Tag: Winter

Winter Date-Night Dinner Ideas | Naturally.

Roasted Radish Salad with Butter-Thyme Dressing | Naturally Ella

In the grand scheme of weeks, my husband and I don’t get out very much. We work, we hang out with our son, we repeat. However, our times after our son goes to bed are ones we cherish. It’s the time we unwind. The time we connect with each other about our day. That time is extremely special.

While most nights we eat dinner as a family, some nights I reserve for a ‘date night’. We spend our unwinding around the table, enjoying a meal that’s a bit more involved than our normal dinners. Most of the time I prep ahead and finish while my husband is working his way through bedtime routine. This way, when he’s done, we’re ready to eat.

Think of these ideas as more of a starting place. I just worked my way through the archives and picked out the recipes I most enjoy. Everything has a main, a side vegetable, a salad, and dessert. Every meal is loaded with vegetables and I’m relying on my friends to bring the dessert (because we all have to play to our strengths!)

Berbere Chickpeas and Chard with Farro | Naturally Ella

No 1. The Unusual Flavors Date-Night Dinner.

I’m leading with this set, primarily because it uses some bolder flavors and some less-common produce. I love the spice level with the berbere seasoning and the balance of the tender turnips. Plus, I know people are often looking for more recipes with chard and turnips. Best of all, you could easily swap out the chard and just use turnip greens (a bit more on the bitter side but would work well with the flavor of the berbere!)

Pumpkin Paneer Curry | Naturally Ella

No 2. Curry, forever.

I feel like one of the ways I show a person I love them is by making fried cheese. Sometimes that fried cheese is used in tacos, other times, it’s curry. This pumpkin curry has a smooth, velvety sauce which I like to balance with a bit of heat from the chili roasted broccoli.

Lentil Broccoli Bites with Lemon Cream Sauce

No 3. A Variation ‘Meat’ and Potatoes.

My husband was never a ‘meat and potato’ kind of guy. However, I find that it’s hard to always escape my Midwestern food upbringing. These dishes are about as close as I get. Lentil bites smothered in a cream sauce provide the ‘meat’ while the romesco potato salad stands in for a more traditional mashed potato.

No 4. Vegan.

I think this might be one of my favorites. This vegan meal shows you don’t need to overload a veg meal with cheese. The risotto’s creaminess comes from a delicious walnut cream while the spicy cauliflower and avocado salad help balance the richness.

Kale Pasta with Sunflower Cream Sauce | Naturally Ella

No 5. Lemons, Winter’s friend

Winter in California is all about citrus. I love the sunflower cream sauce with the pasta. It’s bright, light, and vegan. Paired with a beautiful persimmon salad and a fun take on beets; it’s hard to go wrong. This meal is sure to put a smile on your face.

Spinach and Red Lentil Masala | @naturallyella

No 6. Flavor for all.

Finally, I like to come in with big flavor. Nearly everyone who makes the lentils find it becomes a staple. The flavor is amazing and it’s one of the more filling vegetarian mains. I like to balance this with a lot of vegetables. The green beans are a nice, easy side while the radish salad showcases this beautiful vegetable in a unique and fun way. Don’t miss the teff brownies either- they probably should have been dessert for every meal.


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The 2-Ingredient Face Scrub That Saved My Winter Skin

I publish a lot of few-ingredient recipes these days. Many are five, but some are even less, like these four-ingredient butter pecan cookies or three-ingredient croissant brittle. But this recipe is even less. It’s two.

Oh, and it’s actually a face scrub. A totally edible face scrub, but a face scrub all the same.

Let’s rewind to a few weeks ago. It was a cold, windy day and my skin was doing what it usually does on cold, windy days—becoming dry, rough, and peely. I was whining talking about this with my coworkers and, as per usual, we began bopping around the internet for DIY solutions.

That’s when we stumbled upon this—a homemade scrub made with brown sugar and honey. It’s best made with a raw, grainy honey, which I just happened to have a giant jar of.

So you can guess what I went home and did that night.

