish with additional sliced pears and sprinkle of nutmeg, if desired.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Butternut Squash and Pear Soup, Milk Chocolate Protein Muffin)