Anyone else wondering how in the world the year is almost over already? It seems like time goes by even faster year after year…… and somehow it always blows my mind when December creeps up on us. Please tell me I’m not alone?!
It’s why savoring these winter days is extra important to me. To slow down and enjoy a meal with my family, even if it’s quick. To get outside and breathe in the crisp, fresh air together, even if we’re bundled up from our noses to our toes. To light candles and put on a playlist that emits calm and joy, even if everything else feels a bit chaotic.
And, you guys know– with two littles under three years old, my time is a little more crunched these days. The hours move quick, and if I’m not intentional about how and where I’m spending my time & energy, it’s easy to get stuck on the un-important things.
I always say (and believe deeply in my soul) that it’s all a choice– how we choose to show up, the energy we give things and what we put our attention and time toward. And so even on the fullest, craziest days, I believe in choosing to put nourishing, whole foods on the table, because I know everything else stems from how we eat (and what we serve our sweet fams).
When we choose real food that energizes and sustains our bodies & minds, we can show up everywhere else so much better, with more easy, energy, calmness & efficiency because we’re properly fueled to handle whatever comes our way. Plus as a bonus, meals give us a simple, natural pause to reconnect with ourselves and our families, even if it’s for 15 or 20 minutes seated at the table.
But you’re not going to catch me in the kitchen for hours on end preparing my family’s meals, especially after a busy weekday. Nope, the name of the game is SIMPLE, yet healthy and delicious. And so, I have a few winter recipe staples that accomplish just that to share with you today!
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3 best recipes for busy women this winter
Scroll down to find my quick, healthy, coziest dinner staples for the family after a hectic winter day!
1. Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto
Makes 2 servings
3 cups water
1 cup organic chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
2 cups spinach or chopped kale
1½ cups rice
2 tablespoons dried sage or 12 leaves of fresh sage, chopped
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup parsley, chopped (plus more to garnish)
2 cups shredded gruyere or parmesan cheese (optional)
- In a large skillet, heat a bit of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add squash cubes and cook until they brown on all sides.
- Meanwhile, add 3 cups water, rice and a generous pinch of sea salt to a stockpot. Bring to a boil and once boiling, cover and reduce heat to a simmer until rice absorbs all the water, approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Add spinach to the skillet with the squash and sauté until it begins to wilt, 1-2 minutes. When rice is done, add it to the skillet with the broth, cheese if using, parsley and sage.
- Stir until the cheese melts, broth is absorbed, and the mixture is well combined. Season with extra salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley.
2. Veggie & Red Lentil Curry Stew
Makes 6-8 servings
2 cups red lentils
5 cups water
1 large bag frozen broccoli (or 3-4 cups fresh)
1 large bag frozen butternut squash (or 3 cups fresh)
1 yam, cubed
5 carrots, roughly chopped
1 TB red curry paste (I used Thai Kitchen)
2 tsp sea salt + 1 tsp pepper
- For a IP: Add all ingredients to an instantpot, close tamper to high pressure and set for 30 minutes.
- If making in a crockpot: add all ingredients in and cook for 4 hours high or 6 hours low.
- If making traditionally in a stock pot: sauté veggies first, then add lentils, curry, s + p and liquid and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat until lentils are cooked and broken down, about 15-20 minutes.
3. 3-ingredient Tomato Soup
Makes 2-4 servings
8 Roma tomatoes, sliced and seeds removed
2 cups baby tomatoes
2 leeks, sliced
2 cups organic chicken broth
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss tomatoes, baby tomatoes and leeks with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
- Roast for 30-35 minutes, then let cool slightly.
- Puree all ingredients together with broth in a blender, and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve warm.
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Risotto photos by Carina Skrobecki