There is something to be said about having a dish that is nourishing, warming, easy to digest and tastes wonderful all in one. You can easily accomplish this with ONE POT MEALS – such as soups and stews!
It is so great to cozy up to a warm bowl of goodness during these long and cold winter days.
If you haven’t experienced this, then let me tell you how extremely simple it is. In fact -it is easier then preparing your average dinner at home (which usually involves more than one recipe to get a balanced meal).
In order for your one pot meal to cover all the basis your are going to need a few things. Start with some vegetables, (or at least onions, carrots and celery as a base) otherwise play with vegetables in season such as sweet potatoes, rutabaga, turnips, parsnips, brussel sprouts, fennel, broccoli, cauliflower, kale (you can really get crazy here!), a legume (such as chickpeas, black beans, white beans, lentils, yellow split peas), some herbs and spices (cumin, parsley, sage, oregano, garlic, ginger, rosemary, thyme), a grain if you wish (barley, quinoa, brown rice, millet) and there you have it – a well rounded one pot meal! These meals make for a convenient and easy way to approach dinnertime in the winter months. You can make a batch of it early in the week or on the weekend and take portions out as you need them throughout the week. You can even warm some up and put it into a stainless steel thermos for you or your kids on the go! You can freeze portions in glass containers and store them for snowy day when you don’t feel like cooking or going anywhere.
Why not benefit from cooking some of your own meals at home- you get to be creative, you know what going in it, you know it’s going to be delicious! So have fun and get creative with some warming and wonderful one pot meals!
Vegetable Medley Stew with White Beans
1 medium onion, chopped
1 leek sliced and washed carefully to remove sand
10 medium mushrooms, quartered
2 rutabagas, cut in small dice
½ cup water as needed
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon ground sage
1-teaspoon herb de Provence
2 fennel bulbs cut into medium chunks
4 medium sweet potatoes, diced
2 turnips cut in medium cubes
1 cup cooked or canned organic garbanzo beans
10 brussel sprouts, cut in ½ pieces
1 head of kale, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 ½ tablespoon Bragg’s amino
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a small stockpot, sauté onions in oil until translucent (5-10 minutes).
2. Add rutabaga and mushrooms with 1 teaspoon of salt. Sauté until liquid is released.
3. Add water, bay leaf, sage, oregano, parsley and herb de Provence and bring to a boil, covered.
4. Add sweet potatoes, turnips and fennel. DO NOT STIR
5. Cover and simmer 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
6. Blend 1 cup of vegetables and add back to stew with ¼ teaspoon salt and water as needed.
7. Raise heat until briskly bubbling and add kale and Brussels sprouts to stew, right before serving.
Start off the year right. You owe it to yourself to nourish your body with fresh delicious food and your mind with the satisfaction that you can make the choice to be the best YOU this year. Make the right choices now, or else January will pass by to quickly. Then in February… well no one feels like starting anything new in February. Then March comes and you tell yourself you may as well wait until the spring or summer to start eating right or getting in shape or going on a cleanse. Well I am telling you that if you start right now, by the summertime you will already be looking and feeling great!
So the key is to get yourself motivated today. Start up a new exercise program and fill your kitchen full of healthy choices. You may even want to take a COOKING CLASS (see side column for details) or two, get yourself loaded with health supportive and tasty recipes to get you on your way – just email me if that is your plan!
I am also offering a WHOLE FOOD MAKEOVER WORKSHOP series starting next week that should definitely get you on your path to good health and well being. Sometimes you just need a little push in the right direction to get you on your way.
But if you are the type that just wants to do it yourself, then let me at least give you a few tips to get 2009 to YOUR best and most nourishing year ever!
1. Choose fresh and whole foods everyday
2. Choose organic and bio-dynamic foods as often as possible
3. Choose food that is fresh, local and seasonal
4. Choose foods that are colourful, vibrant and that vary in texture, flavour and shapes (this is great for kids too!)
5. Experiment cooking with different grains, legumes, vegetables and spices for variety
6. Limit your consumption of fried, processed, packaged and sugar laden foods
7. Limit your consumption of commercial meat and dairy (instead select naturally raised or organic whenever possible)
8. Start up a new exercise program, even if that means taking a walk around your block!
9. Find alternative methods for relaxation, healing and rejuvenation (massage therapy, aroma therapy, acupuncture, tai chi, yoga and pilates).
10. Have Fun!
Quinoa with Porcini Mushrooms and Dried Cranberries
2 cups water or vegetable broth
1 ounce (3/4 cup) dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup minced red onion
1 garlic clove
1 stalk celery
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1 cup dried cranberries or currents
½ toasted pinenuts or pecans
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley or thyme
1. Rinse quinoa and place in large pot and dry toast on a low heat for a few minutes. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil with salt. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Combine 1 cup of water with porcini mushrooms in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mushrooms soak for 20 minutes. Then drain the mushrooms, reserving the mushrooms and the liquid separately. Roughly chop the mushrooms.
3. Warm the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and celery and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 7 minutes. At the last minute add the spinach.
4. Add the reserved mushrooms, the garlic, and the cranberries and sauté until the cranberries are heated through about 2 minutes.
5. Add the pinenuts, quinoa, salt and black pepper to taste, and the mushroom soaking liquid. Cook until the liquid has been absorbed, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley and serve hot.
Ingredients:4 cups red beets, cut in quarter or small wedges
4 carrots sliced
1 butternut squash
2 turnips or parsnips
2 yams2 tbsp maple syrup
2 ½ tbsp orange juice
2 cloves garlic
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp paprika
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp tamari
Preheat oven to 350°C
Prepare the sauce by mixing all of the ingredients in a jar and shaking well. Set aside.
Clean and slice all of the vegetables then place them in a large baking dish or baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Pour the sauce over top and stir all of the ingredients together thoroughly. Place the pan in a preheated oven and bake for 45-55 minutes. Stir the vegetables and few times while baking to be sure that they are coated with sauce and cook evenly.
Remove from oven and serve hot.