Healthy Winter Recipes

winter-recipie-blogIt’s only natural to clamor for comfort food during the winter months. With the chill of the winter months and snow-filled activities like skiing and skating, we pack in the calories as if we have permission to indulge until Spring returns. And it’s no matter because we can hide our thicker waists under cozy sweaters and leggings. Suddenly, we turn around and realize that the week’s meals have consisted of back-to-back waist busters: buttery steak dinners, forkfuls of macaroni and cheese, –you name it. When you layer on the fancy coffee drinks (spiced pumpkin lattes!), scrumptious desserts and creamy seasonal cocktails–it’s no wonder that our pants are fitting a little tighter than they were just a few weeks ago.

We are all prone to eater’s remorse and a crash come January. The good news is: there is no need to deprive ourselves of the food that warms our bellies and our hearts. There are many great recipes that will satisfy your palate — without sabotaging your body. In fact, many recipes are loaded with ingredients that can actually make us look better and feel better! Here are two EASY recipes you can make TONIGHT! Add a glass of red wine for some resveratrol which include polyphenols/antioxidants and you are off to the races.

Whipped Cauliflower with Garlic, Parmesan & Crackled Pepper
Mashed potatoes are a staple of wintertime dinners. Whipped or smashed, blended with garlic, butter, cheese and chives — of course, it’s irresistible! But there’s an easy, simple swap that delivers the same punch of flavor with fewer calories–switch out the potatoes for cauliflower.

Ingredients:
– 1 head cauliflower
– salt & freshly cracked pepper
– 4-6 cloves garlic, peeled
– 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
– 1/3 c 1% milk
– 1/3 c grated Romano cheese
– Salt & freshly cracked pepper

Instructions:
Clean cauliflower and break into large flowerets. In a large piece of aluminum foil, tightly wrap cauliflower flowerets and peeled garlic cloves that have been seasoned with salt and pepper and place in 350°F oven and bake for 45-55 minutes or until tender. Put into casserole dish and mash to desired consistency or whip to a smooth puree with a hand mixer. Add extra virgin olive oil and milk and mix in well. Add the grated parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper as desired. Makes 3-4 servings. Can be made ahead and reheated in a 350°F oven until piping hot.

Salted Chocolate Dipped Fruit Slices
Did someone gift you an amazing fruit basket for the holidays? Embrace the fresh factor and satisfy your sweet tooth as you head into the New Year by putting a gourmet spin on apples, pears and mandarin oranges. Add a burst of the polyphenol/antioxidants in resveratrol found in dark chocolate and sprinkling of organic sea salt. Easy-to-make and so impressive at a party!

Ingredients
– Mandarin oranges, pears or apples
– 1/2 cup organic dark chocolate chips
– organic sea salt

Instructions
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and set aside. Peel the fruit and slice (for mandarin oranges, break apart into slices–for apples or pears, slice wafer thin.
2. In a microwave safe bowl or with the help of a double boiler, melt chocolate chips.
3. Dip each slice halfway into the melted chocolate and place on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and repeat until all slices are evenly coated and sprinkled with salt.
4. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until chocolate has hardened. Enjoy!