Delicious Bites

Make These 4 Cozy Meals to Warm Your Bones This Winter

There’s something infinitely satisfying about digging into a big bowl of deliciousness over the winter. It’s a way of rewarding yourself for working hard during the harvest season — a time for kicking back and enjoying the fruits of your labor.  

Plus, many traditional favorites have considerable health benefits. Do you remember your mama or other childhood caregiver heating you up a hot bowl of chicken soup when you got sick? It turns out there’s wisdom in this folk remedy — it’s rich in cysteine amino acids that help loosen mucus.  

Do you need a little inspiration for creating your menu this week? Try making these four cozy meals to warm your bones this winter.  

1. Goulash 

Goulash is a fabulous choice for the entire family, including those who prefer a cruelty-free lifestyle. While you can certainly find recipes that include meat, many traditional renditions of this dish are vegetable-based, making them vegetarian and vegan-friendly.  

This meal sticks to your ribs and is rich in paprika, a spice made from various ground peppers. The carotenoids and capsaicin this blend contains help you fight inflammation and repel disease-causing free radicals. Try this recipe to delight the vegetarian in your clan who deserve a hearty meal: 

*2 onions 

*7 garlic cloves 

*3 bell peppers: Use various colors for different phytonutrient profiles. 

*2 carrots 

*4 potatoes 

*1 can diced tomatoes 

*1 can butter beans 

*1 ½ cup vegetable stock 

*6 tablespoons paprika 

*1 tablespoon dried thyme 

*1 tablespoon tomato paste 

*1 bay leaf 

*Salt and pepper to taste 

Saute your vegetables in oil, starting with your onions, then adding garlic and paprika and finally, the potatoes and carrot. Simmer until tender. Then, add your canned tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, thyme, salt and pepper and bay leaf. Simmer for 15 minutes before adding butter beans and peppers and leaving to cook for another five to ten minutes.  

2. Chicken Soup 

Chicken soup is a classic winter recipe that can help loosen mucus. The heat from the simmering broth also opens up clogged nasal passages, allowing you to clear some of that gunk out of your head.  

Best of all, this meal is simple to make with only five principal ingredients. However, you can spice it up to make it even more potent. For example, adding turmeric for color and flavor adds extra anti-inflammatory power, and a touch of paprika can do the same. Add more veggies to increase the overall nutrient content. Start with this basic recipe and add your creative touches: 

*1 tablespoon olive oil 

*1 small onion  

*1 cup cooked chicken 

*1-quart natural chicken broth 

*1 package frozen vegetables 

*1 cup egg noodles 

*Herbs, spices, salt and pepper to taste 

Simmer your onion in olive oil. Add the remaining ingredients and serve with crackers or grilled cheese. 

3. Chili  

Do you like it hot? Spicy foods are excellent for opening blocked nasal passages. This cozy meal can really warm your bones this winter, making you sweat if you add enough of the hot stuff.  

Best of all, it’s easy to modify for your tastes. Don’t eat beef? Substitute ground turkey or Beyond meats for a vegan-friendly version. If you have a tongue and tummy of steel, habaneros or ghost peppers will make your forehead bead. Still, those with more delicate sensibilities can stick to a single jalapeño or anaheim pepper for tang.  

Here’s a basic recipe you can modify for your taste: 

*1 pound ground beef  

*1 small diced white onion  

*3 cans diced tomatoes with green chilis 

*2 cans of black or kidney beans, drained 

*2 tablespoons chili powder 

4. Lasagna 

Lasagna can be simple or the ultimate complicated Sunday treat. Want to make this Italian classic even healthier and heartier? Substitute whole-grain pasta for the all-purpose stuff. You’ll get more filling fiber in your diet while avoiding problematic byproducts that can arise during the bleaching process.  

Here’s a relatively simple recipe that you can make ahead and freeze for busy weeknights: 

*½ pound lean ground beef 

*½ pound Italian sausage 

*1 diced onion  

*2 diced cloves of garlic 

*36 ounces pasta sauce 

*2 tablespoons tomato paste 

*1 teaspoon Italian seasoning  

*2 cups ricotta cheese 

*4 cups mozzarella cheese 

*½ cup parmesan cheese 

*¼ cup fresh chopped parsley 

*1 beaten egg 

*1 package whole grain lasagna noodles 

Make your sauce mixture first by sauteing the onion and garlic, then browning the meat. Add pasta sauce, paste and Italian seasoning. Then, prepare the cheese mixture with the three cheeses, parsley and egg.  

Start with a meat layer, followed by noodles and cheese. Repeat, saving a bit of the cheese mixture on the side. Bake covered in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, add the remaining cheese and bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving. 

Warm Your Bones With These 4 Cozy Meals This Winter  

Winter is the perfect time to warm your bones with cozy meals. Many comfort classics also have health benefits.  

Experiments with these cozy meals to warm your bones, adding your unique twists until you create new family favorites. These recipes will keep you toasty until spring brings the thaw.  


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