Winter warming starts with hearty meals – Sterling Journal-Advocate

Winter warming starts with hearty meals – Sterling Journal-Advocate

Recipes and tips rooted in goodness

(Family Features) When the cold weather hits, it is natural to seek comfort in a variety of forms: warm blankets, layers of sweaters and delicious, hearty meals. Winter is the perfect season to spend time indoors honing your cooking skills to take your culinary creations to the next level.

Choose seasonal products

While the days of peaches and watermelons may be over, falling temperatures bring a variety of seasonal ingredients for cooking in cool weather. Think winter squash, apples, root vegetables and cauliflower. Try using a seasonal food guide to find out what ingredients are in season in any state at any time of the year. Cooking with seasonal ingredients helps ensure that your food is in top shape in its most nutritional and flavorful state.

Find more winter recipes at

Simple recipes for shorter days

With less daylight in the winter, many people tend to fall asleep earlier. Quick dinner recipes are usually ideal, especially when they only take 30 minutes or so to prepare. Easy dishes are perfect for those evenings where you want something spicy and delicious, but you also want in pajamas and up on the nearest sofa as soon as possible. Few things are better than a hot bowl full of flavor like this flavor-promoting curry recipe bursting with notes of caramelized onions and roasted garlic.

Chickpeas, spinach and coconut curry

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 12 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 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 fat-free plain Greek yogurt, stirred
  • 1/2 cup coriander, coarsely chopped
  • 2 naan flatbreads, toasted and sliced
  1. Heat olive oil, ginger, garlic, onion, turmeric, salt and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until onions begin to brown, stirring frequently. Add chickpeas, sauce and coconut milk; cook 3-4 minutes, or until thoroughly heated. Add spinach; cover with lid. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until the spinach has withered. Mix well.
  2. Pour the mixture into six serving bowls and top each with a spoonful of yogurt, pinched coriander and additional crushed red pepper to taste. Serve with flatbread slices.

The benefits of passive cooking

Winter weekends call for warming meals that bring an extra sense of coziness through the billowing aroma of slowly cooked dishes. Winter time is the perfect time of year to break out of your slow cooker or put your stove on low heat and let fragrant dishes such as tasty Harissa-fried chicken and vegetables simmer slowly and fill your home with enticing scents.

Tasty Harissa-fried chicken and vegetables

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1/3 cup harissa pasta, divided
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small bouquets
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) FarmToFork Marinara Sauce, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 6 boneless chicken thighs with skin (approx. 2 pounds)
  • 1 pound of rainbow carrots, trimmed and peeled
  • 1 lemon, juice only, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs such as dill, mint or coriander, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 ° F. In a large bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons harissa and 2 tablespoons oil. Add onion and cauliflower; throw to combine. Spread the vegetable mixture in a single layer on a 17 x 12-inch foil-lined baking sheet.
  2. In the same bowl, whisk the remaining harissa, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 cup marinara sauce, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken; turn with a pair of pliers until well covered. Arrange chicken on top of vegetables on baking sheet. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the chicken is deep golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165 ° F.
  3. Use vegetable peels to make long strips of carrots. In the bowl, toss the carrots with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons chopped herbs and remaining oil, salt and pepper. Mix yogurt, remaining lemon juice and remaining herbs in a separate bowl.
  4. Serve each chicken thigh with roasted vegetables, blob of herbal yogurt, carrot mixture and 1/4 cup heated marinara sauce.

Find comfort in your favorite dishes

Almost nothing beats pasta and sauce on a chilly evening. When you feel like hot and filling meals in the winter, a high-quality pasta sauce like FarmToFork can add simple goodness to hearty dishes like Gnocchi with Hearty Mushroom Bolognese. Made with sustainably grown, wine-ripened tomatoes and fresh garlic, basil and onions, the sauce brings rich, distinctive flavors to a variety of cool weather favorites from traditional pasta recipes to soups and oven baked goods. During the giving season, comfort and warmth can also be found in doing good to others, which is why FarmToFork supports Big Green, a national nonprofit organization that works with low-income schools around the country to bring garden-based learning and food skills curricula for children.

Gnocchi with solid mushroom Bolognese

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 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 crushed black pepper
  • 2 pound button, cremini or portobello mushrooms
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) FarmToFork Marinara Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound chilled or frozen gnocchi
  • 1/2 cup pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
  1. In food processor, pulse onion, carrots, celery and garlic until finely chopped. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chopped vegetables, salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.
  2. In food processor, pulse mushrooms until coarsely chopped. Add to a large saucepan with vegetables. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Stir in marinara sauce and butter.
  3. Cook gnocchi according to package directions; drain. Add to sauce mixture; mix gently. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley.


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