I can hardly believe it’s November already. Of course that’s because generally it’s warm and sunny here in Austin. Just last week I was trying to explain to my mom (in Chicago) how 80 degrees can indeed feel like fall to us.
While we might not have extreme season changes, winter produce is slowly starting to show up. Pears, Pomegranates… I’ll take them all. Today, I’m sharing a few more of my favorite easy ideas for pairing fresh produce with McCormick’s Gourmet Spices.
Mushrooms: To me, nothing is more comforting (yet healthy) in the wintertime than mushrooms. We just love cremini mushrooms in hearty soups. I make a version of this white bean soup all the time – when I don’t have fresh herbs, I change up the flavor combination using cumin and coriander instead.
Pears: Crisps and crumbles are my favorite easy desserts to throw together. My favorite version right now is this walnut pear crisp. In addition to cinnamon, try spicing it up with nutmeg, allspice or cardamom.
Brussels Sprouts: I didn’t realize how great brussels sprouts were until I first had them roasted with crispy browned edges. As they come out of the oven, toss them with a big squeeze of orange juice, soy sauce (or better yet, fish sauce), and a few pinches of crushed red pepper. Or toss them with this chili-orange vinaigrette and serve with rice.
Winter Greens: I love kale, and I’m assuming if you read this blog than you do too. One of my favorite go-to kale preparations is a raw salad made with an ancho chile vinaigrette. (Olive oil, ancho chile, honey, and a little white wine vinegar). Massage torn kale leaves with the vinaigrette until the leaves become tender. Top with feta cheese and pomegranates.
And when you’re tired of kale (as if that could ever really happen), try out mustard greens or collards to change up your green routine. Sauté mustard greens as you would spinach, or make chipotle-spiced hummus wraps using collard leaves instead of a tortillas.
Cauliflower: I could write a whole post about the versatility of cauliflower. But the way I eat it most often is simply roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper and smoked paprika or madras curry. Make a little yogurt sauce with ginger and a squeeze of lemon to dip it into. Or blend it up your roasted cauliflower into this smoky roasted cauliflower & leek soup.
Pomegranates: Pomegranates are on trees all over my neighborhood right now. Their seeds are delicious in salads (like the one I mentioned above), or topped on oatmeal or yogurt. I make this maple cinnamon granola all the time. It’s great to have on hand for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
This post is in partnership with McCormick. All thoughts, words and images are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that support Love & Lemons!