When the weather grows chilly, there are two ways to deal with it: from the outside, with warm socks, fleece, wool and cozy blankets, and from the inside, with comfort food.
Whether it’s the nostalgia of the holidays or an extension of the feeling of a full belly that seems to also fill the heart, there’s something extra wonderful about your favorite warm dish in the wintertime.
We peeped local menus and talked to readers to determine the best ways to warm up your belly in Boulder. Here’s how our readers do winter comfort food, both in the restaurant and in their own kitchen.
Go Out to Eat
“Check out the hot dish at Shamane’s Bake Shoppe. So so good!” – Cassy M., of Boulder
Shamane’s Bake Shoppe, 2825 Wilderness Place, unit 800, Boulder: The Hot Dish is chicken green chili over a gluten-free corn masa cake, topped with a fried egg, avocado, sour cream and tomato.
Shamane’s also makes pot pies (chicken, veggie and seasonal) and pasties (breakfast, Colorado bison), and has a soup of the day. If you’re lucky, you might find the likes of a chicken and dumpling soup, perfect to pair with a hot chocolate on a cold day.
“Ramen from Tokio in Denver, Dan Dan noodles from Flower Pepper in Boulder, coconut chicken curry and saag paneer from Mount Everest Cuisine in Boulder, homemade (ground) turkey stroganoff, homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.” – Ali R., of Boulder
Tokio, 2907 Huron St., unit 103, Denver: Tokio makes various specialty ramen bowls, such as Tonkotsu with pork broth: cha syu pork, bok choy, pickled bamboo, wood ear mushroom, carrot, green onion, red pickled ginger, dry chili and spicy sesame oil.
Flower Pepper Restaurant, 2655 Broadway, Boulder: The DanDan Noodles can be made gluten-free. It’s fresh noodles served in a rich broth, topped with seasoned ground pork, baby bok choy and a signature chili oil. If you are craving soup, Flower Pepper also has wonton soup, duck noodle soup and chicken noodle soup.
Mount Everest Cuisine of Nepal and India, 4800 Baseline Road, unit A-107, Boulder: The coconut curry can be served with your choice of meat or seafood (chicken, lamb, salmon or shrimp) and is cooked in coconut sauce and herbs. Saag is a combo of Indian creamed spinach cooked with meat and fresh spices, garlic, ginger, onions, tomato and cream. Also check out the traditional Indian soup (Mulligatawny soup).
Stay Home and Cook
“Tomato soup. There is a The Kitchen recipe floating around somewhere.” – Patricia R., of Boulder
Recipe: Try to make a version of Boulder’s favorite tomato soup using the recipe from A Boulder Kitchen or And What I Ate. As the latter blogger puts it, “They make the world’s greatest tomato soup.” Check out more comfort food (like Spinach and Artichoke Dip Pasta Bake with Chicken) from And White I Ate here.
Try it: Or just get it at The Kitchen All American Bistro, 1039 Pearl St., Boulder.
All of the Soups
“Soups! I love making soups and chilis (meat and vegetarian) when it’s cold. We made a Moroccan white bean and beef/turkey chili the other day that was amazing. I also make a vegetarian chili with butternut squash, adobo chilies and avocado that is bomb.” – Christine R., of Windsor
Recipe: Colorado blogger Rocky Mountain Cooking has a white bean chili recipe worth a try.
Try it: Lindsay’s Deli on the Pearl Street Mall (1148 Pearl St.) has an ever-rotating selection of soups. If you can score the chili on a chilly day, it’ll warm you up for a second round of window-shopping.
Mac and Cheese
“ I am making homemade mac and cheese tonight.” – Genia B., of Berthoud
Recipe: Here’s a link to a yummy baked mac and cheese recipe you can make tonight, courtesy of Mom On Timeout.
Try it: Don’t feel like cooking? Check out Aunt Penny’s Mac and Cheese at River and Woods, 2328 Pearl St., Boulder. It tastes homemade. It’s made with ditalini pasta, Cougar Gold cheddar, Hazel Dell local organic mushrooms, organic greens, peas and an onion-potato crunch.
Apple Pie (and More)
“Pumpkin soup, tons of fresh nuts like walnuts or hazelnuts and clementines or right now: fresh roasted turkey with red cabbage, potato dumplings and brown sauce. Apple pie.” – Alex V., of Germany
Recipe: For a new, local spin on apple pie, try making Pikes Peak Spiked Apple Crisp by Creative Culinary, a Colorado-based food blogger.
Try it: Pick up a homemade apple pie at My Mom’s Pie, 201 Murray St., unit C, Niwot.
“I am making posole with New Mexico chili pods.” – Daisy L., of Denver
Recipe: Colorado-based blogger Highlands Ranch Foodie has a great pozole recipe to try. Find the Colorado Red Posole recipe here here.
Try it: Find pozole on the menu at Centro Mexican Kitchen, 950 Pearl St. The pozole verde is described as a “traditional hominy stew, braised pork, green chile, radish, jalapeño and cilantro.”
“Three bean and beef firehouse chili topped with cheese and onions with corn bread and a Voodoo Ranger beer.” – Christine T., of Berthoud
Try it: Not sure what beer to try with your comfort dish this winter? Do a tasting at the Winter Craft Beer Festival and find your new favorite.
New Belgium Brewing describes its Voodoo Ranger IPA as “Bursting with tropical aromas and juicy fruit flavors from mosaic and amarillo hops, this golden IPA is perfectly bitter with a refreshing, sublime finish.”
Apple Cider Mimosa
“Not food but apple cider mimosas with a sugar-cinnamon-rimmed glass.” – Jessica R., of Cape Coral, Florida
Recipe: Joyful Healthy Eats has a simple, two-ingredient recipe for this fall-wintery celebratory drink. Check it out here.
Recipe for Jessica’s Apple Cider Mimosas
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup apple cider
1 (750 ml) bottle of champagne
Combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip the rims of champagne flutes in the mixture. Fill the glasses about a quarter full with apple cider and top off with bubbly.
“This season, I plan on cooking lots and lots of congee. You basically cook the heck out of rice to make a porridge-like dish. I use chicken thighs and chicken stock in a slow cooker with uncooked rice and let it cook all day. The toppings are what makes it. We top ours with cilantro, peanuts, green onions, soy sauce, chilies, jalapenos, really whatever you want. It’s so good, simple, filling and warm.” – Laura D., of Loveland
Recipe for Laura’s Congee
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups water
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 knob of peeled ginger
2-3 dried hot chilies
1 cup rice
2 smashed garlic cloves
Throw it all in a slow cooker for 8 hours on low. Top with any combo of the following: avocado, peanuts, scallions, green onions, soy sauce, fish sauce, hot sauce, cilantro, lime juice. Remove the ginger knob and the chilies before serving. You can stir while cooking, but keep it chill as it may get gummy.
Ritz Chicken Casserole
“Chicken pot pie, green chili stew, meatloaf, mac and cheese, grilled cheese and tomato soup, millionaire spaghetti, Ritz Cracker chicken casserole and pasties. Of course, these are not calorie-conscious foods.” – Lisa S., of Fort Collins
Recipe: Check out The County Cook’s recipe (Lisa’s go-to) for Ritz Chicken Casserole here.