Category Archives: Winter Recipes

What’s for Dinner Preparing for Spring

I didn’t make a shopping list last week because we had so many left overs from my daughter’s birthday party and extra odds and ends around the house. It was kind of fun to be creative with what we had, clean out the fridge and not waste food.

Sometimes dinner looks like this and that’s ok 🙂

left over garlic soup with a side of chicken quesadilla or cauliflower grilled cheese with shredded pork, rice and beans for the kids on a messy dinner table

left over garlic soup with a side of chicken quesadilla or cauliflower grilled cheese with shredded pork, rice and beans for the kids on a messy dinner table

I taught Yogapuncture for Spring in Crystal Lake Friday night over at Bonnie’s. It was, as usual a lovely evening and we talked a little about spring foods and how to keep a happy, healthy liver energy. (there’s two more opportunities for Spring yogapuncture this month at OhmMother Yoga  in West Dundee and Blu Rain Yoga in Antioch too)

Because we are in transition dinners will have some yellow foods to nourish the spleen energy (the spirit of transition) some warm foods since its technically still winter and some green and lighter foods of traditional spring.

What are you in the mood for, for dinner?

Crock pot spaghetti squash and meat balls (first time giving this recipe a go but I love the concept)

Almond crusted salmon with garlic mustard aoli on a bed of lemony creamed spinach (look for a recipe this week)

Pork Chops (they were on sale at the farmer’s market, I’ll be cooking them and serving them alongside some asparagus and mashed cauliflower)

Skillet Gnocchi with white beans and chard (one of my favorite dinners!)

Homemade Rueben sandwiches

What’s For Dinner Week 5

Am I the only one walking around in redundant awe of how warm and sunny it is in the middle of February?! Wow, its seriously blowing my mind in the best way. In tribute to this spring like weather I’ve included some springy dinners for this week balanced with some slow cooked shredded chicken burritos and pulled pork sandwiches. Enjoy that sunshine!

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What’s for dinner this week?

Pulled Pork Sandwiches with shredded cabbage

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Fish Tacos with Mango Kiwi Salsa

Chicken Burritos with Cilantro Lime Rice

lasagna

Spinach Artichoke Lasagna

 

 

 

“Healthy” Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you are looking for a treat but trying to limit white sugar this is a pretty nice good compromise. 🙂 I love baking cookies probably to eat the cookie dough. Its hard to stop sneaking tastes once I start. What I found with this recipe is that I could take or leave it. The cookies left me satisfied and I didn’t end up with a stomach ache from cookie dough/cookie overload. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. 🙂

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What you need:

10 dates (soaked for 1 hour)

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup honey, local if possible

1 egg

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1.5 cup flour

1/2 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup chocolate chips

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. Cream butter and dates in food processor.
  3. Put mixture into mixing bowl and mix honey and egg with butter and dates.
  4. Add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Bake at 375 for 9-11 minutes

Makes appx 2 dozen cookies

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Enjoy!

What’s for Dinner Week 4

Have you ever woken up from a deep sleep and felt fuzzy or disoriented? That’s almost how the weather feels lately, doesn’t it? Some days the sun is shining and its warm and feels like spring and then the gloom and chill settles back in. It is almost like mother nature can’t decide, hit the snooze or go to the gym. This is the transition time from winter to spring. It takes awhile to wake back up and sometimes it might even feel like we are still dreaming.

In Chinese Medicine transition times are when the spleen/stomach system are most active. You can think of this as the core of our bodies, the center. Foods that are bland or mildly sweet (like wheat and sweet potatoes), and yellow and orange foods deeply nourish the spleen/stomach and digestion and help keep us grounded in times of transition.

I’ve included recipes this week for my family to help nourish the spleen system. Check back for a new chocolate chip recipe I’ve been playing with later this week too.

coconutsoup

Coconut Lime Butternut Squash Soup

Yellow Curry Chicken and Vegetables (basically crock pot chicken in trader joe’s curry with broccoli and peas over rice) 🙂

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

Corned beef and cabbage

homemade pizza

 

What are you cooking up this week?

