5 Healthy Winter Comfort Foods
At this time of year, we all have go-to comfort foods to help us survive the chilly weather and shorter days.
But it’s not always easy to enjoy your favorite comfort foods while also maintaining a healthy diet. If you’re looking for more healthy options this winter, here are some comforting—but surprisingly nutritious—meal ideas to warm up your body and your soul.
Nothing feels cozy and decadent like breaded fish, chicken, and vegetables. To keep your crispy favourites healthy, try baking instead of frying. You’ll still get that crispy texture, but without the extra oil.
To bread virtually anything, dab your meat or vegetables dry with a clean cloth. Then coat it with flour, followed by an egg wash, then breadcrumbs and spices—we love thyme and paprika. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet and enjoy!
Spoon up some soup
Soups can be an incredibly comforting—and shockingly healthy—winter meal idea. They just require a few simple tricks. Look for recipes that avoid fatty ingredients such as heavy cream, and substitute in low sodium soup stock for the regular store blends.
To add a rich restaurant feel to any soup, top it with a dollop of Greek yogurt, fresh herbs, or toasted seeds.
Make it cauliflower
If you haven’t jumped on the cauliflower trend yet, now is the time. Try substituting cauliflower in your favourite go-to dishes—you may be surprised by the delicious and satisfying result!
Of course, cauliflower rice is a great way to keep your stir fries and curries low carb. But if you’re ready to take your cauliflower game to the next level, give cauliflower mac and cheese a go! That’s right—make your mac as you normally would, but instead of noodles, use cauliflower. And don’t forget about cauliflower wings, a wildly satisfying alternative to everyone’s pub favourite.
Stuff your veggies
If you have never made stuffed squash, peppers, or potatoes, you’re missing out. A satisfying and simple technique, stuffed vegetables can make for a decadent weekday meal.
An easy place to start is the good old stuffed pepper. Cut off the tops and fill up the peppers with whole grain rice, sauteed onions, cheese, and anything else that strikes your fancy. Then, slide them in the oven to roast. If you’re feeling a little more ambitious, try stuffing a squash—our favourite varieties are acorn or spaghetti.
And as always, you can’t go wrong with stuffing a baked potato. For extra flavor (and nutrients) try using sweet potatoes and add bold toppings like curried lentils or roasted chickpeas.
Perfect your veggie chili
Who doesn’t love a satisfying bowl of chili on a frosty winter night? Making your family recipe guilt-free is surprisingly simple—just take out the meat. Without ground beef, chili is a wildly healthy comfort food.
To keep that creamy chili texture, try this: take one cup of your completed batch and pulse it in a food processor for a few seconds. Then, mix it back into the chili for a richer, more satisfying consistency.
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