Garden Plate: Hygge-inspired delights to keep cozy this winter

Midwinter is the ideal time to explore hygge, a cozy Scandinavian tradition that includes slow-cooker Tuscan chicken and gnocchi stews, Asian-style rice noodle bowls, and one of the easiest pot pies ever. am.

Photo courtesy of The Recipe Critic

A combination of bright lemon flavor and rich, creamy Parmesan cheese blends comfortably into this delicious bowl of stew. The secret to the most flavorful soup is to add a crust of Parmesan cheese. Long before lean cooking became a trend, this old-fashioned trick was on the rise. Put it on early in the day and let the slow cooker do all the heavy lifting while you curl up with a good book by the fire.

Tuscan-style lemon parmesan chicken and gnocchi stew

Servings: 4

1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breast

1/2 teaspoon granulated lemon pepper seasoning

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 rib celery, trimmed and thinly sliced

1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

1 quart chicken stock

1 2-inch piece of parmesan cheese crust (if available)

juice of half a lemon

1 cup fresh cream

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 pound fresh potato gnocchi

1 cup parmesan cheese

4 cups baby spinach

salt and pepper to taste

In a slow cooker bowl, combine chicken, seasonings, onion, celery, carrots, stock, cheese crust, and lemon juice. Set to low and cook until chicken is tender, about 6 hours. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred with 2 forks. Return to slow cooker. Set heat to high. Mix the cornstarch with the heavy cream. Add to slow cooker. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Add the gnocchi and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, until the gnocchi is tender. Stir occasionally. Turn off heat, add cheese and mix. Add spinach and adjust the seasoning. Cover and wait for the spinach to wilt, about 10 minutes. serve.

Photo credit: Getty Images

I found this recipe in another iteration a few years back. Since then, I’ve added a little bit of this, taken it out, and have the easiest rice noodle bowl to warm up the flavors of winter.

Asian rice noodle bowl

Servings: 4

Soak 1 bag of rice vermicelli in boiling water for 3 minutes to drain.


2 quarts chicken stock

2 cloves of minced garlic

Peel the ginger and cut it into thin slices.

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise pod

3 baby bok choy, thinly sliced

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 cup green onion, sliced, both green and white

4 eggs, hard-cooked, peeled and halved

Coriander for garnish

bean sprouts

In a large pot, combine broth, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and star anise. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add bok choy and scallions. Boil another 10 minutes. Season with fish sauce and soy sauce. Remove cinnamon and anise. Portion noodles between 4 large bowls. Put the soup on top of the noodles and top with green onions, eggs, coriander and bean sprouts.

Photo credit: Getty Images

Nothing warms and comforts like chicken pot pie. However, the prospect of starting this endeavor may seem a little daunting due to the stuffing and dough preparation involved. Recently, I noticed that my local supermarket sells shredded rotisserie chicken. Yesterday’s leftovers, coupled with ready-made dough, are key time-savings for this recipe.

easy chicken pot pie

Servings: 4

For filling:

1 pound shredded rotisserie chicken

2 cups frozen corn

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup frozen carrots

1 cup frozen pearl onions

Four 12-ounce cans of condensed cream of chicken soup

2 cups chicken stock

1 handful coarsely chopped dill leaves

1 handful of coarsely chopped parsley

To top the pie:

1 sheet of pre-made raw puff pastry, rolled out

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place all ingredients in a large pot over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes. If you want a thinner sauce, use more stock. Pour the filling into a casserole or 10-inch pie plate. Place the plate on a cookie sheet with a rim to catch drips. Place in center of preheated oven and bake until golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

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