Daylight savings time hit. That means, days are getting shorter, nights are getting longer, and heating bills are getting higher.
What is it about cooler temps that have me wanting all the carbs? It’s like the air hits 50 degrees and I go sprinting to the pastry counter to order up all the croissants. And I know this isn’t just me (thank God). Research shows that when temps plummet, our bodies go into hibernation mode. We instinctively feel the need to fatten up to keep ourselves warm throughout these cold months, and our activity and energy level inevitably goes down.
So, how do we balance this instinctual desire of feeding our bodies what they crave, without sacrificing our health (and waistline)? I investigated some local healthier comfort food dining options to be had around town. Here are some of my top finds and my go-tos this winter.
Spice up lunch or dinner with healthified Indian Cuisine from Injoy Street Food.
Their website says it all: “Dishes made from scratch with fresh ingredients that build upon the flavor complexity of traditional Indian cuisine. We add layers of texture and balancing flavors for delightfully satisfying food that is light on the stomach. With many plant-based, dairy-free options available, our vegetarian and vegan friends can create a customized meal without missing out on any of the fun.”
Opt for the bowl, choose a base (quinoa or basmati rice), a sauce (the Chana Vindaloo, made from chickpeas, is my go-to), a protein (Chicken, Aloo Gobi (sweet potato and cauliflower) or Tofu), and pile on the veggies and hot sauce. I could eat there daily.
Warm your bones with soups from Mazunte (try your best to skip the fried tortilla chips)
Photo from Cincinnati Magazine
ozole, which is a traditional Mexican soup with pork, chicken, hominy, red radish, white onions, avocado, cilantro, lime, Mexican oregano and tostadas (baked corn tortillas). Or, my fave, the Caldo de Pollo, which is a Mexican chicken soup with garbanzo beans, rice, cilantro, onion, avocado, red chile flakes and tostadas. Mazunte has been deemed by most as the best Mexican in Cincinnati. Switch up taco Tuesday by giving their soups a spin. No regrets. Promise. Try their P
The Taqueria is located in Oakley on Madison Road, with a new location, Mazunte Centro, opening up in downtown Cincinnati at 611 Main Street (we cannot wait).
Harvest Pizzeria, because I’m 1000% into justifying eating pizza.
You may be thinking… pizza as a healthy alternative is a stretch. But with all local ingredients and tons of options for toppings including gluten free crust and vegan cheese made in house (that is actually delicious), I’m gonna put it out there that this pizza is basically a superfood. It’s good for the heart, mind, and body. They source their produce, dairy, and meat from local Ohio farms, giving you even more of an excuse to indulge in some za.
Harvest Pizzeria is so much more than pizza. Their veggie burger is one to write home about, comprised of mushrooms, walnuts, basmati rice, carrots, pickles, peppers, and sweet potatoes. They also have an array of salads, such as the House Chop with iceberg, radicchio, pepperoncini, chick peas, ricotta salata, house italian dressing, and the Mean Green with spinach, arugula, black beluga lentils, harvest trail mix, avocado, green goddess dressing.
What are your local go to restaurants in the winter?