Ingredients For Delicious Winter Salads

An younf woman eating a warm winter saladFood crops harvested in winter months with the use of hoop houses or hot houses (such as used in California, USA) and other methods that extend the natural growing season, and old-fashioned storage vegetables like cabbages and potatoes all mean that there are plenty of winter produce to choose from.

What winter produce that is available, is sufficient to enjoy delicious winter salads along with great homemade dressings and vinaigrette’s.

The different crops available in the winter months include among others:

Beets: Available in season from fall through spring in temperate climates, and those available during the summer months, are from storage.

Belgian Endive: This leafy green is forced to produce under artificial conditions, making them available year round. Their traditional season, as with all chicories, is late fall through winter.

When grown in open fields they are covered with sand for about 6 months to keep out the light. When grown in hot houses they are placed in darkness for 6 months before shipping to market for purchase.

Read more here about the endive (includes a recipe with video): Endive and Fruit Salad with Chicken

Broccoli: This and all other cruciferous vegetables can be grown year-round in temperate climates, but broccoli tastes best when harvested in the cooler temperatures of fall in most climates.

salad plate with Warm Winter Salad with Apples Spinach Blue Cheese and Walnuts

Warm Winter Salad with Apples Spinach Blue Cheese and Walnuts

Brussels sprouts: These vegetables are part of the cabbage family.  They grow on stalks, and they last somewhat longer than when sold packaged or removed from their stalks.

Cabbage: This vegetable is crispy when raw with bitter flavor, though it mellows and sweetens the longer it’s cooked.

Sweet Potatoes: This root vegetable is often referred too or interchangeable with yams. The two vegetables are different though.

Most yams in the USA are sweet potatoes. Yams are dry and starchy, and grown mainly in Africa and Asia. They can weigh up too 100 pounds.

Sweet potatoes store very well and are available year round in warmer areas. Though their season is from late summer through winter.

Other vegetables available in fall to winter months include, radicchio, radishes, turnips, winter squash, rutabagas, parsnips, chard, collard greens, cress, spinach, kale, carrots, leeks, fennel, and celery among others.

There are also a verity of fruits in season during the winter months that you can enjoy in fruit salads, or as a snack. To view the available in season winter fruits link here: Fruits Info – Seasonal Fruits.

Salads To Enjoy In The Winter Months

Chilly temperatures, and dark winter days are traditionally suited to cheese, meat, and vegetable casseroles, including pastas. A salad filled with raw vegetables may not seem appealing in the cold winter.

But what if you could prepare a warm winter salad, like this one – Warm Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts. This recipe is offered by a professional chef, author, recipe developer, educator and certified health coach at A Food Centric Life.

THE RECIPE

Warm Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts

1 large bunch of organic kale (Tuscan, Lacinato or Dinosaur)

a white salad plate with Warm Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts

Image Credit: A Food Centric Life

1 large shallot

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

Handful of dried cranberries

Small handful of chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar (suggestion: infused balsamic fruit flavored variety like dark cherry)

Salt and pepper, to season

Bring a large pot (5 quart/liter) of water to a boil while you are trimming the kale leaves and slicing the shallot. Trim the ribs out of the center of the kale leaves, and then cut the leaves crosswise into ribbons. Slice the peeled shallot crosswise into thin rings.

When water boils, add 2 teaspoons salt, then drop the kale leaves into the water and cook for 2 minutes (called blanching). Drain well through a sieve and place kale on a clean kitchen towel. Alternatively you can steam your kale for 2-3 minutes, and then proceed with the recipe.

In a medium sauté or fry pan, heat the olive oil over medium low heat until warm. Add the shallot rings, then the garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring until softened. Be careful not to let them burn. Add the cranberries, walnuts, and vinegar. Stir and cook for a minute, then add the cooked kale. Toss the kale ribbons to coat and warm, season up with salt and pepper, and then serve.

Make this a even more warm winter salad by either serving the warm salad as a side dish with roasted chicken, as Sally the author of “A Food Centric Life” explains, or as a foundation for roasted salmon. She also suggests placing the warm salad over a bed of quinoa for a vegetarian or vegan entree.

Sally says you can use a fruit flavored infused balsamic vinegar like dark cherry or fig when making the vinaigrette.

Another great warm winter salad you can enjoy is: Sweet Potato, Kale and Shrimp Skillet

2 tablespoons olive oil

salad plate with Sweet Potato, Kale and Shrimp Skillet½ cup onion, diced

Red pepper flakes, to taste

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups sweet potatoes, diced

2 cups fresh shrimp

3 cups trimmed and coarsely chopped kale leaves

Salt and black pepper to taste

Heat a a ceramic coated cast iron pan over medium heat, add olive oil.

Next add onions and red pepper flakes, and saute until onions are soft and browned.

Next add garlic and cook about 30 seconds more.

Next add sweet potato and cook until soft, about 10-15 minutes. If necessary add a 2 or 3 tablespoons of water to help cook the sweet potato.

Next add shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they are pink in color.

Turn heat to low and add kale, stirring in until wilted.

Season to taste with salt and pepper (optional).

Plate and serve.

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Peach and Pecan Cake

Peach Pecan Cake

This dessert is delectable, and will bring a bang to your palate and satisfaction to your tummy. There is no added white or whole wheat flour to this cake., but rather ginger snap cookies, processed in to crumbs.

