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Winter Food Favorites to Try This Season

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There is much to be excited about in the winter season. Cooler temperatures bring cozying up to the fireplace, an abundance of holidays, and so much good food and drinks, making the winter season beloved by so many. Whether you’re getting ready to kick off the winter season or need some inspiration to impress your guests, we’ve got you covered! Follow along as we share with you some of our favorite winter meals that will make a great weekday meal for your family or your next holiday get-together.

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie is a classic winter food that is a wonderful dish to prepare during the long, cold winter months. A staple from the United Kingdom, Shepherd’s Pie can be traced back to the early 18th century (known as Cottage Pie at the time) as people were trying to make use of leftovers and avoid waste to help save money, according to Greatist. Today, Cottage Pie is still eaten along with its close relative, with the only difference between them being Cottage Pie is made with beef and Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb. 

Shepherd’s pie, along with the meat, is a medley of onions and other vegetables simmered together to make a warm and inviting meal for everyone to enjoy. There are various new and old ways to prepare this meal, but all of them will be sure to help warm you up from the inside out and make the cold temperatures a bit more bearable. If you’re interested in making Shepard’s Pie this winter season, try this Vegan Shepherd’s Pie or this Classic Shepherd’s Pie recipe!

Mac and Cheese

When it comes to Thanksgiving and other holiday dinners, nothing beats the warm cheesiness of a good mac and cheese. Whether you enjoy yours classic with all of the basics or like to spice it up a bit with other added ingredients like seafood or meat, mac and cheese make for the perfect versatile winter meal for any occasion. There are so many ways to go about eating this dish as well; it can even serve as the main course! Dress it up with ground beef and add some vegetables as side dishes for a perfect way to get your protein and vegetable fix.

While mac and cheese often receive a bad rap, there are many ways to make it healthier for you and your loved ones! For example, this recipe substitutes typical macaroni with chickpea rotini, making for a great plant-based option to help get that extra fiber in. Additionally, instead of using full-fat cheeses, there are a number of great reduced-fat options that help to give the dish its cheesiness without having to worry about all of the unhealthiness that real cheese can bring when it adds up. Or, if you’re feeling a bit more in the mood for seafood, this healthy lobster mac and cheese is a great way to enjoy some delicious lobster in this cheesy dish (and you can adjust the ingredients based on your preferences and health goals).

Butternut Squash Soup

When it comes to a favorite fall and winter ingredient, butternut squash takes the cake. Eaten initially in the Americas over 5,000 years ago, winter squash has become a staple for many parts of the world as the perfect ingredient for stews, gratins, pasta, soups, and even curries. Butternut squash has a wide variety of health benefits, making it an excellent addition to your diet! For instance, according to BBC Good Food, butternut squash is high in carotenoids like zeaxanthin and lutein, helping to protect your eyes and promote healthy cell renewal. Additionally, butternut squash is also high in fiber, zinc, and sodium, helping to support digestion and bone health and warding diseases like osteoporosis!

This vegetable is a perfect pairing for any winter meal, especially as a side dish or soup, and, when it comes to cold weather, there is nothing better than a nice warm soup to take the chill of the air away. There are so many ways to make butternut squash soup; whether you’re a fan of the classic creamy version or in the mood to spice it up, butternut squash provides the perfect foundation for you to cook to your preferences!

Chicken Pot Pie

A true classic All-American dish, the chicken pot pie is a staple during the cold winter. This  medley of chicken pieces, peas and carrots, and a creamy, rich sauce all tied together in a delicious pastry crust makes for the perfect meal to warm you up and fill your tummy. The origins of chicken pot pie have been found to date back to the Roman Empire, but the dish gained much more popularity in the 16th century in England. Here, the chicken pot pie traveled further on to the West as groups migrated to the New World, and by 1796, the cookbook American Cookery even featured several recipes that included the infamous chicken pot pie we know and love today.

While traditional pot pie has warmed our hearts and stomachs for hundreds of years, more modern times have brought various flavors and influences to the dish. For example, people have begun to substitute ingredients to make the dish healthier and less heavy, including this healthy chicken pot pie recipe and this vegan pot pie recipe (taking the chicken out altogether!). Additionally, recipes like this butter chicken pot pie with a naan crust have put a new spin on a classic dish, adding a different (yet so delicious) flavor to pot pie as we know it!

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