What foods come to mind when you think of winter? Most of our minds dance from cheesy casseroles to gravy-laden roasts. Though we live in Florida and can spend 12 months a year enjoying the outdoors, something about winter makes us crave the warmth and coziness we can only get from our favorite fatty winter meals. While those meals may make you feel good for a moment, they are decidedly not the best option when healthy living is a priority.

Before you get too disappointed, we’re not opposed to eating your favorite foods once in a while. The problem arises when special occasion meals morph into regular, everyday meals. If you’re looking for something warm and hearty to eat while cozying up with your loved ones this winter, we’ve come up with four heart-healthy options that won’t make you feel like you’re missing out on your favorites.

Roasted Chicken With Vegetable Sides

Do you love a roast? One way to lighten up your favorite dishes is to swap out red meat for leaner white meat options. When you roast a chicken, you get to enjoy the delicious aromas wafting through your home and leftovers to last you for days.

Along with your roasted chicken, we recommend you opt for vegetable sides where possible. This meal is perfect with steamed broccoli, sweet peas, or a green salad. If you’d like to have potatoes with your roast, consider roasting rather than mashing them. Roasted potatoes are satisfying and delicious without having to add cream or butter to them.

Salad As The Main Course

A great way to ensure that you are getting a heart-healthy diet is to put vegetables at the center of your meal, rather than as a side to a high fat, high cholesterol meat. Salads are filling and satisfying, ensuring you get plenty of fiber and other vital nutrients. If you think salads are boring, you may need to dress them up with some fun additions like fruit, nuts, and a homemade dressing. Add your favorite grilled fish on top to turn this salad into a meal. You can also find recipes for whole wheat bread and enjoy a slice or roll on the side. In moderation, this can satisfy your carb craving while also providing some needed fiber and other nutrients.

Heart Healthy Homemade Soups

Bone broth is all the rage these days, and it’s much simpler to make than you think. To make a bone broth, all you have to do is take the carcass from the chicken you roasted and place it in a large pot with an onion, a couple of carrots, and some celery. Fill the pot with water, and let it simmer for a couple of hours. You won’t believe the incredible smells that will permeate your house. This process creates a delicious stock that can be used as a base for any of your favorite soups

Scrumptious Roasted Vegetables

We’d love to see more people experimenting with meat-free meals. We’re not asking anyone to become a vegetarian, but the more you can eliminate high-cholesterol foods from your diet, the better you’ll be in the long run. Roasting vegetables is easy and brings out the most delicious flavor. 

Begin by selecting some of your favorite vegetables: potatoes, carrots, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, and asparagus. Chop them into uniform bites and toss them into a bowl with oil, salt, pepper, and your favorite spices. Lay the vegetables on a baking sheet and place them in the oven for 40 minutes at 400°. The best way to tell if they’re done is to stick a fork in the densest vegetables, like carrots or potatoes. Once done, scoop them into a bowl and dig in!

We’re not sure if you can tell, but our mouths are watering as we discuss some of our favorite recipes. If there’s anything we can leave with you today, it’s that healthy living doesn’t have to be boring. If you’re ready to take charge of your health, we’d love to help. Contact our office today for information.