Winter is here and that means it’s time to break out those warm, filling recipes. Even in moderate weather climates like Texas, the nights and mornings are often a bit cold and having a hot bowl of chili or soup is nice. For the brave travelers living in colder climates, a hot meal warms you up from the inside out and is extremely satisfying. Here are a few staples that pair perfectly with those cold winter days.
Piping Hot Chili
It’s hard to go wrong with a nice bowl of chili. The nice thing about a chili recipe is the ability to make adjustments for different spice levels. You can go ultra-spicy by adding peppers or keep it nice and mild. Chili is also flexible in that you can cook it with a simple pot, slow cooker and even in a cast iron pan. You can find a ton of different recipes online. The following is an easy chili recipe that you can throw together in a pinch.
Brown the ground beef or substitute ground pork or turkey. Drain the grease and add onions to sauté lightly then throw everything in a big pot or slow cooker. Cook on low heat for several hours then turn to high heat for 10 minutes before serving. Add seasoning to flavor if needed. In a slow cooker, leaving it on low heat all day will really bring out the flavors. Remove the jalapeno and serve with cornbread and honey butter.
Soup and Grilled Sandwiches
You can’t go wrong with hot soup and grilled sandwiches. The meal works great for lunch or dinner as well. Making soup from scratch is surprisingly simple but not always practical for RV living because it requires a puree tool to liquify everything. Luckily, finding really good soup options is easy at most grocery store chains. Canned soup isn’t bad but look for the gourmet soup in plastic containers. It’s usually in or near the deli section where they sell baked chickens and fresh food. Tomato basil soup is hard to beat.
Grilled sandwiches pair perfectly with hot soup. You can eat separately or dip the sandwich directly into the soup. Grilled cheese is a favorite but adding some avocado and turkey or ham really adds flavor to the mix.
Stew It Up
Stews are similar to chili in that they are hearty, hot and easy to assemble. Chunks of potatoes, carrots, onion, celery and beef combined with flour, salt, pepper, beef broth and a little water makes for a quick and easy stew. You can even find premixed packets with the seasonings and thickening agents and simply add water and ingredients. Cook it low and slow in a pot or slow cooker for hours and crank the heat for a few minutes before serving.
You can easily change ingredients and do a nice stew with chicken. If the stew is too watery, add a few tablespoons of cornstarch and it will thicken up. This is a matter of preference but a nice thick stew is often preferred to something more on the soup side.
Bake Your Breakfast
Baking your breakfast is convenient, especially when prepared in advance. Make a quick quiche or egg bake at night and when you wake up, set the oven up and bake your breakfast. In many RV’s running the oven will also start heating the kitchen and living area. The convenience factor here is key on a cold morning and it leaves your hands free to make coffee and handle your morning business.
Pie a la mode
The combination of hot and cold in a sweet dessert is so nice. Pie a la mode is so delicious and filling after a long day of exploring and playing in the outdoors. Make your pie from scratch or grab one from the local bakery. Hot apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream might be the best dessert ever invented. Choose your favorite type of pie, heat it up and kick back to make the most of a nice winter evening by the heater. If pie is too much, a nice cup of hot chocolate is another easy dessert that warms you from the inside out.