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Eating In Season Winter Harvests

The new year comes with a new opportunity to break out your spatula, try some fun recipes, and clean up your eating habits. In case you forgot about your New Year's resolution to eat healthy, here’s some simple and nutritious dishes using seasonal winter produce.

Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables offers a plethora of benefits: the food is cheaper, more high quality, and tastes better. Junior Lorena Liu has experienced the up-sides of eating in-season.

“Buying seasonal fruits and vegetables is important because the food has more flavor and is also less expensive. If you buy strawberries in the winter they’re like nine dollars.” Liu said.

Finding seasonal produce is easy and enjoyable. The Carlsbad Farmers Market is open every wednesday from 3-6 on State Street. Here you’ll find delicious, locally grown foods like delicata squash and navel oranges, both winter harvests.

Superfood Delicata Squash Salad

Delicata squash offers the best of both worlds because it’s skin is thin and edible like zucchini, while inside it’s sweet like a butternut squash, not to mention its amazing health benefits. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, “It’s a good source of potassium and dietary fiber, and contains magnesium, manganese, and vitamins C and B.” I paired the squash with antioxidant rich cherries, protein filled pine nuts, and a honey dijon dressing to create a delicious superfood salad that even salad-haters will love.

Ingredients:

1 small Delicata squash

½ teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon Pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic salt (optional)

Arugula

Dried cherries

Pine nuts

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons Honey

1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Start by washing the squash. Since the skin in thin and edible, it’s important to thoroughly clean it. Next, cut the squash lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Then cut it into slices about ½ inch thick. Coat the slices in olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic salt (or any seasoning of your choice). Place slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 20 minutes before flipping and baking for another 15 minutes.

While the squash is baking, start making the salad. Toast a handful of pine nuts in a small frying pan with a dash of olive oil. Toast on medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until they are golden brown and fragrant. Combine mustard, honey, balsamic, and olive oil and mix well to make dressing. Toss the arugula with the dressing, toasted pine nuts, and dried cherries. Top with roasted squash. I paired the salad with farro. Enjoy!

Dairy-free Orange Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta is one of my all-time favorites, and this version includes all the creaminess without the dairy. I used coconut cream in place of heavy cream and agar agar powder as a vegetarian substitute for gelatin. The fiori di sicilia offers a strong flavor of citrus and vanilla which works perfectly with the caramelized navel oranges. If you’re looking for a light and fragrant dessert, this panna cotta is perfect for you.

Ingredients:

1 13.5 oz can of Coconut cream

2 teaspoon Agar agar (sub gelatin)

3 tablespoons Honey

¼ teaspoon Fiori di sicilia (optional)

½ teaspoon Vanilla

Honey to drizzle

1 navel orange

2 tablespoon sugar

Start by pouring coconut cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in agar agar until dissolved. Stir in honey, vanilla, and Fiori di sicilia. Pour into 6 ounce ramekins and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Once firm, dip each ramekin in hot water for 30 seconds and flip to unmold.

For caramelized oranges: Start by using a paring knife to peel the orange, making sure to cut off all pith (white part). Next cut along segment lines to create slices. Coat the slices in sugar and grill in a small frying pan over low heat until slightly charred.

Top the panna cotta with a drizzle of honey and caramelized oranges. Enjoy!