What to Eat in January

January 18, 2010

Ah, winter! Fun in the snow making snow angels with the kids, ice skating and snowshoeing. If only all that joy and satisfaction could be found at your local grocery store.

Unless you live in warmer climes, most of us, along with warding off colds, the flu, and grouchiness at the thought of a loooong winter, are at a loss for to what buy and eat when the choices are bleak.

Sure, lots of us will crave warmth and reach for cans of soup, full of sodium and other stuff too difficult to try and pronounce. We’ll scavenge the produce aisles in hopes of finding some lively looking salad greens from California or fruit from Floirda, not imported from across the globe. We’ll console ourselves with grapefruit, navel oranges and apples and pears while dreaming of fresh local strawberries.

January, February and March can be tricky if you are picky about where your food comes from. Chilean plums, Mexican grapes, blueberries from Uruguay, anyone?

Here are some suggestions for choosing foods that can sustain you from January until the first bunch of locally grown asparagus makes its appearance in spring.

Dried beans such as garbanzo, kidney, split pea and pinto beans are readily found on grocers shelves. They can be turned into delicious, high fiber, high protein dishes that will power you through the cold. For instance, how about a hearty sausage, lentil and ditalini soup from my latest cookbook: Ciao Italia, Five Ingredient Favorites from an Italian Kitchen.

Squashes of every color and description are in my opinion, the workhorse vegetables of winter along with onions and mushrooms. Creamy and velvety squash soup is a favorite along with a rich risotto made with diced squash, while spaghetti squash does a great stand for spaghetti and meatballs. If you have some eggs, an onion and mushroom tart is a nice change of pace as is a steaming bowl of onion soup with a blanket of melted cheese over the top.

With good foods like these, wondering what to eat in January and all winter long is a no-brainer.

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