Mouth-watering winter warmers

Packed with spices and comforting flavours, these hearty family recipes are sure to warm you and yours on even the coldest days.

Maple Cinnamon Hummus with Sliced Pear

maple-cinnamon-hummusIf your kids have a little sweet tooth after school, they’ll love this treat! (You don’t have to tell them it’s healthy.)
• 19 oz. (540 g) can chickpeas, drained, with 1/3 cup (80 mL) bean liquor reserved
• ¼ cup (50 mL) + 1 tsp. (5 mL) maple syrup
• ¼ cup (50 mL) plain Greek yogurt
• ½ cup (125 mL) tahini or peanut butter
• ¼ tsp. (1 mL) cinnamon
• 1 pinch nutmeg
• 1 lb. (455 g) pears

1. Using a food processor or immersion blender, purée chickpeas and tahini or peanut butter, adding bean liquor or water to moisten while blending.
2. Add yogurt and ¼ cup (50 mL) of maple syrup. Blend until smooth, adding more liquid if mixture seems dry.
3. Add nutmeg and most of cinnamon. Mix thoroughly.
4. Transfer hummus to bowl. Drizzle remaining maple syrup over top, and sprinkle with cinnamon to taste. Serve with sliced pears.


Roasted Carrot, Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup

ginger-soupPuréed vegetable soups are creamy without containing a lot of extra fat. As an added bonus, the roasted veggies are sweet enough to encourage the pickiest eaters, while the ginger warms everyone. Serves four.
• 2 lbs. (910 g) sweet potatoes, 2-3 medium
• 1 lb. (455 g) carrots, 3-5 large, peeled if desired
• 1 cup chicken (250 mL) or vegetable stock
• 1 inch fresh ginger, or to taste, peeled and grated
• 1 tsp. (5 mL) salt
• ½ tsp. (2 mL) coriander
• raw walnuts (optional)
• Greek yogurt (optional)1. Roast sweet potatoes and carrots in a 350°F (176 °C) oven until soft, about 1 ½ hours. Remove from oven and let cool. Slice carrots. Remove peel from potatoes and slice.2. Heat 4 cups stock in a large stockpot. Add carrots and sweet potatoes. Bring mixture to a slow simmer. 3. Add ginger, salt, and coriander. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.4. Purée until smooth, using immersion blender in pot.5. Serve soup garnished with dollop of yogurt and chopped walnuts, if desired.

pork-couscousOne-Pot Spiced Pork Couscous

If you haven’t tried making couscous, you’re in for a treat: it’s simple, delicious, and so fast! Children love the tiny pasta, and the family cook will appreciate a one-pot dish for a busy weeknight. Serves 3-4.
• 1 – 1.5 lb. (455 – 680 g) pork loin chops, about 4
• 1 tbsp. (15 mL) olive oil
• 1 cup (250 mL) dry couscous
• ½ cup (125 mL) apple juice
• ½ (125 mL) cup chicken or vegetable stock
• 1/3 cup (75 mL) golden raisins
• ¼ tsp. (1 mL) cinnamon
• ¼ tsp. (1 mL) dry ginger

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176 °C). Meanwhile, coat both sides of pork in about half of the spices.
2. Heat olive oil in oven-proof pot with lid or Dutch oven. When oil is shimmering, add pork. Sear on both sides, being careful not to char. Transfer pork to cutting board and slice into strips (it will not be cooked through).
3. Slice carrots into coins. Cook carrots in pot until softened, about five minutes.
4. When carrots are soft, add broth, apple juice, and spices. Heat until simmering.
5. Stir in couscous and raisins, and place sliced pork on top of mixture. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Bake, covered, for 15 minutes, or until pork is done and liquid has been absorbed.
6. Remove from the oven and fluff with a fork. Serve immediately.