Cooking feeds your body, mind, and soul. It allows you to control the food you put into your body, connect with your family and friends over a home cooked meal, and save the money you might otherwise spend in restaurants or on processed, prepackaged foods. Believe it or not, making simple and satisfying meals from scratch doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some of my favorite easy, healthy recipes. You’ll find that eating well can also be delicious!
Maple Crunch Granola | Kale with Sauteed Apple and Onion | Curried Winter Squash and Chicken Stew | Beets and Carmelized Onions with Feta | Home Made Apple Sauce
Maple Crunch Granola
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 Tbsp. coconut oil (or canola)
1 Tbsp. water
Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 275 degrees. Coat a 9” x 13” metal pan with cooking spray, then set aside. Mix oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, salt, coconut and cinnamon in a bowl. Bring syrup, oil, and water to simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Drizzle over oat mixture, and stir to combine. Pour mixture onto prepared pan. Working a handful at a time, squeeze cereal to form small clumps. Bake for about 45 minutes until golden brown. Let cool. Makes one quart. Recipe can be doubled, but use two pans.
Granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Be creative with adding other ingredients to this basic recipe. Dried fruits should be stirred in after 30 minutes of baking, then put back in for another 15 minutes longer. Try your favorite combinations of nuts and dried fruits for endless possibilities!
Kale with Sauteed Apple and Onion
Gourmet, December 200 1
Granny Smith apple
(I’ve used many varieties of apple)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 lb kale, tough stems and ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped
1/4 cup broth
1/4 cup apple cider
Peel, quarter, and core apple, then cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges.
Heat oil in a 5-quart pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add apple and curry powder and sauté, stirring, until apple is almost tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan.
Add kale, broth and cider to pan. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender and most of liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season with salt.
Curried Winter Squash and Chicken Stew
From: Seward Co-op Grocery and Deli, Minneapolis, MN
1 pound boneless chicken breast, diced
2 cups yellow onion, diced (1 large)
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons cumin, ground
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2-2 cups chicken stock
1 (12-ounce) can coconut milk
2 medium red potatoes, washed and diced
1 large butternut or acorn squash, peeled, seeded and diced
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
In a large (4 1/2-quart) pot, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil. Add chicken and cook until onion is translucent.
Add curry powder, cumin, and cinnamon. Cook for 1 minute.
Add stock, coconut milk, potatoes, squash, and tomatoes to the pot. Bring to a boil, stirring slowly.
Cover and simmer until potatoes and squash are just fork tender.
Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (preferably whole-grain or coarse-grain)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lb onions (one medium), quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch small whole beets, scrubbed and trimmed to leave 1 inch of stem
2 oz crumbled feta (about 1/3 cup)
1/8 cup pine nuts (1 oz), toasted and coarsely chopped
Whisk together vinegar, mustard, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, then add 1 tablespoon oil, whisking until combined well.
Boil beets until tender when pierced with a fork in a medium sized pot of water. Check occasionally that the water level covers the beets, this will take a while, about the same amount of time as the onions will take to carmelize. Drain and when cool enough to handle, slip the skins off and set aside. If the beets are small, leave whole, if large, cut into wedges or chunks.
Meanwhile cook onions with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add onions to dressing, then add beets and cheese, stirring gently to combine. Serve sprinkled with pine nuts.
Home Made Apple Sauce
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
The sugar amounts are just guidelines, depending your taste, and on the sweetness of your apples, use less or more. If you use less sugar, you’ll likely want to use less lemon juice. The lemon juice brightens the flavor of the apples and balances the sweetness.
- 3 to 4 lbs of peeled, cored, and quartered apples. (Make sure you use a good cooking apple like Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Fuji, Jonathan, Mcintosh, or Gravenstein.)
- 4 strips of lemon peel – use a vegetable peeler to strip 4 lengths
- Juice of one lemon, about 3-4 Tbsp
- 3 inches of cinnamon stick
- 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar (or natural alternative)
- up to 1/4 cup of white sugar (or natural alternative)
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 Put all ingredients into a large pot. Cover. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
2 Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon sticks and lemon peels. Mash with potato masher.
Ready to serve, either hot or refrigerated. Freezes easily, lasts up to one year in a cold freezer.