 

What’s For Dinner Week 3

I wasn’t going to post our meal plan for the week because quite frankly it felt at first glance full of super convenience  foods, which we typically don’t eat and doesn’t feel like I’m promoting health. But then I started to think about how easy it is to “appear” a certain way not just on the internets but in life also. This is life and balance is not static. We can’t always be building or tearing down we need a little of both. Rest is as important as movement. In order for anything to be sustainable it has to be fluid in my opinion not always perfect or the exact same. I’m learning this a lot right. So this is me giving you permission (if you need it) to take a break if you need one and don’t for one second feel bad about it! Also, as I revisited the list for the week the biggest convenience to most of these meals is that they don’t involve a whole lot of prep just more time cooking which is how we are supposed to be  eating in the winter any way! That ground hog said 6 more weeks of winter so hang on and enjoy that sun while its shining (or maybe go take a nap)!

Dinners

Chicken Quesadillas (premade from Costco)

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Beef Brisket (not sure yet what I’ll pair this with maybe some mashed potatoes and roasted Brussel sprouts)

Black Beans, Sausage and Rice (I will post a recipe of this sometime this week because its so good and I’ve never not been able to get a kid to not only eat this but ask for seconds, bonus you just dump everything in a crock pot)

Kale and White bean soup (this is super yummy, I’ve made it with both ground beef and chorizo so if you’re not a big fan of sausage you can skip it or add something else)

Leftovers

What’s for Dinner Week 2

Hey there, I was hoping to post these on Sundays in preparation for the week but got side tracked when we decided to paint a bedroom this weekend. It feels like a brand new house around here, amazing what a coat of paint will do. After 7 years we’ve finally made our mark on every room in our home.

Anyways, I was able to run out and grocery shop (with 2 kids in tow) yesterday. The marinated chicken from last week turned out to be a whole chicken, we shredded it and sautĂ©ed some shredded Brussel sprouts with a little lemon and parmesan added a avocado and made tacos last night that we shared with my mom. They were better than expected. I’m making stock with the bones today. We are heading in to Febuary which is a transitional time as we prepare for spring. I’m a ground hog baby so its especially fun to see what that ground hog says every year. I know spring is coming because my children aren’t hibernating like they were in November and December. The sun is even out today! So with that in mind this week reflects some of the changing of the guard so to speak even if right now it is just ever so subtle. There is a lot going on in the world. Sometimes its hard to know what to do. I challenge you to share a meal this week with someone, maybe an old friend, a lonely neighbor or even just turning the TV off and the cell phone down and being fully present for the meal with whoever you’re sharing it with.

Taco Soup  <— currently in the crock pot

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Chicken Stir Fry

Roasted Garlic Soup (new recipe I’ve been meaning to try for years!) that I’m pairing with butternut squash and feta savory muffins (also a new recipe)

Cheater meal: Frozen Indian

We have plans to be out a few nights this week and the meals we are making will make bountiful leftovers so that’s it folks. I’ll post some recipe adaptations throughout the week on the blog and pictures on Instagram/facebook.

Stay warm and healthy!

Creamy meatballs with spaghetti squash

I usually make my meatballs from scratch but I have half a bag of Costco meatballs left over from Christmas that need using and the creamy meatballs recipe was on the label and it caught my attention. I’ll high light what foods especially help nourish the kidney energy of winter. What I also like about this recipe is that you can add a few things to just about any recipe to give it a nutritional boost like spaghetti squash instead of pasta for example and fresh spinach and mushrooms instead of frozen or canned. The method of slow cooking and the richness of this dish is what makes it so good for winter. The spinach and artichokes ease the body’s natural ability to digest and cleanse after a rich meal.

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What you need:

1 bag of spinach

can or box of cream of mushroom soup

2 cups of water

2 cups ricotta cheese

1 Tblsp balsamic vinegar (don’t tell my husband he thinks he doesn’t like it)

18 meatballs

sliced mushrooms

artichoke hearts (I used frozen because I had them, they aren’t on original recipe)

1 tsp red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

parmesan cheese for garnish

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What to do:

Poke holes with a fork all around spaghettis squash and roast at 450 for 35-40 minutes or until soft.

In the meantime combine cheese, vinegar, soup, artichokes and mushrooms in pot and turn heat on low. Stir occasionally to combine. Add meatballs and cook until heated through. Rough chop spinach or chop in food processor and add 5-10 minutes before serving, stir well.

When squash is cooked, cut in half and deseed. Use a fork to fluff out the spaghetti squash and season lightly with salt and pepper. Pour cream sauce and meatballs over spaghetti and Enjoy!

 

What’s For Dinner?

Arg! Does panic arise for anyone else when you hear these words uttered? I know I do.

