There are plenty of people in Vermont who relish the freezing temperatures and snow that come during the heart of winter. I'm not one. While my friends are out skiing, I'm in the kitchen, dressed in my most comfortable sweatshirt, looking for new dinner recipes that are low in calories, but big in flavor.
Here are my 5 all-time favorite winter recipes (all with less than 370 calories and packed with lean protein and fiber-rich vegetables):
Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans (recipe below): In this one-skillet supper, toss dark leafy greens, diced tomatoes and white beans with gnocchi and top it all with gooey mozzarella. Serve with a mixed green salad with vinaigrette.
Turkey & Squash Soup: This Southwestern-inspired turkey-and-squash soup gets a little kick from crushed red pepper and some zing from fresh lime juice. You can use leftover turkey or chicken (instead of the cutlets); dice it and add a few minutes before serving. Serve with cornbread.
Paprika Shrimp & Green Bean Saute: Green beans add snap and color to the garlicky shrimp and butter beans in this Spanish-inspired sauté. Slightly pricier pre-peeled shrimp are worth it, given the amount of time they save on a harried weeknight. Serve with quinoa or brown rice.
Beef & Cabbage Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce: The subtly sweet peanut sauce blends deliciously in this beef, cabbage and carrot sauté. Spice up the dish with a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce. Serve with udon noodles.
Black-Eyed Peas with Pork & Greens: This boldly flavored spin on Hoppin' John replaces salt pork or bacon with lean pork chops. Plus we've added greens-in this case kale-a traditional accompaniment with the dish. Serve with cornbread and a glass of Spanish rioja.
Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 16-ounce package shelf-stable gnocchi (see Tip, below)
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
6 cups chopped chard leaves (about 1 small bunch) or spinach
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until plumped and starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and water. Cover and cook until the onion is soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add chard (or spinach) and cook, stirring, until starting to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans and pepper and bring to a simmer. Stir in the gnocchi and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 3 minutes.
Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: 325 calories; 7 g fat (2 g sat, 3 g mono); 8 mg cholesterol; 55 g carbohydrate; 14 g protein; 6 g fiber; 616 mg sodium; 360 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (50% daily value), Vitamin C (40% dv), Calcium & Iron (19% dv).
Tip: Look for shelf-stable gnocchi near other pasta in the Italian section of most supermarkets.
By Hilary Meyer
EatingWell assistant editor Hilary Meyer spends much of her time in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, testing and developing healthy recipes. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.
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