When the temperature drops and the wind gets chilly, it's time to get cozy. Turn on your oven, panini press or any other heat-emitting appliance you can find. Reach for savory meats, artisan cheeses, crusty breads, seasonal veggies and flavorful spices and then prepare yourself for ultimate blustery weather comfort food. Experiment with fall and winter meal ideas that will make your mouth water and make you want even more.
Meat and Potatoes
Create a traditional meal for hearty eaters with a classic meat and potatoes recipe. Choose creamed beef over mashed potatoes, pot roast with carrots and potatoes, and chili-laden baked potatoes as filling renditions of that winter table staple. Pull more spins and twists when you move away from beef and experiment with lamb, venison and other red meats. For even healthier eating, dietitian Marissa Lippert recommends bison or buffalo meat. Saute, roast, braise or fry potatoes and serve them with other winter-friendly sides such as stuffing, creamed corn and green bean casserole.
A small bowl of soup packs a lot of nourishment and, as it slides down your throat, it seems to make your whole body a little bit warmer. Winterize your soup entree by choosing cream-based soups like corn or clam chowder. If choosing broth-based soups, include lots of potatoes and protein-rich meats and poultry. Fall and winter are perfect times to experiment with new chili recipes and cornbread sides. Serve soups with crackers and cheese, a side salad, a slice of crusty bread or a Chicago-style hard roll.
Obliterate the white bread and bologna sandwich stereotype forever with tantalizing toasted sandwiches made with your toaster oven, panini press or another type of two-sided grill. Make winter sandwiches more indulgent with artisan bread. Choose thick bread like ciabatta rolls or baguette, or flatbread like focaccia. Cover both sides of the bread with a cream cheese or mustard-based spread or sauce. Layer on savory meats such as Italian ham (called prosciutto), turkey, chicken or smoked salmon. Top your mouth-watering creation with vegetables like mushrooms, chopped olives, onions, spinach and red peppers. Hot, melted cheese completes the sandwich. Try provolone, mozzarella or Gouda cheese for extra flavor. Coat the sides of bread with olive oil and grill, press or toast in your toaster oven.
Prepare yourself for your winter commute with a warm and satisfying breakfast. Sausage, egg and cheese casseroles curb hunger pains until lunchtime and the leftovers can easily double as dinner. Use seasonal vegetables like zucchini and pumpkin to make quick breads you can pack and eat on the go. For Saturday mornings, spend a little more time with a breakfast bread braid. Woven braids of bread dough covering a layer of sausage, cheese and pepper jack cheese bakes to perfection and fills your entire home with a comforting aroma.