Updated: Dec 26, 2020
Nothing beats the comfort of hot, homemade food on a cold winter night. Imagine the feeling of preparing your favorite meal with everybody around, enjoying it together on a cold night. When the temperature of the environment drops, our metabolism slows down to conserve energy, leading us to feel lethargic. In this article, I describe some healthy dinner ideas that definitely satisfy our winter cravings, help us lose some extra weight, and make us feel energetic.
1) Beef Stew
This delicious slow cooker recipe is a perfect crowd-pleaser, and your family will love it. It's full of nutrients, and low in calories, so it will help you lose weight. Mashed sweet potatoes or corn would make the perfect side dishes for this stew. Or, if you want to take this stew to the next level, you can have one slice of Low GI whole-wheat bread to keep the calorie count low.
One teaspoon of olive oil
One pound lean beef
One tablespoon of flour (gluten-free)
Two teaspoons of paprika
Two chopped garlic cloves
One chopped onion
One pound of potatoes cut into cubes
Three carrots cut into cubes
Six ounces of mushrooms
Two cups of beef broth
Two tablespoons of tomato paste
Fresh rosemary chopped
Red wine (optional)
You can use your skillet for making this, but it's better to make this in your slow cooker. First, heat the Olive oil in medium-high heat. Season the beef with paprika and flour. Then allow the meat to be browned on all sides and add in the onion, garlic, carrots, potatoes, celery, and mushrooms. After that, you can add the cup of broth to the cooker. While mixing well, add tomato paste, rosemary, sage, and red wine. If you don't have red wine, don't worry, it's optional. You can cook this for 6-9 hours on low and 3 hours on high.
2) Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken
This roasted chicken dish is high in protein and low in carbs and would be perfect for your weight loss journey. There are some healthy recipes that you don't have to work on much, but they turn out well. This is that kind of recipe. It's really delicious but very easy to prepare. You can serve this with roasted veggies or sweet potatoes.
A large chicken, around 2-3 kilos
Thyme or rosemary, or you can use mixed herbs
Two tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Then you have to wash the chicken thoroughly with cold water and then pat dry. Prepare a roasting pan and place the chicken on it. Then you have to cut the lemon and place one half in the cavity of the chicken. Then mix the juice of the other half with olive oil and brush the whole chicken with that mixture.
Then you can season the chicken with thyme leaves and bake it for around 90 minutes uncovered. Baking time would depend on the size and weight of your chicken. When the chicken turns into a beautiful golden color, you can check if it is cooked through. When it's cooked, you have to cover the chicken with an aluminum foil and keep it for at least 15 minutes before serving.
3) Roasted Salmon with Honey and Garlic
Fish is a great option for weight loss, as it is low carb. It's filling and packed with many nutrients, so it's great for a cold winter night. This recipe is so simple, and it will take only 15 mins of your time. You can serve this with roasted veggies if you like.
Some organic honey
Salt and pepper
First of all, season the salmon with salt and pepper for better taste. Then mix honey and garlic together to make the honey garlic sauce. Then all you need to do is heat up the skillet and cook the salmon in honey garlic sauce. Or you can just put it in the oven for 30-40 mins at 180 degrees Celsius inside tin foil. And voila, you have just prepared a perfect dinner!
4) Steamed green beans
This is a delicious vegan dish that is perfectly one of the healthy recipes. This recipe is low in calories, so it would make a perfect meal for weight loss. The high fiber content in the green beans will keep you full for an extended time.
Three tablespoons of olive oil
Three tablespoons of Avacado oil
Two chopped garlic cloves
Sliced shallots two cups
Pinch of salt
One kilo of green beans
Two tablespoons of white wine vinegar
Half teaspoon of lemon zest
Two teaspoons of lemon juice
Pepper as per your taste
First, you have to add both Olive oil and avocado oil to the skillet and add garlic, rosemary over low heat. After two minutes, carefully remove the garlic, but keep the oil in the skillet and remove the rosemary. Then you have to add shallots and cook until they get golden brown. After that, carefully transfer the shallots into another plate and season the shallots with a pinch of salt.
Then you can steam the green beans until tender. After that, put the remaining oil, chopped garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, zest, and pepper, into a food processor and make it a fine mixture. Then you can toss this with green beans and top it with shallots.
5) French onion soup
Image credit: https://www.budgetbytes.com/french-onion-soup/
This list of healthy dinner ideas will be incomplete if I don't mention the classic, well-tested French onion soup. Besides, who will say no to a delicious, hot bowl of soup on a chilly evening? Especially with a cheesy slice of toasted bread? French onion soup is low in calories and low carb. So, it could use as part of a healthy diet.
Five or six large onions. You can use red, white, or yellow onions, but it would be great if you could find yellow onions.
Extra virgin olive oil
Flour- All-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
Salt and pepper
Low GI Bread
Cheese - Choose any low fat cheese of your choice
Making the classic French onion soup is all about caramelizing onions. A Dutch oven would be great for making French onion soup. Although caramelizing onions is a really simple step, it does take some time. First, you have to pour in extra virgin olive oil and add onions. Toss the onions so that the oil will coat the onions, keep it for 5 minutes and stir them. Keep it for another 5 minutes until they become golden brown on the bottom. Then stir them again and repeat the process until the onion is completely caramelized.
After that, you can add the remaining ingredients, beef stock, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. You have to cook the soup until it becomes simmering and remove thyme and bay leaf. Add salt and pepper according to your taste.
While the soup is simmering nice and slow, you can toast the Low GI bread in the oven or toaster.
The last step would be broiling. Carefully ladle the soup into your favorite bowls and top it with toasted bread with cheese. Two to four minutes of broiling would be enough to melt the cheese. Then you are ready to go.
We all love food, and even when we are trying to lose weight, it doesn't mean we have to ignore tasty food and stick to a strict diet. There are plenty of healthy dinner ideas, delicious options, and we can still try them while losing weight. These comfort foods will satisfy your winter night cravings. Plus, they will be ideal for a family gathering or if you want to host a party. Your guests will love your food.