Healthy Living

Healthy Winter Recipes

Winter is finally upon us, and it’s here to stay for the next few months. When the cold weather comes, it’s important to take advantage of some of the in-season veggies. As you know, variety is the spice of life, so add a little variety in your family routine with these three winter recipes!

Spaghetti Squash: This pasta substitute is lower in calories, and high in fiber, niacin, and vitamin B6. Added bonus: it tastes great!

For this recipe by The Recipe Critic, you will need:

  • 3 pound spaghetti squash
  • ¼ cup olive oil divided
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup carrots 1/8-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup sliced brown mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley leaves

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Cut spaghetti squash and scoop out the seeds, and transfer to a baking sheet. Lightly brush rings with olive oil and sprinkle with salt on both sides. Roast until tender, about 35 to 40 minutes. Cool slightly and then use a fork to remove and separate the strands.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy saucepan. Add ground turkey and brown the meat. Transfer cooked meat to a medium-sized bowl. Add carrots and onions, stir and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add sliced mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the browned meat, crushed tomatoes, oregano, salt, and pepper then stir well to simmer. Top roasted spaghetti squash with turkey bolognese sauce and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.

The Pink Potato Pancake: The pink color comes from a winter favorite: Beets! Beets are quite the superfood; they are packed with anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, folate, magnesium, potassium and copper.

For this delicious recipe by Savory, you will need:

  • 1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes
  • 2 medium beets (about 8 oz each)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup oil, divided
  • Sour cream, for serving
  • Fresh dill, as garnish (optional)

Peel the beets and potatoes. Pop the potatoes and beets in a food processor. Then, drain out as much liquid out as possible. Mix the potato mixture, egg, flour, thyme, baking powder, and salt. Then, heat the oil in a frying pan. Spoon the mixture into patties, and  place in the frying pan.  Fry on each side until brown and crispy. Add more oil as needed.

Winter Vegetable Salad: This simple salad by Julia’s Album is the perfect combination of health and flavor.

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts (raw, ends trimmed, yellow leaves removed)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups butternut squash  (uncooked, peeled, seeded, and cubed into 1-inch cubes)
  • 2 beets
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey or brown sugar

First, roast the brussels sprouts. Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Trim ends of Brussels sprouts and slice all Brussels sprouts in half. In a medium bowl, combine halved Brussels sprouts, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt (to taste), and toss to combine. Place Brussels sprouts onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and roast in the oven at 375 F for about 20-25 minutes. During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, turn them over for even browning, the cut sides should be nicely and partially charred but not blackened.

Then Roast Butternut Squash. Keep your oven at 375 F. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine cubed butternut squash (peeled and seeded), 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt, and toss to combine. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once half-way through baking until softened.

Then the beets! Add 2 beets to a medium-size saucepan filled with water. Bring to boil. Boil the beets on medium heat, half-covered (allowing some heat to escape), for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a large spoon or a ladle, carefully remove beets from hot water. Let them cool. When completely cooled, peel the beets and then dice them into small cubes.

On to the pecans! Lower your oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread pecans in a single layer. Toast the pecans for about 5 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven at 350 F until they get darker in color. 

For the glaze, combine 1 cup of balsamic vinegar + ¼ cup of honey or brown sugar in a medium pan and cook it down, regularly stirring. The mixture should reduce by about half. Consistency should be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon but should not be overly thick.

Finally, in a large bowl, toss together roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted butternut squash, diced cooked beets, toasted pecans, and dried cranberries and drizzle with the balsamic glaze.