We were told winter would come, and that the seventy degree weather would leave and there would be actual s'mores and jackets and laughter and if we were *really lucky* maybe even frozen rain and sleet on Christmas Day. But we were lied to. Instead it's been months of temperature fluctuations between 50 and 80 degrees and everything is simultaneously dead and alive (#same) and there are berries at the farmers market side by side with cauliflower and honestly it's probably the end of the world. It's fine though, we're used to missing out on the real seasons most of the country gets to experience, in exchange for year-round 80% humidity and that amazing feeling of sweating through your crisply-ironed shirt* at 9 a.m.
*we don't actually have an iron - because we are sloths - but you get the point.
Anyhow, we're all about pretending to be on the same seasonal page as the rest of the country, so let's get to our favorite end of winter recipes.
Brussels sprouts. Arguably our favorite bite-sized vegetable other than caramel corn, these little dudes are pretty much only around during the late fall and winter months. Current favorite way to enjoy them? Shaved raw as a salad. It's maybe not the most cozy way to enjoy them, but it does mean the massive heat box in our kitchen doesn't need to come on and ruin our already-sweltering February day. AND, raw Brussels sprouts are so damn good and refreshing and nutty and kinda sweet. They're getting mixed with Parmesan and pomegranate and a little vinaigrette in this salad and we're recommending you serve it as a precursor or side dish to a heavy meal, as the bright flavors and fiber makes for a great palate cleanser to anything meaty or fatty.
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
- 4 cups raw shaved Brussels sprouts (shaved using a mandolin)
- 1⁄2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1⁄2 cup pomegranate arils
- 1⁄3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper to taste
- In your serving bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, honey, and vinegar. Toss in your shaved sprouts and arils and toss to coat in the dressing.
- Mix in salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Sprinkle the cheese on top and serve.
Cauliflower. It looks like a big white brain kinda, huh? That's a totally unrelated side thought. Lately, we've been going real simple with it by first giving it an olive oil spa treatment and then a long tanning session in the oven until it's somewhere between Tan Mom and burnt. At that point, it's soft on the inside with crispy edges and an amazing earthy flavor. While it's in the oven, we'll either whip up some feta or goat cheese for dipping OR - make our favorite tofu Buffalo dip. Some of y'all just cringed at that last part, so feel free to go back to thinking about whipped feta cheese and ignore the rest of the recipe we've included below, which honestly would be a huge mistake because this sauce is D-O-P-E
Roasted Cauliflower with Buffalo Tofu Dipping Sauce
serves 2 - 3
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 oz silken tofu
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup mild hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 - 2 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt + pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet (with a lip, to avoid oil dripping off the sides) with parchment paper.
- Cut out and discard the stalk of the cauliflower and use a paring knife to slice the dang thing into bite-sized pieces. Add to a mixing bowl with the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to combine and transfer to the baking sheet. Roast for 25 - 30 minutes, stirring once, until golden brown and tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly before serving.
- While the cauliflower is in the oven, combine remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Lower heat to medium and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Taste to see if you want to add more hot sauce or sweetener, make your adjustments if necessary, and then remove from the saucepan and place into a mixing bowl to cool. Transfer to a small bowl for dipping and serve alongside the cauliflower.
- Remaining buffalo sauce can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week, and makes a great base for marinades and salad dressings.
If you live in the South like we do, you've probably noticed dark leafy greens like kale and collards and wild spinach having a real moment at the farmers market. Typically fall and late winter/early spring are a real good time for these greens. They're so so so healthy, which is why our favorite way to enjoy them is with as much cheese and butter as possible. Duh. One new favorite way of getting our greens and cheese in is by baking greens into mac and cheese. This maybe seems obvious but when we came across the inspiration for this recipe on Food.com we were totally caught off guard. To keep it relatively healthy, we've made our variation gluten free and vegan - but there's also the "normal" dairy and gluten alternatives below! There's a little horseradish for added zing, a creamy cheese situation, and the bitter sweet flavor of fresh greens.
Leafy Green Mac + Cheese
serve 6 - 8
- 2 cups quinoa macaroni pasta, cooked (or standard macaroni)
- 1 lb leafy greens (spinach, kale, or collards) chopped and lightly sautéed in a few teaspoons olive oil
- 2 cups hot unsweetened almond milk or whole milk
- 1⁄4 cup gluten free flour blend or all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 cup coconut oil or butter
- 2 tablespoons horseradish
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 cup vegan Daiya shredded cheddar cheese or 2 cups shredded white cheddar
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (omit if using standard cheese)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425. Lightly grease a 9x13" casserole dish with a touch of oil.
- In medium pot, over medium heat, melt the coconut oil or butter.
- Add the flour to the butter and whisk for about three minutes, making sure the flour/butter mix doesn't begin to burn. Pour in the hot almond milk or whole and cook until thickened.
- Add the greens, half of the cheese, seasonings, horseradish, mustard, and nutritional yeast if using. Stir well.
- Fold in the pasta to combine, and pour the entire thing out into your prepared casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until bubbling and golden brown on top.
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Brussels + Leafy Greens Photos / Recipes for Food.com