Healthy Winter Meals

Winter is here and you find yourself craving warm comfort foods that are, unfortunately, full of calories.

Here are some ideas for healthy balanced meals that are relatively easy to make and easy to take to work or to school.

1. Chunky soups and stews full of meat and vegetables will soothe your soul and your body. You can place it in a slow cooker all day and it will be ready for you to savor when you get home. Next time, try this recipe. You will love the warm, tender flavors of the meat and vegetables.

Beef Stew

2 lbs of beef stew meat
1 onion peeled and diced
6 stalks of celery diced
1 lb of carrots peeled and sliced either into chunks or rounds
4 good size potatoes peeled and cut into small chunks
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
4 cans of beef broth
1 package beef stew mix either by Lawry’s or McCormick’s

In a slow cooker, mix the broth, the tomatoes, and stew mix. Add onion and celery. Then add the meat and other vegetables. Cover and slowly cook 8-9 hours. Just before serving, add 2 tbls cornstarch into 1/4 cup water. Mix well and drizzle slowly while stirring stew to thicken.

2. Lightly oiled roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes without butter or heavy cream are excellent choices for cold winter nights

3. Try stir-fry recipes made with lean meat tossed with your favorite vegetables. You can add soy and sweet chili sauce to open up your senses. Cook up this delicious stir fry that will warm your mouth.

Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

1 pounds beef, boneless top sirloin steak

1 cup broth, beef

1/4 cup soy sauce, reduced-sodium

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 teaspoon oil, dark sesame, divided

1 tablespoon ginger, fresh, minced, peeled

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups broccoli florets

1 onion, 2 1/2 cups sliced

1 cup carrot, thinly sliced

6 cups rice, brown, instant, hot cooked, such as Success


1. Trim fat from steak. Cut beef diagonally across grain into very thin slices.

2. Combine broth, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until blended.

3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over high heat. Add ginger and garlic; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add beef; stir-fry 5 minutes. Remove mixture from pan; keep warm. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil; add broccoli, onion, and carrot. Sauté 7 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Return beef mixture to pan, and stir in cornstarch mixture; sauté 2 minutes or until thick and bubbly. Serve over rice.

4. A simple but delicious favorite is roast chicken without the skin and grilled vegetables.

5. A quick, warm ending to any meal is steamed apples with cinnamon.

When you are cold, carbs are the best comfort foods so try lighter versions of your favorites. Mashed potatoes without butter and salt, whole grain toast and wheat pastas are excellent selections that will go with just about anything.

Winter doesn’t mean eating boring, unhealthy food. Think of it as a time to try warm, delicious foods in a healthy way.

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