The following recipes are perfect in more ways than one! Whether after a long night, or a busy day, or on a frigid winter’s night, these dishes are sure to hit the spot. During winter, it’s easy to turn to comfort food (hello, calories!) so here are a few relatively quick and easy recipes for beginners to try.
1. Mac & Cheese in a Slow Cooker
If you have a slow cooker lying around, cooking gets that much easier. Here is a deliciously indulgent take on a classic mac & cheese.
1 box of Mac & Cheese
½ cup of milk
¼ cup shredded cheese
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Parmesan cheese (to taste)
Empty your box of uncooked macaroni in your slow cooker along with milk, cheese, and spices. To make it your own, you can get creative with the spices you use. Let it cook on low for anywhere between 1 to 3 hours, until the macaroni is tender. Serve and enjoy!
This recipe requires two pans, which means twice the clean up, but also twice the “yum” factor. Worth it!
1 lb ground beef (or any protein of your choosing)
½ cup of cheese
An assortment of vegetables of your choosing (optional)
Sour cream (one spoonful)
Salsa (one spoonful)
Sauté your chosen protein and vegetables on the stove until it is cooked through. Get out two tortillas and add cheese to one tortilla. Heat one tortilla on a separate pan and add your fully cooked protein on top of the cheese. Place the other tortilla on top and use a spatula to pat it down. Wait until the tortilla is light brown before flipping it. Once flipped, wait until the other side is light brown. Then, serve with sour cream and salsa. Bon Appetit!
3. Overnight Oats
This delectable treat makes the best breakfast! And the best part? It’s totally customizable!
1 cup of oats soaked in milk overnight
Toppings of your choice (we love berries, syrup, yogurt, or honey)
A dash of cinnamon
Soak the raw oats in milk overnight. I think almond milk works best, but feel free to use whatever you prefer! Technically the oats only need to be left in the fridge for two hours, but if you want it to taste better, then leaving the oats to soak overnight is your best bet. Once you’re ready to enjoy your oats, add in your favorite toppings such as berries, yogurt, syrup, or honey. Feel free to add a dash of cinnamon to up the health and “yum” factor. The best part? If you put it in a to go cup or a mason jar, then you can grab it to go before you head out the door in the morning!
4. Caprese Salad Kabob
This is the easiest take on a nutritious appetizer or a light snack you could imagine!
Add a piece of mozzarella, tomato, and spinach on a toothpick. Getting spinach on a toothpick might be tricky, but it’ll be worth it! Repeat the first step until you have as many Caprese kabobs as you want. Drizzle some balsamic dressing on top and serve!
5. Black Bean and Quinoa Salad
1 box frozen quinoa
1 bell pepper
1 diced onion
1 can black beans
9 tbs lime juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tsp honey (optional)
1 small handful cilantro
If it’s been a busy day, grab a box of frozen quinoa to defrost. Add 1 bell pepper and 1 diced onion to the cooked quinoa. Drain one can of black beans, rinse, and add to the salad. Add the lime, salt, and pepper. Dice the garlic and add that in as well. If you want to, add in a little bit of honey. Chop up cilantro and add that on top. Your salad is now ready to enjoy!
And that’s that! Overall, I hope you enjoyed these quick and simple recipes, and that these nutritious and delicious recipes will save you a little bit of meal prep time during the week.