Clients often ask us how our personal eating habits change when the chilly winter weather arrives. While we still focus on eating meals that are balanced (fruits, veggies, whole grains, healthy fats, lean protein), our cravings and preferences definitely take a turn towards heartier, warmer, and for one of us more bacon influenced, fare in the cooler months. In honor of winter’s approach, we each put together a few of our current favorite cold weather comfort foods.
Pear cocoa oats topped with peanuts
Oats are so warm, soothing, and satisfying. Adding a teaspoon or two of cocoa powder to your oats during the cooking process results in a chocolate-y breakfast. Top it off with pear and peanuts and you’ve got a crunchy-chocolate-sweet combo that makes all taste buds happy. Here’s our Cocoa Oats recipe.
Pizza for breakfast doesn’t have to apply only to cold leftovers from the night before! Top a whole wheat flatbread, pita, or tortilla with marinara, veggies, an egg, and cheese for a breakfast that will warm you up (and it’s fast, too).
Maple mustard salmon with roasted Brussels sprouts and acorn squash wedges
Eating seasonally means you leave less of a carbon footprint and get fresher food. Winter squash is widely available in stores and farmers markets and this meal takes advantage. Our Sweet Mustard Salmon recipe is a great partner to roasted veggies.
Quinoa, broccoli, chicken sausage, and roasted butternut squash sauté
Short on time? This dinner is for you. The pre-cooked chicken sausages come in a wide variety of flavors (garlic, sweet apple, andouille…) and take just a few minutes in a hot skillet to brown. Quinoa is one of the faster cooking whole grains, at about 12-15 minutes — so if you sauté the broccoli when you start the quinoa and use leftover roasted butternut squash, you’ll be able to add the chicken sausage in the final minutes and your broccoli-chicken sausage sauté is ready to add to the quinoa in no longer than 15 minutes.
Leftover chicken and veggie soup topped with corn chips
Is it just us, or does chicken soup taste even better the next day? Add corn chip pieces to the top to give it some crunch.
Egg in a nest
For some reason making an egg in the toast just tastes better than eating the two separately. Maybe it has something to do with that quote, “Bread and water can so easily be toast and tea.”
Popcorn with chile powder, salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin
For those times when you’re watching a movie on the couch and craving a crunchy, flavorful snack, head straight for popcorn. We love this easy way to pop the kernels in the microwave using just a brown paper bag. Spray popped kernels with olive oil or add a few teaspoons of melted butter and then toss with powdered herbs and spices.
Hot cocoa with coconut milk
Even if you are a milk drinker, try our Rich, Dark Hot Chocolate recipe using unsweetened coconut beverage (like So Delicious brand). It’s rich and creamy with a slight hint of coconut that makes you feel like you’re drinking a Mounds bar.
Brussels sprouts with bacon and cayenne over quinoa
Using a mandoline (or sharp knife) to thinly slice Brussels sprouts completely changes the way you can use them! They mix easily with stir fry ingredients and whole grains. Also, if you love the flavor of bacon (like I do!), use one slice, finely chopped, and cook it with the sliced sprouts — you get all the bacon flavor, without overdoing it on sodium or saturated fat.
What cold weather meals are you obsessed with right now?