Winter warmers and comfort food
If you find that even thinking about eating a salad makes you shiver when the weather turns cooler, you’re not alone! Thank goodness there are plenty of Winter vegetables available to inspire you to think about soups, stews and casseroles; healthy ones, of course!
They are the mainstays of our menu planning in Winter. Oh and let’s not forget the humble roast dinner; we load our plates with lots of veggies, some lean meat and a little bit of gravy. Such got a great Winter warming comfort food meal.
Now I’d like to share some of my favourite Winter meal ideas that are healthy and delicious.
Let’s start with breakfast; porridge is a favourite of mine all year round, but especially so in Winter. I add variety with quinoa, and I alternate between rolled oats and steel cut oats.
My favourite toppings are berries, bananas and nut butters. It’s great to be able to buy fresh Australian strawberries thanks to the warmer climes in Queensland.
One of my favourite porridge recipes came from Dan Churchill a few years ago. The recipe arrived via email, before breakfast and when I read it, it sounded so good I knew that I had to try it straight away!
I love the combination of chocolate, banana and nut butter, and let me tell you this recipe doesn’t disappoint! Check out my CHOC NUT BUTTER PORRIDGE if you’d like to try my version for yourself.
While we’re on the subject of breakfast, let’s not forget eggs. They’re protein packed and can be cooked so many different ways. Don’t forget to add plenty of veggies; think about tomatoes, spinach, beans, onions, peppers, mushrooms and so on……
And last but not least, there’s the humble shake or smoothie. These are perfect before a workout, if you’re in a hurry, or want something healthy and portable to take to work.
I even found a ‘hot chocolate’ smoothie that tastes pretty good on the Lorna Jane MNB website. It’s another great website worth checking out for healthy recipes.
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So that’s breakfast done, now let’s talk about lunch. I find that soup is always a quick and easy way to go at lunchtime. I have a few recipes on rotation, like my DELICIOUS BROCCOLI SOUP that are really quick to make from scratch.
You should also try this EASY ROAST PUMPKIN SOUP
Soups are ideal for the weekend too; you can make a big batch, have some for lunch and freeze the rest for work lunches through the week.
Spending a couple of hours on the weekend pre cooking and freezing chicken breasts with different herb and spice combinations, home made burgers, fishcakes and the like means you’ve got yourself a protein packed, nutritious lunch in no time at all. Just add veggies or a salad (which you can also prepare ahead of time.)
You’ll always have leftovers when you make a soup or stew for dinner, which is perfect for an easy lunch the next day.
Do you get home from work too late or too tired to think about cooking? A slow cooker can be a good solution; just throw everything in before you leave for work and come home to a ready to eat meal.
The other alternative is a pressure cooker. Throw everything in when you get home, and you’ll have a delicious dinner on the table within an hour.
Once again, your meal will be full of healthy goodness and if you make enough, you can save the leftovers for lunch the next day, or freeze for a quick and easy dinner on another night.
And let’s not forget the taste – home cooking wins out over supermarket ready meals every time.
Soups can be hearty, comforting dinner meals too. There’s nothing like a chunky chicken and vegetable soup, or a thick, tasty soup served with crusty bread.
I can’t talk about Winter dinners without mentioning curries. There are so many recipes around these days, it’s not hard to find one to suit your palate.
I only like a mild heat myself, but I love the rich, spicy flavours of a home made curry and remember, you’ll also be getting the added benefits from turmeric – read more about that HERE.
So there you have some of my Winter favourites. Your Winter meals don’t have to be heavy, stodgy and fat laden to still feel warm and comforting.
I hope that this inspires you to start planning some healthy soups and casseroles!
There are lots of healthy and delicious recipes in THE HEALTHY NORMAL REVOLUTION recipe library too.
Don’t forget to pin it for later!