11 Warm Recipes for Cold Weather
Cold weather recipes
On the hunt for some delicious winter dinner ideas? Nothing makes a cold winter night (or day) more bearable than digging into a hot and hearty meal that's just come out of the oven. However, sometimes hearty cold-weather fare can include higher-calorie comfort foods like French fries, casseroles, freshly baked cookies, and creamy soups that make it more difficult to stick to your healthy-eating goals. In fact, one recent study confirmed that holiday weight gain is real (it starts happening in October) and even found that it can take many months for people to get back to their pre-holiday weights. Yikes!
The solution: This season, instead of loading up on high-calorie treats, indulge your cravings and whittle your waistline by serving up steaming hot—but still healthy—meals. Here, our favorite easy dinner recipes for the winter months, from vegetable-packed soups and stews to flaky biscuits to filling roasts.
Glazed Cornish Hens with Wild Rice Stuffing
Try this recipe: Glazed Cornish Hens with Wild Rice Stuffing
Guests will be seriously impressed by this dish, and here's a secret: it isn't nearly as challenging to whip up as it might look. To split the Cornish hens, use a sharp knife to cut along both sides of the breastplate, through the breastbone and along both sides of the backbone. Serve the hens over a flavorful wild rice stuffing that's made with red grapes, thyme, and honey.
Ingredients: Unsalted butter, yellow onion, celery, garlic, wild rice, chicken broth, red grapes, fresh thyme, kosher salt, black pepper, olive oil cooking spray, Cornish hens, white balsamic vinegar, honey, thyme sprig
Horseradish-and-Herb-Crusted Beef Tenderloin
Try this recipe: Horseradish-and-Herb-Crusted Beef Tenderloin
This protein-packed dish—which is made with flavorful ingredients like fresh horseradish, thyme, rosemary, and garlic—is the perfect main course for your holiday meal. To give it a healthy boost, look for grass-fed beef at your local butcher shop or supermarket, which is higher in immune-boosting conjugated linoleic acid than conventional beef.
Ingredients: Olive oil cooking spray, fresh horseradish, fresh-leaf parsley leaves, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, garlic, center-cut beef tenderloin roast, kosher salt, black pepper, olive oil, Dijon mustard
Farro-and-White-Bean-Stuffed Acorn Squash
Try this recipe: Farro-and-White-Bean-Stuffed Acorn Squash
Even meat-lovers will want second helpings of this delicious vegetarian meal, which is still super-filling, thanks to good-for-you ingredients like whole-grain farro, hazelnuts, and cannellini beans. Have a vegan guest coming to dinner? Use additional olive oil or coconut oil in place of the butter.
Ingredients: Whole-grain farro, dried cherries, olive oil, yellow onion, celery, carrot, fresh sage, cannellini beans, hazelnuts, kosher salt, black pepper, acorn squash, unsalted butter
Garlicky Roasted Lamb with Parsley-Pistachio Gremolata
Try this recipe: Garlicky Roasted Lamb with Parsley-Pistachio Gremolata
Warm up with this comfort food dish that tastes decadent without being extremely high in calories. Never heard of "Frenched" leg of lamb before? It just means that the meat, fat, and membranes have been removed from the exposed bone. Ask the butcher to do it for you.
Ingredients: Frenched bone-in leg of lamb, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, black pepper, kosher salt, fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, garlic, roasted salted pistachios, lemon zest
Whole Roasted Chinese Red Snapper
Try this recipe: Whole Roasted Chinese Red Snapper
Introducing a relatively quick, easy winter recipe that's also healthy. Red snapper is a great source of protein, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Rice and sauteed broccoli or bok choy would be perfect accompaniments to this flavorful dish.
Ingredients: Peanut oil, whole red snapper, low-sodium soy sauce, scallions, ginger, garlic, cilantro, sesame oil, mirin, crushed red pepper, lime
Pork Roast With Fennel and Apples
Try this recipe: Pork Roast With Fennel and Apples
Pork roast is the ultimate cold-weather meal, and we love that this recipe puts your protein and vegetables on one platter. Toss a salad or make an easy whole-grain side (like quinoa or barley) and dinner is ready.
Ingredients: Demerara sugar, black peppercorns, bay leaves, apple cider, kosher salt, boneless pork loin, rosemary sprigs, black pepper, fennel seeds, carrots, apples, fennel bulbs, red onion
Sour Cream, Cheddar, and Green Onion Drop Biscuits
Try this recipe: Sour Cream, Cheddar, and Green Onion Drop Biscuits
Capturing the same flavors as your favorite sour cream and onion chips, the texture of these flaky biscuits will have you coming back for more. And using fat-free sour cream and buttermilk recreates the flavor for one-third of the fat in fast food options. Though these biscuits taste best right out of the oven, you can store them up to two days in a tin.
Ingredients: All-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, chilled butter, reduced-fat sharp cheddar, green onions, fat-free buttermilk, fat-free sour cream, cooking spray
Try this recipe: Garden Lasagna
Get your daily dose of veggies by sneaking zucchini, carrots, and corn into this cheesy lasagna dish. Using low-fat milk, cottage cheese, and mozzarella cheese cuts down on fat, but fresh basil and hint of nutmeg give your taste buds plenty to be excited about. And thanks to the no-boil lasagna noodles, this is a quick, easy winter recipe that can be whipped up without a lot of fuss.
Ingredients: Olive oil, zucchini, onion, carrot, corn kernels, basil, kosher salt, black pepper, all-purpose flour, 1% low-fat milk, low-fat cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, ground nutmeg, cooking spray, no-boil lasagna noodles, part-skim mozzarella cheese
Chorizo-White Bean Soup
Try this recipe:
This simple soup packs more than 20 grams of protein with the savory combination of sausage and navy beans. Plus, the spinach sneaks in a little iron and fiber. Topped with Parmesan cheese, this meal will help you settle down for a long winter's nap.
Ingredients: Chorizo sausage, red bell pepper, carrot, chicken broth, baby spinach, Great Northern or navy beans, Parmesan cheese
Chipotle Meat Loaf
Try this recipe: Chipotle Meat Loaf
By using turkey instead of ground beef, this recipe boasts one-third of the fat of traditional meatloaf recipes, while still providing 30 grams of satiating protein. Chipotles, cumin, and cilantro give the turkey a slightly smoky and moderately spicy flavor. Serve with corn or a baked potato for the ultimate comfort food meal.
Ingredients: Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, onion, cilantro, regular oats, breadcrumbs, tomato sauce, fresh parsley, salt, ground cumin, dried oregano, dried basil, black pepper, garlic, egg whites, ground turkey, ground turkey breast, cooking spray, tomato sauce, ketchup, hot sauce
Try this recipe: Beef Stroganoff
We knocked half the sodium and two grams of fat off this classic Russian dish. If you’re in a hurry, use frozen chopped onions and pre-sliced mushrooms to speed preparation. In order to keep the creamy consistency of the sauce, be careful not to bring it to a boil once you stir in the sour cream mixture in.
Ingredients: Reduced-fat sour cream, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, all-purpose flour, salt, black pepper, boneless sirloin steak, butter, onion, beef broth, mushrooms, parsley, medium egg noodles