Winter Comfort Foods™

Why celebrate comfort foods ? Why not ? At Plugged In Parents, we love a good, hearty bowl of soup that warms the body inside out and a slice of crusty bread followed with a mug of hot cocoa while cozying up on the couch. If you're like us, then you'll love these wintery meal ideas. They're great as leftovers and the ingredients will keep you on budget.

VEGETARIAN WINTER STEW

Ingredients:

5 cups chicken or vegetable broth

2 sweet, peeled and diced

2 large zucchinis, diced

1 large onion, diced

1 cup cooked rice

1 can kidney beans

1 can garbanzo beans

1 cup peanut butter

1 tbs cumin

salt

pepper

1 large jar of medium salsa (Pace is my favorite for this recipe)

Brown onion on hot oil, add sweet potatoes and fry for 10 minutes on low heat. Add zucchini. Fry stirring occasionally until the zucchini is crunchy-soft. Transfer vegetables to hot broth. Add beans and salsa. Stir in cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Add peanut butter and stir well. Add rice.

TIP: The rice will absorb some of the broth overnight and the stew will be deliciously thick.

PERFECT WINTER BEEF STEW

Ingredients:

2 lbs beef, cut into 1-inch chunks

½ cup of Italian dressing

4 cups beef broth

1 cup chopped onion

3 cups diced carrots

4 medium potatoes, diced

3 cups sliced mushrooms (optional)

1 medium can stewed tomatoes

Mix beef with Italian dressing. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Add onions and mushrooms and sauté for ~10 minutes. Add the broth, carrots, potatoes, meat without the dressing, and tomatoes with their liquid. Bring to boil stirring occasionally. Let simmer for 1 hour. Uncover, and let simmer for additional 15 minutes until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened.

Garnish with parsley or green onions.

Serve with fresh bread, toast, or pita chips.€™t

By Barbara Hillary, PhD

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