Think outside the box with these 5 cozy winter meals

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·5-min read

Winter is a great time to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, but some days, that’s just not possible. Luckily, Canadian Tire and Yahoo are here to help. From family-friendly recipes to make when you’re snowed in to games to keep kids of all ages entertained indoors, we’re bringing you everything you need for the season.

Photo via Getty Images
Photo via Getty Images

Meal preparation gets a bad rap for being boring, flavourless and uninspired. But with a little bit of ingenuity and some fun spices, making your meals in advance can be a lot more exciting.

Whether you’re running out the door, going on a walk with the kids or just looking for something easy to zap in the microwave, there are a number of recipes with your name on them — particularly if you enjoy fan favourites like pizza and burritos, but not the time it takes to make them fresh.

With more time spent at home, having ready-to-go meals is more important than ever so you can kick back and relax with those closest to you. Take a look at our five tasty, wintery meals that you can make in bulk, below.

Make-ahead breakfast burritos

Photo via Getty Images
Photo via Getty Images

If you love all the goodness of breakfast wrapped in a tasty tortilla, but just lack the time to make it fresh, fear not: You can prepare them in advance. Easy to customize depending on your likes and dislikes, a Freezer Breakfast Burrito is the perfect option.

Start by preparing your individual items, the sauté your chosen vegetables and meat in a large skillet, like the Lagostina Ticino Skillet, with butter. Crack 12 eggs into a mixing bowl and lightly whisk them, using a stainless-steel whisk. Make sure not to overcook the eggs, or you’ll end up with soggy burritos. Finally, assemble the burritos as you wish, and wrap them in parchment paper secured with masking tape and place them in freezer-safe bags.

Be sure to thaw out the burrito in the fridge the day before you want to eat it, then either microwave, heat in a skillet or, better yet, grill in a panini press. The Breville Panini Maker gives each burrito those delicious golden grill marks, as well as the perfect crisp.

Flaky broccoli and cheddar soup pies

Photo via Getty Images
Photo via Getty Images

Think of it as an elevated Pizza Pocket. Soups are the perfect cold-day meal, but if you’re someone who’s on the go, it’s tough to find time to enjoy a hot bowl of your favourite variety. With these Flaky Broccoli and Cheddar Soup Pies, you can.

While your oven is pre-heating, line your Paderno Professional Medium Cookie Sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat Silicone Baking Mat. As your oil simmers in a large skillet, add your onion and cook until soft, then add in your broccoli, garlic, thyme, nutmeg and cayenne. Char your broccoli before removing from the head and stirring in your cheeses: cream cheese, cheddar and Havarti.

Next is the fun part. Roll out your pastry sheets and cut them to size with your Cuisinart Forged Santoku Knife, filling each square with your gooey, cheesy filling. Then bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and serve warm, or store for later. You can even freeze them.

Ham and swiss slab pie

Photo via Getty Images
Photo via Getty Images

If you love a warm, flaky pie fit for breakfast, lunch or dinner, look no further than the Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Slab Pie. This flaky, gooey, savoury pie is a great way to use up leftovers.

While your oven preheats, lay a piece of puff pastry onto your baking sheet and spread with mustard. Sprinkle half of your shredded cheese over the mustard, followed by layer slices of ham, caramelized onions, thyme and more cheese. In a small bowl, like one from the Master Chef Bake Prep Set, whisk together egg, milk, garlic powder and parsley, and brush your pastry border. Add your second piece of puff pastry on top and press the edges together, followed by a brush of egg wash.

Make sure to slice the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape. Bake for 25 minutes, let stand for 10 and slice it into squares before serving. You can also bake your meal in a glass baking dish to ensure it maintains its shape and for easy freezing.

Spicy ramen cup of noodles

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Photo via Getty Images

You might think ramen is best served steaming in a bowl, with a perfect soft-boiled egg at a tiny restaurant in Tokyo. You’re probably right, but you can recreate the delight at home on a budget and in advance with this recipe for Spicy Ramen Cup of Noodles.

Build a delicious bowl of ramen inside your favourite sized Golden Harvest Mason Jars. Mix your bouillon paste, miso, chili-garlic sauce and ginger at the bottom of each jar, followed by layers of carrot, mushrooms, spinach, a halved egg and noodles. Top it off with scallions and sesame seeds, and throw them in the fridge for later — just add hot water and stir.

Slow cooker pizza casserole

Photo via Getty Images
Photo via Getty Images

Pizza is basically impossible to make in big batches that taste just as good fresh and it does heated up, so why not add a Slow Cooker Pizza Casserole to your repertoire? It’s easy to make and take on the go, for those wanting the deliciousness of pizza but not the clean-up situation.

Cook your chosen pasta (we love rigatoni with this one!) in a large pot, while cooking your beef and onions in a skillet over medium heat. Drain both and toss them into a slow cooker. Stir in the cheese, pizza sauce, cream of mushroom soup and pepperoni, cook on low for three hours and serve with basil on top.

Canadian Tire and Yahoo Canada are helping Canadians make the most of winter, with snow removal advice, winter driving checklists and ideas on how to keep the whole family entertained and having fun all season long. Click here for more!