Friday, January 02, 2015

baby, it's cold outside

Can you get it up for salad when it's 28 degrees? (Or in Drea's case, minus 100 up there in the Canadian frostbite belt?) 

Winter in the Northern Hemisphere is a huge deterrent to snacking on crudités. I want hot toddies. Steaming lasagna dripping in melted cheese. Stew! Garlic bread! Pot pie.

What to do? Well, for starters, eat hot, white plant-based food. That's right! Hot. White. Food.

Apparently, there's lots of inflammation-fighting flavonoids in nuts,  and vitamins C, B and quercetin in white veggies. (Can you hear the tune in my head? Bowie's Wedding Song?) As far as the hot part, there's the psychological satiety factor with a hot meal. It has the illusion of sticking to your ribs more than say, radishes dipped in nonfat yogurt.

The other thing about cooking a big old hot meal is: leftovers. Cook big, then put leftovers in small, reheatable containers for the days to come. Less work - and it gives you the opportunity to reimagine the food in different settings. Just like writing! Same character, new scene. For instance, I always cook a whopping big salmon when it's on the menu for dinner. (I broil mine, with minimal marinade.) Next day, I put it on my toast at breakfast, then fling it into my salad or warmed veggies for lunch.

I made this omelette for the fam yesterday, and it mostly got eaten up (there's still a sliver left - I may sneak it into something later). Actually, it was a frittata, not an omelette, because it was puffier and broiled at the end. Here's the recipe - try it tomorrow with breakfast:

half an onion, chopped
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup diced cauliflower
3 ounces feta cheese
6 eggs
1 Tbsp curry spice (good for blood pressure)
1 Tbsp olive oil

  • Preheat broiler
  • Heat oil in cast iron skillet and sauté onions and mushrooms. 
  • Add cauliflower and sauté until almost brown
  • add in the beaten eggs and cook until almost done
  • sprinkle in feta and spice, then transfer the entire skillet to oven
  • Keep an eye on the sucker (I left mine in about 30 seconds too long because I'm a multi-tasker)

4 servings

Combine with fresh fruit and a dollop of yogurt (I'm a little embarrassed by the presentation of the food in the above photo. I'll work on styling my shoots better in the future.)

Yesterday's dinner tofu reheated and mixed with a handful of chopped peppers, cashews, garlic and tomato. Serve over leftover rice or roasted potatoes

Roast salmon (make a whole fillet if you can, then save some for breakfast/lunch tomorrow)
steamed spinach or a hearty dinner salad

Did you box up your Christmas cookies and green-foiled Hershey's Kisses yet? Tell me some stories!


  1. Anonymous7:17 AM

    Yesterday for lunch I had leftover black-eyed peas and cornbread. I'd made a big pot with sauteed collard greens (cooked with caramelized onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, rice vinegar, agave, golden raisins and pepitas), but all of those were gone so I just threw down a handful of raw spinach and let the beans wilt them.

    Tonight we're having lentils braised in red wine, a crowd favorite. Will report back...

    1. Oh, recipe for the wine-lentils please! Plus, the Southern Cooking. Yowza!

    2. Anonymous6:51 AM

      The blog-bots are out to get me, swear to god. I typed up this recipe and clicked 'publish' and...hey presto! all disappears.

      Anyway, you just saute some diced carrot, onion, celery and garlic. Add a spoonful of tomato paste and a spoonful of mustard, then about 3/4 cup parboiled French lentils, 1 1/2 cup red wine and an equal amount of water. I usually throw in a bay leaf and some thyme, salt and pepper as you go along obviously. When it's done (40 or so minutes), add a bit of walnut oil or a pat of butter, then serve over a handful of fresh spinach on garlic toast.

      Nom nom nom...

    3. That blog disappearing happened to me, too - in other blogger blogs - I realized that when I wasn't signed into my own blog (like right now, below this post, it has to say "reply as suzy vitello" ) whatever I'm typing into any blogger blog goes bye-bye when I press publish. A glitch!

      Your recipe sounds fabulous. I'm putting it on next week's list. walnut oil! Double yum!


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