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Recipes for Winter Health

These chilly winter months provide a perfect opportunity to take advantage of more time indoors and cook up some healthy, warming meals. Below are a collection of some of our favorites—they're easy to make and will help you feel your best year-round. We hope you enjoy them!

Warming Winter Overnight Oats

Creamy Cashew Hummus(serves 2*)
*While this recipe makes two portions, you can make up to four jars — they keep well (up to 4 days) and it's timesaving. Enjoy for breakfast or as a power snack!

Ingredients
1 cup rolled oats
1/2-1 cup plant-based milk of choice (i.e. almond, cashew, hemp, etc.) or water
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 ripe banana peeled and smashed
1 Tablespoon almond butter (optional)
1/2 cup berries (optional)
1/2 oz nuts of choice (optional)

Method
Place equal amounts of everything except the fruit in two lidded containers or jars. Mix together and cover. Place in fridge and leave overnight (or for at least four hours). In the morning, simply heat up on stove for a minute or two. Then add a little extra "milk" if you like and/or other toppings such as cardamom, ground ginger, nutmeg...etc.


Cozy Morning Quinoa

(serves 4) Cozy Morning Quinoa

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup nut/seed mixture, chopped (i.e. walnuts, almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds...etc.)
3/4 cup unsweetened plant-based milk (i.e. almond, soy, hemp, or cashew milk)
1-2 Tablespoon maple syrup (depending on preference)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2-1 cup dried blueberries, goji berries, or raisins (or a combination)

Method
Bring a medium pot of water to boil with the quinoa. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, uncovered. Drain all the water from the pot, leaving the quinoa. Meanwhile, lightly toast the nut and seed mixture. Add all the remaining ingredients to the quinoa and stir well. Before serving, add a little more of the plant-based milk and/or maple syrup.


Winter Thaw Tostadas

(serves 1) Winter Thaw Tostadas

Ingredients
2 Food for Life Sprouted Corn Tortillas (found in freezer section)
1/2 cup black beans, cooked
1/2 avocado
Salsa (as much as you like)
2 cups romaine lettuce
Juice of one lime
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1 pinch of salt
1 dash of cumin

Method
Heat black beans on stove top and add a pinch of cumin. You can also add onions to the beans if you like. Chop two large leaves of romaine lettuce. Take 1/2 ripe avocado and smash with a fork until smooth — then add a squeeze of lime and a pinch of salt and mix together. Heat the tortillas in a pan on the stove or in the oven until crispy. When the tortillas are ready, spread them with the avocado and then add the chopped romaine, beans, and salsa. If you like, you can top them with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.


Creamy Mushroom Quinoa

(serves 4) Creamy Mushroom Quinoa

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 cups spinach, roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method
In a large saucepan of two cups water, cook quinoa and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with a touch of water or vegetable broth. Add mushrooms, garlic and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add spinach, cover, let lightly wilt. Stir in quinoa until well combined.


Red Lentil Sweet Potato Simmer

(serves 6 - 8) Red Lentil Sweet Potato Simmer

Ingredients
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1 diced large onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons fresh ginger, grated or minced
2 peeled and chopped sweet potatoes
1 diced (stemmed, seeded) red bell pepper
2 cups red lentils (rinsed)
6 cups vegetable broth
2 cups kale, chopped (and stems removed)
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Diced avocado (optional)
Micro greens (optional)

Method
Heat a large pot over medium heat, and sauté onion and garlic until translucent. (*See note below regarding sautéing without oil.) Add cumin, turmeric and curry powder, cook until fragrant, about one to two minutes. Add ginger and additional broth if needed and cook (stirring frequently) until tender, about two minutes. Add sweet potatoes and cook for one additional minute. Add lentils and the rest of the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the diced red pepper and chopped kale during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Season with salt and pepper. Top with cilantro, avocado and micro greens (if using) before serving.

*Sautéing without oil:
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tablespoons of vegetable broth or water, and then add vegetables. Add additional broth as soon as the first two Tablespoons cook off (add just enough so the vegetables don't stick but not too much—you don't want to steam them). Let vegetables cook for one minute to begin browning, then cook for up to 10 minutes more (stirring constantly) to desired tenderness.


Hot "Pot Pie" Polenta

(serves 6) Hot

Ingredients
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 onion
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 dash sriracha (optional)
3 (15 oz) cans black beans
2 1/2 cups salsa
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro loosely packed (plus extra for garnish)
3 cups vegetable broth or water
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup polenta

Method
Sauté onion and garlic first, add spices then stir in the rest of the ingredients together in an oven-safe Dutch oven or large skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and then make the polenta: In a medium saucepan, bring broth or water and salt to a boil. Stir in polenta. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring often, five minutes until polenta is thickened and cooked through. Remove from heat. (Or cook according to package directions.) Carefully spoon and spread polenta over the top of the chili and bake 15 minutes until polenta is firm and golden brown on the edges. Let the dish sit for five minutes before serving. Garnish with cilantro.


