While the cold chill of winter envelops most of the country, enjoying the outdoors can become a distant memory. Instead of gazing longingly out the window at the pool safety covers in your and your neighbor’s backyards, why not warm up your senses with the following seasonal recipes?
Chicken chili. To get started prepping this delicious meal, cube four skinless, boneless chicken breast halves. You will also need one tablespoon olive oil, one onion (chopped), one and one-quarter cups chicken broth, one four-ounce can diced green chiles, one teaspoon garlic powder, one teaspoon ground cumin, one-half teaspoon dried oregano, one-half teaspoon dried cilantro, one-eighth teaspoon cayenne pepper, one 15-ounce can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed), two green onions (chopped), and two ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and onion and cook for about five minutes, or until the onion is tender. Stir in the chicken broth, chiles, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, cilantro, and oregano. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Then, stir in beans and simmer five more minutes—or until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle and the juices run clear. Garnish with shredded cheese and green onion.
Spaghetti squash. This low carb alternative to pasta uses one spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded. You also need two tablespoons vegetable oil, one onion (chopped), one minced garlic clove, one and one-half cups chopped tomatoes, three-quarters cup feta cheese, three tablespoons sliced black olives, and two tablespoons chopped fresh basil. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet. Place the spaghetti squash—with cut sides down on the baking sheet—and bake 30 minutes, or until a knife can be inserted with a little resistance. Remove the squash from the oven and set it aside so it cools enough to be handled. Then, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion until tender. Add garlic, stirring and cooking for several minutes until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until they are warmed through. Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash. Place it in a medium bowl and toss with the vegetables, olives, basil, and feta cheese.
Beef stew. This succulent stew requires the following ingredients: two pounds cubed beef stew meat, four cubes beef bouillon (crumbled), three tablespoons vegetable oil, four cups water, one teaspoon dried rosemary, one teaspoon dried parsley, one-half teaspoon black pepper, three large potatoes (peeled and cubed), four carrots (cut into one-inch pieces), four stalks celery (cut into one-inch pieces), one large onion (chopped), two teaspoons corn starch, and two teaspoons cold water. Cook the beef in oil, over medium heat until brown, in a large pot or Dutch oven. Dissolve the bouillon in water and then pour it into the pot. Stir in the parsley, pepper, and rosemary. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for one hour. Stir the carrots, celery, onions, and potatoes into the pot. Then, dissolve corn starch into 2 tablespoons cold water and stir into stew. Cover and simmer for another hour.
Winter time is the perfect time to indulge in these comfort foods. Open a bottle of wine, slice some crusty bread, and finish the meal with your favorite dessert. Bon Appetit!