The scrub took, give or take, three seconds to assemble. The Kitchen McCabe instructs 1 tablespoon each, but I just eyeballed equal parts. You can do it over the sink, but I like the shower better (way easier to wash off). Simply splash your face with water, gently massage in the scrub—small, circular motions does the trick—then rinse.

It exfoliated away all the dry patches (begone!), leaving my face as soft as summertime. Unlike a salt scrub, which can be tough on sensitive skin like mine, the sugar-honey combo is a just-right coarseness.

And besides exfoliating, some more bopping around taught me that sugar is a humectant, which is a fancy way of saying: It encourages your skin to embrace moisture. Ever seen those Dr. Bronner’s sugar soaps? The labels similarly boast: “Did you know that organic sugar is one of the best things you can use on your skin? The reason is that sugar acts as a natural humectant, literally pulling moisture back into the skin.”

And, of course, if some of the scrub just so happens to get in your mouth while you’re washing—well, I’d bet a box of brown sugar that it’s the best-tasting face scrub in the world.

What are your DIY dry-skin remedies? Tell, tell in the comments!

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15 Inspiring Winter Citrus Recipes to Cook Right Now

Citrus season is tops as far as I’m concerned. Bright spots parading by in a spectrum of pink, yellow and orange at the market. Punctuation for dreary days. With that in mind, I thought I’d round up a selection of winter citrus recipes that have caught my attention recently. A reminder of all the different ways we can enjoy citrus season while it lasts. Enjoy the sunshine on your plate! -h

15 Inspiring Winter Citrus Recipes to Make Right Now

1. Clementine Fennel Potatoes – (Cocoa Bean The Vegetable) Three main ingredients, none of them exotic, but likely not a combination you’ve had before. Besides being a visual stunner, there’s a strong dose of citrus juice, which rounds out the flavor of the clementines.

15 Inspiring Winter Citrus Recipes to Make Right Now

2. Radicchio and Citrus Salad with Burrata – (Bon Appetit / L’Oursin ) Source some nice Castelfranco radicchio and burrata and the rest of this dish comes together quite easily.

15 Inspiring Winter Citrus Recipes to Make Right Now

3. Blood Orange Gin Sparkler – (101 Cookbooks) A great winter citrus cocktail, you can prepare it on the light side for an afternoon brunch.

15 Inspiring Winter Citrus Recipes to Make Right Now

4. Szechuan Miso Bok Choy Soup w/ Tangerine – (Will Frolic for Food) I’m going to guess you’ve never had bok choy with citrus before? The contrast between the tangerine and the (purple) bok choy is A+.

15 Inspiring Winter Citrus Recipes to Make Right Now

5. Two Ingredient Candied Citrus Pops – (101 Cookbooks) A favorite recipe of mine, because of its simplicity. Two ingredients and you end up with a treat that is like citrus jewelry.

15 Inspiring Winter Citrus Recipes to Make Right Now

6. Creamy Orange Coconut Smoothie – (Occasionally Eggs) My blender is on the counter most of the time during winter months, making smoothies. This is a good vegan combination that, along with oranges, features superfood hemp seeds.

15 Inspiring Winter Citrus Recipes to Make Right Now

7. Instant Pot Lemon Rice – (Piping Pot Curry) A South Indian take on spiced rice, this version combines a handful of spice with a hit of lemon juice that makes this a bright, colorful side dish requiring only 4 minutes of pressure cooking.

15 Inspiring Winter Citrus Recipes to Make Right Now

8. Honey Rosemary Grapefruit Soda – (Fork, Knife, Swoon) Grapefruit and rosemary is a wonderful flavor combination, this soda is sweetened with honey and can be enjoyed anytime grapefruit is available.

15 Inspiring Winter Citrus Recipes to Make Right Now

9. Immune Boosting Winter Citrus Smoothie – (Half-baked Harvest) Love the deep, rich colors of this smoothie – break out your clear glassware.

