Being a New Englander I should not have been so surprised to see snow this winter, but it hasn't been quite so cold and snowy around here for a few years. When I was at home in Cambridge, MA for the first snow storm of the season I saw the local news covering the blizzard non-stop during the news broadcast. That was when I realized that we are in for a long, cold winter which calls for warm, hearty meals and treats. For those of us who don't spend our snow days shoveling snow or sledding (I wish!) for hours on end, here are 10 healthy(ier) snow day meals and treats.
Breakfast. After checking the local news for delays and closings, treat yourself to a few more hours shut-eye under those warm winter duvets. When you're ready for breakfast, enjoy these normally-reserved-for-the-weekend breakfasts.
1. Pancakes. Specifically Spelt Pancakes. I've found that using spelt, instead of white flour, does not drastically change the taste of the pancakes, if anything, they taste heartier. You can also subsitute with white spelt flour or make Whole Wheat Pancakes. Since these pancakes are healthier than their white flour counterparts, why not indulge with a fillings bar! After you make the batter, transfer it onto a hot griddle or pan to cook then drop in a few of you favorite pancake stuffings such as chocolate chips or blueberries.
2. Smoked Salmon Benedict. My brother is a huge fan of eggs benedict, but personally I have trouble eating such a heavy meal in the morning...except for this recipe. The brightness of the salmon plays well with the poached egg and rich benedict dressing. While english muffins are light in calories, it can be difficult to find kosher english muffins outside of New York. I would recommend a multi-grain bread as a good substitute.
Lunch. I have soup + sandwiches on the mind!
3. Grilled Herbed Veggie Sandwich. The beautiful colors of the vegetables and the fragrant aroma from this sandwich makes it one of my favorites. This sandwich plays well with the Mushroom Barley Soup and Winter Vegetable Soup. You can also add grilled chicken to make this sandwich or if you're in the mood for a more meat centered meal try the Curry Turkey Burger.
4. Make Your Own Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches. Keeping with the soup and sandwich theme, frying or baking eggplant allows for more portion control and maximizes sandwich stacking freedom. Serve with the Vegetarian Lentil Soup or Three Bean Minestrone Soup. If you prefer traditional eggplant parmesan, try the Eggplant Parmesan Lite.
5. Spinach Pesto Grilled Cheese + Dream of Tomato Soup. Who can resist grilled cheese with tomato soup?! You can substitute the guyere with mozzerella cheese, if you prefer. Also, control calories by limiting the amount of cheese in each sandwich and/or cutting the sandwiches in fourths effectively making them mini-pesto grilled cheeses. To serve the tomato soup with this grilled cheese either omit the chicken consomme from the recipe or substitute it with the pareve consomme of your choosing.
Treats. If you've been outside shoveling or just want a sweet snow day treat, try these perfectly-snow-day-appropriate desserts.
7. Banana Chocolate Oatmeal Muffin Top Cookies. The only thing these cookies are missing is peanut butter (my waistline is thankful), but that won't stop me from spooning a small teaspoon of PB onto these cookies or serving them with Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate. Alternatively you could combine your cookie and hot chocolate craving into one recipe with these Spicy Hot Chocolate Brownie Cookies.
8. Yael's Chocolate S'manwiches. I may have fallen (a bit) off the waistline-friendly derech with all of these delicious desserts, but these chocolate s'manwiches are worth it and will satisfy your sweet tooth in one, or two, servings.
Dinner. When the snow beckons the last thing you want to do is cut your snow day short in order to cook dinner. This is the perfect opportunity for slow-cooked dinners, just place the ingredients in a crockpot and forget about them until supper time.
9. Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Root Vegetables. The combined heartiness of the beef and root vegetables is beyond compare. Also consider trying the Moroccan Beef and Sweet Potato Stew or Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken Stew.
10. Chicken Thighs with Eggplant and Olives over Pasta. This recipe is both hearty and healthy. The eggplant and olives pair well with the chicken, while the pasta soaks up the delicious juices produced by the chicken, eggplant and olives after 6 hours in the slow cooker.