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We are now well into the winter months, when cold, snow, and ice tend to prevail. By this time, many of us probably feel like we have had enough winter, even while knowing there are still months in front of us!
If you can’t migrate to a warmer climate for the winter, a great strategy for beating this season of cold and snow is hot comfort food. Although we often complain about our food cravings (as opposed to other natural cravings, like thirst and sleep), our bodies may be telling us something important about our winter needs for warmth.
Although many of us worry about the heaviness of comfort foods, and the weight they may add to our bodies, keep in mind that our cravings may, in fact, be trying to tell us that we need such food to help stave off the effects of winter. If this is not a reason to entirely forgive our cravings, it is at least a reason to feel less guilty.
So, you may want to consider trying these healthy and comfort foods when the lack of light and warmth get you down.
Winter Stews and Chilies: There are few dishes that warm the belly and body like stew and chili. Always crowd-pleasers, they can be cooked in different ways (slow cooker, on the stove, and even baked). If you are making them just for your household, they may provide a week (or nearly) of dinners.
Stew and chili are healthy dishes, chock full of vegetables. What may reduce their health benefits are beef-based varieties, as well as starches like potatoes which may be included or served on the side. It is easy to substitute chicken or turkey for beef, and to add sweet potatoes instead of yellow potatoes. Also, consider making healthier sides like quinoa.
Spaghetti and Meatballs: Who doesn’t love spaghetti and meatballs? It is an all-time favorite for people of all ages. Turkey meatballs are an easy substitute for beef meatballs, which cooked in sauce, are delicious. If you are worried about white pasta, there are lots of healthier varieties which you can use.
Macaroni and Cheese: Another all-time favorite, macaroni and cheese is simply a spectacularly tasty dish. One of the amazing things about macaroni and cheese is that it can be delicious in many different ways. One strategy is to substitute in some vegetable alternatives like cauliflower for all the cheese that usually is included.
Jerry’s Kitchen, which offers catering services in the Philadelphia area for all occasions, including birthdays and graduation parties, enjoys re-inventing traditional dishes with healthy alternatives. If you have something special coming up, feel free to contact us.