A Christmas salad of winter greens & seasonal fruit

It’s funny how this salad came to be: a rough chop of leftover greens from the crisper drawer and a few odd bits of scrounged fruit. It wasn’t until I had everything assembled on my cutting board that I noticed the unmistakably festive red, white and green colors.

From there it was merely a matter of balancing the flavors – bitter versus sweet – and textures (the kale benefits from a five-minute marinade in the vinaigrette before the salad is tossed) before mounding it next to another holiday staple – tourtière.

One forkful into this plate and I realized it was the perfect match: rich, spiced pork pie with buttery pastry complemented by a slightly bitter, crunchy salad of winter greens.

Not only does this salad boast the colors of Christmas, but it offers a welcome burst of acidity at a time when foods tend to be so rich. I think you’re going to want to stock some kale and pomegranate in the refrigerator this week.

[Read more…]

Vegetables In Season: February

A quick look around food blogs, Pinterest, and bakery window displays might lead one to believe that dark chocolate and marshmallows were in high season right now, and in a way, they are, peaking tomorrow in a blaze of sweetness. But what about the rest of the month? What is good eating in February?

In her book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver called February ‘The Hungry Month’, and if you are living off the land, indeed it is. Most of us, however, have access to markets that carry a selection of good winter fruits and vegetables if you know what to look for.

Embracing cool-weather eating can take some adjustment, but it is better for the budget and for the environment, as you are buying what is local and in season. Of course, what is in season in February will vary with your location. For example, I’m in Eastern Canada and my sister is in South Texas. Produce that is cheap for me is often far pricier for her and vice versa.

Listed below is a broad range of beautiful vegetables that are available right now, as well as tips on how to prepare them. Hopefully you’ll be inspired to skip the peas and corn in the frozen section of the grocery store and pick up one of these seasonal vegetables instead.

[Read more…]

kabocha

Common Sense Seasonal Eating for the New Year (Winter Vegetable Soup)

Written by Shannon of Nourishing Days

So I wrote a big ol’ article about every nutrient you should eat during the winter to maintain optimum health. First I mentioned foods to cut out (like I did in the spring) and then I went on and on about enzymes and cod liver oil and fat-soluble vitamins.

Then I deleted the whole thing.

Our children are poised to be the sickest generation to date and yet we speak “nutritionism” like never before. I think what we need at the table is a little less science and a little more common sense.

[Read more…]

Citrus & Pomegranate with Vanilla Syrup: A Holiday Fruit Salad

There’s one week until Christmas Eve! I don’t know about you, but I’ve got to slow down on the shortbread, mincemeat tarts, and eggnog, and start saving room for Christmas dinner!

Today’s guilt-free recipe is fresh, seasonal and festive. It features an array of winter citrus and crimson pomegranate, presented prettily in a fresh take on a fruit salad.

[Read more…]

Home Canning in the Winter Months: A Round-Up

Just because many of the farmers markets have closed down, and the roadside produce stands are boarded up for the winter, doesn’t mean we have to pack away our canning jars and declare the season over. There are still plenty of fun preserving projects to be relished (groaner!) during the darker months of the year.

In some ways, canning from November to May is more enjoyable than during the hectic summer months. The pressure in August to put up the season’s bounty before it spoils can take the fun out of it. In winter you can choose your recipes with leisure without fear of fruit over-ripening – plus the temptation for a nap in the sun or a trip to the beach is no longer a distraction!

Right now, fresh Canadian cranberries are in stores and I’m getting ready to simmer up a few batches of cranberry sauce. Perhaps after that I’ll plan an apple project, because we go through apple butter like, well, butter.

[Read more…]