Melt-worthy Minestrone

(serves 6) Melt-worthy Minestrone

Ingredients
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 cup frozen corn (use fresh corn when in season)
1 zucchini, diced
1 14 oz can white beans
2 crushed tomatoes or 14 oz can diced
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 cup small whole grain pasta (i.e. elbows or shells)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil

Method
Sauté the onion, garlic, carrot and celery in small amount of vegetable broth or water for about five minutes. Add zucchini, corn and tomatoes. Add vegetable broth and water. Add white beans, pasta and spices. Simmer 35 minutes or until veggies and pasta are tender.


Savory "Sloppy Joes"

(serves 6) Savory

Ingredients
1 cup black, brown or green lentils (uncooked)
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2-1 cup vegetable broth
1-2 cups fresh spinach
6 whole grain hamburger buns

Method
Pick over dried lentils for debris. Rinse well and place in a pot; cover with water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer for 20-25 minutes until lentils are softened. (*Green or brown lentils may need longer cooking time.) Drain and rinse with cold water. While lentils are cooking, cook the chopped carrots in a pan with a touch of vegetable broth until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and a few good grinds of black pepper and stir for 30 seconds to one minute (until fragrant). Slowly pour in the tomatoes and tomato paste and stir to combine. Stir in the apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup vegetable broth; bring to a simmer. Add more broth if needed to thin out. Stir in 3 cups of cooked lentils and simmer for 15-25 minutes until thickened. Add washed baby spinach to bun then scoop the sloppy Joe mixture on top. As an alternative to the bun, you may also enjoy over greens or a whole grain such as brown rice.


Winter Warm-up Burritos

(serves 2 and freeze the other half) Winter Warm-up Burritos

Ingredients
12 small Food for Life Sprouted Grain Tortillas
2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups salsa
Chili powder to taste
1 onion, chopped
4 cups chopped kale, steamed
Optional toppings: avocado, romaine, lime wedges

Method
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (if you want to eat burritos now). Place tortillas on top of parchment paper lined aluminum foil (this is an important step - you don't want your food to touch the aluminum foil or to stick). Place 1/4 cup of beans and one Tablespoon of onion on each tortilla; then sprinkle chili powder on top (1 to 2 shakes). Top each burrito with one tablespoon of salsa. Roll and wrap each tortilla tightly. If eating later: store burritos in a Ziploc bag in the freezer until ready to use. If eating now: pop burritos in oven on a baking sheet. (*Cooking time varies: fresh burritos take 10 minutes, defrosted burritos take 20 minutes, and frozen burritos take 30 minutes.) Serve with avocado, romaine, lime wedges and/or more salsa.


Savory Vegetable Curry

(serves 4) Savory Vegetable Curry

Ingredients
1 small red onion quartered and sliced thinly
1 head cauliflower trimmed and cut into florets, broccoli is good, too
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
3/4 cup frozen peas or edamame
Cilantro for garnish
2 cups cooked brown rice

Marinade:
2 tablespoons fresh ginger peeled and minced (about 2-3 inch piece)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Zest of 1 lemon
1-1 1/2 Tablespoons curry powder
2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 1/4 cups light coconut milk

Method
Preheat mid-size pot over medium heat and sauté the onion in some vegetable broth or water for 5-7 minutes (by adding broth or water one Tablespoon at a time to keep onions from sticking), until translucent. Add the ginger and sauté for another 2-3 minutes; then add the garlic and sauté for one more minute. Add the rest of the marinade ingredients (except the coconut milk) and heat for 1-2 minutes; then add the cauliflower and carrots. Mix the sauce up over the veggies so they are coated. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Let simmer for about 10-12 minutes or until veggies are tender (the amount of tenderness depends on how large you cut the florets and how tender you like your veggies). Add the peas and coconut milk. Turn off heat and let the flavors meld for about five minutes. Serve in bowls with rice, garnished with cilantro.


Hearty Lentil Vegetable Soup

(serves 6-8) Hearty Lentil Vegetable Soup

Ingredients
2 cups brown or green lentils (or a combination of the two kinds)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups water
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 cups spinach or other greens
2 medium carrots
2 celery stalks

Method
Purée greens, carrots, and celery. Then combine the puréed vegetables in a large pot with the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, lentils, and 2 cups of water. Add seasonings such as sea salt, pepper, thyme, or other herbs. Bring the mixture to a boil and then cover and turn the pot to simmer for about 30 minutes. Optional: add some whole grain pasta. Cook about 20 more minutes or until the lentils are soft. Adjust seasoning as necessary and enjoy!

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