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Ambrosia (Citrus Salad with Coconut) 

Adapted from David Tanis’s A Platter of Figs

What a perfect winter dessert! Seasonal citrus pairs up with pineapple and shredded coconut in a simple, not too sweet fruit salad. Note that it only takes a few minutes to prepare, but it's best when allowed to sit for a couple of hours to let the flavors develop.

2 grapefruit

2 blood oranges

2 navel oranges

8 kumquats, sliced

1/2 pineapple, diced


1 c. coconut, shredded

Directions: Slice the tops and bottoms off of the grapefruit, blood oranges, and navel oranges. Slice off the peel, making sure to remove all the white pith. Work over a bowl while you section the grapefruit into wedges, slicing between the membranes. Squeeze the grapefruit rind into the bowl to catch all its juice. Slice the blood oranges and navel oranges into thin rounds, and set them in the bowl with the grapefruit. Add the sliced kumquat and diced pineapple, and gently toss to combine. Add a tiny bit of sugar if you like. Cover, and set aside for 2-3 hours.

When ready to serve, add in the shredded coconut. Enjoy!

 Grapefruit Chicken Salad 

Adapted from

A tart and sweet twist on traditional chicken salad, and a great way to use leftover chicken.

1 1/2 c. grapefruit

2 c. cooked chicken, chopped

1/4 c. celery. diced

1 scallion

1/4 c. mayonnaise

1/4 c. yogurt

1/4 c. parsley

Directions: Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Serve on a bed of salad greens.

Winter Citrus Salad with Honey Dressing 

Inspired by the New York Times

Citrus is at its peak in the middle of winter, and that's just when you need a bright sunny dish like this salad. Use any combination of citrus you like—just be sure to use sweet citrus fruit rather than sour. You may also want to try adding a pinch of black pepper or cayenne.

2 blood oranges

1 grapefruit

1 navel orange

1 Pomelo

1 Meyer lemon

4 tangerine


1/2 red onion, sliced

3 Tbs. olive oil

1 Tbs. vinegar

1/2 tsp. honey

lime juice

1/4 tsp. tarragon

Directions: Peel the citrus and slice into wheels. Remove any seeds and spread out the fruit on a serving dish. Sprinkle with salt and sliced onion. In a small bowl, whisk up the olive oil, vinegar, honey, lime juice and tarragon. Taste and adjust the seasoning, drizzle over the citrus slices. Enjoy!

Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms 

Recipe from Vegetariana by Nava Atlas, used with permission

This is a satisfying Asian-style dinner.

2 Tbs. sesame oil

1 medium onion, halved and sliced

1 bunch bok choy stems, sliced diagonally

1 lb. fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced

1 c. snow peas, trimmed and cut in half

2 Tbs. soy sauce or tamari

3 Tbs. dry sherry or rice wine (optional)

1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated

dash cayenne or hot chili oil to taste

1/4 lb. tofu, diced (optional)

4 c. hot cooked rice

Directions: Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet. Add the onion and stir fry over moderate heat until translucent. Add the bok choy, shiitakes, snow peas, soy sauce and sherry. Stir fry until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Add the ginger, cayenne and tofu if using. Season with additional soy sauce if desired and serve over hot rice.

Black-eyed Peas with Collard Greens 

Adapted from

For good luck all year long, here’s what to eat on New Year’s Day. With bay leaf and dill, and no ham hock, this vegetarian version is Greek-inspired, not Southern.

1/2 lb. black-eyed peas

1 onion

4 cloves garlic

1 bay leaf

2 Tbs. tomato paste

3 Tbs. olive oil


1 bunch collard greens, chopped, destemmed

1/4 c. chopped fresh dill

black pepper

lemon wedges

Directions: Place the black-eyed peas in a large pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, then drain. Return the black-eyed peas to the pot, add half of the onion and half of the garlic, and cover with 2 inches of water. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Add the bay leaf, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, until the black-eyed peas are just barely tender. Set a colander over a bowl, and drain, reserving all the cooking liquid.

Preheat oven to 350º. Place the tomato paste in a small bowl, and add 1/2 cup of water. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

In a large Dutch oven or other oven-safe pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the rest of the chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until tender. Stir in the garlic, and cook another 30 seconds. In batches, stir in the collard greens, stirring and letting each batch wilt before adding more. Stir in the tomato paste and water mixture, and season with salt. Add the cooked black-eyed peas, and pour in enough of the reserved cooking liquid to just cover everything. Place the pot in the oven, and cook for 30 minutes, until the collards and black-eyed peas are very tender.

Return the pot to the stovetop over medium-low heat. Add some more of the cooking liquid if it seems dry. Stir in the last tablespoon of olive oil and chopped dill. Cover, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, with lemon wedges.

Marinated Collard Salad with Sausage over Grits 

Adapted from

You’ll have a delicious dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes with this simple, fresh recipe. 

