What to cook in the winter time? A seasonal experiment with cabbage, lentils & co.

3 Feb

Winter is here and it’s so hard to get rid of it. I wish I could beam myself somewhere close to the equator or on the Southern hemisphere, that would solve my trouble in a second. But hey, let’s look at it this way: Winter has its pretty sides, too. Last week I wandered through the snow on my way back home from hot yoga. It was a perfectly clear night with loads of stars in the sky and I enjoyed my walk. Another thing I enjoy at the moment is to hide from the cold at home and engineer seasonal meals. I make use of what gets delivered in my weekly farmer’s box.

Here is my advice for you: Even if you shop for groceries at your corner supermarket, think twice about what you buy. A) Food that doesn’t grow in your country right now must be flown in from far away which is bad CO2 emission-wise and the taste and amount of vitamins of the produce are not guaranteed B) Imported food is much more expensive. That’s why I say, look out for seasonal food. You will be surprised how easy it is to cook tasty meals (minus the color – that comes a little short in the winter time).

One of my latest lunches looked like this and you only need a handful of ingredients:

Winter recipe: Cabbage with lentils

Ingredients:

1 white cabbage head

1 parsnip or 1/3 of a celery root

5 shitake mushrooms (or other mushroom type, e.g. white or portobello mushroom)

2 shallots

2 garlic cloves

1 bag lentils

veggie broth

rice vinegar or white vinegar

Preparation:

1) Rinse the lentils in cold water and boil as indicated on the package.

2) Cut the cabbage head, the parsnip or celery root (whatever is easier for you to get), the mushrooms and the shallots in slices. Chop up the garlic.

3) Preheat a wok or large pan and stir fry the cabbage and the onion in a little cooking oil. You want them to look glassy. Add a little veggie broth if needed, to avoid frying them too much. When done, put aside.

4) Now stir fry the garlic and parsnip or celery. If you use celery root you may want to pre-boil it in water for a few minutes. A minute or two before you are done, add the mushrooms.

5) In a bowl, place a layer of lentils, cover with the stir-fried veggies, sprinkle with vinegar and decorate with sesame seeds.

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