Healthy Winter Recipes: Walking in a Flavor Wonderland

Healthy Winter Recipes: Walking in a Flavor Wonderland

Whether winter means frigid temperatures or a chilly breeze, you’ll find comfort in the warmth and wonderland of flavors in our lineup of healthy winter recipes. Enjoy the earthy taste of turmeric in our creamy golden milk recipe. For breakfast, fill your tank with an egg-and-vegetable scramble. Enjoy sizzling chicken braised with the savory brush of soy sauce for lunch. Finally, end the day with a piping hot bowl of Icelandic-inspired fish soup that will take your tongue to the sea while lifting your spirits with its bright and hearty flavors. 

Preparing healthy winter recipes for yourself is an act of self-care. As the holiday season approaches and stress picks up, consider carving out a little time each week to cook a simple meal or create a healthy crudité platter that delights your senses. Your body and mind will both benefit. 

Note: If you have diabetes, consider checking your blood sugar before and after trying a new recipe. It will help you understand how its ingredients impact your health. If you have any questions, reach out to your One Drop clinical health coach. 

Creamy Golden Milk

Healthy winter recipes for diabetes | Creamy golden turmeric milk

Golden milk is a warm, refreshing drink bursting with fresh flavors and packed with immunity-boosting ingredients to get your day started right. Its main ingredient, turmeric, gives golden milk a bright yellow color. Turmeric is also full of antioxidants which can reduce inflammation, support heart health, and even boost your mood. 

A base of coconut milk and almond milk give this drink a creamy, latte-like texture. When combined with three other powerhouse ingredients—ginger, cinnamon, and black pepper—this healing recipe offers up a mixture of spicy and sweet that helps with inflammation, so you can tackle your day even when it’s chilly.   

Coach tips:

  • Golden milk can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for two to three days. 
  • Don’t skip the black pepper. Black pepper makes the main ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, easier for the body to absorb.
  • If you don’t have stevia or monk fruit, you can use agave, maple syrup, or honey. This will increase carbs by about 15g per tablespoon or 6g per teaspoon.
  • To increase protein, try regular milk, soy milk, or pea-protein based milk.

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 4 mins
Servings: 2
Serving size: 1 ½ cup

Estimated Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Carbs: 8g
Fiber: 1g
Fat: 11g
Saturated Fat: 7g
Protein: 1g
Sodium: 200mg

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups light coconut milk (1 can)
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened plain almond milk (or other plant-based milk)
  • 1 ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger (or ¼ tsp ground ginger)
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • Stevia, monk fruit, or other preferred sweetener to taste

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, add all ingredients and heat on medium-high until hot but not boiling. Whisk constantly.
  2. Turn off heat and taste to adjust flavor. Add more sweetener if desired or more ginger and cinnamon for extra flavor and spice.
  3. Place a small strainer over the mug and pour to separate ginger. If you are using ground ginger, skip this step.
  4. Sprinkle an additional pinch of cinnamon over the top and serve.

Breakfast: Vegetable Breakfast Scramble

Healthy winter recipes for diabetes | Vegetable scramble

Can you have vegetables for breakfast? Yes you can! This delicious breakfast scramble uses zesty cherry tomatoes, vitamin-rich spinach, and ripe avocado slices for a smooth blend with eggs and mozzarella. Eggs are filled with protein, an abundance of disease fighting vitamins and minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids vital for brain health. 

For a wonderful texture, cook the eggs over low heat and continue to stir with a whisk or fork until they start to come together. Then, remove from the stove quickly and allow the residual heat to finish cooking them. A veggie scramble is flexible and simple to make. Use any vegetables you have in the fridge, including leftover cooked vegetables and any greens you have on hand. 

Coach tips:

  • You can use low-fat cheddar cheese or a dairy-free alternative instead of mozzarella. You can also omit the cheese altogether to reduce saturated fat and sodium. 
  • To reduce the fat and saturated fat content, you can use one whole egg and two egg whites.
  • This recipe can be doubled or tripled to feed a large group. 
  • For extra fiber and nutrients, serve with simply dressed greens or your favorite fruit. 

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Servings: 1
Serving size: 1 dish

Estimated Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Carbs: 11g
Fiber: 6g
Fat: 23g
Saturated Fat: 6g
Protein: 17g
Sodium: 400mg

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 Tbsp reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • ¼ avocado, sliced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper

Directions

  1. Wash and prepare your vegetables. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise and slice the avocado. Chop the spinach leaves, if desired. 
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and cherry tomatoes. Sautée for 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes start to soften. 
  3. While the tomatoes are cooking, crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk. 
  4. Push the tomatoes to the perimeter of the skillet and add the eggs to the pan. Stir until the eggs are scrambled or about 2 minutes. 
  5. Next, add the spinach and mozzarella cheese. Cook, occasionally stirring, until the cheese is melted and the spinach is wilted. 
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm with avocado slices. 

Lunch: Quick Chicken Stir Fry

Healthy winter recipes for diabetes | Chicken stir fry

Another one-pan wonder, this chicken stir-fry is lower in carbs, but rich in flavor. Chicken breast is a good source of lean protein. Plus, it’s lower in fat than other cuts of poultry.

