Cold Weather Recipes

Winter is almost here – warm yourself up with a hot meal. Try one of these international dishes, contributed by residents and staff.

Crock pot Tuscan Sausage and White Bean Ragu with Buttered Gnocchi

prep time: 10 minutes
cook time: 6-8 hours
yields: 6 servings


  • 1/2 of a sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole san marzano tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and pepper
  • 1 pound ground spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups cooked white beans (about 1 14-ounce can)
  • 1 pound gnocchi
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Fresh basil and parmesan cheese, for topping


  1. Using your hands, crush the tomatoes over the bowl of a 4-8 quart crockpot. Add the onion, garlic, tomato paste, red wine, dried basil, dried oregano, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Give everything a good stir.
  2. Roll the ground sausage it into very tiny, bite size balls. The smaller you can roll the balls, the better. Gently stir the sausage balls into the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. 30 minutes before serving, stir in the kale and white beans. Crank the heat up to high, cover, and cook another 20-30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi according to package directions and then toss with 2 tablespoons butter and a little fresh basil and parmesan.
  4. To serve, divide the gnocchi among plates or bowls. Top with ragu and then garnish with basil and parmesan. Enjoy!

Goat Cheese Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomato Quiche

prep time: 30 minutes
cook time: 45-55 minutes
yield: One 9-inch quiche


  • 1 frozen pie crust (preferably whole wheat!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 packed cups fresh spinach (1 package of frozen, well-drained spinach works too!)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled or chopped
  • several leaves of fresh basil, chopped
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • pinch of crushed pepper flakes, if desired


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. Heat olive oil and garlic in a skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach. Cook and stir until wilted. Set aside.
  3. Pre-bake the pie crust for 8 minutes.
  4. While the pie crust is baking, whisk the eggs and milk together until combined. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and spinach. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. After 8 minutes, remove the pie crust from the oven. Pour in the egg mixture. If desired, sprinkle the top lightly with more salt and pepper.
  6. Bake the quiche for 45-55 minutes until it is golden brown on top and the center is set. You may use a pie shield to prevent the pie crust from over browning if you wish. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

This quiche makes great leftovers for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

Spicy Chicken & Corn Chowder 

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1.5 hours
Yield: 10 servings


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 red or green pepper, diced
  • 2 medium potatoes, diced
  • ½ cup of brown rice
  • 1 tsp ground, dried cumin
  • 1 tsp dried corriander
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 2 cans of sweet corn
  • Chicken Stock (or water)
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, diced or shredded
  • ½ cup of salsa
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

(To finish)

  • Salsa
  • Sour Cream
  • Green Onions
  • Cheese (optional)


  • Divide the onion, celery and potatoes in half.  Reserve half.
  • Sautee half the onion, celery and potatoes with the carrot and spices until the onion is translucent and the spices are aromatic.
  • Add 1 can of corn with it’s liquid, salsa and at least 2 cups of chicken stock or water (cover the veggies by 2 inches). Cover and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add the brown rice. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are falling apart and the rice is cooked.
  • Use an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
  • Sautee remaining onion, celery, potatoes and peppers until the onion is translucent.
  • Add pureed soup base, remaining can of corn and cooked chicken.  At this point, taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
  • Simmer over med-low, stirring every few minutes to prevent sticking, until the potatoes are cooked.

To Serve: At this point, the soup is completely dairy free, thickened by the rice. To turn it into ‘chowder’, ladle into bowls and top with a scoop of sour cream, a spoonful of salsa and a sprinkling of green onions. Grated cheese can be scattered over the top for a very decadent treat. 

Chicken, Apricot and Almond Tagine

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 50-60 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 1 lb chicken breast, diced (vegetarian: use 3 extra cups squash and an extra can of garbanzo beans)
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tablespoon harissa (or less if you prefer milder spiciness)
  • 1.5 tablespoons honey (vegan: substitute agave syrup)
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds + extra for garnishing
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups butternut squash (or sweet potatoes), peeled, seeded and cut into bite sized pieces
  • Salt to taste

(For the couscous)

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 chicken or vegetable bouillon cube
  • 2 cups couscous


  1. On the stove, heat the oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the chicken, turmeric, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon, stir to combine, and saute until the chicken is no longer pink.
  2. Add the water, bouillon cubes, chickpeas, harissa, honey, raisins, almonds, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the butternut squash, stir to combine, return to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for another 25 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender.
  4. Garnish with some slivered almonds and serve with the couscous.
  5. To make the couscous: Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the butter and bouillon cubes and stir until dissolved. While the water is still boiling, add the couscous. Turn off the heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.


Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Yield: 6 servings


  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken legs or thighs, skin removed and trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, skin on and sliced into 4 pieces
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • Pinch freshly ground white pepper, plus more as needed
  • Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish or chopped spring onions/leaves, fried garlic
  • Optional:  fish sauce


Congee can be made with chicken (most congees are) or pork, but sometimes beef, or even seafood is used. Feel free to add more garnishes like soy sauce, fish sauce, fried shallots, fried garlic, or roasted salted peanuts to spice up this dish, as preferred.

  1. Place all ingredients except the cilantro and scallions in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook at a lively simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice has completely broken down and the mixture is creamy, about 1 hour.
  1. Turn off the heat and remove the chicken to a cutting board. When it’s cool enough to handle, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, discarding the cartilage and bones. Return the chicken shreds to the congee. Feel free to add more water, if it becomes too creamy.  Stir to combine, taste, and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Ladle into bowls and top with cilantro, or green spring onions and/or fried garlic. If you want more salt, consider using fish sauce.
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author: Melissa Nilan