I don't know about you, but when the temperatures drop I start to crave a warm bowl of deliciousness. Soups and chilis become staples in my weekly menu during the Fall and Winter months, but it's important to me to sneak in as many high-fiber vegetables and healthy fats as possible (If you missed my post on my formula for a healthy and balanced meal you can read that HERE). There's no need to deny yourself the comfort that a warm, nostalgic home cooked meal brings! Experiencing pleasure when you eat actually plays a very important role in maintaining healthy eating habits long-term. When you regularly eat foods that you actually enjoy and that truly satisfy you, a few things happen:
You think about food less
You will likely eat less food overall
You reduce the likelihood of intense cravings later on
You reduce the urge to binge eat
You feel more "in control" around food
And those are some of the most common barriers to healthy eating that I hear from clients! They feel exhausted from obsessively thinking about food, stressing about food, they feel "out of control" around certain foods, and constantly battle intense cravings. How often do you allow yourself to eat foods you enjoy instead of what you think you "should" be eating? Are you even aware of what you like? Which foods do you actually enjoy? Which foods make you feel your best? I encourage you to start paying attention to those things!
With that being said, I want to share a couple of my favorite recipes right now. They check the "comfort food" boxes in that they're warm and satisfying, but with a healthy spin! They include plenty of nourishing veggies, stabilize blood sugar, and have the satisfaction factor by adding shredded cheese if you'd like! They are great to prepare on Sunday because they make plenty of leftovers to enjoy throughout the week, and they're a healthy way to satisfy your comfort food cravings this Fall.
Enjoy! Let me know your thoughts if you make one of these recipes this weekend :)
TUSCAN BEAN SOUP
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups celery, thinly sliced
3 cups carrots, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, chopped
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup orzo pasta
1 (28 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
¾ lb cooked chicken breasts, shredded
1-2 handfuls Kale, shredded
Optional: fresh parsley, shredded parmesan cheese
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Add carrots, celery and garlic and saute for an additional 3 minutes.
2. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, orzo, thyme, oregano, rosemary, red pepper flakes, beans, and stir to combine. Bring soup to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente.
3. Stir in the chicken with 5 minutes remaining.
4. Add kale and heat until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
5. Serve with fresh parsley and shredded parmesan if desired.
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef (can substitute 1 lb ground turkey, or 1 (15 oz) can pinto or kidney beans)
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 large zucchini, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt & Pepper to taste
Optional: Sliced avocado, shredded cheddar cheese
1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, zucchini, carrots, and garlic and cook, stirring, until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in the tomatoes, cumin, oregano, salt, and black pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the chili thickened.