When the leaves change in the fall and a chill first sets in, the cool weather can feel quite refreshing. As winter drags on, however, it becomes less and less bearable. If you are sick and tired of the cold, try your hand at one of the following recipes to comfort your body and warm your soul.
1. Surprisingly Healthy Chunky Winter Stew (seen above)
If it looks good and tastes even better, it’s got to be comfort food. Right? Not if you associate comfort food with a lack of nutritional value. This delightful concoction, with a texture so pleasing it is hard to imagine anyone would find it unfavorable, doesn’t have an unhealthy ingredient in it. Thanks to the sizeable serving of mixed beans it calls for, this dish is rich in protein and high in antioxidants. The spinach you stir in will load you up on flavonoids and various essential vitamins. And the red pepper pesto will contribute to your Vitamin C intake, boosting your energy levels and helping protect you against those nasty winter illnesses that are going around. This dish may make your body feel a few degrees warmer (in a non-feverish way), but it won’t raise your blood pressure—it should actually lower it. With six ingredients and a total prep time of 20 minutes, good cooking doesn’t get any simpler than this chunky broth. For free access to this easy, pleasure-inducing recipe, visit BBCGoodFood.com.
2. Chicken and Squash Tagine
How about going someplace warm this winter, like Morocco? If you have a bit of creative energy in you, you can travel there in your kitchen with this great recipe, adopted from AllRecipes.com. Made with chicken, butternut squash, garbanzo beans, carrot, tomato, lemon juice, and spices, this is a versatile dish that can be eaten with sides of the salad or bread of your choosing. If you prepare this dish for others aside from yourself, they will be impressed with your worldliness in addition to your culinary skills.
To further warm your body and add an additional ethnic touch to the evening, follow dinner up with a pot or two of Moroccan Mint Tea. To make this, simply add 1 teaspoon of loose green tea leaves and 3 or 4 mint leaves to every cup of water you boil. Brew for between three and five minutes. Once the tea is ready, add a pinch of sugar to each glass. Garnish with another sprig of mint or two, and serve with sugar so that people can add more to suit their tastes. Moroccans generally add a minimum of three sugar cubes to each cup of tea, so don’t feel bad about doing the same!
3. Kale and White Bean Soup
Another simple and surprisingly healthful dish, this soup will be a hit with more than just the vegan population it caters to. What makes it even more of a winner is that you probably have half of the ingredients in your pantry or spice rack already. Run to the grocery store and pick up the super food kale and other ingredients you don’t already have, and the table can be set and dinner served within an hour of your return to the apartment. As soon as you drop the olive oil and veggies this recipe calls for into your sizzling soup pot, your kitchen will start heating up. By the time you give this dish a final stir and ladle it into your serving bowls, your entire apartment may be a few degrees cooler than it was when you started cooking. All of these benefits can be enjoyed before the first spoonful even reaches your stomach, which is when the real magic starts to happen! Considering the garlic and legume content in this one, it may not be the first dish you want to cook up for the guy or gal you just started dating. If the company you are preparing it for really like to eat meat with every meal, this dish is also tasty with chicken or turkey sausage. For the complete recipe, visit Food.com.
Do you have a favorite winter recipe? If you would like to share the love and warmth with your fellow AMLI residents, post it to our Facebook page. It may even wind up making an appearance on Pinterest!