15 Inspiring Winter Citrus Recipes to Make Right Now

10. Carrot Orange Turmeric Smoothie – (What’s Cooking Good Looking) This smoothie uses an interesting combination of turmeric and orange for flavor with cashews for body and texture. If you are new to adding turmeric in your diet, this is a good way to get a daily dose.

15 Inspiring Winter Citrus Recipes to Make Right Now

11. Emma’s Tahini, Orange & Coconut Muesli – (My New Roots / Emma Galloway) Love Sarah’s version of Emma’s recipe, which is a unique blend of seeds, tahini(!) and the zest of two oranges for brightness. As many of you know, I’m a fan of a savory breakfast. 🙂

15 Inspiring Winter Citrus Recipes to Make Right Now

12. Red Cabbage Orange Salad – (Occasionally Eggs) Another eye-catching, color contrast recipe, with dijon mustard playing off the citrus.

15 Inspiring Winter Citrus Recipes to Make Right Now

13. Winter Citrus Roasted Beet Salad – (Roasted Root) This is the salad you want to eat for lunch every day for the month of January.

15 Inspiring Winter Citrus Recipes to Make Right Now

14. Instant Pot Lemon Marmalade – (Chatelaine) Three ingredients and your IP! This recipe is interesting because it uses the pressure cooking mode (for the lemons) and then finishes it with sugar in saute mode.

15 Inspiring Winter Citrus Recipes to Make Right Now

15. Broiled Grapefruit with Honey Yogurt – (Cookie + Kate) A classic. This recipe is pure simplicity – sprinkle sugar on a grapefruit and broil. 

15 Inspiring Winter Citrus Recipes to Make Right Now

Bonus! Vanilla Cardamom Chia Pudding + Honey Poached Clementines – (What’s Cooking Good Looking) If adding the superfood chia into your diet is a winter resolution, here’s a perfect recipe, which makes a luxe-looking breakfast (or even dessert!).

15 Inspiring Winter Citrus Recipes to Make Right Now

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Easy Pomegranate Syrup Takes Winter Cocktails to the Next Level

Welcome to Nifty, Gifty Holidays, our guide for all the little, magical ways we make the season sparkle. Today, we’re getting ready to ring in the New Year with a simple but special cocktail.

If you’re like me, you prefer to stay in on New Year’s Eve. In New York City especially, pricey restaurant menus and crowded bars are far less appealing than house parties or cozy get-togethers at home. But not going out can sometimes feel not really special. Over the years, I’ve landed on a few reliable ways to make any casual gathering (even just for two) still feel fun and celebratory. Really good snacks is one way—think deviled eggs, pigs in blankets, cheesy dips—but you probably could’ve guessed that. Games is another (a few faves: Catch Phrase, Joking Hazard, Codenames, Five Crowns, and charades, of course.) And a fancy drink is the last. Wine, beer, and straight liquor are solid bar standbys, but having a punch or a signature cocktail is a nice way to make any evening feel a little out of the ordinary. My go-to is usually a punch—it’s large format, so there’s very little to do after you make it, and an ice ring always impresses. But this year I’m going with something different—and you only need one ingredient to make it.

After seeing director of partner content Cory Baldwin’s brilliant boiled apple cider number back in October, it made me wonder if there was a way to create something similar for winter (not that boiled apple cider and whiskey wouldn’t work for winter too). Which got me to this beautiful, jammy pomegranate syrup.

Kind of like grenadine but not, this “recipe” isn’t much of a recipe at all—it’s just pomegranate juice. There’s no citrus peel or spices or added sugar. You just boil the juice down, down, down until it’s syrupy and go from there. It’s sweet and it’s tart and it would probably go just as well in a vinaigrette as it would in a cocktail.

This New Year’s Eve I’ll mix it with some Prosecco for a “Pom Fizz,” but I plan on keeping a jar of it in the fridge to shake up with bourbon or vodka, or to stir into some seltzer with a squeeze of lime.

What your go-to New Year’s Eve drink? Tell us in the comments!

