Healthy Winter Comfort Food Recipes
This quick and warming cauliflower soup is a lovely start to a heavier meal or serve it with a sandwich or mixed green salad for a light family dinner. Try a classic grilled cheese with a twist.
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 large kale leaves
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large head cauliflower, florets and stems
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth
2 cups 1 percent organic milk
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoons dried)
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Remove the leaves and thick core from the cauliflower; coarsely chop into 1-inch pieces. Remove stems from kale and coarsely chop leaves.
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add the kale and onion and sauté about 3 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the cauliflower, garlic, broth, and milk; stir and then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, simmer, covered over medium heat about 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.
Turn off the heat and allow soup to cool for 10 minutes. Puree soup with a handheld blender (or blend in batches using a regular blender or food processor) until very smooth.
Add the cheese and nutmeg; stir until melted. Season the soup with parsley, salt, and pepper.
AVOCADO & TOMATO GRILLED CHEESE
4 slices thick-cut whole wheat bread
1 medium avocado, pitted and thinly sliced
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
6 leaves fresh spinach
8 ounces mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Heat griddle or large skillet over medium heat. You can also use a Panini press.
Lightly brush both sides of bread with olive oil. Arrange the avocado, tomato, spinach, tomato, and cheese atop one slice of bread. Put remaining slice of bread on top to make the sandwich.
Transfer sandwiches to the hot skillet. Using a large spatula, press the sandwich. Cook the sandwiches on skillet about 3 minutes on each side, or until bread is golden brown and mozzarella cheese has melted around the edges.
Pancakes made from scratch are cheaper, better tasting and healthier for your family. This basic recipe is wonderful as is, or can be used as a starting point for yummy variations including blueberry, banana and even chocolate chip pancakes!
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup unbleached whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature
1 cup 1 percent organic milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon canola oil
Whisk flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in mixing bowl to combine.
Make a well in center of dry ingredients; add eggs, milk, vanilla extract and oil into dry ingredients all at once and whisk gently until just combined. Do not over mix.
Heat a flat-bottomed skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Lightly mist skillet with oil.
Ladle ¼ cup of pancake batter onto skillet or griddle for each pancake. Space apart so pancakes do not touch.
Cook each pancake about 2-3 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown and large bubbles begin to appear on the top surface. Flip each pancake and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer.
Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil to skillet as necessary.
Note: Pancakes are best served immediately but may be kept warm in a low (175-200°F) oven until all the batter has been cooked.
Tonya Peele is the author of Quick Wins for Healthy Eating: Easy Changes You and Your Family Can Make Now. For more of Tonya's quick recipes with real food, visit her blog, The Quick Dish, at thequickdish.com. Browse more of her recipes inYummy - Yet Healthy - Winter Comfort Food Recipes.