Roasted Eggplant and Olive Pasta Salad
This dinner will satisfy all of your savory cravings but it’s still pretty healthy. There are briny kalamata olives, tender meaty eggplant, salty feta cheese, fresh tomatoes, and just enough pasta to fill you up. Make sure you roast the eggplant until it’s completely tender, otherwise it’ll have a spongy texture. The olives get roasted with the eggplant to concentrate their flavor. It’s easy to make this entire dish ahead of time; in fact, we recommend even doubling it because the leftovers make a fantastic meal the next day. Or, try bulking up leftovers with fresh arugula for a satisfying and tasty lunch.
Maple, Pear, and Pecan Slow Cooker Steel-Cut Oats
This nourishing breakfast will keep you fed all winter long. Sweetened with maple syrup and spiced with ground ginger and cinnamon, it combines all the best flavors of the season wrapped into a comforting bowl of oats. If you don't have an extra pear for topping each bowl, try serving with sliced apple instead. And though we do love pecans, this dish would be equally as tasty with walnuts or almonds, if that's what you have on hand. Those who prefer a sweet breakfast can drizzle their bowl with more maple syrup, and anyone who leans more savory can top with a sprinkle of flaky salt.
Spiced Quinoa-Oat Slow Cooker Granola
Make a batch of this granola today, and you'll be snacking on it for weeks to come. Homemade granola is one of the best treats to have on hand because it's much healthier (and less expensive) than store-bought varieties. Toss the ingredients into the slow cooker on a Saturday morning, tackle your to-do list, then come back to a warmly spiced snack. Just be sure to let it cool completely, which will help it crisp up and get that nice crunchy texture. Enjoy with milk or yogurt, bring to work to munch on, or divvy it up and give as gifts. Just be sure to provide the recipients with the recipe.
Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Slow Cooker Frittata
Yes, those are waffle fries baked into this frittata—and now we never want to eat a frittata any other way. We tested this recipe with hash browns, too, but waffle fries totally stole the show. Frittatas can sometimes be dry or rubbery, which is why we came up with a foolproof solution: the slow cooker. Cooking the egg mixture low and slow ensures the end result is rich, custardy, and full of flavor. Plus, the oval-shaped slow cooker makes for a fun and unexpected shape, not to mention enough frittata to serve a crowd. For all you ketchup-and-egg lovers out there, we won't tell if you serve ketchup on the side.
Brown Rice Congee with Kimchee, Scallions, and 7-Minute Eggs
Congee, a creamy, savory porridge with a white rice base, typically takes up to an hour to cook. Instead of worrying about it on the stovetop, we prefer to throw it in the slow cooker, which breaks down the rice into a deliciously creamy dish. We also opted for brown rice, which is more nutritious than its refined counterpart. Savory breakfast lovers will especially love this congee, because it's topped with kimchee (a mixture of salted and fermented vegetables), scallion greens, fresh cilantro, and a drizzle of tamari. Because it's such a cozy dish, it's great to serve to guests in the wintertime.
Spiced Apple Kombucha Cocktail
Spiced rum is the secret to this delicious drink because it adds depth and flavor with just one ingredient. If you really want a stand-out cocktail, it's easy to make your own spiced rum. Simply combine a bottle of rum with whole spices such as cloves, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, black peppercorns, and star anise (fresh ginger is also a great addition). Store it in a large jar with a tight-fitting lid and let steep for a few days, shaking daily. When the flavor is to your liking, strain and bottle it, then put it to use in cocktails such as this one.
Kombucha-Rosé Raspberry Sangria
Rosé has become our sangria wine of choice: it's brighter and more refreshing than most red wines, and lack the tannins found in reds (the mouth-drying flavor compounds). Plus, it's pretty pink hue makes it perfect for a batch of cocktails. In keeping with the colorful vibe, we chose fresh raspberries for garnish. However, feel free to use your favorite fruit in this sangria: strawberries, apples, or grapes would be delicious as well. One of the most popular kombucha brands, GT's Synergy, sells a raspberry chia kombucha. Don't hesitate to use it—the chia seeds add a fun textural element.
Pomegranate Kombucha Punch
This punch comes together in minutes, and yet it's far from your average mixed drink. Pomegranate and pineapple juice combine for a sweet-tart flavor combination everyone will love. If you aren't a fan of rum or would prefer to use a different type of alcohol, try gin or tequila. You'll find that this is a winning punch recipe no matter how you tweak it. If you can find one, buy a whole pomegranate and seed it yourself (it's cheaper, and the arils are fresher). Use any extra arils in salads or dips.