Cozy, warming food is an obvious choice for cold weather, but oftentimes a hearty meal will send you straight to the couch. Not so helpful when you want to be up and about!

We’ve got plenty of dishes in our archive that will give you all the cozy winter vibes without weighing you down. Read on for our favorite saucy, flavorful, energy-packed dishes. We’ve also included lightened-up versions of comfort food faves.

Baked Salmon and Kale in Moroccan-Spiced Tomato Sauce, above. A richly spiced tomato sauce imparts lots of flavor to salmon perched atop a bed of kale. The kale is cooked under the blanket of sauce just enough to be tender.



(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post)

Cod Stew With Fennel, Olives and Orange Essence. Having company over? This elegant cod stew makes for a pretty main dish when you’ve got a group coming to dinner. The best part: You can make the base of the soup ahead of time, then add the cod and olives right before your guests arrive.



(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Braised Chicken Thighs With White Beans and Pancetta. Made in your trusty Instant Pot or Dutch oven, these chicken thighs are another gorgeous main fit for a crowd. Serve with a little salad to squeeze some veggies in.



(Photo by Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post).

Flank Steak Gyros With Quick-Pickled Carrot. If you need a lunch that will get you going past 3 p.m. without the dreaded afternoon slump, a pita packed with lean steak and a flavorful yogurt sauce will save the day.



(Photo by Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post).

Easy Chickpea Curry. This simple foray into Indian cuisine is a healthful and nourishing dinner. Bonus: It’s a quick one! Serve with rice or flatbread.



(Photo by Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post).

Kabocha Squash and Peanut Stew. Take advantage of the beautiful squash available at the market and make a stew to honor them. Peanuts and peanut butter add protein, but you can adjust the amount of the latter to your taste.



(Photo by Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post)

Caribbean Black Beans With Sauteed Plantains. Sometimes all you need is a bowl of beans and rice to make you feel warm inside. This one is citrusy and gently spiced — and with an accompaniment of rice and sweet, sauteed plantains, it’s the perfect filling thing to pack for lunch.



(Photo by Deb Lindsey For The Washington Post).

Mushroom Polenta Bowl With Greens and Beans. A creamy bowl of polenta always makes us feel good. Top it with savory mushrooms, cannellini beans and some sauteed Swiss chard for a bowl that covers all the bases.



(Justin Tsucalas for The Washington Post; food styling by Nichole Bryant for The Washington Post)

Mushroom and Goat Cheese Lasagna. Here’s another mushroom dish we had to include! From our Plant Powered newsletter series, we bring you this lightened-up lasagna that’s sure to please.



(Photo by Renee Comet for The Washington Post)

Jersey-Style Eggplant Parm. Instead of frying the eggplant and burying it in sauce, we decided to say no to sogginess and simply save the bread crumbs for the top. Roasting the eggplant concentrates flavor against a simple sauce.

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