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The Best Comfort Food Recipes that Don't Sacrifice Nutrition

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Winter is here, and on top of overloading on teas and sweaters, it's the perfect time to indulge and think about what to have for dinner that will warm you up and keep you satiated.

There's nothing like a hot and delicious comfort meal, so we've compiled the best recipes we know for our favorite fixes. Here are the best comfort food recipes that don't sacrifice nutrition.

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Beef Stew

From CHOW

Ingredients:
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, large dice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
4 cups (1 quart) low-sodium beef broth
2 bay leaves
4 fresh thyme sprigs
3 medium carrots
3 medium celery stalks
4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 cup frozen peas

Method:
Place 1/4 cup of the flour and the measured salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine; set aside. Trim the roast of excess fat and sinew and cut it into 1- to 1-1/2-inch cubes. Place the meat in the flour mixture and toss to coat; set aside.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Shake off the excess flour from about one-third of the meat and add it to the pot. Cook, stirring rarely, until browned all over, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining meat in 2 more batches; set aside.

Add the onion to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir to coat the onion, and cook until the raw flavor has cooked off, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Sprinkle in the remaining tablespoon of flour and cook, stirring occasionally, until the raw flavor has cooked off, about 1 minute. Pour in the wine, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and cook until the mixture has thickened, about 3 minutes.

Return the meat and any accumulated juices in the bowl to the pot. Add the broth, bay leaves, and thyme and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.

Cut the carrots, celery, and potatoes into large dice and add them to the pot (peel the carrots and potatoes first, if desired). Stir to combine, cover with a tightfitting lid, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables and meat are knife tender, about 1 hour more.

Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme stems. Stir in the peas and simmer uncovered until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

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Classic lasagna

From Simply Scratch

Ingredients:
1 pound Ground Sirloin
1 pound Ground Italian Sausage
1 large Yellow Onion, chopped
2 whole Garlic Cloves, smashed, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon Dried Basil
1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
1 tablespoon Dried Parsley Flakes
1 {28 oz} can Whole San Marzano Tomatoes
12 ounces Tomato Paste
1/4 cup Water
3 cups Whole Milk Ricotta
2 whole Eggs
1/2 teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
2 tablespoons Fresh Parsley, chopped
1/2 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
4 cups {16 oz} Grated Mozzarella Cheese, divided
16 Flat "No Boil" Lasagna Noodles

Method:
For the Sauce
1. In a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat; sauté chopped onion in a tablespoon of olive oil until they start to soften. Add in minced garlic, ground beef and the ground Italian sausage. Stir occasionally until the meat browned.

2. Measure and add in the teaspoon of kosher salt and a tablespoon of each basil, parsley flakes and oregano. Add in the 12 ounces of tomato paste.

3. Crush each San Marzano tomato by hand into small pieces over the pot {to catch any juices}. Add any remaining sauce from the can. I like to add a quarter cup of water to the can, swirl to remove any excess sauce and pour that in as well. Stir to combine.

4. Reduce the heat to low, replace the lid on your Dutch oven and let the sauce simmer for 45 minutes.

5. In a large bowl combine the 3 cups of ricotta, two eggs, parsley, black pepper and a half cup of both Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese. Stir and keep in the fridge until ready to assemble the lasagna.

To assemble
1. Lightly coat a 13x9 baking pan with olive oil and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

2. Spread 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of the baking pan.

3. Start with 4 noodles and top with 1/3 of the ricotta mixture {spread it out}. Spread out 1 to 1-1/2 cups of sauce, sprinkle with a 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Mozzarella.

4. Then layer another 4 noodles and top with 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, 1 cup of sauce and sprinkle a 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Mozzarella.

5. Layer 4 more noodles, top with the remaining ricotta mixture, and 1 cup of sauce {no cheese}.

6. Layer the last 4 remaining noodles, the remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining cup or so of Mozzarella.

7. Bake the lasagna for 30-40 minutes—rotating the pan halfway through—or until cheese is thoroughly melted and golden. After baking let the lasagna sit for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

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Chicken Pot Pie

From Martha Stewart

Ingredients:
For the Crust
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 to 5 tablespoons ice water
For the Filling
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced small (1 1/2 cups)
4 medium carrots, diced small (2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 cups shredded cooked chicken (15 ounces)
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Method:
1. Make the crust: In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (if necessary, add up to 2 tablespoons ice water); do not overmix.

2. Form dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour or overnight (or freeze, up to 1 month).

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the filling: In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high. Add onion and carrots and cook until softened, 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add flour and stir to coat vegetables.
4.
Slowly add broth, whisking constantly until sauce is smooth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in peas. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in chicken and parsley. Pour filling into a 2-quart baking dish.

