Cook Once, Eat Twice | Cozy Fall Comfort Foods with a Twist
Stretch your fall recipes further with these simple ideas
Now that the back-to-school excitement has worn off, and you’ve been in a new routine for a while now, you may be feeling a little tired of the same old supper rotation and are looking for some inspiration.
You may also be feeling short on free time to meal plan and cook due to balancing your family’s work, school, and extracurricular schedules.
Don’t forget to print out this blog post and save it for future recipe ideas.
Comfort Meal #1- Chili
There’s nothing like a warm and hearty bowl of chili on a cold and rainy Fall day. Paired with a side of garlic toast or warm tortilla chips and cheese, this meal is sure to satisfy. Not only is chili filling, it’s also incredibly customizable.
Here are some examples of how this recipe can vary:
- All beef
- ½ Beef, ½ Turkey or Chicken
- Vegetarian or Vegan using beans, lentils, veggie ground round
- Adding sausage or pulled pork
- Spicy or non-spicy
- Chunky veggies or plain tomato base
- Adding grains such as bulgur
If you’re looking for a starter recipe, check this one out from our blog: Chili con Carne recipe.
Now that you have chili on hand, you can freeze leftovers to eat as is, or transform the leftovers into new meals for this week, or in the future. Here are some different ways to use your chili:
Sloppy Joe Sandwiches
- Reheat leftover chili and fill your favorite toasted bun with a hearty helping of chili.
- Add cheese and a side of garden salad or baked potato wedges for a satisfying supper
- Add thawed chili to your favourite whole grain pasta (for longer lasting fullness!) in a greased baking dish.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25 mins.
- Uncover, top with grated cheese and bake for another 8-10 minutes, or until cheese starts to bubble
Chili Shepherd’s Pie
- Boil and mash yellow or sweet potatoes (or a combination of both) with butter, margarine, milk of choice and a pinch of salt and/or pepper.
- Place thawed chili into a greased baking dish.
- Top with potato mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins.
Comfort Meal #2- Roasted Chicken
Oftentimes the toughest part about deciding what to have for supper is figuring out what to do with your protein. This easy slow-roasted whole chicken recipe takes the guesswork out of that.
If you don’t own a slow cooker, or don’t have the time to prepare a roasted chicken, check if your local grocery store has pre-made options. If not, you can substitute oven-baked chicken instead.
Now that your protein is taken care of, all you need to think about are your sides. Sheet pan oven-roasted vegetables are easy to prepare and a comforting pairing for roasted chicken.
- Simply chop up your favourite veggies, such as potatoes, bell peppers, green beans and mushrooms into bite sized pieces.
- Mix veggies with a couple teaspoons of olive or canola oil.
- Add a pinch of salt, your favourite herbs, garlic or onion powder for flavour.
- Bake at 450 degrees on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil for 15-20 mins turning once.
Roasted Chicken Transformed
Freeze your roasted chicken leftovers to be transformed at a later date, or use the remainder up during the rest of the week for lunches or suppers in the following ways:
- Heat up a pan on low medium heat. Add a bit of cooking spray or oil.
- Place a whole grain tortilla (for longer lasting fullness!) on the pan. And warm for about 30 seconds. Flip over and repeat.
- Add some cheese, thawed roasted chicken, beans, chopped veggies and seasoning of choice to half of the tortilla. Add a bit more cheese on top of fillings to help tortilla to stick.
- Fold over the empty side of the tortilla. Carefully flip with spatula until both sides until golden and crispy.
- Cool and cut into triangles.
- Dip in salsa, sour cream or guacamole if desired.
- Select your favourite low sodium soup broth at the grocery store (or make your own!).
- Chop up some veggies, such as celery, carrots, zucchini or mushrooms.
- Bring broth to a boil.
- Add chopped vegetables to broth and boil until tender.
- Add thawed roasted chicken pieces and any herbs or seasoning you desire. You can also add your favourite pre-cooked grain or pasta for an added boost of energy, or serve with a whole grain bun or sandwich.
Who doesn’t love pizza! You can prepare your own dough, or use any store-bought flatbread or pizza crust.
- Add pizza sauce or barbeque sauce.
- Top with thawed roasted chicken pieces and chopped veggies.
- Add your favourite cheese and bake according to directions on the package. (For pre-made pizza crust it’s generally around 400 degrees for about 15 minutes (bake time depends on thickness of crust).
Chicken-topped Baked Potatoes
Instead of baking and stuffing a potato, this idea is even quicker.
- After scubbing your sweet or white potato, either microwave or boil bite-sized chunks until tender.
- Meanwhile, sauté thawed roasted chicken in a pan with your sauce of choice. You can go with anything here- bbq sauce, curry sauce, or even a light oil and herb blend.
- Top potatoes with chicken mixture and garnish with avocado slices, cheese, sour cream or green onions.
- Serve with a side salad for added flavour and crunch.
Comfort Meal #3- Lentil soup
A nice warm bowl of soup on a chilly day is so good for the soul. There are so many options when it comes to lentil soups. They can be pureed, mixed with butternut squash, or paired with curry and Havarti cheese like this Spicy Red Lentil & Havarti Soup recipe.
For smaller appetites, a simple bowl of soup may hit the spot. If you’re feeling a little hungrier, pairing your soup with a sandwich, some grilled tofu, or some roasted potatoes may help fill you up for longer.
Lentil Soup Transformed
Lentil Soup Mac n’ Cheese
As this soup is already cheesy and creamy, it can easily be transformed into this pasta dish.
- Boil your favourite elbow macaroni or rotini.
- Mix thawed leftover soup with noodles.
- Top with cheese and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or until cheese bubbles.
- Serve with your favourite veggies for added crunch and freshness.
Lentil Mushroom and Rice Casserole
- Sautee sliced mushrooms and onions until tender.
- Prepare brown or white rice (amount will vary depending on how much soup leftovers you have).
- Place thawed soup in a baking dish. Add rice and veggies. Stir and top with more Havarti cheese (if desired).
- Bake at 350 until cheese bubbles.
Looking for more simple meal planning tips and healthy recipes for a healthier lifestyle?
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Registered Dietitian & Online Nutritionist
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