A few years ago we started making a weekly menu and only shopping for what we needed instead of buying odds and ends and making multiple trips to the store and always feeling like we didn’t have what we wanted/needed. It helped me become a pretty good cook, freed up some time and saved us some $$ and reduced some food wasting.

Because what we eat changes each season I thought it would be fun to share our weekly menus. I’m sure not everyone will like every recipe but most of them are kid and budget friendly and are geared towards supporting health in the season we are in. So if you’ve attended a winter yogapuncture class or are curious about how to be more in harmony with the season here is what is cooking in my kitchen.

I’ll share pictures on facebook and Instagram if you’d like to follow and post the recipes that aren’t already floating around on the blog.

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I had the rare opportunity to get to the grocery store on a Sunday instead of during the week and all by myself. What a treat! It felt so good to fill my cart with lots of nourishing food. Whole food makes me feel better even before I eat it. I grabbed a frozen orange chicken for dinner tonight and cooked up some quinoa in beef broth with sautéed broccoli and bok choy with some sliced avocado on top. Quick easy and a balance between naughty and nice.

Here it is, the weekly menu (in no particular order):

lentilbowl

Green Lentil Nourish Bowl

stew

Lentil Stew (Add a 1/2 cup of orzo to the soup to make it a hearty meal)

Rainbow Meatloaf

Marinated, roasted chicken with Brussel sprouts and rice (first try)

Spaghetti squash with meatballs in a cream sauce (first try)

So, I have to ask, what did you have for dinner? 😉

Winter is NOT the time to lose weight

My husband was all set to invest in some reset program. Its that time of year, a few holidays of rich foods and a tighter waist band and we find this need to look for something outside of ourselves to look or feel a certain way. Maybe the problem isn’t us, maybe the problem is marketing.

We started talking about a better plan, instead of investing $200 into powders and bars that sounded a lot like torture (to me) into whole food, real food, the kind of food  that doesn’t last very long because its alive. I started thinking about Laura Ingalls. What would they be eating right now in the dead of winter? Vegetables that could be stored, squashes, potatoes, beans, apples and wild game that could be hunted. Winter is comfort food season. Quite honestly this is not the time to lose weight, its the time to hold on for warmth! The best we can do right now is to stay away from sugar and eat warm, slow cooked, from scratch foods. We decided to add the kind of foods into our lives that we wanted to be eating and allow the ones we want to avoid like christmas cookies to naturally fall away from our palate. There’s only so much you can eat in a day and by focusing on more plant based foods like vegetables our bodies are nourished and will be less likely to be searching for sugar fixes. I looked all over for smoothie recipes that felt balanced enough for the cold weather and everything I looked at felt too much like summer. So my plan is to make up some sipping vegetable stock and chicken stock when I’m craving a cup of tea in the afternoon to drink instead. I’ll share the recipe once I’ve gotten it down.

If you want to understand how acupuncture helps with weight loss I wrote a series awhile back if you want to take a look, just wait to use the principles until the spring when its what your body is looking to do. 😉

Acupuncture for Weight Loss Part 1

Acupuncture for Weight Loss Part 2

Acupuncture for Weight Loss Part 3

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Check back for winter recipes and join me for the next Yogapuncture for Winter if you want to learn more about connecting to the seasons. Our lunch today was inspired by this complete nourishing winter bowl, I added some green curry it was warm and delicious devoid of deprivation of any kind.

 

1 Pot Three Bean Green Chili

This is a good recipe about balance. Its a hearty meal with lots of health benefits that I like to pair with tortilla chips and sour cream and shredded cheese. The warming nature of the chili itself along with the spices helps to counteract the cooling nature of the sour cream and shredded cheese. Because life is too short to skip the sour cream. 😉 Its also a quick and easy meal, 30 minutes or less to make. I’ve bolded the ingredients that especially benefit the kidney energy of winter.

  
What you need:

  • small onion
  • 1lb ground beef (preferably grassfed)
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can white kidney beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 2 12 oz jars of salsa verde
  • sea salt (I use pink himalayan salt)
  • black pepper
  • cumin
  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream (or greek yogurt)
  • cilantro and avocado for garnish
  • tortilla chips
  1. In a stock pot brown meat and onions, season with salt, pepper, cumin. I eyeball this maybe a tsp each of salt and cumin and 1/2 tsp of pepper. Drain excess liquid.
  2. Add pepper, corn, beans and salsa. Simmer on low for 15 minutes.
  3. Pour into bowls and top with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, avocado and cilantro. Enjoy with tortillas as a side or crumble into chili.

Enjoy!