The amino acids in lean protein help build muscle and support bone density, which reduce the risk of injuries and conditions like osteoporosis. 

Soy sauce pairs well with any type of meat, but its deep flavors especially add to the savory combination of chicken and heat in a pan. Using riced cauliflower instead of rice reduces calories and carbs. Finally, sautée these ingredients with a colorful selection of chopped vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, and carrots. This adds bright color and interesting textures to a mix already full of heart-healthy nutrients such as Vitamin B, folic acid, and fiber. 

Fun fact: The word sauté comes from the French word meaning “to jump.” It references the small flick of the wrist used to flip food being cooked in a pan. 

Coach tips:

  • Pre-cooked chicken breast or cuts can often be found in the refrigerated section or in the frozen food department of your grocery store.
  • Riced cauliflower adds volume to this recipe, but it’s not required. The recipe can also be used with just the stir-fry vegetables and chicken.
  • Substituting the riced cauliflower for one cup of cooked brown rice will increase the carbohydrate content by 30g per serving. You can also choose to do half cauliflower rice and half brown rice (½ cup cooked rice per recipe), which will only increase the carbohydrate content by about 15g per serving and increase the fiber by 3g per serving.
  • Boost the fiber by adding one cup broccoli, bok choy, or additional bell peppers to the dish.
  • In this recipe, chicken can be substituted for cooked shrimp, tofu, or lean beef.

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Servings: 2
Serving size: 1 ½ cups

Estimated Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Carbs: 15g
Fiber: 5g
Fat: 10g
Saturated Fat: 1.5g
Protein: 27g
Sodium: 470mg

Ingredients

  • 1 bag (about 10 oz) frozen stir-fry vegetable blend
  • 5 oz grilled chicken breast
  • ¾ cup frozen riced cauliflower
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper, optional

Directions

  1. If using frozen chicken breast rather than a cooked, refrigerated version, prepare per package instructions.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat for about 2 minutes or until hot.
  3. Add frozen stir fry vegetables and riced cauliflower to the pan and saute for about 5-7 minutes, or until desired tenderness is reached.
  4. While the frozen vegetables are cooking, whisk together the remaining ingredients.
  5. Add the cooked chicken and marinade mixture to the pan with the vegetables and toss well.

Dinner: Hearty Icelandic Soup

Healthy winter recipes for diabetes | Hearty Icelandic soup

Stuck at home in icy weather? This Icelandic fish soup, called “fiskisupa,” will transport you to the dramatic sea cliffs and crashing waves of the North Atlantic without having to leave the comfort of your own house. 

A warm and nourishing meal, this soup can be made with cod or halibut, which contain heart-healthy nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, and selenium. The base of this soup is made with leeks, celery, onions, and potatoes, which provide a hearty and rich texture. Leeks are especially high in antioxidants which help reduce inflammation. Onions and celery are high in dietary fiber which can boost digestive health. Potatoes are a great source of potassium, a mineral that helps lower blood pressure. Lastly, tomatoes and curry powder add a light and tangy kick to this steaming seafood broth that will surely warm you from head to toe.   

Coach tips:

  • No sodium has been added to this recipe. Adding ½ tsp salt will increase total sodium by 1,150mg or +190mg sodium per serving.
  • For a larger meal, you can add a salad as a side and/or a piece of toasted rye or whole wheat panella bread.
  • This recipe can be made dairy-free by using unsalted butter and coconut milk (or other milk alternatives) instead of regular milk. Note: this will change the nutrition content.

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Servings: 6
Serving size: 1 cup

Estimated Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Carbs: 13g
Fiber: 3g
Fat: 6g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Protein: 12g
Sodium: 190mg

Ingredients

  • ~ ¾ lb filet of cod or halibut
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 24 oz low sodium chicken stock (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup potato with skin, diced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 medium celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (Roma or no- salt-added canned)
  • 1 leek, whites and light green parts only, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • ¾ cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp chives, chopped
  • ¾ cup parsley, chopped
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper, optional for heat

Directions

  1. In a large soup pot of medium heat, add butter and oil. Once butter is melted, add the chopped onions, leeks, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add tomato paste, curry powder, parsley and cayenne pepper (optional). Cook for an additional 2 minutes to incorporate all of the flavors. Add salt here if you wish (½ tsp will increase sodium per serving by 190 mg).
  3. Add tomatoes, potatoes, water and broth. Stir and bring to a slow simmer. Reduce heat. Cook on a slow boil for 20 minutes or until potatoes pierce easily with a fork.
  4. Add fish and cook for 4 minutes. Make sure not to overcook the fish. You may have to turn the fish midway through cooking to ensure it cooks evenly. Thicker fish like cod may need an additional minute or two if the filet is very thick. The fish is done when it just begins flaking apart easily.
  5. Stir in milk and serve into bowls. Garnish with chives.

This article has been clinically reviewed by Alexa Stelzer, RDN, LD, CDCES, clinical health coach at One Drop.

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One Drop Team
Oct 28, 2022

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