Guilt-free comfort foods for cozy nights

Quick and easy new favourites

Broccoli, Kale and Lentil Soup pictured above. Recipe below. 

Nothing beats a warm, fragrant meal when the cold weather sets in. Here are three nutritiously rich dishes you can whip up this week:

Broccoli, Kale and Lentil Soup

Meant for cozy lunches or suppers, this crowd-pleasing soup is a tasty way to eat your greens.

“Red lentils are a great source of fibre, protein and iron.  Blending pulses and beans into soups is an easy way to add protein without needing to use chicken or meat.  For a one pot meal, consider adding in a starchy vegetable like sweet potato.  Or serve this soup with half a whole grain sandwich for a meal that will keep you full for hours,” says Palmeri.

Recipe: Broccoli, Kale and Lentil Soup  (Source: Cookspiration)

Pumpkin Spiced Pancakes with Apple Chia Jam

For breakfast, this alternative take on traditional pancakes increases the nutrients without sacrificing taste.

“Using pumpkin in this recipe provides more fibre and vitamin A than a commercial, white flour pancake mix,” says Stefania Palmeri, a registered dietitian at Medcan. “Pumpkin is also a good source of potassium, which is an essential nutrient for those looking to work on their heart health and blood pressure. To add even more fibre to the mix, consider using half all-purpose flour and half oat flour.”

The dairy-free pancakes are moist and light and can be topped with a spritz of lemon juice or a teaspoon of maple syrup.  The suggested topping uses applesauce instead of butter, but if you are looking for a no sugar alternative, try this apple chia jam.

Pumpkin spiced pancakes with apple “butter” (Source: Candice Kumai)
Chia seed apple jam (Source: Oh She Glows)

Kabocha Squash Fries with Spicy Greek Yogurt Dipping Sauce

No one will miss chips and dip when this home-cooked snack is served. Just as satisfying, without overdoing the oil and salt, a new comfort food is created with only five ingredients.  The main ingredient is kabocha squash, a sweet and fluffy gourd that’s like a sweet potato crossed with a pumpkin. Very popular in Japanese and Korean kitchens, it is full of beta carotene, iron, vitamin C and some B vitamins. It supports healthy white blood cells and contributes to vibrant eyes, skin and hair.

“Using Greek yogurt as the base to any dip is a clever way to add more protein and calcium to your diet without all the added fats.  For a cheesier flavor, sprinkle on nutritional yeast, which is a vegetarian product that is rich in vitamin B12,”adds Palmeri.

Recipe: Kabocha Squash Fries with Spicy Greek Yogurt Dipping Sauce (Source: Candice Kumai)

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