Now that the weather is turning colder and it’s getting dark earlier, I have tendency to want to hibernate. I want to stay indoors and eat comfort food (translate- I really mean high fat /high calorie food).
Of course we’re not bears so that’s not going to work for us so well. So what are some tips to motivate us? We’d love to hear from you with your ideas, but a couple ideas from us:
If you’ve been thinking about joining a workout club- now might be the time.
There are more and more affordable ones around.
But I have found an inexpensive and all around good exercise is walking.
Getting out and walking every day really helps me adjust not only my attitude, but also it helps me gradually adjust to the cold weather. It’s getting started that’s the hardest. Get a friend to join you.
Some good news- staying indoors more gives us more time to cook some healthy but hearty dishes. They don’t have to be complicated, but some recipes may take a bit longer to prepare. One of my favorites is this stew. While it takes some time for it to simmer, the preparation time is easy and I have a couple short cuts that make it even quicker. And having some left over is great for tomorrow’s meal!
Chicken Butternut Squash and Tomato Stew
Makes 3-4 servings
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 package (1¼ pound) boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken tenders, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup chopped sweet onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 14 -ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 14.5-ounce can chicken broth (about 1 ¾ cups)
¼ cup white wine (optional)
1 teaspoon dried sage or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, if available
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 cups peeled, chopped butternut squash *
¼ cup frozen peas (optional)
Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Toss chicken, flour, salt and pepper in plastic or paper bag to lightly coat chicken. Add chicken to the pot and brown about 15 minutes.
Remove chicken and add onion and garlic to pan and sauté on medium heat about 5 minutes. Return chicken, onions and garlic to the pan. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer about 45 minutes.
Add cut up squash, bring to boil and simmer 30 -40 minutes or until squash is tender.
Stir in frozen peas (optional) and reheat for a minute or two.
*Acorn squash or pumpkin is a good substitute for butternut squash. To save time I buy the cut -pieces of squash in the produce section.