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20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

A good brothy noodle soup is great anytime of year, but it’s particularly good in the middle of winter. And you have options! Between the broth, the type of noodles, and whatever else you put in the bowl, the possibilities are nearly endless. Below you’ll find a collection of A+ noodle soups to try. There are interpretations of classics like pho and ramen, alongside seasonal ideas, and unique seasoning approaches. Enjoy! – h

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

1. Winter Green Miso Noodle Soup – (101 Cookbooks) The noodle soup above is built on my green miso paste. Simply add water, whatever fresh noodles, and some winter greens, and you’re good. 

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

2. Pumpkin Miso Broth with Soba – (My New Roots) Perfect winter combination and colors. The combination of sesame seeds and sautéed shiitake mushrooms on top looks wonderful.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

3. One-Pot 5-Spice Chickpea Noodle Soup – (Will Frolic for Food) A hearty soup made with rotini. It highlights an array of five spices along with a combination of balsamic, apple cider vinegar, and yogurt to create a rich stew-y soup.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

4. Shiitake and Spinach Miso Soup – (A Beautiful Plate / Love and Lemons ) Originally from the beautiful Love and Lemons cookbook, this recipe will inspire you to source some perfect shiitake mushrooms. Two cups of spinach means you’ll get a healthy dose of greens.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

5. New Year Noodle Soup Recipe – (101 Cookbooks) This is an all-time favorite traditional Persian noodle soup. It features thin egg noodles, borlotti beans, herbs, turmeric, cumin, and all sorts of other ingredient magic.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

6. Chickpea Noodle Soup with Parsley and Lemon – (Occasionally Eggs) Chickpeas, carrots, cayenne and a squeeze of lemon make this a good candidate for cold season.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

7. Chickpea & Sweet Potato Noodle Soup – (My New Roots) This is one of those recipes that makes taking out the spiralizer worth it.  


20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

8. Kimchi and Buckwheat Noodle Egg drop soup – (Nyssa’s Kitchen) For kimchi fans. This one is for you. Kimchi + Egg drop soup – you know it is going to be good. 

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

9. Really Great Vegan Ramen – (101 Cookbooks) Here’s my take on a vegan ramen. Bonus – all the components are great on their own (if you have leftovers), and there are seasonal ideas, for year round ramen. 

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

10. Vegetarian Pho – (Happy Yolks / Green Kitchen Travels) An beautiful, inventive take on pho – bok choy, bean sprouts and basil with fennel.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

11. Bangkok Coconut Curry Noodle bowls – (Pinch of Yum) Love the mix of colors in this one. Based on rice noodles and a mix of veggies, swap out the fish sauce for one of the veg versions out there and this is a hearty, straight-forward weekday meal.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

12. Vegetarian Pho Noodle Soup – (Omnivore’s Cookbook) Here’s another pho, but a different technique is used to prep the ingredients. Deep smoky flavors are created by charring ginger and onions.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

13. Vegetarian Ramen with Garlic-Ginger Broth – (The Roasted Root) All the greens, four or five different shades(!) layered on top of rice noodles.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

14. Vegetarian Ramen Bowl with Spicy Brussels Sprouts – (Naturally Ella) A ramen bowl with a wild card – brussels sprouts roasted with sambal oelek.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

15. Vegan Ramen Spicy Noodles – (Love is in My Tummy) Time to get your kombu on.20 Super Noodle Soups

16. Chinese Vegetarian Noodle Soup (中式素汤面) – (Omnivore’s Cookbook) This veg noodle soup features tofu marinated in maple syrup, kale and an optional “detox vegetable broth.”

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

17. Mushroom and Spicy Tofu Udon Soup – (But First Plants) This is one you’ll want to try if you can find some good, fresh udon noodles. Sriracha and sesame seeds provide a flavor twist.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

18. Green Miso Soba Soup – (Fork Knife Swoon) This miso + soba combination uses a healthy dose of onion, ginger and garlic to provide a good clearing of the sinuses.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

19. Ginger Miso Udon Noodles with Five-Spice Tofu – (Healthy Nibbles and Bits ) Here’s another take on miso with ginger, but this time with udon. Ground coriander and a five-spice blend for the tofu offer unique flavors for a noodle soup.20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

20. Turmeric Miso Soup with Shiitakes, Turnips and Soba – (Lindsey Love) Here’s a soba soup that uses fresh turmeric, yellow miso and the surprise: turnips.

