Wellness Wednesday: Winter Veg Hacks

Its no secret that eating your vegetables is important. But what do you do when it’s winter and you’re craving warm, carmelized, comforting foods more than you are a fresh salad? What then? Are you sentenced so a winter of lack-luster iceberg lettuce salads and baby carrots? Are you bound by duty to just hold your tongue and hate every minute of “eating your colors”?  I am happy to say, not at all. There are tons of recipes that use minimal ingredients and pack a maximal flavor boost.  Here are a few of my favorite techniques for getting my veggies when I’m not feeling that “salad-y”.

 

 Caramelized, fragrant and delicious. 

Caramelized, fragrant and delicious. 

Roast it:  Roasting is such a simple technique that requires minimal effort and yields maximum pay off. It works awesome for veggies and fruits alike, and gives a smoky, caramel flavor that’s almost meat-like to many veggies. Good choices include beets, carrots, cauliflower and asparagus. Here’s a recipe that I typically use with carrots. The best part is that you can blend the leftovers with a little vegetable stock or coconut milk in a blender and make yourself a quick soup. Genius!

http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/devour/2013/10/roasted-carrots-with-cumin-and-coriander

 

 Like French Onion Soup, without the soup.

Like French Onion Soup, without the soup.

Braise it:  Braising is another pretty simple technique that requires very little in the way of fussy attention once it’s locked and loaded- all you need is an oven safe dish, a little bit of liquid and some time.  Things I like to braise include leeks and fennel. Here’s a guide to the basics of veg braising from Williams and Sonoma.

https://blog.williams-sonoma.com/how-to-braise-vegetables/

 

char.jpg

Char it: Charring is basically burning the crap out of something, but in a good way. It also gives the same meaty, smoky goodness as a barbecue does, when it’s applied to vegetables. This means meat feelings, but a veggie payoff. Can you say ‘winning’? Here’s a good recipe that demonstrates the exact beauty of the char. Give it a whirl!

https://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/charred-cauliflower-and-shishito-peppers-with-picada-sauce