Ginger is beneficial for many things. Ginger has been studied and reported as having positive results for people who suffer from insomnia and nightmares caused by anxiety. The study was published in 2010 stating, “Positive results have shown that ginger binds to some serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects overall mood and anxiety levels”.

Ginger is also good for cold and flu prevention and treatment, migraine relief, menstrual cramp relief for women, as well as prevention of diabetic nephropathy or kidney damage. Ginger also aides in the digestion processes.

As good as this dessert my be, and it has ginger in it, you will not get any of the above mentioned results. Ginger snap cookies only have a less than 2% ginger root in the cookie. I am not really sure how they even get away with calling them ginger snap cookies!!

But if you wish for the results of what fresh ginger root can do for your health, then purchase it on your next grocery shopping day.

For more information about fresh ginger root, read this article: Benefits of Ginger.

Now for our featured recipe: Peach and Pecan Cake and here is what you will need:

Ingredients for Peach Pecan cake

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup half-and-half
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup gingersnap crumbs
1 (6-ounce) package almond brickle chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 (16-ounce) can sliced peaches, well drained and chopped (not shown on cutting board)
Whipping cream to garnish (optional)

Picture of 9 - inch Square Pan and Parchment Paper

Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Next line the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, and set aside.

Picture of Chop Peaches and Process Ginger Snap Cookies

Next open the can of peaches and drain off the juice. Empty the can of peaches and chop them into one inch pieces and place them in a medium bowl and set aside. Place the ginger snap cookies in a food processor and process them to almost flour like texture, then pour the crumbs into a small bowl and set aside.

Picture of Processing Cream Cheese, Brown Sugar and Eggs

Now add room temperature cream cheese and sugar to a food processor and process until well blended and creamy. Next add eggs, one at a time, mixing in after each addition.

Picture of Vanilla and Half & Half

Blend in half-and-half and vanilla.

Picture of Cookie Crumbs, Toffee, Pecans and Coconut

Add ginger crumbs, toffee chips, pecans and coconut, and process on mix for thirty seconds.

Picture of Mix in Peaches

Pour mixture into a large bowl and stir in chopped peaches.

Picture of Pouring Cake and Placing into Oven

Next pour cake mixture into the 9 – inch square prepared pan. Place the cake into the heated oven and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until center is firm (checking with a knife, insert and should come out clean) and edges are golden brown.

Peach Pecan Cake

Plate and serve warm or chilled. Garnish with peach slices whipped cream, and mint or basil, if desired.

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Green Hamburgers

Green HamburgersHere’s a great way to get your finicky eaters to eat their greens, with Green Hamburgers. One hamburger has one serving of leafy greens. As a side note, this is a great nutritional meal for those who suffer with Schizophrenia.

Now for our featured recipe: Green Hamburgers, and here is what you will need.

ingredients for Green Hamburgers

23 fresh spinach leaves

1 pkg. (about 12 oz.) basil, fresh or live basil with roots

¼ cup cilantro

1 lb. ground hamburger (15% Fat)

4 tbsp. prepared bread crumbs

 

wahs and trim greens

Cut the root ball from fresh basil and trim stems along with the spinach and cilantro. Wash the greens.

processing greens for Green HamburgersPlace all greens into a food processor with 1/8 to 1/4 cup of water, if necessary. Process greens until finely chopped and looks like a wet paste. Set aside.

cutting equal parts of hamburger meat

Divide hamburger into 4 equal parts, about 1/4 pound per each burger.

prepared Green HamurgersIndividually prepare each 1/4 pound of meat in a small bowl. Add meat with 2 tablespoons of processed greens, and one tablespoon of bread crumbs. Mix with hands and form a patty.cooking Green HamburgersBBQ, broil  of pan fry your Green Hamburgers. We used our Nu-wave oven to cook the hamburgers, about 6 minutes each side flipping 2 to 3 times. Meat must be 160 degrees internal temperature to be done.Green Hamburger sliced in halfIt is not necessary to slice burger in half. We did so to show you how the hamburger looks once cooked.preparing the hamburger with tomato and spring lettuce mixPrepare your Green Hamburger the way you like it. I personally like to use whole wheat bread slices with mayonnaise ,tomato, and a spring lettuce mix.close up of prepared Green Hamburgers

Enjoy!!

 

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Artichoke Goat Cheese Garlic Bread -includes a video-

Ingredients for Artichock GoatCheese Garlic Bread

½ cups parsley, chopped*
¼ cups dill, chopped
8 basil leaves, chopped
¼ cups chives, chopped
6 whole marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
6 cloves garlic
¼ cups Goat cheese, crumbled~
1 stick butter
Salt and pepper, to taste

1 loaf Italian bread

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Chop the first 4 ingredients and place them in a food processor and blend. Add artichoke hearts and blend. Next add the garlic, cheese, softened butter, salt and pepper to the food processor and mix until smooth.

Slice the bread in 1-inch slices, stopping before the base of the bread. Stuff the bread with the mixture. Wrap the bread in foil and bake for 25 minutes. Serve hot.

*can use cilantro

~can use Feta cheese

 

View our video of Artichoke Goat Cheese Garlic Bread. The video is principle to demonstrate how to make the Artichoke/Goat cheese bread. But a main dish “Rosemary Chicken and Sundried Tomatoes with Linguini” is shown. Click here to view the recipe.

For information about how food correlates to a healthy you view: Savor the food and Your Health