20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

21. Vegetable Miso Soup with Soba Noodles – (Marie Reginato) This is another miso soup recipe that creates a solid flavor base with kombu / kelp, so seek it out at the store (also easy to find online). Cabbage and sweet potato provide a winter veg base, but you could adapt this to different seasons.


20 Fantastic Noodle Soups to Cook this Winter

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Winter Green Miso Paste (and Ten Ways to Use It)

Let’s chat about shortcuts! Having a rainbow-colored lineup of homemade curry pastes in the freezer is one of my favorite, slightly cheaty culinary strategies. Tricked out miso pastes fall into this category as well. A few times a year, I take an hour or two, and make a range of favorite pastes. I freeze them in little snack-sized baggies, and stack them flat in the freezer enabling quick thaws for flash-quick weeknight curries, vibrant broths, and noodle bowls. Winter Green Miso Paste - and Ten Ways to Use It

A lot of you are familiar with this Lemongrass Turmeric Curry Paste (a long-time favorite), and today’s recipe is a beautiful rosemary spiked alternative. It’s a herbaceous, green miso paste with some garlic bite, rounded out with lots of scallions, cilantro, and ginger. The brothy noodle bowl pictured above is a winter green miso soup along with noodles, winter-miso roasted tofu cubes (notes below), with hemp seeds. Also, lots of chopped chives, and some leafy broccoli (cooked in the pasta water for the last minute). I’m also including ten other ways I like to use it – but, I’m sure you can think of more! 🙂

Ideas & Variations:

Winter Green Miso Soup: add a big(!) dollop of the miso paste to 4 – 6 cups of hot water (just shy of simmering), for an herby green miso soup. Season with more paste for more flavor, and take some time to salt to taste.

Winter Green Miso Guacamole: For a twist on guacamole, mash a dollop of the miso paste into a ripe avocado, along with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, and a pinch of salt.

Winter Miso Veggie Burger: Stir a big dollop into your favorite veggie burgers

Winter Green Miso Roasted Tofu: (Pictured here, on noodle bowl) Cut tofu into small cubes and toss with a generous amount of paste. Arrange on a baking sheet, and bake at 375F until tofu is golden.

Winter Green Miso Paste - and Ten Ways to Use It

Winter Green Miso Roasted Vegetables: Same idea as the tofu. Toss with some paste in a bowl, arrange on a baking sheet, roast at 375F until golden. I love this approach to chubby slices of delicata squash, broccoli florets, and cauliflower.

Winter Green Miso Vegetable Bowl: Make a broth using half water, half cashew milk, and a big dollop of miso paste. In a separate skillet, cook some sliced onions/shallots, add some favorite vegetables, and some tofu. Combine the cashew broth with the veggie mixture, and finish with a big squeeze of lime juice. Taste, and season with salt, and/or more winter miso paste.

Winter Miso Mashed Potatoes: You know this is good whisked into your best mashed potatoes, right?

Winter Miso Lettuce Wraps: Smear a bit on lettuce wraps, they really light up.

Winter Green Miso Paste - and Ten Ways to Use It

Winter Green Miso Ravioli/Dumpling Bowl: Make a quick miso soup using the paste. Cook your favorite raviolis or dumplings in a separate pot. Drain, transfer to individual bowls, ladle miso over, and finish with some fried, crispy shallots and/or toasted almonds.

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How to Build a Winter Cheese Plate – A Cozy Kitchen

I’m not trying to brag but I have been invited to two holiday parties already and we haven’t even entered the month of December. This is going to be a very fun season for me! I’m excited. 

My neighborhood is very into the holiday spirit; each and every single house on the block already has lights up. In order to fit in with the Jones’, we spent the weekend trying to get our lives together, i.e., getting rid of the squirrel-eaten pumpkins.

