These first few weeks of January have flown by in what feels like the blink of an eye. Our team began with a slew of new projects at IDCO Studio, and we hosted our first-ever Design Camp LA in sunny Santa Monica. Now that we have a minute to breathe and reestablish some routine, we’re sharing what’s on our meal plan for the winter weeks ahead.
We’re calling this menu “lightened up crowd favorites” including comfort foods featuring a fresh, seasonal spin. We’ll start with four weeknight dinners (think quick soups or sheet pan recipes), a healthy-ish baked good, and something fun to sip at your desk. Short on time? Go ahead and double these dinner ideas for easy leftovers to enjoy throughout the week.
There’s nothing better than a steamy bowl of chili on a cold winter day. But what we love about this chili from All the Healthy Things is that it’s made entirely with pantry staples you likely have on hand. You’ll use diced sweet potatoes in place of meat for a simple, healthy swap, plus a can of green chilies for an extra flavor punch. Once you’ve combined all the ingredients, this chili will simmer for about 30 minutes before it’s ready to serve. Top with plain green yogurt, sliced avocado, and a sprinkling of pepper jack cheese.
One of the secrets to healthy eating comes down to the proper use of flavor. Enter this sheet pan meal featuring a hot chili pepper paste called harissa. It adds so much depth to an otherwise basic chicken dinner with tons of Moroccan-inspired flavor. Save time by picking up a jar of harissa sauce at Trader Joe’s or your local specialty grocery store for quick and easy prep.
Our craving for Asian takeout food usually strikes by mid-week. But this time around, we are planning ahead for a lighter at-home version that might be even better. The recipe features ramen noodles, a homemade sesame sauce, and roasted sweet potato rounds for a vegan-friendly meal. Top with sliced green onions and a bit of sriracha for an added kick.
Risotto can be notoriously difficult to make, but this version from Inspired With a Twist is as approachable as it gets. She uses simple pantry ingredients to make an incredible home-cooked meal with garlic, shallots, chicken stock, thyme, arborio rice, mushrooms, butter, salt, and pepper. Roasted mushrooms make this a great option for Meatless Mondays or any night of the week where you’ve got some extra time to spare.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean deprivation—at least not in our book. That’s why this week’s lightened-up menu still includes a sweet treat from one of our favorite food writing duos at Love & Lemons. We’re making their almond butter cookies for an afternoon pick-me-up that still manages to deliver some nutritional value. Hot tip: once the dough is made, we often place half in a freezer bag to store for another day. It helps manage portion control and ensures we’ve always got homemade cookies ready to bake at a moment’s notice.
This is the part where we usually share a seasonal cocktail, but we’re featuring a vitamin-packed smoothie this time. With a blend of citrus fruits, it’s like a tropical vacation in a cup and the best way to start a winter day. Don’t be afraid to play with fruit and milk options to make it your own.