As we work to achieve the goals many of us set for 2020, I find that this time of year can often leave us feeling rundown. For me, carving out time for myself—even if it’s just thirty minutes—to be in the kitchen and whip up something healthy is my favorite quick fix for the winter blues.
After taking a class about Ayurvedic cooking—an Indian-inspired, balanced approach to healthy eating involving primarily warmed or cooked foods, loads of healthy spices, and meat/dairy in moderation—I’ve found myself especially inspired to cook. In that spirit, today I’ve rounded up five seasonal recipes that’ll give you an excuse to escape and enjoy some you time in the kitchen. These are great recipes to have on hand for your next low-key hangout or gathering with friends or family.
Regardless of the occasion, I hope you enjoy having these wintery recipes at your fingertips.
Turmeric Tea with Almond Milk
Winter in Minnesota certainly seems like the season for cozying up with a warm cup of coffee, cocoa, or, in this case, a fun spin on tea—featuring Indian spice powerhouse, turmeric, known for its anti-inflammatory benefits and rich golden hue. With a subtle flavor, this spice blends well with most varieties of milk. Simply warm up your favorite milk, add a dash of turmeric, cinnamon, and black pepper, which helps activate the benefits of turmeric. Or, you can start with a turmeric tea bag and add a touch of almond or oat milk in addition to hot water, for a creamier flavor. This simple recipe from Thrive Market calls for raw honey for a hint of sweetness and a dandelion tea bag which has great detoxifying benefits—a must following a more indulgent time of year.
Vegan Peppermint Patty Slice
In the mood for a sweet but need a break from store-bought pies and those never-ending sugary office treats post-holiday? You probably have some of the ingredients in your pantry right now (coconut oil, maple syrup, cashew butter & sea salt to name a few…) to pull off this simple yet elegant dessert. It’s loaded with rich, healthy fats and it’s a great dessert to keep on hand (it freezes well!) for unexpected guests or just as a treat for you and your honey (or your roommates, or yourself!) at home. The recipe even sneaks in veggies, calling for 1 cup of spinach. So go ahead, get your dessert AND some nutrients all at once.
Butternut Squash Baked Fries
All you need is a quick trip to Trader Joe’s and sea salt to whip together this delicious snack or side dish. Cutting up a butternut squash can be a hassle, so thank you TJ’s for your zigzag version of this nutritious winter veggie. Bonus—butternut squash is rich in fiber (just 1 cup contains approx. 7 grams) and Vitamin A (promotes eye health).
Simply sprinkle the Zig-Zag’s on a baking sheet and cover with sea salt (oil optional) and bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until they start to crisp. When done, some topping ideas include freshly grated parmesan or nutritional yeast for a dairy-free cheesy flavor (and lots of vitamins and minerals). As for a dip, I like experimenting with different spices and making my own seasoned sour cream—a combination of good quality taco seasoning, a dash of hot sauce, and chopped chives is my go-to! Dairy-free? Hummus with extra lemon would be a nice pairing with this savory side.
Citrus is the perfect winter pick me up—it literally makes you perk up the second it hits your lips. Oranges and grapefruit are especially at their peak during winter months and come in a variety of gorgeous colors (hello, blood orange!). Plus, they pack a nice punch of Vitamin C to help keep your immune system in top shape. These zesty fruits are the perfect topping to salads, and they make a lovely addition to these simple and pretty parfaits.
Keep things simple for breakfast with layers of greek yogurt, granola, honey, and fresh slices of orange and grapefruit. Or, add some savory elements like pistachios and rosemary for a late-night dessert. If you have some extra time, Cooking Light shows you how to make a Rosemary simple syrup here. And don’t forget about the powerful aroma and flavor of the zest! Which would work great in both of these recipes variations.
For those looking for something more indulgent and cozy during the winter months, you could also create a warm version of this dessert by putting a medley of berries in a glass baking dish, topping them with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of sugar (I prefer monk fruit which doesn’t spike blood sugar levels like regular sugar), baking the berries and cream in the oven, and then topping it all off with some broiled citrus & honey on top!
Beet and Lentil Salad
Last but certainly not least is this beet and lentil salad recipe. When you need something hearty on hand to nourish you during a busy work or travel week, My New Roots comes to the rescue with this nutrient-dense, lemony salad recipe. This salad is just the ticket for those looking for a bit of a reset. Plus, it will be a party in your mouth with the rich combination of flavors and spices—savory cumin and olives, antioxidant-rich pomegranate seeds, detoxifying lemon, and cleansing parsley. Plus, the fiber in the beets paired with protein-rich lentils will keep you feeling satisfied and nourished from the inside, out. Is your mouth watering yet? I know what I’m making this week! I also love that you can easily modify this recipe based on items you have on hand.
Brooke is an agency account gal by day and creative at heart—she’s probably whipping up a new recipe or DIY beauty remedy right now. She’s passionate about finding healthier alternatives to the makeup & products many women put on their skin every day—the inspiration behind her own blog, heronebeauty.com.
BY Brooke Rymer - January 17, 2020
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.