On Our Plates: January

January is a time for new beginnings. While resolutions to eat cleaner and consume more veggies abound, the local eating scene often seems sparse this time of year.

We live in upstate New York where the average temperature in January is a chilly 31 degrees F. Despite this, we have dedicated farmers who know how to store, grow, and harvest produce despite the sub-freezing temperatures. And for that, we are incredibly grateful. Every week, we pick up our winter CSA box filled with roots and greens and possibility (thank you Full Plate Farm Collective)!

I wanted to share some recipes inspired by the season and local produce that we’ve been making and loving this month. Some of the recipes are mine, many are not, but they are all scrumptious! You’ll see we’ve been using our slow cooker and Instant Pot a lot this month (yes I use both of them).

Here are 10 recipes we’ve been enjoying this month. I sure hope you’ll give some of them a try as well:

Plant-Based Main Dishes

  • Kale and Quinoa Minestrone– this is a naturally gluten free and vegan recipe loaded with veggies and delicious plant-based goodness- since it’s winter and celery and zucchini just aren’t in season, I usually swap them out for other veggies like sweet potatoes, kohlrabi, turnips, or whatever else I have in our produce drawer from our winter CSA- either cook this before dinner or toss all the ingredients except the greens and beans in the slow cooker and cook on low for about 8 hours and it will be ready for a no-fuss dinner (recipe: http://www.cookingclassy.com/kale-quinoa-minestrone-vegan-gluten-free/) width=
  • Harvest Vegetable Stew– this is another versatile winter recipe loaded with flavor- use what you have and what’s in season- swap out the delicata squash for acorn squash, sweet potatoes, or whatever you have (recipe: https://www.erinharner.com/whole-food-recipes/harvest-vegetable-stew/)
  • Turkey Chili with Kale– whether you want to put this in the slow cooker to simmer away all day or throw it together to be on the table in about 30 minutes, this recipe is a winner with kids and adults alike (recipe: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-easy-turkey-chili-with-kale-recipes-from-the-kitchn-75630)
  • Butternut Squash Apple Soup– this recipe is delicious and also very versatile, this time of year I usually add carrots, skip the celery, and swap the butternut squash with acorn squash, pumpkin, or canned/frozen pumpkin since it’s what I have- serve it with roasted chicken or another protein to make a complete meal (recipe: https://www.erinharner.com/whole-food-recipes/butternut-squash-apple-soup/)
  • Slow Cooker Lentil Curry– this recipe is super easy to put together in the slow cooker and the wait is worth it as the simmering lentils fill your house with an incredible aroma- serve over basmati rice (preferably brown) and some sauteed greens or frozen peas or green beans (recipe: http://theprettybee.com/2015/09/slow-cooker-lentil-curry.html)


Healthy-er Desserts

  • Strawberry Dream Chia Pudding– this is a year-roun width=d favorite in our house but we picked a LOT of blueberries last summer and have been pulling out combos of blueberries, cherries, and strawberries to make this delicious no-cook pudding- taste a little sunshine from the freezer to get through those cold and gray days with this yummy recipe (recipe: https://www.erinharner.com/whole-food-recipes/strawberry-dream-chia-pudding/)
  • Vanilla Coconut Tapioca Pudding– we’ve been loving puddings lately and this is a new favorite- it’s delicious, simple the make, and is incredibly satisfying- try making a batch and pouring them into quarter pint jars (half cup) to eat as a snack or take with you to work- instead of using light coconut milk, I usually make it with one can of full-fat coconut milk and one can of water (recipe: http://www.frieddandelions.com/coconut-tapioca-pudding/)
  • Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies– another year-round favorite, we often keep these tasty morsels in the freezer and enjoy pulling them out on occasion to nibble on- the original recipe calls for agave but I make them with maple syrup most of the time these days (recipe: https://www.erinharner.com/whole-food-recipes/almond-chocolate-chip-cookies/)

Try some of these? Leave a comment below! Can’t wait to hear what you think, Erin

Erin Harner

Erin Harner is an Integrative Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), author, and speaker based in Ithaca, NY. Erin melds functional medicine and culinary nutrition to help her clients uncover their unique diet and confidently cook healthy nourishing meals that meet the needs of their whole family. Learn about Erin's services and connect on Instagram.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *