The winter season is right around the corner. Soon, you might see streets covered in snow, holiday decorations, and people bundled up from head to toe. In addition to the attire and weather changes, the most appealing part about winter is the food. During this time of the year, most people find themselves seeking warmth from their heaters and meals. But many winter comfort foods can leave you feeling (and looking) more stuffed than usual. Instead of heavy foods, try exploring the variety in texture, flavor, and consistency that winter vegetables offer. Therefore, you can bring formal holiday dinners with family and friends to life with a seasonal selection of fresh produce. Try incorporating them into these five delicious recipes for winter vegetables.
Winter Vegetables in Season
The best winter vegetables to take advantage of right now are:
- Brussels sprouts
- Winter squash
- Sweet potatoes
- Dark leafy greens (e.g., kale, spinach, collards)
Are you struggling to think of creative recipes with this expansive list of vegetables? Don’t worry, because I’ve got you covered. Here are five 15-minute healthy recipes that you can try out this winter season.
1. Hearty Winter Vegetable Soup
Don’t you just love a good soup when you’re stuck at home? If so, then try this low-calorie but filling meal. We’ve adapted it from Martha Stewart’s recipe for a Hearty Winter-Vegetable Soup. This soup is packed with nutritious winter vegetables such as Yukon Gold potatoes, butternut squash, and carrots. Because of that fact, this meal is the definition of hearty yet healthy.
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
- 4 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, cut into 1-inch-thick pieces
- 3 medium carrots, cut into cubes
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 pinches of red pepper flakes
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 5 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
- 2 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 12 ounces), cut into cubes
- 1 head escarole, cut into 1-inch-thick ribbons
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, thinly sliced
- Add 2 tablespoons fresh dill, thinly sliced
- First, pour extra virgin olive oil into a medium-sized stockpot over medium-high heat.
- Then, cook your leeks, celery, carrots, garlic, red pepper flakes, freshly ground pepper, and a teaspoon of coarse salt for about 5 minutes. Then, slowly add stock and water and heat the liquid until it reaches a boil.
- Last, place your squash and potatoes into the boiling water, then reduce the temperature to a simmer. When your potato and squash are tender to the touch, place your escarole and chickpeas into the soup. Then, return the mixture to a boil. After everything is thoroughly cooked stir in your lemon juice and herbs. For example, try adding some fresh mint and dill. Then, prepare to serve your delicious dish.
2. Winter Vegetables High in Protein
Many people are unaware that a lot of vegetables are packed with protein. The right types of vegetables can provide you with your daily protein needs before you even think about reaching for a piece of chicken. In fact, within the winter vegetable subsection alone, there are plenty of veggies that are loaded with protein. For instance, 100 grams of spinach contains 2.9 grams of protein, and 100 grams of broccoli contains 2.8 grams of protein.
Vegetables are low in protein when compared to their meatier counterparts. However, you can eat more of them in one sitting and thus attain the necessary amount of protein needed for the day. As a side note, you may still have trouble reaching your necessary protein intake. If that’s the case, then you can reach your goals with a plant-based protein supplement.
We adapted this quick and easy Spinach and Gnocchi with Garlic Chips recipe from Rachel Ray’s recipe. Therefore, as you can imagine, it’s a great option for a protein-packed winter veggie meal.
- Salt and pepper
- 2 10-ounce packages of gnocchi
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 pound baby spinach
- Ground nutmeg
- 1/3 Pecorino-Romano cheese
- Fill up a large pot with water, bring it to a boil, and add your salt and gnocchi. Cook for about three minutes. Drain the gnocchi and save a large spoonful of pasta cooking water.
- Heat your extra virgin olive oil in a skillet, then cook the garlic cloves until they are crisp.
- Finish by adding your spinach, remaining seasonings, saved pasta water, gnocchi, and cheese to your skillet. Stir until the dish reaches a preferred consistency and serve.
3. Vegetables Low in Carbs
There are lots of low-carb winter vegetables to choose from. According to Healthline, these include bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini, spinach, cauliflower, green beans, and lettuce. So, here’s a 15-minute winter vegetable recipe you can try, without your stove. Instead of cooking, toss up a Roasted Broccoli and Asparagus Salad. You’ll find that this is a great way to add in some low carb vegetables to your diet. The great thing about this recipe, adapted from Love and Olive Oil, is that it’s quick, easy, and guilt-free.
- 1/2 bunch of asparagus
- 1 small head broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 small head green leaf lettuce
- Balsamic vinegar
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat your oven to 400 ºF
- Place your asparagus and broccoli on a baking dish with aluminum foil, drizzle olive, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 10–15 minutes.
- Take a bowl and toss your lettuce with a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Top salad with the oven-roasted vegetables. Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve.
4. Keto Vegetables
Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the keto diet. Keto is not a magic bullet, and you should consider the possible risks. However, this strict but effective lifestyle has led to positive body transformations for countless individuals around the world.
The keto diet is built on high fat and low protein. According to keto diet advocates, this foundation puts your body into a state of ketosis. This, in turn, forces you to burn more fat rather than carbohydrates. Some keto-friendly vegetables include zucchini and, of course, the fan-favorite winter vegetable brussels sprouts. Here is a quick and easy Seared Brussels Sprouts recipe, adapted from the New York Times. I’m sure of one thing. If you try this and other recipes with an open mind, then you will surely bust through your weight-loss plateaus.
- 1 pound brussels sprouts
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Wash and cut your brussels sprouts in half.
- In a large skillet, place your olive oil, brussels sprouts, salt, and pepper. Then, just cook until the brussels sprouts are tender.
- Season to your preference and serve.
5. Perennial Vegetables
Last, but certainly not least, are perennial vegetables. “Perennial” means that these vegetables can grow back for multiple years. Many of these vegetables have a crunchy texture or intense flavor. One of the most popular perennial vegetables is artichokes. This is because they are delicious, low in fat, high in fiber, and filled with rich antioxidants. So, if you are looking to incorporate this insanely beneficial vegetable into your diet, try this recipe. We adapted it from a recipe found at The Mediterranean Dish. The best part is that it only requires 15 short minutes of preparation. As a result, you’ll have Artichoke Garden Flatbread Pizza.
- 2 flatbreads
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 6 oz skim ricotta cheese
- 6 oz crumbled feta cheese
- Dried oregano
- 1 handful of baby spinach
- 7 oz artichoke heart
- 1 Roma tomato
- 1 shallot
- 6 pitted Kalamata olives
- Sun-dried tomato bits
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and toast your flatbread for 1–2 minutes.
- Drizzle your olive oil, spread your cheeses, and then sprinkle your seasonings on your toasted flatbread.
- Place your flatbread back into the oven to broil for 3 minutes. Then take it out and garnish with your remaining ingredients.
Power Through the Winter With These Healthy Recipes
Winter is a great time to explore new, healthy recipes. Consequently, you can stay on track with your healthy lifestyle while having fun. So, try these five 15-minute recipes. They are sure to get you feeling warm (and healthy) on the inside. You might eat keto, love soup, or just want to cut back on carbs. If that’s the case, then winter vegetables can inspire you to try something new while meeting your dietary goals.
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