Winter arrives after the calorie-filled holiday season. It’s also the time of year when you’re stuck indoors and not moving around as much.
That’s why it’s important to eat as healthy as possible during the colder months. Healthy foods not only boost your immune system but also help you better manage your weight.
Check out the following healthy recipes that will also help keep you warm this winter.
Simple heart-healthy turkey chili
Making chili with ground turkey instead of ground beef keeps your heart and stomach healthier since ground turkey is 99% fat free. Kidney beans are high in protein and rich in fiber, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. They also moderate blood sugar levels.
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 16-ounce can dark kidney beans
- 2 cups water
- 5 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon each of paprika, dried oregano, ground cayenne pepper, ground cumin, salt and black pepper
In a frying pan, brown turkey in olive oil until no longer pink. Stir in onion and sauté until fragrant.
Place turkey and onion in large pot. Pour in water, tomatoes, beans and garlic. Add in the rest of the seasonings.
Bring to a boil, then heat on low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Garnish bowls with healthy toppings.
Slow-cooker vegetable soup
This hearty vegetable soup that beats any canned version. The best part about vegetable soup is that it promotes weight loss because it’s a filling mix of broth and vegetables.
As for ingredients, there’s no fast and hard rule about what to put into your vegetable soup. Below you’ll find just a few suggestions to get you started. You can also use any leftover bits of chicken to bulk up the soup.
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 package of fresh or frozen green beans cut into pieces
- 4 cups fresh or frozen chopped kale
- 4 Roma tomatoes seeded and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced or, if preferred, a few pinches of garlic powder to taste
- 1 15-ounce cans of no-salt white beans rinsed
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
In slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Cook on high for four hours or low for six hours.
When serving, add in optional healthy toppings or ingredients of your choice. For a savory taste, mix in a teaspoon or two of red wine vinegar and prepared pesto.
Fiber-filled navy bean soup
If you’re wondering what to do with some of that leftover holiday ham, turn it into an easy hearty soup. You can pair ham with navy beans, which are also known as haricot beans.
Navy beans are white, not blue, and got their name because they were a staple food in the U.S. Navy in the early 20th century. The bean is high in protein and fiber, B vitamins and minerals. It is especially beneficial for reducing metabolic syndrome, which is a sign of pre-diabetes.
- 2 cups dried navy beans or canned beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 cup diced cooked ham
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 5 cups water
- Salt and pepper to taste
For dried beans, rinse and sort, then soak according to directions. Drain, rinse and discard liquid.
Place beans in a large soup pot. Add all ingredients except for the ham. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1.5 hours, adding more water if necessary. Add ham, heat through and serve.