When we’re in the grips of winter and the short, dark days are upon us, we can sometimes start feeling a bit down and withdrawn. Get your fork ready and read on to discover a handful of delicious and nutritious meal ideas perfect for keeping your mind and body happy and healthy this season—and all year long.
Sweet Potato Rosti Stack
This is one of those recipes that defies categorization and could easily be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
1 small sweet potato, about 10 1/2 oz (300 g)
4 large eggs, divided
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper, plus extra for garnish
3/4 cup (180 mL) diced tomatoes
1/2 cup (125 mL) cooked black beans
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped kimchi
2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1 Tbsp (15 mL) white wine vinegar
1 small avocado, pitted and thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
Peel and grate sweet potato. In large bowl, whisk 1 egg before adding grated sweet potato, garlic, and pepper. Stir until well combined. Divide potato mixture into 3 equal parts on prepared baking tray. Form each into disks about 4 in (10 cm) wide and 1 in (2.5 cm) high. Transfer to oven and bake until lightly crisped and nicely browned, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, stir together tomatoes, black beans, kimchi, cilantro, and lemon juice. Set aside.
Bring medium saucepan filled about two-thirds full with water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Crack remaining 3 eggs each into separate ramekin or small bowl. Add vinegar to simmering water and, with slotted spoon, stir water to create a whirlpool effect. Gently tip one egg into center of whirlpool and let cook for 5 seconds. Gently re-stir water and add remaining eggs just like the first. Let eggs poach in gently simmering water until cooked as desired. For a runny yolk, poach eggs for about 3 minutes. To check for doneness, gently lift egg out of water with slotted spoon and poke egg with your finger. Egg whites should be firm, and the yolk should be soft. Once done, with slotted spoon, transfer to plate lined with paper towel.
To serve, place warm sweet potato rosti on serving plates. Top with slices of avocado, kimchi salsa, and a poached egg. Garnish with some freshly ground black pepper, if desired. Enjoy immediately.
Each serving contains: 242 calories; 10 g protein; 7 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 35 g total carbohydrates (6 g sugars, 9 g fiber); 309 mg sodium
Butternut Squash Steak
Vegetable steaks have become very popular lately, and for good reason. They’re a perfectly comforting meal during chilly winter days!
3/4 cup (180 mL) uncooked beluga lentils
2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 garlic cloves, finely minced, divided
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt, divided
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp (45 mL) lemon juice, divided
1 butternut squash, about 2.2 lbs (1 kg)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried oregano
2 1/2 oz (70 g) feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup (80 mL) pomegranate arils
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line large baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
Bring large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add lentils and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and transfer to large bowl and set aside to cool slightly.
In medium bowl, stir together olive oil, parsley, half of the minced garlic, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, pepper, lemon zest, and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice. When lentils are just warm, add parsley mixture and stir to combine. Set aside.
Cut butternut squash into 4 steaks lengthwise, each about 1/2 in to 3/4 in (1.25 cm to 2 cm) thick. Reserve any remaining butternut squash for another use. Remove any seeds, place on prepared baking tray, and rub all over with grapeseed oil. Roast in oven for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in small saucepan, stir together butter, oregano, remaining minced garlic, and remaining 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat, and stir in remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice.
After squash has been roasting for 20 minutes, remove from oven, brush with butter mixture, and return to oven until tender and golden, about another 15 to 20 minutes.
To serve, divide butternut squash steaks on platter or divide among serving plates. Top with lentil mixture, crumbled feta cheese, and pomegranate arils.
Each serving contains: 436 calories; 15 g protein; 20 g total fat (8 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 54 g total carbohydrates (9 g sugars, 17 g fiber); 503 mg sodium
Salmon with Cucumber Grape Salsa
This all-in-one recipe brings together a myriad of flavors and textures to awaken your palate.
3 small or medium cucumbers, chopped
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) chopped red grapes
1 small jalapeno, finely diced
3 Tbsp (45 mL) lemon juice, divided
1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt, divided
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) grapeseed oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 1/2 cups (625 mL) frozen peas
3 cups (750 mL) packed baby spinach
1/2 cup (125 mL) no-salt-added vegetable stock or homemade vegetable stock
1/4 cup (60 mL) loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest
4 – 6 oz (170 g) skin-on salmon fillets
Black pepper, to taste
1 cup (250 mL) dry white wine
1/2 cup (125 mL) water
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
In medium bowl, combine together cucumber, grapes, jalapeno (include the seeds if you like spice), 1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice, olive oil, dill, and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt. Set salsa aside at room temperature, tossing occasionally, while you make the rest of the dish.
In medium saucepan, warm grapeseed oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in peas, spinach, and stock. Bring to simmer, let cook for 1 minute, then transfer to food processor along with mint, remaining 2 Tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice, and lemon zest.
Meanwhile, arrange salmon fillets in bottom of lidded casserole pan large enough to accommodate them in a single layer. Season with remaining 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt and black pepper, to taste. Pour wine and water around fish, cover, and bake until salmon is opaque, about 12 minutes.
Divide pea purée among serving plates or shallow bowls. Top with salmon and cucumber grape salsa.
Each serving contains: 464 calories; 42 g protein; 20 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 29 g total carbohydrates (16 g sugars, 6 g fiber); 488 mg sodium
Written by Lawren Moneta