It’s finally, officially, positively here! Well the weather isn’t, but it is getting lighter later and darker earlier. So, we can assuredly say that fall has come. As such, we took some time this week to review our favorite warm, hearty meals that we can’t wait to cook again. We’re talking stews, soups, roasts, anything that screams, “Okay body, time to pack on some pounds for the impending hibernation season.”
Now it is important to note, that the majority of these recipes were found on Pinterest. Yes, we still use Pinterest in this house. And there are really no shortage of healthy, creative, yet easy how-tos to whip up a delicious meal. The key here is to look for ingredients that you’re familiar with and know how to cook already — this is by far the best way to avoid those annoying Pinterest fails that seem to be lurking around every corner.
It’s important to note that these are not vegetarian or gluten free, however, if we’re making this for a meatless Monday dinner or if we don’t feel like the meat, the main protein can be substituted with mushrooms, sweet potatoes, lentils or even just eliminated. We even replace the actual pasta or noodles with squash, carrot, beet or zucchini noodles when we don’t want the extra carbs. Share your favorite recipes with us below in the comments! We’d love to try a few new ones to add to our arsenal!
Kielbasa and Orzo – This is a staple in our house. We typically replace the sausage with a Kielbasa (thank you Eastern European roots). It’s also completely acceptable to add red bell peppers, roasted brussels, or crispy kale to this recipe for an additional veggie component!
Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon – Our crockpot has a permanent place on our counter between the months of October and April. We just love the whole ‘set it and forget it’ mentality, and who doesn’t love coming home to a house that smells like a family member just cooked all day? Though the recipe suggests eating this with mashed potatoes, we have eaten this with green beans, roasted potatoes, or even just by itself. This is definitely one of our favorites!
Juicy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast – We happened upon this recipe one year when we wanted to have a Friendsgiving meal on a Thursday. We obviously didn’t have time to cook a turkey from scratch during the week, but we wanted to have that delicious, American Thanksgiving favorite. And we have to say, this is now made a few different times during the winter. Just like the real roasted bird itself, the crockpot roasted leftovers make a great sandwich and salad addition for the rest of the week.
Winter Vegetable Chicken Noodle Soup – When it comes to vegetables, we try to eat what is in season, especially in the winter. Luscious greens, robust root vegetables, evergreen herbs, and sweet citrus — it doesn’t get much better than this. Lawd, our mouths are watering just thinking about this meal! Oh wait, it does get better, chicken thighs and egg noodles. Okay enough said. One more thing, bonus, the leftovers can be frozen. Really now, we’re moving on. (This one is that good).
Wild Mushroom Beef Stew – This is one of those recipes I was referencing above. On meatless Mondays, we eat this one without the beef, and when we just can’t think about eating pasta we substitute the noodles with wide squash noodles (butternut or zucchini are usually our go-tos). Needless to say, the star of this dish is really those mushrooms. The porcinis are just heavenly in the red wine sauce. Such a great meal!