Winter Comfort Food

February 21, 2013 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

If seasons had personalities, I have decided that winter is mean and spiteful. It always decides to dump 18 inches of snow on you when you least expect or want it, canceling flights and travel plans and trapping you inside! Then you are cooped up and cold from all of the snow shoveling, there is nothing to stand between you and your insatiable carb-y comfort food cravings. Not like this happened to me recently or anything…

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Comfort food does not have to be a diet deal-breaker, however. Take this rice bowl inspired by Post Punk Vegan Kitchen for example! The brown rice provides a starchy base to give the dish a healthy weight. The black-eyed peas and soy chorizo come together to give the warmth and heartiness that marks all good chilis. The original recipe doesn’t call for the chorizo, but I splurged at the grocery store in my pre-blizzard stocking up. I love the added flavor and texture that it gives the beans, which I successfully cooked in my slow-cooker! (Seriously, this trick is life-changing. Play around with this tutorial. You may never buy canned beans again!) The greens add volume and nutrition that is missing from many comforting favorites. My favorite part, however, is the hot sauce! I interpreted the sauce to use what I had on hand, and I could literally eat this from the food processor. I love anything spicy! There is so much flavor and heat to this dish that you don’t miss the cheese that marks many heavy winter favorites.

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You can’t get me, winter blues!

Question: What do you crave when it is cold and snowy?

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Spicy Winter Greens with Black Eyed Peas and Rice

inspired by PPK, serves 4-6

Beans:

1 cup black-eyed peas, cooked in 4 cups water with 3 bay leaves for 5 hours on low in a slow cooker

1 package soy chorizo, crumbled

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 tbsp liquid smoke (optional)

Crumble the soy chorizo into a hot frying pan and brown. Add the drained cooked beans, chopped parsley, and liquid smoke and stir.

Greens:

1 lb bunch collard greens, stems removed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 small red onion, sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1/2 cup water

1 tsp garlic powder

salt to taste

Saute red onion in olive oil until soft. Add half of the greens and all of the water and heat until wilted. Add the other half of the greens. Season with vinegar, garlic and salt. Cook over medium heat until greens are soft and water is evaporated.

Hot Sauce:

1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight

1/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot

1/3 cup water

1 tsp garlic powder

Drain cashews. Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth.

To serve:

Fill bottom of bowl with 1 serving cooked brown rice. Top with greens and beans. Drizzle with 1-2 tbsp hot sauce. Enjoy!

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