5. On a floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Place dough over dish and fold overhang inward while pinching to crimp edge. Cut vents in dough. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling around edge, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

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Vegetarian Chilli

From The Endless Meal

Ingredients:
2 of the large 28oz cans of whole tomatoes and their juice (use your hands to roughly crush the tomatoes)
2 can of beans, drained and rinsed (I used kidney and white beans)
2 cup of frozen corns (you could use fresh but frozen is easy an works great)
3 stalks of celery, diced
2 peppers, diced (I used 1 red and 1 yellow pepper)
2 carrots, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons of cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1-3 tablespoons chiili powder (more will be spicier)
¼-2 teaspoons of chili flakes (the more chili flakes the spicier it will be)
2 tablespoons oil
Salt to taste (you'll need quite a lot)

Method:
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Add spices and cook stirring for about 30 seconds.
2. Add peppers, carrots and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, or until they just start to soften. Add tomatoes and their juice and bring to a simmer. Once the chili begins to simmer, reduce the heat to medium low. You want the chili to be at a low simmer with the lid off.
3. Continue to cook the chili, stiring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add beans and corn and let the chili return to a simmer. Cook for 5 more minutes or until the corn and beans have heated through.
4. Generously salt to taste.
5. Serve on its own or topped with one (or all!) of the delicious toppings.

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Shrimp and Grits

From The Deen Bros.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup Canadian bacon, diced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 dozen large shrimp, peeled and de-veined, with tails on
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can petite-cut diced tomatoes
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon hot sauce
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fat-free half-and-half
3 cups water
3/4 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Method:
1. Add bacon to a nonstick skillet and saute over medium heat until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a plate; set aside.

2. Add the oil to the skillet and set over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes.

3. Add the shrimp and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring, until the shrimp being to turn pink, about 1 – 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl; set aside. Add the tomatoes, wine, hot sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil, stirring constantly to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

4. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the flavors are blended and the sauce begins to thicken, about 6 – 8 minutes. Return the bacon and shrimp to the skillet. Stir in the half-and-half; heat through.

5. Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Slowly whisk in the grits, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Serve the shrimp mixture over the grits. Sprinkle with the chives.

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Roast Chicken

From Food Network

Ingredients:
1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
Olive oil

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

3. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

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Chicken Soup

From Saveur

Ingredients:
12 whole black peppercorns
2 ribs celery, roughly chopped, plus 2, finely chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped, plus 2, finely chopped
4 sprigs thyme, plus 1 tbsp. thyme leaves
4 sprigs parsley
2 bay leaves
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 (3–4-lb.) whole chicken
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
8 oz. wide, flat egg noodles
Kosher salt, to taste
Finely chopped parsley, to garnish

Method:
1. Bring peppercorns, roughly chopped celery and carrots, thyme sprigs, parsley, bay leaves, onion, chicken, and 10 cups water to a boil in a 6-qt. saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a cutting board, remove and discard skin and bones, and shred meat into bite-size pieces; set aside. Pour cooking liquid through a fine strainer into a bowl and set aside.

2. Heat butter in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining finely chopped celery and carrots, and cook, until soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Return chicken and cooking liquid to pan along with noodles, season with salt, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring until noodles are al dente, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in thyme leaves; divide among soup bowls and sprinkle with parsley before serving.

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Roast Beef

From Jamie Oliver

Ingredients:
1.5 kg quality topside of beef
2 medium onions
2 carrots
2 sticks celery
1 bulb garlic
1 small bunch fresh thyme, rosemary, bay or sage, or a mixture
olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method:
To prepare your beef:
Take your beef out of the fridge 30 minutes before it goes into the oven. Preheat your oven to 240°C/475°F/ gas 9. There's no need to peel the vegetables – just give them a wash and roughly chop them. Break the garlic bulb into cloves, leaving them unpeeled.

Pile all the veg, garlic and herbs into the middle of a large roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Drizzle the beef with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper, rubbing it all over the meat. Place the beef on top of the vegetables.

To cook your beef:
Place the roasting tray in the preheated oven. Turn the heat down immediately to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and cook for 1 hour for medium beef. If you prefer it medium-rare, take it out 5 to 10 minutes earlier. For well done, leave it in for another 10 to 15 minutes.

If you're doing roast potatoes and veggies, this is the time to crack on with them – get them into the oven for the last 45 minutes of cooking. Baste the beef halfway through cooking and if the veg look dry, add a splash of water to the tray to stop them burning.

When the beef is cooked to your liking, take the tray out of the oven and transfer the beef to a board to rest for 15 minutes or so. Cover it with a layer of tinfoil and a tea towel and put aside while you make your gravy, horseradish sauce and Yorkshire puddings.

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Baked Mac and Cheese

From Pinch of Yum

Ingredients:
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni - whole wheat, low glycemic, gluten free... any will work!
1 tablespoon butter
1 small yellow onion
1 small butternut squash (4-5 cups cubed)
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
⅔ cup shredded cheese
parsley for topping
salt and pepper to taste

Method:
1. Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium low heat. Cut the onion into thin rings and add to the butter in the pan, sauteing over low heat until fragrant and golden, about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, remove the skin and the seeds from the squash. Cut the flesh into small cubes. Bring the broth to a boil and add the squash. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until fork tender. Drain, reserving ½ cup broth, and transfer squash to the blender. Add the onions, milk, salt, and reserved broth and puree until completely smooth and creamy. This should yield about 4 cups sauce.

3. Pour the pureed sauce over the cooked noodles and add the shredded cheese. Stir to melt the cheese; add water or milk to adjust consistency as needed. Serve with parsley, salt, and pepper to taste.

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These recipes will keep you warm all winter long and prevent the cold weather blues from taking over. To make these meals even easier to prepare, grow in an Urban Cultivator Residential, which can grow up to four flats of almost all greens, vegetables, and herbs 365 days a year!

What are your favorite comfort meals? Share in the comments section below!

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