Warm and wonderful

Compiled: Sarah Kobal

Winter has come, so if you are looking for some great comfort-food recipes, then read on.

Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup

Serves: 4

• 1 peeled and quartered onion
• 4 carrots cut into large chunks
• 4 parsnips cut into large chunks
• 1 butternut squash peeled and cut into large chunks
• 2 - 3 cloves garlic
• 750 ml vegetable stock

1. Put all the vegetables into an oven dish.
2. Drizzle with a little olive oil, then mix well to coat the vegetables.
3. Place in the oven at 180 degrees centigrade for 20 minutes.
4. Turning the vegetables over.
5. Return the vegetables to the oven for another 20 minutes or until cooked.
6. Transfer the vegetables except for the garlic into a large saucepan.
7. Squeeze the garlic out from it’s skin, add to the saucepan.
8. Cover the vegetables with stock.
9. Bring to the boil.
10. Simmer for 20 minutes.
11. Puree with a hand-held blender or in a liquidiser.
12. Return the soup to the saucepan.
13. Season to taste.
14. Heat through.

Source: http://www.deliaonline.com/community/yourrecipes/starters/Roasted-Winter...

Moroccan Skirt Steak with Roasted Pepper Couscous

Makes: 4 servings
Active Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

• 2 medium bell peppers
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• 1 whole lemon, plus more lemon wedges for garnishing
• 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 2/3 cup whole-wheat couscous
• 1 pound skirt steak (see Note) or sirloin steak, 3/4 to 1-inch thick, trimmed
• 2 tablespoons chopped green olives

1. Position rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat the broiler.
2. Place the bell peppers on a baking sheet and roast under the broiler, turning every 5 minutes, until charred and softened, for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a clean cutting board, and when cool enough to handle, chop the peppers into bite-size pieces.
3. Meanwhile, combine cumin, coriander, salt, turmeric, cinnamon and pepper in a small bowl. Grate 1/2 a teaspoon zest from the lemon. Juice the lemon into a 1-cup measure and add enough water to make 1 cup. Pour into a small saucepan and add the lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Bring to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover, remove from heat and let stand.
4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over a medium heat until simmering (but not smoking). Rub the remaining spice mixture on both sides of steak. Cook the steak for 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let it rest on the cutting board for 5 minutes. Stir the olives and peppers into the couscous. Thinly slice the steak and serve with the couscous and lemon wedges, if desired.

Skirt steak is a thin, flavourful and relatively inexpensive cut of beef. It is sometimes referred to as fajita steak. Look for it in well-stocked supermarkets or ask your butcher to order it for you.

Source: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/moroccan_steak_pepper_couscous.html

Swirled Cheesecake Brownies

Makes: 24 bars
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Cheesecake topping

• 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon non-fat plain yogurt
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Brownie layer
• 2/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 large egg
• 2 large egg whites
• 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
• 1/4 cup canola oil
• 1/4 cup strong (or prepared instant) coffee or black tea
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Coat a 7-by-11-inch brownie pan or baking pan with cooking spray.
2. To prepare the topping, place the cream cheese in a small mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the egg, flour, yogurt and vanilla; beat until well blended.
3. To prepare brownie layer: Whisk whole-wheat flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl. Place the egg, egg whites and brown sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add oil, coffee (or tea) and vanilla, and beat until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and beat on a low speed just until well blended, stopping once to scrape down the sides.
4. Scrape about half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Slowly pour the topping evenly on top. Drop the remaining brownie batter in large dollops over the topping. Draw the tip of a sharp knife or skewer through the two batters to create a swirled effect.
5. Bake the brownies until the top is just firm to the touch, about 20 minutes.
6. Let them cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Coat a knife with cooking spray and cut into 24 bars.

The brownies will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. (Alternatively, bake brownies in an 8 1/2-by-12 1/2 -inch foil pan, wrap well and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.) Bring to room temperature and cut into bars shortly before serving.

Source: www.eatingwell.com/recipes/swirled_cheesecake_brownies.html