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Prepare for Winter with These Veggie Dishes

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When the cooler months come rolling in I like to combine the earthy elements of mushrooms and autumn vegetables with reminders of summer such as cool and crisp fruits and lettuces.

When the cooler months come rolling in I like to combine the earthy elements of mushrooms and autumn vegetables with reminders of summer such as cool and crisp fruits and lettuces. It’s easy to get caught up in cooked foods to stay warm, so I like to remind myself of the benefits of raw foods with a light but tasty salad that also offers the flavour of seasonal fruits such as apples and pears.

This month’s recipes highlight seasonal combinations, beginning with a stir-fry that combines protein-rich edamame beans with succulent portobello mushrooms. A topping of sesame seeds adds calcium and protein to this dish.

Also featured are the “three sisters” of Native American cooking: beans, corn, and squash. These staples in combination provided energy to indigenous populations throughout the cold winter. The other autumn vegetables in this dish–onions, garlic, and beets–provide a host of immune-boosting nutrients that help fight and prevent disease, strengthening us in preparation for cold and flu season. Combining them with red bell peppers, herbs, and greens increases vitamin C content and flu-fighting power.

The Pear and Grape Salad provides more valuable immune-enhancing nutrients, such as resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant found in the skins of red grapes. Tossing these fruits with a rich olive oil and basil dressing adds a touch of warmth and transforms them into a new seasonal salad that brightens your meal.

The Minestrone Soup is really a meal in a bowl with its filling pasta noodles, comforting potatoes, and protein-filled beans. Adding beans to our diet on a regular basis can lower cholesterol and their complex carbohydrate content also helps regulate blood sugar, which in turn can help moderate mood swings.

The complex carbohydrates found in all of these whole food ingredients provide sustained energy and warmth for the chilly months to come. Try these recipes and you’ll find yourself well prepared for winter.

Fried Rice with Mushrooms and Edamame

Three Sisters Harvest Squash

Pear and Grape Salad with Sweet Basil Dressing

Minestrone Soup

Slow-Roasted Vegetables

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