Makeover Tips for Your Favorite Winter Meals

Now that winter has got us in its grip, you’re likely in the mood for some cold-weather stand-bys. Many of these delicious and nutritious recipes are made with a variety of fiber-rich vegetables, which are important in your diet at any time of year. Some use whole-wheat pasta or noodles instead of white; others include reduced-fat cheese instead of full-fat for improved nutrition. Not only are these comforting South Beach Diet–friendly seasonal favorites savory and satisfying, we’re certain that they will be a big hit with your whole family.

Chicken Noodle Soup
Whether you’re fighting a cold or in the mood for a warm cup of soup, nothing hits the spot like a bowl of chicken noodle soup. Some canned soups are loaded with sodium and heavy ingredients like cream, white rice, and white potato purée. But our tasty homemade South Beach Diet version uses healthier swaps, such as reduced-sodium chicken broth, skinless chicken breast, whole-wheat egg noodles, and minced fresh garlic. Try our Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (Phase 2) or, for an Asian-inspired take, check out this Japanese Turkey-Soba Soup (Phase 2), which uses soba noodles and lower-sodium deli turkey breast. No need to wait until you’re under the weather to enjoy either of these tasty soups, but if you’re on Phase 1, make the soup without the noodles for those two weeks.

Chili
If you’re looking for a heartier dish than soup, chili is an excellent choice. Ground lean beef or ground chicken or turkey breast are your best options for a meat- or poultry-based chili. And if you want to go vegetarian, black beans, black soybeans, and red kidney beans make a rich and vibrant meatless chili. You can add peppers, crushed tomatoes, adobo or chipotle seasonings, and ground cumin or chili powder for a boost of flavor. Feel free to also sprinkle some reduced-fat Cheddar cheese on top of the dish. Prepare this delicious Pork and Poblano Chili (Phase 1) or our White Chipotle Chicken Chili (Phase 1) for a satisfying weeknight meal.

Casseroles
Casseroles are great time-savers for busy cooks, since they typically lend themselves to advance preparation and reheating later. Here are three healthy alternatives to the typical high-fat casseroles made with cream soups, fatty meats, and cheeses. Check out our Acorn Squash and Two-Bean Gratin (Phase 2), which uses a reduced-fat preshredded Mexican blend of cheeses along with two kinds of beans for healthy protein and fiber. Or try our Spicy South Beach Diet Macaroni and Cheese (Phase 2), which calls for whole-wheat pasta and reduced-fat Cheddar, or our Orange Ginger Sweet Potato Casserole (Phase 2), a nutrient-rich side dish the whole family will enjoy.

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