In preparation for this season, I wanted to put a mini guide together about Building a Winter Cheese Board! 

For this post, I teamed up with Roth Cheese. Their cheeses are so amazing and made in Wisconsin using fresh, local milk from dairy farmers right down the road. The flavors are delicious and rich. While I think they’re wonderful on a cheese board, I also think they’re perfect for grilled cheeses, too; their meltability is on point! They’d also work in a gratin or melted over vegetables.

Here are some pointers on creating a winter cheese board:

Pick Your Cheeses – I went with Grand Cru Havarti, Grand Cru Gouda, and Grand Cru Alpine-Style. I cubed up the Havarti and Gouda for easy consumption. I decided to leave the Alpine-Style in its wedge mainly for aesthetic reasons lol. The Havarti is mild and buttery. The Gouda creamy with a hint of sweetness. The Alpine-Style is nutty. I like for all of the cheeses to complement each other, while all being different to offer some contrast.

Dried Fruit – I went with dried crystallized mango and dried apricots. Other good options would be dried cranberries, dates, cherries or golden raisins. 

Nuts! – I chose Marcona almonds and caramelized pecans. Other lovely options would be pistachios, walnuts or regular pecans. 

Pick Your Carbohydrate Vehicle – I usually go with bread because it’s easy and always delicious but on this particular day I went with mini toasts and some fruit-studded crackers. I support butter crackers, a good loaf of bread and water crackers, as well.  

Fresh Fruit – I think fresh fruit is a nice alternative to bread. One of my favorite things is to get a piece of cheese with fresh fruit. That pairing in the same bite is delicious! For this board I went with sliced figs and sliced Comice pears. Apples or persimmons would also be lovely and very winter-y. 

Briny Things – I went with Castelvetrano olives this time around, but I also love cornichons, pickled artichokes, sweety drop peppers and peppadews.

Meats – If you’re vegetarian, obviously ignore this recommendation. I like to offer two different types: a thinly sliced prosciutto and a sliced salami. This gives guests some texture differences that’s kinda nice. 

Other fun additions – I love adding some form of jam like apricot or fig. I had some quince paste and some honeycomb, which always looks so gorgeous and sadly reminds me of My Girl the movie (the end ruined me forever). I also added some membrillo paste which is made from my favorite fruit on earth: quince. 

Decor – Non-edible garnishes are very controversial but I’m down for it. I am pro-non-edible garnishes. I do go with organic flowers as garnish just in case someone decides they want to eat a flower (I dunno). You can also add little ornaments or tinsel around the cutting board.

I say get creative! 

Let’s Talk About Arrangement– I’m far from a pro, but I kinda like everything close together. I think it’s ok to repeat ingredients. For instance, I have two groups of the same olives, two groups of dried apricots and two groups of prosciutto. I think it looks pretty! And it also offers a practicability factor. If two or three people are reaching for the board, they have options as to where they can grab for the ingredients.

The wave with the cracker is 100% optional but I do think it’s fun. Who doesn’t love a wave? 

Let me know if you have any tips of your own! 


(This post was sponsored by Roth Cheese. All the opinions expressed herein are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep A Cozy Kitchen cozy.)

Adrianna Adarme
Adrianna Adarme

A Cozy Kitchen is a blog written by Adrianna Adarme. Adrianna likes corgis, pancakes and cute things.

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A Vegetarian Holiday Meal Guide for Winter Meals

Vegetarian Holiday Meal | @naturallyella

There is nothing quite like holiday meals. Family, food, and conversation. However, it can be a extremely stressful trying to accommodate everyone’s dietary needs. Whether you’re going with a full plant-based meal or just hoping to get a dish or two to add to the table, this vegetarian holiday meal guide is here to help.

How to plan a vegetarian holiday meal

When thinking about the meal, I like to think about a few different elements including but not limited to:

Greenery: even though salad isn’t a traditional holiday dish, it’s become one for me. I find a fresh salad can balance all the rich food that often finds it’s way to the table. The salad doesn’t have to be overly complicated either! It could be a bit of greens, a sprinkle of nuts, and a nice dressing.