1 c. corn grits

1 c. grated Gruyere



1 Tbs. olive oil

1/2 lb. Italian sausage

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

2 bunch scallions, sliced

1 bunch collard greens, torn

Directions: Combine the corn grits with 3 cups of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until the grits are tender and creamy. Stir the grated cheese into the grits, and season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook 4-6 minutes, breaking up the sausage with the back of a spoon, until browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the skillet, and lower heat to medium. Add the white parts of the scallions, and cook for 1-2 minutes, until softened. Remove from heat and stir in the apple cider vinegar. Place the torn collard greens in a large bowl, and pour the warm dressing on top. Toss the greens to coat in dressing, and use your hands to massage the collards until they wilt, 2-3 minutes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the green parts of the scallions and toss to incorporate. 

Serve the grits topped with the collards and sausage.

Butternut, Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Stew 

Adapted from

Creamy winter squash, sweet potatoes and red lentils are cooked in a creamy coconut-tomato broth, and enlivened by spicy turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, garlic and a touch of apple cider vinegar. Best when allowed to sit for a day.

1 onion

4 clove garlic

3 c. diced butternut squash

1 sweet potato, cubed


3 c. vegetable broth

14 oz. diced tomatoes

14 oz. coconut milk

1/2 c. red lentils

3 Tbs. tomato paste

1 1/2 tsp. turmeric

1 1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

black pepper

3 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1 bunch chard

Directions: Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, and sauté the onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the squash and sweet potato and add a pinch of salt. Sauté for 5 minutes. Pour in the broth and stir in the tomatoes, coconut milk, lentils, tomato paste, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine, then increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, stir, and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, until the squash and sweet potato are tender. Stir in the vinegar and chard. Continue to cook until the chard is wilted. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.

Sausage Sweet Potato Bake 

Recipe reprinted with permission from More With Less Cookbook ©2000 by Herald Press

This is comfort food that comes together quickly

1 lb. pork sausage

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced

3 medium apples, peeled and sliced

2 Tbs. sugar

1 Tbs. flour

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

1/2 c. water

Directions: Brown sausage in skillet, breaking up large pieces. Drain excess fat and transfer to a 2-qt. casserole dish. Arrange sweet potato and apple slices on top of sausage. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over top of mixture in casserole. Cover and bake at 375°F for 50-60 minutes or until the potatoes and apples are tender.

Sweet Potato-Walnut Burritos 

Adapted from  3 Bowls by Ed Farley and Nancy O’Hara

Delicious! A great choice to take to a potluck.

1/2 c. lentils or split peas

1 lb. sweet potatoes

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 onion

2 clove garlic

2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. coriander

1 tsp. chipotle pepper

1 1/2 c. cheddar

3/4 c. walnuts

1 1/2 c. tomatoes

8 flour tortillas

Directions: Combine the lentils or split peas with 1-1/2 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, until tender, about 25 minutes for lentils and 1 hour or more for split peas. Drain any excess water and set aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet; add the onion and sauté until the onion softens, about five minutes. Stir in the garlic and the spices and cook about five minutes more, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add the lentils or split peas, half the cheese, sweet potatoes, walnuts and 3/4-cup tomatoes and mix well. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and lightly oil a 9x13-inch baking dish. Fill each tortilla with about 1/8 of the filling, roll tightly and place in baking dish, seam side down. Cover pan with foil and bake about 30 minutes. Remove the foil from the pan and cover the burritos with remaining crushed tomatoes or salsa of choice. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and beginning to brown.

Warm Winter Vegetable Salad 

Adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, March 2010

This healthy and flavorful salad is just the lunch or dinnertime trick. Make extra-large portions and serve as a platter salad with a side of sliced baguettes and hummus. Another great thing about this recipe is that you can really use any combo of winter veggies you’d like. Not a fan of beets? Why not throw in a turnip? Can’t stand carrots? Throw in some red potatoes. It’s really up to you.

1 red onion

1 sweet potato

1 carrot

1 parsnips

1 Jerusalem artichoke

1 beet

3 Tbs. olive oil

1/3 c. walnuts

salt and pepper

1 3/4 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1 3/4 tsp. lemon juice

3/4 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 Tbs. parsley, chopped

2 oz. feta

Directions: Preheat oven to 425ºF. Toss all of the root vegetables with 2 T. of the oil. Salt and pepper the veggies, then roast them for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, until they are tender and lightly browned. While the vegetables are roasting, toast the walnuts in the oven until they are golden. This will take between 4-6 minutes, depending on your oven. You will know they are nearly done by the wonderful fragrance that will fill your kitchen. In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and last bit of oil together. Gently stir in the chopped parsley and season to your liking with salt and pepper. When the vegetables are done, let them cool briefly (about 5 minutes). Add to the bowl with the dressing and toss, adding in the walnuts. Serve this beautiful salad on a platter with the feta crumbled across the top. You can serve this warm, or let it cool completely to room temperature. Garnish with a couple of sprigs of parsley and enjoy!