New Recipes That Still Give You That Warm Cozy Feeling
You want to keep your New Year’s resolutions, but it’s too cold to switch to salads. We offer tips and recipes to help you improve your nutrition while still enjoying rich, cozy foods to warm your bones. Sponsored by Campbell's®
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Sponsored by Campbell's®.
If you’re anything like me, you’re trying to make better food choices this year. And like me, you probably still crave the same rich meals, especially during the winter. Instead of ignoring my impulses and trying a diet that probably won’t stick, I plan to make small adjustments to my favorite meals, changes that will add up over time.
For example, I’m still going to eat macaroni and cheese, but I may swap out half the cheese for squash now, as shown in the recipe below. I won’t deny myself hot chocolate, but I can make it without spiking my blood sugar, as you’ll see. And when I’m not feeling like eating a salad, I’ll cram my veggies into a frittata instead.
Read on for eight easy ways to hack your favorite comfort foods into healthy, nutrient-rich meals. These warm, comforting, and delicious foods will still hit the spot while making you feel nourished — a great way to start off the new year.
Honey Garlic Shrimp and Broccoli
Whenever I see the words “honey” and “garlic” to describe the same dish, I know that dish will be good. The combination of juicy shrimp, creamy rice, and umami-loaded shiitake mushrooms and soy sauce form a meal that’s delightfully savory and sweet. Bright bell pepper, honey, cilantro, garlic, and shallot packs in even more flavor. Using cream of mushroom soup fast forwards the entire cooking process, getting this nourishing dish on the table in no time. To save even more time, use pre-cooked shrimp.
Cheddar Broccoli Frittata
If you have vegetables left over from your honey garlic shrimp meal, why not use them in an easy, filling frittata? Frittatas are delicious, are lightning fast to prepare, and are a great way to get your greens in. They're also versatile. I love them as a standalone breakfast dish or alongside a side salad at dinner. This comforting meal comes together in just 25 minutes with the help of a can of broccoli cheese soup. Sauteed zucchini, onion, mushrooms, cheddar cheese and green onion add an extra dose of satisfying, savory flavor. If you don’t have these exact vegetables on hand, don’t fret. Spinach would also work well, as would any leafy green.
Chicken BLT Skillet
The BLT is my favorite type of sandwich, but they’re not winning me any points in the nutrition department. This warm, skillet-based alternative is much better. It’s loaded with brown rice, which is high in fiber, and it also features protein-rich chicken breast and three cups of baby spinach. Plus, delicious BLT-smells will waft from your stove. This meal is also simple to prepare: Just sauté Campbell's® Cream of Bacon Soup, chicken, and rice all in the same skillet.
When it’s cold outside, soup goes a long way. This particular soup is both creamy and light, thanks to an entire head of chameleonlike cauliflower, which packs in plenty of fiber and B-vitamins. Instead of cream, the cauliflower, milk, broth, and cheese come together to recreate a smooth, velvety consistency, minus the calories you'd find in cream. This recipe calls for carrots, onion, and celery, adding even more veggies to an already nutritious meal. You can add hot pepper sauce if you want a kick of spice. Or consider a pinch of smoked paprika for color and flavor.
Healthy Mac and Cheese
This genius recipe for macaroni and cheese is both comforting and healthful. It reduces the amount of butter and cheese that are typical for this dish, subbing in squash, broth, and caramelized onions instead. If you don’t have time to chop and cube squash, try using pre-chopped, frozen squash or sweet potato as easy alternatives. I love this light approach to a dish that I don’t plan to stop eating anytime soon.
Loaded Vegan Chili
Chili is one of the most satiating and healthy foods you can eat on a cold day. While traditional chili is already nourishing, this vegan version goes the extra mile. It's practically bursting with veggies and features three types of beans, which are naturally rich in protein, fiber, B-vitamins, iron, folate, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc. Plus, this version requires very little hands-on cooking: Simply combine beans, vegetables, broth, and spices in your slow-cooker, and cook on high for 2-3 hours. Or feel free to sauté the veggies first to incorporate extra flavor. Top with cool, creamy avocado for a dose of plant-based decadence.
Healthy Hot Chocolate
Swearing off sugar but still craving cocoa? Try using stevia, monk fruit sweetener, or your preferred sugar substitute to enjoy steaming hot chocolate without spiking your blood sugar. This recipe also calls for canned coconut milk or cashew cream in place of dairy milk, which lends intense creaminess without lactose. If you’d like to up your cocoa game even more, try using cacao powder, which is packed with flavonoids, over cocoa. Some people even swear by the addition of chocolate-flavored protein powder for extra health benefits. If you do go this route, try brown-rice-based protein powder, which will clump less than the whey version.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
If you love fast food French fries but want to lighten up on the trans fats, sweet potato fries are your new best friend. They’re just as crispy and satisfying as the drive-through staple. They’re also packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The best part? You don’t have to fry them. Just slice sweet potatoes into long, thin spears, toss with a healthy oil and your seasoning of choice (salt goes a long way, although the garlic powder, pepper, paprika and parsley called for here would also be divine) and bake for about 30 minutes. You’ll end up with crunchy, delicious, nutritious fries! Eat them as they are, or plunge them into ketchup, tahini, or guacamole, my personal favorite.