Eating Light & Hearty: Yes, It Can Be Done!

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Oh, winter. That lovely time of year when I love to stay in, curl up with a good book and eat a hearty chili or stew from the slow cooker. But then comes spring, warm weather, and trips to the beach. And who has the money for a new, larger wardrobe? Lately, I've been trying to satisfy my craving for meat, cheese and pastry with lighter fare. And it's working!

In the spring and summer, I serve a lot of fresh produce with every meal. With the plethora of fresh, local fruits and vegetables available, it's easy! When it's colder, I tend to focus on root vegetables and dark leafy greens.

One of my healthier winter lunches is something I refer to (in my head) as "hot salad." I suppose it's really just a vegetarian entree. My latest favorite is the Balsamic Miso Root Salad from the Goop kitchen. I added roasted onions and sautéed kale, available at our local farmers' market, to make it even heartier.

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I also used their carrot soup recipe, though I may copy my favorite local healthy deli and add cashew milk to turn it into cream soup for the next batch. Yum!

I'm making sure to have a warm, filling breakfast in the morning, whether it's a shared soft boiled egg breakfast with my son or a bowl of oatmeal for myself. (Can you believe it? I am the only person in my family who likes oatmeal. Funny thing, I was the only person in my family growing up who didn't like it.)

I'm also making my way through The Kitchn's Hearty Yet Healthy Food to Fill You Up posts, and I'll be checking out your suggestions for vegetarian slow cooker recipes, because I love coming home at the end of the day and feeling like someone cooked for me!

What are some of your favorite healthy choices when you crave a huge bowl of meat stew, topped with melted cheese and served with a side of an entire baguette? (And no judgment if you just go for it, because some days, it's the only thing that will do!)

(Image credits: Anne Wolfe Postic)