Do you find yourself enjoying your favorite weekend workout when you start to feel hunger pains? The chill in of the winter air might be making you crave something warm. I’ve rounded up five easy healthy winter recipes to help you out.
These recipes include whole unprocessed ingredients. They may also be modified in order to make them vegetarian by substituting tofu or tempeh for the meat. Most items on this list are also good for those on a low carbohydrate, keto, paleo or gluten-free diet.
Healthy Winter Recipes
Over at Well Plated by Erin, you’ll find a delicious turkey chili recipe. What’s a better hearty meal to fill you up during the cool months of winter? It’s packed with lean protein from the turkey and if you add beans it has a healthy amount of fiber too. If you’d rather have red meat you could substitute lean ground beef for the turkey.
Erin also adds some fun topping ideas like avocado or shredded cheese. It’s got a spicy kick from the cayenne pepper which may help boost your metabolism.
Healthy Fried Chicken
Wendy Polisi has an awesome air fryer chicken breast recipe. If you don’t have an air fryer it’s no problem, she gives instructions for baking it too. Air fryers give you the juicy sensation of meat that’s been deep fried without all of the fat. What else makes it healthy? It’s grain and gluten-free, low-carb and keto friendly as well.
The secret to making this possible is in the coating. It’s parmesan cheese and almond flour. This chicken would pair nicely with a fizzy glass of your favorite kombucha and steamed vegetables or a salad.
Molly O’Neill posted a tempting recipe on The New York Times Cooking site. It calls for the standard stew ingredients of beef, carrots, and potatoes but includes some red wine for extra flavor. If you are pressed for time you could make a less fussy version in your slow cooker.
Corey at Family Fresh Meals has a super easy recipe that just requires throwing all of your ingredients in the slow cooker and letting it cook all day. Because not everyone has time for browning meat and making a separate gravy.
Low Carb Twice Baked Cauliflower
Kayln at Kayln’s Kitchen has come up with a low carbohydrate dish that would be perfect for bringing to a winter or holiday potluck. You’ll be loved by all because cauliflower has become the new kale, right?
This recipe calls for bacon, but if you omit it, it could be great for a vegetarian crowd. It calls for some cheese so it is a little more decadent than steamed veggies but would be nice as a side dish paired with something like the air fryer chicken (above).
Healthy Paleo Pumpkin Custard (Keto and Low Carb)
I had to include at least one dessert! Lisa at Low Carb Yum shared a sweet recipe that could stand in for pumpkin pie during the holidays and winter months when you have a hankering for pumpkin. Definitely one of the grear healthy winter recipes!
There are no nuts or dairy so it could satisfy almost anyone if you are hosting and worried about everyone’s allergies, food sensitivities or eating plans. Although there are eggs so this dessert would not be considered vegan.
Lisa shows how she prepares these custards in little individual cups. This is brilliant because it limits your serving size, which is key if you are trying to maintain or lose weight during the winter.
Freezing food for later
If you have leftovers, consider freezing a few individual portions. Then you can just microwave one for an easy weeknight meal. Glass containers with lids make it easier to reheat and you can feel confident the plastic isn’t leaching into your food when you reheat it.
Pro tip: Meats freeze very well. If you want to make things super easy, you can make a large batch of chicken breasts or a roast in your slow-cooker. You just need a half a cup of stock or water and some salt and pepper. When it’s done, you can freeze or refrigerate your meat in individual containers. During the week you can re-heat one and toss the shredded meat on a salad, in a burrito or use to make a sandwich.
I hope you enjoy the cool winter months with these easy healthy meals. Combine healthful eating with a consistent fitness routine and by the time summer comes around again, you’ll be glad you did. Evan Zener is a fitness trainer in NE Portland. Feel free to get in touch if you’d like to learn more about how regular fitness will improve your energy, health, and vitality.