Contrary to popular belief, there is an abundance of delicious foods in season during the cold winter. Since the time for typical holiday favorites like hot chocolate and eggnog has passed, here are some fresh options that are sure to make your winter meals better.
Cranberries are in season long after Thanksgiving. These red fruits are filled with antioxidants and are ideal for adding to any bland dish such as oatmeal. Toss dried cranberries into a salad for a fruity twist or bake a scrumptious cranberry pie. The options are endless for this fibrous fruit.
Kale isn’t just trendy — it also has high nutritional value. Kale can lower the risk of heart disease, help with losing weight and improve one’s intake of various vitamins such as A and K. Try blending kale with fruit to make a flavorful smoothie, or munch on kale chips instead of potato chips for a nutritional and crunchy super-snack.
Yellow, red or white onions are readily available to add to any dish. For a cozy dinner in, caramelize onions and cook up a warm bowl of French onion soup. For something a little more complex, try baking an onion tartlet as an evening appetizer.
Mandarin oranges are at their sweetest and juiciest during the winter season. Add peeled and sliced oranges to a hearty fruit salad mixed with strawberries, bananas and mango. Spice up your lunch with an Asian chicken wrap filled with chopped orange pieces, ginger, onion, sesame oil, soy sauce and sautéed chicken.
Recipe of the Season: Kale and Cranberry Pasta
1/3 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup almonds, chopped
1 bunch kale leaves, chopped
3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black
3/4 tsp. salt
1 lb. pasta (options: fusili,
shells, spaghetti, etc.)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese,
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat until oil simmers. Add the smashed garlic and stir for two to three minutes until golden. Then, add onions and stir until softened.
2. When the onions begin to brown, add kale leaves and sauté in the onions for three-five minutes. Next, add your chopped tomatoes and stir until tomatoes are tender. Finally, add the cranberries and cook until plumped for about two minutes.
3. While the vegetables are cooking, boil the pasta in another pot for about ten minutes until soft.
4. Once the vegetables are cooked, add 3/4 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper and 3/4 tsp. of salt for taste. Add heavy cream and let the mixture sit on medium-high for about three minutes.
5. Lastly, toss the pasta with your vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the finely chopped almonds on top. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve warm.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Feb. 10th print edition. Email Erin Siu at [email protected]