Winter Dinner Ideas



Winter is a great time to plan on dinners together as a family!  Days are shorter and many sports are on hold until warmer weather returns.  Having a hot meal together is a nice way to focus on family.

Slow cookers
Slow cooker meals, started when you leave at the beginning of the day and ready when you return, are a delicious and easy way to offer a hot and hearty meal to eat in the winter.  Slow cookers come in several sizes, so find one that is big enough for your family's needs, but not so big that you make more than you can eat. (Or divide up leftovers into smaller meals and freeze them for a quick meal that can be reheated in the microwave!)

Use lots of inexpensive winter vegetables or buy frozen veggies to add to the slow cooker.  Inexpensive cuts of meat like chuck, short ribs, round, shank, and rump are great in a slow cooker and become fork-tender by the time your meal is ready.  Save even more money by cutting your own meat into 1 inch cubes and using dried herbs for flavor and seasoning.

Soups
Soups, too, can be hearty, filling, and inexpensive.  Stews and chowders are usually great winter dinner ideas!  Look for recipes that include plenty of veggies; save money by not using meat and get your protein from lentils and beans.  Try this recipe for minestrone, a hearty vegetable soup with noodles that will please the whole family. 

One last note:  Vegetables in Winter

Don't let winter stop you from offering healthy veggies to your family.  While most veggies aren't in season in the winter, you'll find some that, like cauliflower, are available.  Or used canned and frozen veggies and don't forget canned tomatoes for winter flavor and health!

See more simple recipes at http://eatsmart.umd.edu/
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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall