With fall right around the corner, you’re likely starting to think about which comfort foods you can incorporate into your menu again. You’ll be replacing the barbeques with slow cookers as the weather cools down. Stir-frying and baking will return as your main cooking methods of choice.
Don’t let yourself think that fall and winter comfort foods have to mean weight gain. There are plenty of delicious recipes that will warm you up, provide a great mix of nutrients, and come in at a calorie level that’s acceptable for just about any diet plan.
Ready to get started with a few? Let’s check out four delicious warm-you-up fall recipes you can get excited about. What’s really great is that for many of these, you can make a large batch and serve them over multiple nights that week, taking care of meal prep in a flash.
Slow Cooker Steak and Potatoes
This is a great way to serve steak as it’ll keep the meat tender, and the flavors will blend together with the vegetables, creating a dish that will soon be a new favorite. Feel free to add any other vegetables as desired.
It’s important when building lean muscle mass to still get some beef into your diet as it’ll supply you with a good dose of iron, B vitamins, and zinc.
2 lb. eye of the round steak
2 large onions, sliced
2 large carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
500 grams sweet potatoes, sliced
1 package onion soup mix powder
1 ½ cups water
1 tbsp. crushed garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste
Remove the excess fat from the steak. Place steak in a slow cooker and season with salt and pepper. Slice the vegetables and sweet potatoes into bite sized chunks and then place all around the roast.
Mix together the onion soup mix powder and water and then pour over the roast. Cook on low for about 6 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Slice steak and serve immediately with vegetables. Makes six servings.
Nutritional information: 358 calories, 32 grams of carbs, 44 grams of protein, 6 grams of fat
Quick And Simple Shrimp Stir-Fry
Need a quick meal on the run? This dish is an excellent way to meet your vegetable quota with a full serving of lean protein as well. Serve it with or without the rice depending on what your macro needs look like at the time.
½ cup brown rice (optional)
1 tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tsp. sesame seeds
1 green onion, finely diced
2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp. oyster sauce
½ tbsp. rice wine vinegar
½ tbsp. honey
1 tsp. ginger powder
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp. cornstarch
In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, red wine vinegar, honey, ginger powder, garlic, and cornstarch. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add shrimp, broccoli, mushrooms, and onion. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add in the sauce and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Serve over a bed of cooked rice (if desired).
Nutritional information: 609 calories, 72 grams of carbs, 51 grams of protein, 13 grams of fat
Chocolate French Toast
Who doesn’t love classic French toast? Now you don’t have to derail your diet to get it. This is a twist on the original recipe, made even better by including chocolate into the dish. Serve it for breakfast or try it for a tasty snack when you have a sweet tooth craving to kill.
Feel free to add other fruits as desired. A sliced banana also tastes absolutely delicious in this meal.
2 slices Ezekiel bread
1 whole egg
2 egg whites
1 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp. chocolate KASEIN protein powder
2 tbsp. Stevia
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. milk
½ cup sliced strawberries
2 tbsp. sugar free maple syrup
Whisk together the whole egg, egg whites, vanilla extract, and milk. Dip bread slices in this to liquid.
Place on a non-stick skillet for 2-3 minutes per side, flipping at half time, once cooked. Meanwhile, combine the Greek yogurt, Chocolate Kasein, cocoa powder, and stevia in a small bowl. Place this creamy mixture on top of the French toast and finish with sliced strawberries. Serve with sugar free maple syrup if desired.
Nutritional information: 520 calories, 68 grams of carbs, 35 grams of protein, 12 grams of fat
Dressed Up Sweet Potatoes
When it comes to staple carb sources for your meal plan, you can’t go wrong with sweet potatoes. They’re loaded with fiber, rich in antioxidants, and will help control your blood glucose levels. On their own, they’re nearly 100% pure carbs but with this recipe, you’ll get carbs, proteins, and fats all in one delicious dish.
What more could you ask for? Try this one today and discover how delicious sweet potatoes really can be.
6 oz. chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup salsa
2 green onions, diced
¼ onion, finely diced
½ red pepper, finely diced
½ avocado, sliced
2 tbsp. reduced fat cheddar cheese
2 sweet potatoes (100 grams each)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice open sweet potatoes and place on an oven safe sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, chicken breast, onions, and red pepper. Stir-fry for 6-7 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
Once potatoes are done, place chicken in the center. Top with cheese and place under the broiler for 1 minute, until cheese is melted. Cover this with Greek yogurt, salsa, and diced onions along with avocado on top. Serve immediately. Makes two servings.
Nutritional information: 410 calories, 32 grams of carbs, 26.5 grams of protein, 19.5 grams of fat.
This fall, try adding these recipes to your weekly meal prep for some variety. They’re full of healthy nutrients, won’t add inches to your waist line, and are still the comfort foods you and your family are likely craving as the weather cools down. These cool months, enjoy eating well without derailing your fitness goals.