The Magic of Winter Comfort Food

oatmeal platter

Don’t you love that warm, cozy feeling of sitting down to a comfort meal with your family and friends during the chilly winter months? It is so comforting to make, serve, and eat food that brings people together. With shorter daylight hours and cooler temperatures, it’s no wonder we spend more time preparing and consuming food. It’s like this age old way of fattening up for the “lean” months. Of course, that’s not a thing anymore, but we still do life like that even though it’s unnecessary. Weird.

Maybe it’s because I’m from the midwest, but the comfort foods of choice in winter revolve around soups, stews, and roasts. I even grew up eating cream of wheat and oatmeal for breakfast nearly every day in the winter, which my kids think is ridiculous. Funny how that stuff stays with you. Well I’m going to share three winter comfort food recipes with you today that are sure to give you that warm and cozy feeling I know you’re looking for. So before you head outside for a day of winter activities, power up. We’ve got you covered for your midday warm up and also a simple, cozy way to entertain after a cold day of outdoor winter activities.

Power Oatmeal: Winter Comfort Food Breakfast

oatmeal platter of comfort food

One great way for me to start my day is with a warm bowl of power oatmeal. It is packed with flavor and with protein and keeps my belly satisfied all morning. And the best part is you can microwave it and your oatmeal will be ready in less than 5 minutes prep to spoonful.

I use a recipe from Clean Simple Eats, but tweak it to my desired consistency and tastes. Have I ever told you how much we love their protein powders and off-beat butters? YUM!

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 TBSP of liquid egg whites
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 3/4 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • 1 TBSP of half & half
  • dash of cinnamon
  • Combine oats, water, egg whites and banana. Microwave for 1.5 minutes
  • Stir in your protein powder and half & half, add cinnamon to top
  • Enjoy!

Copycat Trader Joe’s Harvest Chili: Comfort Lunch

variety of vegetables for the magic of comfort

I’m obsessed. I can’t help myself, but when lunchtime comes around I NEED harvest chili. Yes, Trader Joe’s offers it seasonally in their prepared food refrigerated section, but it’s only there for a short amount of time. Good thing I found a copycat recipe so I can make it at home to curb my need for winter comfort food. There are a lot of ingredient in this, but it’s basically a dump and cook recipe. The creator suggests cooking the onions, carrots and celery prior to adding the rest of the ingredients to the crockpot and I agree, but if you are short on time you can skip this step. Did I mention this is a vegetarian recipe? Did I also mention how satisfying it is? Cozy up and fix yourself a bowl of harvest chili and if you’re feeling fancy, add a few slices of avocado on top.

Company Pot Roast: Comfort Food Dinner

Cookbook for winter comfort food

Having friends or family over for a meal is a quintessential aspect of life. As much as we crave wonderful food, more so we crave sharing that food with others we love. Having a solid main dish that you can put together and let cook while you finish off your side dishes and salads is the key to easy entertaining. This pot roast recipe has a 3 hour cook time, so be sure to plan ahead for that. The options for side dishes are endless and you can creatively add healthy options to accompany your comfort food main dish.

Choose the most prime piece of beef you can afford. This is important when your dish is simple. Pot roast is not a fancy dinner, but the cut of meat and the quality of the meat will stand out more if you select prime beef. Talk to your butcher (even if it’s just at your local grocery store) and let him/her know exactly what you’re cooking and what you are looking for. Don’t be afraid to talk budget either.

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