Vegetables in the Winter

Boy it’s cold outside, and we have another 6 weeks of winter to look forward to!

I find that I have a harder time getting my full daily servings of vegetables in my diet during the winter months, all I want to eat are warm comfort foods – cold salads and smoothies just don’t do. I am trying to make more of an effort to incorporate sautéed and roasted vegetables into my meals to make up for the lack of greens and coloured vegetables that I eat more of in the summer months. The best part is that you can prep and cook vegetables and enjoy leftovers for a couple of days, great for meal prep time.

My favourite is to toss some seasonings on vegetables and roast them in the oven. With some items requiring less time than others I add different items at different times (estimating the extra time required) and by the end they are all perfectly done and ready to enjoy. Try to avoid over roasting them – soft, limp veggies are just no fun!

I’ve also been trying to get more creative with my vegetable selections, the above tray has roasted: sweet potatoes, fennel, Brussel sprouts, beets and okra. Don’t be afraid to try something outside your comfort zone, as I tell my kids – you’ll never know till you try it.

I love to use leftover roasted vegetables to make Goodness bowls for a quick meal.

Goodness bowls are a great lunch or dinner idea, add a bottom layer of greens, then add in a layer of whole grains (this bowl had ancient grains) add in your warm roasted vegetables, you can add a protein and drizzle on a favourite dressing. Your dressings can be home-made or ready-made, in the above bowl I used an avocado jalapeño lime dressing that I made – recipe at the end of this post.

Get creative and have fun with your vegetables, the more variety you add the less likely you’ll be of getting bored with the meals.

A few warm vegetable recipes to follow:

 

Roasted Vegetable Platter:

Cauliflower “Steaks”:

  • olive oil
  • Montreal steak spice
  • garlic powder
  • sea salt

Parmesan Carrot “Fries”:

  • olive oil
  • dried garlic and herb seasoning
  • parmesan cheese

Roasted Vegetables:

  • sugar snap peas, red pepper and red cabbage
  • Sirracha pink salt
  • minced garlic

Oil and season the vegetables separately and place them on a lined baking tray. Roast in the oven at 400ºF for 15 minutes, gently turn over the cauliflower steak and toss the other vegetables half way through cooking time. Return pan back to oven and continue roasting for an extra 10 minutes.

** you do not need to use the same seasoning I did, use combinations you enjoy, and don’t be afraid to experiment with new flavours.

Skillet Vegetables:

Another fun way to prepare veggies on a cold winter day – skillet fried. Wash and chop up some of your favourite vegetables and sauté them in a skillet.

In the above picture I used:

  • sweet potatoes
  • carrots
  • Brussel sprouts
  • broccoli
  • spinach
  • red onion

Heat skillet and add 1 tbsp. coconut oil or ghee, add fresh minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute,  add in your vegetables and sauté.  Add in your seasoning of choice (I used sea salt, black pepper and dried basil) and continue to sauté till the vegetables are cooked to your preference.

Enjoy the vegetables on their own or as a side dish with some lean protein.

Avocado Jalapeno Lime Dressing:

  • 1 avocado
  • 2-3 jalapeno slices ( more or less to taste)
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Add all ingredients into a blender and pulse till smooth.

 

REMEMBER: get creative, have fun and the more varied colours of vegetables you include the more phytochemicals your body receives to help fight off infections and free radical damage. Refer to Eat The Rainbow for more information about the antioxidant properties of various coloured fruits and vegetables.

 

 

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