Winter is a great time to enjoy tasty soups and hotdishes. If you are watching your waist line, it’s important to be careful of how much you consume of these foods as they can be high in calories, fat, and carbs… depending on how you prepare them. Broth based soups and stews are lower in calories and fat than cream based. In addition, if you’re making a hot dish, you may consider cutting calories by choosing fat free soups to add to your dish, such as fat free cream of chicken or mushroom soup. They also have low sodium varieties of these so if you’re watching your blood pressure or sodium intake, you may consider using this variety. And, as always, be sure to incorporate your lean proteins and plenty of fruits and veggies to your meal. You may consider doubling the veggies in your soups to make them a bit heartier and healthy. A few of my favorite cold weather soups are beef stew that has carrots, peas, potatoes, onion, and roast meat, bean and ham soup (plenty of protein and fiber!), and chicken noodle soup that also has plenty of veggies with white meat chicken. Try out batch cooking with these hearty meals–make a big batch and portion out into smaller containers and freeze. Take one out at a time to enjoy a healthy, hearty meal without all the prep time!