I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but around here winter just came in with a bang! In the spirit of our (newly) cold weather, I thought I’d share some healthy recipes that will warm up your kitchen and your belly!
I don’t like soup, but lots of people do so here’s a soup recipe. Soups are SO easy to make. Also, you can portion them into freezer bags and freeze them for future use. It’s pretty thick, so if you’re like me and don’t like soup, you can just call is a stew and enjoy its yumminess.
CURRIED LEEK VEGGIE SOUP
Ingredients: 3 C water, 1 C tomato sauce, 1 chopped leek, 1 sliced carrot, 2 sliced celery stalks, 2 sliced zucchinis, 2 tsp curry powder, ¼ tsp red chili pepper flakes, 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped, pinch kosher salt.
Instructions: Simmer all ingredients in a large pot for about 40 minutes, until vegetables are tender. You can leave the veggies chunky or blend with a hand-blender.
Soup not your jam (I hear you)? How about some tasty (and easy) chili? Just like with soup, you can make this ahead and freeze it.
SWEET POTATO & BEAN CHILLI
Ingredients: 1 tbsp (plus 2 tsp) EVOO, 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced, 1 diced onion, 1 chopped bell pepper, 4 minced cloves garlic, 2 tbsp chilli powder, 4 tsp ground cumin, ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chilli or red pepper flakes, dash salt, 1 C water, 2 15-ounce cans black beans (or one of kidney beans), rinsed, 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, dash lime juice.
Instructions: In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the onion, bell pepper, garlic, chilli powder, spices. Add the tomatoes (and their liquid), beans, sweet potato, lime juice and water. Cover and simmer until sweet potatoes are soft and the chilli is thick (usually low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours).
If you don’t have 4-8 hours to make dinner, but want the same flavours, here’s a quickie version of the above recipe:
SWEET POTATO with BLACK BEANS
Ingredients: 4 medium sweet potatoes, 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, 2 diced tomatoes, 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, dash salt, ¼ C reduced-fat sour cream.
Instructions: Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork a bunch of times. Microwave on high for 12-15 minutes (until tender). Combine beans, oil, tomatoes and spices in another bowl and microwave until heated through (or warm in a small saucepan). When the sweet potatoes are cooked, slice them lengthwise and spoon the bean mixture in. Top with sour cream and scallions/parsley/cilantro.
Adding some spice into your winter dishes can also be a great way to stay warm. Here’s a super-simple Chicken Tikka Masala recipe which will do just that!
CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
Ingredients: 4 tsp garam masala, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp turmeric, ½ C all-purpose flour, 1 lb chicken breast (sliced in strips), EVOO, 6 cloves minced garlic, 1 diced onion, 4 tsp minced ginger, 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, undrained, ⅓ C whipping cream.
Instructions: Mix the garam masala, salt and turmeric in a small dish. Place flour in another dish. Sprinkle the chicken with ½ teaspoon of the spice mixture, then dredge in flour. Keep the remaining flour and spices and set aside. Heat 2 tsp EVOO in a skillet on medium-high. Cook the chicken until browned, usually a minute or two per side. Heat another 2 tsp EVOO in the pan on medium-low heat. Add the garlic, onions and ginger until beginning to brown. Add the leftover spice mix and flour. Stir until well-mixed. Add the can of tomatoes and bring to a simmer. The sauce should thicken and the onion should soften after 3-5 minutes). Stir in the cream and add the chicken. Cook on medium-low until the chicken is fully cooked and the mixture is thick. Garnish with parsley or cilantro.
Finally, winter just isn’t winter without delicious hot drinks. This one helps to warm you up with spices and helps to keep you healthy with some anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Ingredients: 1 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk, dash cinnamon, dash turmeric, dash nutmeg, dash cayenne pepper, freshly ground ginger, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions: Heat almond milk in saucepan, then add everything else, blending with a hand-mixer or immersion blender. Enjoy!
What are you looking forward to this winter? Any winter dishes that you really love? Share your recipes – we love to hear from you!