5 Macro-Friendly Dinner Recipes to Scratch that Comfort Food Itch Without the Guilt
If you ask me, nothing beats fall weather.
After a long summer of roasting... the crisp air, changing leaves, and excuse to bust out all my hoodies feels heavenly. But as fall moves along, those cool, crisp days also come with some short, damp — and even downright cold — nights. So it’s no wonder that I find myself craving something warm and comforting as the temperature drops at the end of a long day.
Now, you’re probably thinking that comfort food sounds great, but it isn’t exactly known for keeping the macros in check. Here’s the thing, though— just because you’re craving a hearty dinner, that doesn’t mean you have to load up junk. It’s totally possible to have a great-tasting, comforting meal and still keep your numbers on track.
Check out 5 of my favorite cool-weather dinner recipes— guaranteed to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, without breaking the macro bank.
Instant Pot Pumpkin Soup With Crispy Sage Leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage, plus 12 whole sage leaves
Put the oil in the pot, select SAUTÉ, and adjust to MORE/HIGH heat. When the oil is hot, add the whole sage leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leaves are crisp and lightly browned (about 1 minute). Transfer to a small bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside for garnish, leave the oil in the pot.
Add the onions and carrots to the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown (about 8 minutes). Add the chopped sage, garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Press CANCEL.
Add the squash, broth, and bay leaf. Lock the lid, select the PRESSURE COOK function and adjust to high pressure for 10 minutes. Make sure the steam valve is in the sealing position and that the Keep Warm function is turned off.
When the cooking time is up, quick-release the pressure. Discard the bay leaf. Blend the soup with a stick blender or in batches in a blender with the lid slightly ajar and towel over the top to prevent splatters. Season the soup with salt and pepper.
Garnish with the fried sage leaves crumbled over the top of each bowl.
1 medium green or red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 can (794g) no-salt added crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups (355ml) low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons granulated garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
7 (6 ounces/170g) lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup (57g) grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
Set the cottage cheese out at room temperature while making the sauce and noodles. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, onion, and bell pepper, and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat occasionally, until the turkey is browned (about 8 minutes).
Add the tomatoes, broth, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Add the noodles and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, especially on the bottom of the pan to make sure noodles don’t stick. Cook until the noodles are just tender (about 25 minutes— reduce heat if the liquid is reducing too quickly).
Dollop the cottage cheese on top of the noodle mixture and simmer without stirring for 2 minutes.
Remove the skillet from heat, sprinkle with the mozzarella, cover and let stand until the cheese has melted, 4 minutes. Serve immediately.
1 large head (680 grams) cauliflower, cut into 2-inch florets
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the filling:
1 pound (453 grams) lean ground bison
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 heaping tablespoon (15 ml) tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) low-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon (15 ml) Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
Black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup (60 ml) Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
For the topping:
Steam the cauliflower over boiling water until very tender (about 10–12 minutes). Drain and place in a food processor. Add the olive oil, nutmeg and salt, and process until smooth. Set aside.
For the filling:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat a large oven-proof sauté pan sprayed with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add the bison and cook, breaking up meat with a spatula, until browned (about 5 minutes). Drain and set aside.
Return the sauté pan to medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the mushrooms, onions, carrots, and thyme and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender (about 5 minutes). Add the tomato paste and cook until it begins to brown (about 1 minute). Add the broth and bison and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until thickened slightly (about 3 minutes). Season with pepper to taste.
Remove the pan from heat. Gently spoon the cauliflower over the bison mixture. Sprinkle with the cheese.
Bake until bubbly around the edges (about 20 minutes). Switch on the broiler and broil until the topping is lightly browned, if desired (about 2 minutes).
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy, deep pot.
Add the onion, turkey, 1 tablespoon chili powder, and 1 tablespoon taco seasoning. Add water as needed to keep the turkey moist and moving around in the pan. When the turkey is browned and crumbled and the onions are soft, remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the sweet potatoes to the same pot with the remaining spices and stir to combine. When the sweet potatoes have browned just slightly, add the garlic, water, and broth.
Bring to a low boil and simmer until the sweet potatoes are very soft (about 10 minutes).
Using a food processor or blender, puree the mixture until it reaches your desired consistency.
Add the browned turkey, black beans, and cayenne, and stir to combine. Serve immediately.
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