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Settle Into Winter With These Cozy, Feel-Good Meals

Writer and expert4 months ago
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There’s something about the winter that intensifies those comfort food cravings and it’s those dropping temperatures that certainly contribute to us looking for options that make us feel good emotionally and physically. And, the reality is, few things are quite as comforting as a hot, hearty meal on a cold day. After all, there’s a reason it’s called soup season — we must warm up somehow.

To properly quell our winter comfort food cravings, though, it’s important to ensure your chosen recipes are both simple and healthy so you can cook without fuss and eat without overindulging. That’s where comfort foods with nutritious ingredients come in and the balanced yet delicious appetizer and meal recipes below are the perfect place to begin.

APPETIZER: Watercress & Brie-Topped Artichoke Hearts

Makes 18 pieces 

  • One 9-ounce box frozen artichoke hearts
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped blanched watercress (about 2 bunches, trimmed)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 18 thin slices Brie cheese
  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Cook the artichoke hearts, following the package directions and drain them well.
  3. Combine the watercress, lemon pepper and salt in a small bowl.
  4. Place the artichoke hearts on a baking sheet and top each one with a portion of the watercress mixture. Lay the Brie on top and broil until the cheese melts, 1 to 2 minutes.

MAIN: Roast Turkey, Watercress & Winter Vegetable Chowder

Serves 8
  • 3 slices turkey bacon, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 2 large stalks celery, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded & cut into ½-inch dice
  • 7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups fresh watercress, cut into 3-inch lengths
  • 2 cups diced roast turkey (½-inch dice)
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a heavy 6- to 8-quart saucepan, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring frequently until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate. Set aside.
  2. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat and return the pot to medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté until the vegetables are soft but not browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the squash and the broth. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot and cook until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the watercress, turkey, zucchini, parsley, thyme and reserved bacon. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into warm bowls or mugs to serve.

Perhaps the best part? Chowder freezes beautifully, so you can thaw out the extra servings on the next cold night. Bon appétit.

Writer and expert
View perriconemd's profile