Don’t let winter go to waste
Make the best meals with the best veggies this season
As the leaves fall and the air turns cold, don’t count out the abundance of winter vegetables and ingredients. There are so many easy, delicious ways to spice up your meals and plenty of cozy recipes to try. Curl up by the fire and check out a few of our tips to get the most out of your meals this winter.
Take advantage of seasonal, winter vegetables
In the coming months, focus on hearty greens and root vegetables, which are at their peak this time of year. Cabbage, broccoli, carrots, parsnips, artichoke, radicchio, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, leeks, squash, rutabagas, and beets are all in season and can be added to soups and other cozy dinners for chilly nights. Additionally, now is the time to stock up on dried items, like your favorite NEC products, that can be used in soups, stews, and curries. Our Lentil Trio is great for curries, and we love almost any grain as a base in soups. If you haven’t tried Freekeh or Farro, now is the time! Check out this recipe for Rustic Farro Soup with Sausage and Mushrooms if you need a place to start. We’re finding any excuse to use farro this season, and we’re a big fan of risotto for a warm winter dinner.
If you’re making soup, stew, or chili, don’t be afraid to make bigger portions. Soup can always be packed into portions and saved in the freezer to be reheated when needed. Then, on nights when you’re too busy to cook, or if you’re feeling under the weather, the prep is already done for you. Any soup can be filled with protein and vegetables to help you fit in all your daily nutrients.
Try new recipes
Winter is a fun time to try new recipes and experiment with different flavors. Pull out your Pinterest board or your list of ‘recipes to try later,’ and get started on them now! Stews are always an easy way to use up leftovers and clean up the fridge or pantry, and can be customized with seasonal vegetables.
If you’re looking for something fresh, we highly recommend trying some Indian cuisine recipes as these recipes often use winter seasonal ingredients, like potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, and lentils. Pick up some of our lentils or grains in a store near you and try out a curry recipe you’ve had your eye on!
When it’s cold and grey, it’s time to add some spice, heat, and color to your meals. Wander the spice aisle at your favorite store and pick up something new. Don’t be afraid to experiment or add a whole new twist to an old favorite. Warm spices that we love this time of year are cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. These all add wonderful flavor to any meal, plus it’s an easy way to make your kitchen smell cozy.
Warm your belly and your home
When it’s cold inside your house and out, heat up with hearty and wholesome soups. If you prefer your soups thicker, try adding cornstarch and water, or add ancient grains like Nature's Earthly Choice™ Quinoa or Farro to give it extra protein, fiber, and density.
For more cozy, wintertime meals, try a casserole. There are so many great options out there for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. Make one early in the week or during the weekend when you have time, then bake it for a quick, no-prep dinner that the whole family will love. All you need is a base, a binder, and a topping. If you don’t have a recipe already, try our Mexican Lentil Casserole!
The best part about winter cooking is that it’s slow cooker season! In case soups weren’t easy enough, they’re even easier with a slow cooker. Just toss all your ingredients into the pot, cover it, leave it for hours, and come home to dinner ready and waiting. As a bonus, your house will smell amazing! Be sure to plan and prep ahead of time so that you’re ready to put everything in before work in the morning without having to sacrifice your coffee time to cut ingredients. In a slow cooker, you can make recipes big or small but, in our opinion, the more leftovers, the better! For anything from hot drinks to chili, we expect to be using a slow cooker often this winter.
If you’re in need of winter meal inspiration, follow us on social media! Be sure to let us know some of your favorite winter recipes.
Stay Warm, and Happy Cooking!