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Warm Up with these Easy Winter Meals

It’s always great to heave hearty winter meals at the end of the day. Here are some starter ideas on what you can make to warm you up when the weather is cold out. Easy recipes to create and make for you and anyone in the family.

Hearty Winter Meals: Casseroles and Soups

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 large yellow onion

3 large carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 1/2 cup)

2 celery stalks, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1/4 c. all-purpose flour

6 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tsp. chopped thyme

1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste

1/2 tsp. black pepper, plus more to taste

1 lb. dried gnocchi

1 c. 5-oz. container baby spinach, roughly chopped

1 c. half and half

  1. Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and garlic last until cooked.
  2. Add the flour, constantly stirring, until vegetables are well coated for about a minute. Gradually stir in the chicken broth.
  3. Add the chicken, thyme, salt, and pepper, and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the gnocchi and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, under tender and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the spinach and half and half. Cook, stirring occasionally, until well combined and spinach is tender, 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pot Chili Recipe

Instant Pot

3 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 1/4 lb. lean ground beef

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. salt, divided

1/2 small yellow onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 c. reduced-sodium beef stock

2 (15 oz.) cans black or kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15 oz.) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1 tbsp. pureed chipotles in adobo (optional)

Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped green onion, and corn chips, for serving

  1. Add the oil to the liner of a 6- or 8-quart Instant Pot and set to sauté.
  2. Add the beef then sprinkle with cumin, chili powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring often to break up the meat, until browned, about 7 minutes.
  3. Stir in onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until onion is slightly softened, about 3 minutes more.
  4. Add the beef stock to the Instant Pot, stirring to release any browned bits from the bottom of the liner. Gently stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, and chipotle puree, if using. Press the cancel button to reset the Instant Pot.
  5. Cover the Instant Pot with the lid and lock it into place. Seal the steam release handle. Select high pressure and set the timer for 14 minutes. When the timer is up, let it rest for 10 minutes, then manually release the pressure (unseal the steam release handle). Unlock and remove the lid, being careful of any remaining steam.
  6. Give the chili a good stir to recombine all of the ingredients. Serve topped with cheese, sour cream, green onion, and corn chips.

Foods for Colds

Chicken soup and Ginger tea can never go wrong when you’re trying to get rid of a cold and need something to settle your stomach. Here is a simple recipe to follow when you find yourself needing some warm soup and tea to go with it.

Chicken Soup Recipe

· Chicken: 3-pound chicken.

· Vegetables: carrots, celery, and an onion.

· Seasonings: salt, pepper, and chicken bouillon granules (if you want)

1. Make the stock by boiling the chicken and veggies until softened.

2. Remove the chicken and cut into pieces (discard skin and bones).

3. Strain the vegetables (reserving the stock) and cut into pieces. Rinse the pot.

4. Return everything to the pot. Heat the soup through and season to taste.

How to make ginger tea for a cold

  1. Wash Ginger
  2. Thinly slice your fresh ginger with one-inch piece of ginger per cup of tea.
  3. In a saucepan, combine the ginger with fresh water (use one cup of water per serving).
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer.
  5. Simmer for five minutes (or up to 10 minutes, if you want extra-strong tea).
  6. Pour the tea through a fine sieve to catch all of the ginger. Serve with lemon or orange for some complementary acidity. Add honey or maple syrup for sweetness and balance of flavor.

Get more food ideas on the Great Wolf blog as a fun activity or just to get started on a good dinner plan.

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