Beet Salad with Broiled Feta and Sesame Sunflower Seeds
Romesco Potato Arugula Salad
Kale Risotto with Feta
Sweet Potato Salad with Butter-Hazelnut Dressing

Protein: this is important. One of the things I find lacking in most vegetarian dishes at a non-vegetarian event is the concept of protein. For meat-eaters, it’s easy but for vegetarians, it’s not always obvious. Bulk up on beans, don’t shy away from nuts/seeds, and remember even some grains, like quinoa, carry a nice bit of protein.

White Bean Masala Smothered Sweet Potatoes
Radicchio Salad with Lentils and Roasted Acorn Squash
Stuffed Delicata with Chimichurri Black Beans

Richness Balance: Going back to the idea of adding salad to the table, not everything has to be overloaded with cheese, butter, and cream. The beauty of a vegetarian holiday meal is that the vegetables can really shine.

Easy to include vegan/GF

When planning for a vegetarian holiday meal, you might need to include some vegan or gluten-free options. This shouldn’t be a huge deal! Most of the vegetarian dishes I’m listing in this post have vegan/gluten-free alternatives.

Most vegetarian-friendly dishes can make the leap to vegan with a few simple swaps. And as for gluten-free, it’s often a matter of switching grains and using a solid 1:1 gluten-free flour. I find if I’m trying to accommodate different people’s dietary needs, I go with something that is gluten-free/vegan.

A few favorite gluten-free/vegan recipes:

Harissa Roasted Carrots with White Beans
Bean Bake with Greens and Turnips
Quinoa and White Bean Risotto with Brassicas

Overhead shot of cauliflower on a sheet tray, tossed and roasted with mole sauce.

Going Non-Traditional

I think one of the biggest challenges with holiday meals is convincing family that it’s okay to switch things up! If your family has their favorites, try just adding one or two new dishes into the mix. We definitely keep the green bean casserole around but add in a couple dishes of roasted vegetables and salads. This way, everyone is happy!

You don’t need to overhaul all of the holiday dinner. Strike a balance between traditions and new ideas. If something doesn’t work out, that’s okay!

A few of my favorite non-traditional adds to the table include:

Roasted Mole Cauliflower with Chickpeas
Grilled Pear Halloumi Salad
Red Kuri Squash Curry with Chard
Potato Green Curry


Main Course

It can be all about the sides

Just go for it!

Whether you’re looking to completely overhaul your meal or just add a couple veg-friendly dishes in, just remember it doesn’t have to be hard. Keep it simple. Lead with produce. And don’t be afraid to add a new tradition into the mix!

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17 Delicata Squash Recipes to Get you Through Winter

You ready? This is the time of year to start rolling out your best delicata squash recipes. If you’re a long-time reader, you know how much I love this scalloped varietal. Partly because it’s delicious, but also because it’s a breeze to prepare. Not only can you eat the flesh, you can also go for the peel, and it’s arguably the best part. You know where it gets golden and deeply toasted at the edges? Yeah, that’s hard to beat. Here are seventeen delicata squash recipes to inspire, and get you through the cold months. Enjoy!

17 Delicata Squash Recipes to Get you Through Winter

1. Parmesan Crusted Delicata Squash (Skinnytaste) Love this. If you’re looking for an easy way to elevate straight delicata, simply cover with this parmesan mixture and bake.

17 Delicata Squash Recipes to Get you Through Winter

2. Whole Wheat Pasta with Walnut-Sage Pesto and Roasted Delicata Squash (A Beautiful Plate)  This recipe is a good example of using delicata squash as part of a main, a great weeknight pasta dish.

17 Delicata Squash Recipes to Get you Through Winter

3. Roasted Delicata Squash with Apples & Sage Recipe (Love and Lemons)  Here’s a classic, beautiful fall main, adding apples, sage and pepitas, with a mustardy vinegar dressing to top it off.

