Eat Seasonal: Beet Braised Lentils with Thyme and Apples

Fall comfort foods tend to have a reputation for being all kinds of rich and that is probably why we love them so, but today’s recipe proves that healthy can also be craveable.

We love our lentils around here and they make frequent appearances on the table in the vegetarian versions of Shepherd’s Pie and Sloppy Joes. They take on a satisfying meaty quality when cooked low and slow that makes them an ideal meatless main dish. Today’s braise is another perfect example.

I first intended this simple recipe as a side dish, but when topped with a quick slaw of julienned apple and tangy sauerkraut, I found it was everything I wanted for dinner.

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Veal Pot Roast with Root Vegetables (slow cooker)

Mid-winter is my preferred season to haul out the slow cooker. The weather is frigid, requiring heartier dinner fare to make up for all the energy we spend trying to stay warm.

Yesterday’s Sunday dinner was a slow cooked veal roast, seasoned with orange zest and surrounded by an assortment of root vegetables. To say it ‘hit the spot’ after a mainly meatless week of meals would be an understatement.

It spurred us on to bundle up in toques and scarves and spend an afternoon ice skating. The city maintains a winding skating area along the river’s edge around this time of the year and it winds and bends with views of the snowy island directly opposite. It was the perfect opportunity to let go of the stress of the week and gather fortitude for another seven days. [Read more…]

Roasted Beet and Garlic Pasta

roasted beet pasta

Written by Allison of Some the Wiser

accidentally fell in love with cooking. I wasn’t born with a desire to be in the kitchen, to test recipes and experiment with flavors. In fact, I spent many years microwaving rice packets when I was left to cook for myself. It wasn’t until I had people to care for that my kitchen love story began.

It didn’t happen overnight. Rather, I found myself in the kitchen more and more, a necessary part of raising hungry children, and then one day I realized I had fallen in love. I realized I could make my home a happier place just by making breakfast, serving dinner, cooking with care.

I was recently reminded of just how much my time in the kitchen blesses my family and my own life when I had to rush my four year old to the hospital emergency room. In a moment of Peter Pan excitement, she had leaped and met with disaster. All’s well that ends well, and twenty-two stitches later she was fine.  Fine, but it took a while for this mama’s tender heart to stop thumping.

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Rustic Chickpea Stew with Apricots & Turnip {slow-cooker recipe}

It’s not in my nature to switch tracks on the eve of a new year, jumping from the long, sugar-coated holiday cookie train over to the one piled with beans and greens like so many do. I’m not a maker of quickly-broken resolutions, choosing instead to jot down my intentional food-related goals for the year and work them in as part of our lifestyle.

My transition from sweets to stew for this post was not for health reasons (although I am not oblivious to the wisdom of this change in diet) but more of a practical step. We first took a look at the monthly budget, then I stood in front of my well-stocked pantry, eying up the jars of staples.

Couscous, chickpeas, canned tomatoes, dried fruit, spices, a carton of apple juice. Dinner, however disguised, was almost fully contained here; it just needed a little coaxing, a hit of garlic, and six or so hours in the slow cooker.

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Quick Skillet Roasted Vegetables on Cheese Toast

Written by Allison of Some the Wiser.

Most of the time I feel good about my eating habits. I like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and we eat a lot of them most days of the week. However, after all of the holiday festivities from the past month, I feel like I need to re-focus my menu and food choices.

Considering all the candy canes and pumpkin pies I have consumed recently, it feels really good to cut out sugar this month and find my way back to the fresh produce aisle. It can be harder this time of year to find fresh vegetables, but although there isn’t as much variety in the winter, there are a lot of delicious ways to prepare root vegetables.

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