Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Peppermint Hot Chocolate by the Seasonal Veg Head

The holidays.  They make me a little nuts.  Each year just when I think I have my sh…stuff together, I realize I’m waaaaay behind.  Gifts need to be made, groceries bought, presents wrapped, cards sent, meals planned, goodies baked, gatherings attended, along with all the usual work/kid/husband/house type of stuff.  My mind / not handle.  AHHH!

What I really want is just to chill out.  Enjoy it.  And maybe shove some chocolate in my face.  No bigs.

This winter staple puts you squarely in the intersection of soothing peppermint tea and rich, comforting chocolate…it’s relaxing yet invigorating.  Peppermint is a natural stress reliever and has several health benefits and chocolate solves all worlds problems.  Um, that’s not true, but it does make people very happy.  This is your time out.  Indulge and reenergize.

Kale Dust

Kale dust on popcorn

Kale is controversial in my household…I could eat it for days (and do)  but my husband and son can’t stand it, which is a real bummer, maaaan.  [channeling the Dude]  It’s packed with incredible nutrition, is absolutely beautiful to look at, and is so versatile:  salad, slaw, soup, chips, juice, pesto…and now dust.  Whaaa??  Usually I try to keep my house dust-free, but this is one kind of dust you’ll want to keep around!  It’s quick, easy, and adds a healthy punch to whatever you sprinkle it on.  Hello popcorn! Or stir it into yogurt and cream cheese for a veggie dip, top off your garlic bread or pasta, add a spoonful to potato soup, or sprinkle it onto a cheese quesadilla.

Kale it, don’t kill it!  Hmmm, a new vegetarian slogan?  Oh, I kale me!  {…just stop}

Potato Leek Buttermilk Soup with Smokey-spiced Croutons and Chive Oil

potato leek buttermilk soup

Winter.  It’s here.  In a big way.  We just got an inch of ice, 8 inches of snow, and my son’s school is cancelled again…for the FOURTH day in a row!  Snow-soaked coats, gloves, hats and boots have lined our entryway for the past few days as neighbor kids come in and out from the blindingly white wonderland that is our front yard.  I love times like this when there’s nowhere I need to go, nowhere I CAN go.  I am literally stuck in my house, forced to peer out at the beautiful North Pole-esque scenery and spend my days cooking and watching movies.  I can deal.

It’s moments like this when one needs soup.  Comforting.  Soul-warming.  Even nostalgic.  And this velvety-smooth potato soup is just that.  Plus it’s really easy and there are only 7 ingredients in the recipe, and that includes water and salt.  The short ingredient list allows the simple flavors to shine:  potatoes, leeks, and garlic.   The buttermilk adds rich silkiness and just a bit of tang.  Spice it up with homemade seasoned croutons and chive oil and call it a day.  Game over.   {christmas} Lights out.

Red Lentil & Butternut Squash Chili

Red lentil butternut squash chili

Feeling lazy?  Too cold outside to do anything?  Want to curl up on the couch and watch a movie with something warm and comforting to nosh on?  Don’t worry, I got ya covered.  Spicy.  Sweet.  Savory.  And loaded with veggies.  It’s chili time!

Make a big pot of this over the weekend and save the leftovers for those busy Monday nights.  Your Monday night self will give you a high five!

Roasted Carrot Risotto


I was recently given a huge amount of carrots (we’re talking about the size of a small toddler) from a couple farmer friends of mine.  The carrots had surprisingly survived the winter and I got to be one of the lucky recipients.  My family loves carrots…in a major Bugs Bunny sort of way.  So aside from packing them in lunches, I’ve been coming up with recipes that feature these lovely, orange-gold vitamin A-packed veggies.  I’ve made a Spinach, Carrot and Brussels Sprout Pizza, Indian-spiced Carrot and Black Bean Stew, and Carrots and Brussels Sprouts with Penne and Peanut Sauce.  We might be starting to turn orange at this point…I guess we’d fit in with the tanning-for-spring-break crowd.  And yet, we just can’t get enough.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake Squares w/ Cinnamon Whipped Cream & Petita Praline



My son surprised me the other morning.  He came to the table during breakfast carrying three Everyday Food magazines and said, “Mom, I was looking through these and picked out three recipes I’d like you to make.”  What?  My 10-year old son was looking at cooking magazines?  And actually found it interesting enough to pick out some recipes?  I turned giddy.  I instantly had visions of us spending hours cooking together, watching cooking shows together, talking about recipe ideas and interesting ingredients.  I said, “Sure, of course!  We can make them together!”  He showed me the recipes, we tagged the pages, and the plan was set in motion.