17 Delicata Squash Recipes to Get you Through Winter

4. Wild Rice and Kale Stuffed Delicata Squash (Delish Knowledge) Most of the recipes in this round-up have the delicata cut into half-moons, but if you are looking for a special occasion presentation, stuffed squash never fails to impress. 

17 Delicata Squash Recipes to Get you Through Winter

5. Creamy Delicata Squash Pasta With Crispy Sage (the Feed Feed) When it’s the middle of winter, the days are very short and comfort food is in order, this recipe looks perfect.

17 Delicata Squash Recipes to Get you Through Winter

6. Roasted Delicata Squash Tian (Hungry Hobby)  This recipe brings the visual drama. Get out your sharpest knife, your fav prep soundtrack, and give it a go.

Delicata Squash Inspiration for this Winter

7. Sesame-roasted, Maple Chipotle Delicata Squash (Viktoria’s Table)  Another visual stunner, this is a combination I’ve never tried that gets a lot of credit for originality.

17 Delicata Squash Recipes to Get you Through Winter

8. Delicata, Pomegranate and Arugula Salad (Cookie and Kate)   This is a beautiful, dreamy combination of zesty arugula, creamy delicata squash and tangy-sweet pomegranate.

Delicata Squash Inspiration for this Winter

8. Delicata Squash Agrodolce Recipe (PureWow / Athena Calderone)   A recipe originally from Athena Calderone’s stunner of a book Cook Beautiful. Delicious and reasonably easy to prepare.

17 Delicata Squash Recipes to Get you Through Winter

9. Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Warm Pickled Onion Dressing (Healthy Seasonal Recipes)   A bold flavor combination that I’ve never tried before, this looks like a recipe that could be a make-ahead lunch option.

Delicata Squash Inspiration for this Winter

10. Roasted Delicata Squash with Chilies, Lime & Cilantro (Alexandra Cooks)   This is a fresh mixture of things I love, I can imagine a version that increases the quantity of cilantro to make a full-on salad.

17 Delicata Squash Recipes to Get you Through Winter

11. Twice Baked Delicata Squash + Crispy Za’atar Roasted Chickpeas  (What’s cooking good looking)  Za’atar, chickpeas and delicata is a wickedly smart combination of elements I love in a recipe.

Delicata Squash Inspiration for this Winter

12. Delicata Squash Tacos with Black Beans (Naturally Ella)   I’m surprised there aren’t more delicata tacos on menus, but this is a great option for lunch or a weeknight meal.

17 Delicata Squash Recipes to Get you Through Winter

13. Roasted Delicata Squash Salad (101 Cookbooks)  Here’s a classic from the archives, combining a few favorite things, miso and harissa. If you’ve never cooked with delicate, start here.

17 Delicata Squash Recipes to Get you Through Winter

14. Miso Sesame Winter Squash Recipe (101 Cookbooks)  Miso, tamari and maple syrup create a lovely flavor combination for this delicata dish.

17 Delicata Squash Recipes to Get you Through Winter

15. Roasted Vegetable Orzo Recipe  (101 Cookbooks)   Here’s a quick dish that would make a great make-ahead lunch.

17 Delicata Squash Recipes to Get you Through Winter

16. Green Curry Porridge Recipe (101 Cookbooks)   Pan-toasted brown rice, spicy herb-packed green coconut broth, punctuated with delicata and lots of green onions.

History of Delicata Squash

Delicata squash is one of my favorite seasonal vegetables. The name describes it well, the skin is delicate and regardless of being baked, fried or steamed, does not have to be removed to be eaten. Delicata is native to the Americas, but despite that long history, it apparently fell out of favor in the 1930s due to lack of availability due to crop disease. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that a disease-resistant varietal became popular and today it’s again relatively easy to find.

Basic Preparation of Delicata Squash

Besides being delicious, delicata is easy to prepare. Cut lengthwise, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds, slice in 1/4-inch half moons. Toss with some oil and salt and pepper, put on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until brown. Beyond that most basic method, the following recipes should provide enough inspiration to experiment beyond the basic!

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