By Tami Weiser
Winter is coming. The deep chill that works its way down to your bones will surely set in soon. It’s time to think about the warming, cozy foods that will keep you healthy, satisfied, and full of energy. One way to fix that is to grab your Instant Pot and let it be your kitchen helper. Instant Pot cooking makes fast work of hearty soups, stews, and chili, and requires so little clean up it’s a dream for busy nights. You can prep and cook a bunch of meals all at once, freeze some in small single-serving containers so they’re ready to heat and eat even on your most tired nights. Volume cooking can save some money, but the best thing that happens is that it ensures that your meals are personalized to what you need and like.
This rich potion of tomato and cumin and chilis warms up chicken soup with ease. It’s great to freeze, without the tortillas and in a flash, it’s ready for your quick customization while it’s reheating. You can use flour or corn tortillas, or pre-made tortilla strips if you are short on time. You can use cooked black beans, for a fiber kick, or frozen corn, for a little natural sugar and complex carbs. Looking to add even more protein? Just before serving, add a spoonful of plain yogurt. Want to amp up the freshness? Add avocado and fresh herbs. Want to add plant-based protein? Try toasted pumpkin seeds or serve it over some cooked quinoa.
Sage and sausage set this recipe apart from many sweet potato soup recipes, offering up a depth of flavor and protein charge to the vitamin and minerals in both sweet potatoes and kale. You can use a different green if you don’t have kale on hand (Note: frozen kale works well here) but stick to thicker tougher greens like collards and chard to keep that deeply green, earthy flavor. That also keeps the fiber level high and gets in Vitamin A, K, and B6. Chicken and turkey sausage work exceptionally well in this recipe so you can use up some of those frozen ones in your freezer, perhaps leftover from a summer grilling party.
This veggie soup is more than delicious and healthy, it’s super budget-friendly. Hearty with beans, rich from tomatoes, and sweet from carrots, this soup is also big on vitamins, high in minerals and fiber. It’s a great place to use some odds and ends in your veggie bin. Feel free to add some chicken meatballs and bone broth for a protein boost to this all-in-one dish meal.
This recipe is a thoughtful and delicious version of a kitchen classic. Based on a beef bone broth, enriched with grass-fed meat, either in chunks or ground, this is a protein lover’s dream stew. The key to the success of this dish is the switch from white potatoes to celery root or celeriac. Celeriac has a mild celery flavor and not a trace of bitterness. For a one-cup serving, at only 66 calories, celery root boasts more than 2 g of protein, almost 3 grams, and .5g of fat. Celery root is also rich in vitamins K, C, and the B’s. However, if you are watching the GI index, celery root raw is very low, but once cooked is a medium to high GI impact food. You can sub out half of the celery root if you want to maintain the lower GI impact and still keep the yummy flavor profile.
With a dash of coconut aminos and plenty of tomatoes, this simple and fast dish sings with umami. Chicken, broth, and some everyday veggies quickly meld into this charming stew. If you don’t want to use a tomato sauce, but you want to retain the depth and health value of cooked tomatoes easier to access lycopene, you can use 2 to 3 tablespoons of tomato paste (look for those without sugar to keep the GI low) and little more stock.
Marsala wine and very mild sweet paprika are the star flavors in this special occasion stew, but the grass-fed beef cubes, fresh veggies and classic method make this both approachable and simple. Marsala is a fortified wine, available both sweet and dry, so make sure you select a dry version to keep this stew lower-sugar. The squash adds plenty of fiber, keeps the calories in check, and tastes naturally sweet enough to make this stew a winner even amongst kids. If you don’t have arrowroot for a thickener, use the equivalent amount of cornstarch or finely ground rice flour as the thickener.
This stew is all about nutrient-dense genuinely filling ingredients. The high amount of fiber is the real nutritional winner here, with multiple types of pre-cooked beans also offering up a nice selection of tastes and colors. Chipotle chile powder is the secret ingredient in this tasty chili, giving it a smoky backbone. If you don’t have any on hand, you can also use canned chipotles or the adobo sauce it comes in or both, depending upon the level of heat you prefer, but be careful of the salt in the canned version.
In this recipe, it’s the little things that really make the flavor pop. Smoked paprika, fire-roasted roasted canned tomatoes, along with the Worcestershire sauce (look for gluten-free or sugar-free versions) combine to give this a bbq smoked edge, but it’s the turkey bacon that sneaks in the strongest flavor. This is high protein good tasting food, ready to be dished up at any event, perhaps with a fun toppings bar. Like the chili above, it’s also a fiber-packed meal. With a variety of beans and inexpensive ground turkey, this recipe is just right for families who love bold flavors and healthier chilis.
In under an hour, this white chicken chili, made from leftover rotisserie chicken, is a handy, quick weeknight staple that eats like a long-cooked dish. No need for cream cheese in this dairy-free version — it’s packed with great northern white beans and lots of chicken. Use chicken bone broth for the ultimate protein experience and enjoy the taste of simplicity in your fuzzy slippers all winter.