Winter Recipes for the Non-Practicing Cook
EIGHT EASY-TO-MAKE MEALS THAT ARE DELICIOUS, STRAIGHTFORWARD, AND PLANT-RICH
To the untrained taste bud, it may appear to be the doldrums of winter—but, in truth, there’s an abundance of seasonal produce to get excited about before spring arrives. We asked Sakara Health Coach and passionate, plant-loving home cook, Sasha Pagni, to create some no-fuss recipes that celebrate what’s hot right now at the farmer’s market. And because you’re short on time while she’s unbound by imagination, these dishes are creative, straightforward, and very yummy. For those moments you are not diving into a Sakara meal, here are eight nourishing meals to make on the fly.
- Citrus Salad With Mint: This is a great excuse to eat every in-season citrus at once. Peel and cut Cara Cara oranges, grapefruit, navel oranges, and tangerines. Then, thinly slice radishes and a few herbal greens like microgreens and mint. Optional: Drizzle with olive oil and add creaminess with plant-based feta. (Nut-based cheese recipes can be found here).
- Stuffed Dates: Pit 5 or 6 Medjool or Barhi dates, add tahini or your favorite nut butter, cacao nibs, and fancy, flaky sea salt. Combined with the earthiness of the cacao and the smooth, salty nuttiness of the “butter,” this snack hits every flavor point and is truly satisfying.
- Roasted Harvest Bowl: Roast broccoli and squash on parchment paper in the oven, and while on the stovetop, sauté mushrooms on medium heat. Once the veggies are prepped, place in a bowl and toss in olive oil and add salt, pepper, and paprika. Then, add cold-weather greens such as gem lettuce, chicories, and kale. Top with probiotic-rich sauerkraut, and serve with hummus, tahini, or pesto.
- Turmeric-Spiced Porridge: Inspired by savory, Chinese rice porridges called congee or jook—where heirloom recipes take decades to perfect—we've made a modest version that serves as the base for vegetables, warming spices, and immune-boosting ingredients like turmeric, ginger, garlic, and mushrooms. Put one part rice to six parts liquid in a large pot and simmer for 30 minutes to one hour until rice is the consistency of porridge; then add healing touches like turmeric, scallions, radishes, cucumbers, and kimchi or fermented veggies. Squeeze some lemon to finish.
- Green Grain Bowl: Cook a gluten-free grain as a base (quinoa, buckwheat, millet, or sprouted rice all work well); then layer avocado, sliced raw beets, radish, and mesclun or mixed greens. For a delicious garnish, sprinkle hemp seeds, add a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, and top with flaky sea salt.
- Winter Veggie Slaw: Chop up a mix of Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, carrot, radicchio, and scallion. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, dijon, lemon/vinegar, salt, and pepper. Then, toss the mixture with the cruciferous veggies. This can be eaten as a side, as a base to layer on more vegetables, stuffed into roasted sweet potatoes, or as a sandwich.
- Bircher Bowls: This recipe can shift depending on what seeds you have available, so feel free to get creative. Start with a ¼ cup of rolled gluten-free oats, then add 2 tablespoons of chia and one tablespoon of hemp seeds. Follow this base with ½ cup of plant-based milk and a teaspoon of vanilla. From this foundation, look to your superfood pantry: sprinkle in goji berries, seeds, reishi powder, your favorite nut butter, bee pollen, berries, cacao nibs or cinnamon.
- Herbal Squash Soup: Soups are an herbalist's best friend. Roast any hearty squash of your choosing (kabocha, butternut, or acorn are delicious options) which will serve as your base. Sauté chopped onion and garlic until fragrant; then add the blended squash, with a cup of water to thin, and bring to a simmer. Feel free to add ginger, garlic, rosemary, sage, or thyme; adaptogens like astragalus or reishi; or a little miso for a richer flavor. Once bubbling, remove from heat, and blend in a standup or immersion blender. Top with pumpkin seeds and parsley and serve.
More Recipes from Sakara Wellness Coach, Sasha Pagni