Now is the best time to (over)indulge in winter comfort food.
During the cold weather months is when I need the most comforting — skies are overcast, it’s gross and slushy outside, the days are shorter…All I want to do is gorge myself on hearty soups and stews until I sleepily stumble into a cave to hibernate, not emerging until the birds are a-chirpin’ and the buds are a-bloomin’….and ideally COVID-free.
But there’s always a bright side — a) the extra layers of fat you inevitably put on from overindulging will keep you warm in the face of the chilly weather and b) you’ll be able to conceal it easily under layers of chunky knits until the spring! It’s all about silver linings.
What I’m trying to say is that NOW is the time to feast on winter comfort foods to your heart’s content!
Here are 6 tried-and-true winter comfort food recipes that I found around the internet that will keep you warm and satiated in the coming months of frost and snow:
Super simple, filling AND healthy, I’ve been making this Italian white bean soup from The Clever Meal on repeat. To pack an even more flavourful punch, add 2-3 anchovy fillets as you’re sautéing the garlic, onions and chilli flakes. Once fully cooked, I smush some of the beans and potato for a smooth consistency. I also add MORE garlic to the soup and make triple the amount of parsley garlic sauce. It’s the ultimate hearty winter comfort food to keep you warm and satisfied!
‘Tis the season of the squash! Having picked up an acorn squash while I was supposed to be pumpkin picking, I found this recipe for a sausage and cauliflower rice stuffed acorn squash by Paleo Running Momma. The only thing I changed was that I rubbed the inside with melted butter and brown sugar before roasting. I was astounded by how perfectly the caramelized flavour of the squash complemented the savoury sausage and herbs!
While scrolling my Instagram feed for ideas that are healthy winter comfort food ideas, I came across this warm lentil salad by Well Seasoned Studio. Pairing it with crispy seared scallops made the dish even more drool-worthy to my hungry eyes. The green puy lentils are drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette and tossed with lardons, scallions and briny capers.
A cold salad may be an odd addition to a list of winter comfort food but shuba not only means ‘fur coat’ in Russian, but it reminds me of cozy days spent sweating it out at banya (an Eastern-Slavic steam bathhouse). I tried this recipe by Natasha’s Kitchen that substitutes herring for smoked salmon (where the heck am I supposed to find herring?!). It’s then layered with grated boiled vegetables (beet, carrot, potato), chopped onions, and mayonnaise. So decadent!
Nothing is more comforting to me than a a steaming bowl of soup. This beef barley soup by Jo Cooks is the perfect medley of flavours, swimming with tender chunks of meat, chewy pearls of barley, and the holy trifecta of vegetables — carrot, onion and celery. Browning the beef adds a rich depth of umami to please your tastebuds while chasing the chill from your bones.
Salmon en Croute (‘salmon in a crust’) sounds fancy AF, no? If you’re looking for an extravagant dish to impress dinner guests, this hearty recipe by Gordon Ramsay will do the trick. Snag a premium cut of salmon from your local fishmonger, slather one side in grain mustard and the other in a herbed butter before gently wrapping in pastry crust. Serve with roasted Brussel sprouts and a zesty dijon and dill sauce and you’re good to go!
There are only so many sweaters I can wear at a time so winter comfort foods are my way of warming myself from the inside.
For a recipe for a fresh AF salad to introduce more greens into your quarantine diet, check out this post for this one concocted by yours truly.
Keep your stalking game strong and follow me @teriaki if you aren’t already!
(Photo of squash in main image via Paleo Running Momma)