Comforting but Healthy Recipes to Make in Winter
Comforting but Healthy Recipes to Make in Winter
When the cold hits and we begin to slow down over winter, it can be tempting to over-indulge in foods that are warming and comforting…which often means adding a few too many unhealthy foods to our plates (think takeaway food, pizza, overloaded pastas and more!). But winter recipes can still be comforting without blowing out your nutritional needs – which is why we’ve compiled a list of easy, healthy comfort food that will pull you out of the gloom of winter and bring you happiness and warmth throughout the season. These healthy winter recipes use plenty of heart vegetables, healthy fats, and proteins to keep you on track when it comes to your health and fitness goals.
Vegetarian Minestrone Soup
Minestrone soup dates back hundreds of years and hails from Italy, so you just know you’re guaranteed a soup that goes above and beyond to deliver a complete meal. In fact, minestrone soup considered a staple winter recipe among many Aussie families. You’ll find minestrone soup recipes all over the internet, and what you may notice is that no recipe is the same – in fact, due to the dish’s history as a “poor man’s soup” made from leftovers of previous meals, minestrone soup recipes vary. However, there are a number of core ingredients, including:
The pasta is what makes this soup so filling, comforting and delicious (we definitely recommend a sprinkle of parmesan, too!). Additionally, many minestrone recipes are vegetarian, so you’ll be able to get in a large serve of vegetables, which provide essential vitamins and nutrients when the days get cooler and cold and flu season emerges. Protein, while not in abundance in soup, is usually delivered with borlotti beans or similar, but you can add meat if you’d like some extra.
Chicken as a popular form of protein, but sometimes it can get a little stale eating it alongside some plain old vegetables. However, a good caprese chicken recipe is a great way to incorporate healthy comfort food into your winter meal plans.
To make caprese chicken, you’ll be cooking tomatoes in balsamic vinegar to create a sweet yet tart compliment to cheesy chicken. Good-quality chicken breasts are combined with other ingredients including aforementioned tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and garlic to create a mouth-watering dish that doesn’t skimp on protein and is relatively low in carbohydrates. You can pair it with additional vegetables on the side if you like, or simply prepare the entire meal in a single pan for an easy comfort food recipe that’s highly satisfying.
You’ll forget all about your winter blues when you fire up your belly with a winter curry that is a surprisingly healthy winter recipe. Starting with a vegetable curry as your base, you can create a low-calorie, low-fat recipe quite easily by using coconut milk to add creaminess and loading in as many vegetables as you see fit. Then, if you can add your meat protein such as chicken or beef, or stay completely vegetarian using protein such as tofu or chickpeas.
Not too keen on very spicy curries? You can purchase pre-made curry pastes in most supermarkets – head for the international foods section, and look for red curry paste. Yellow curry adds a bit more spice, and green is for the more adventurous! Using brown or red rice is also a slightly healthier option than white rice, or a low GI rice such as basmati.
Are you interested in food beyond making delicious recipes for winter? Maybe you’d like to make it a part of your career? A 10136NAT Diploma of Nutrition (Non-Clinical Advisor) can help get you there.
Zoodle & Vegetable Bake
It seems the zoodle craze isn’t going anywhere soon, but combining it with an array of vegetables and herbs is a great way to lift zoodles from mediocre to a healthy winter recipe. You can create a fantastic vegetable bake using zoodles and a selection of vegetables, including sweet potato (which is a natural antioxidant, as well as a good source of fiber, potassium, vitamins, and other essential nutrients), truss tomatoes and baby rocket, as well as herbs and other delicious additions such as garlic, oregano and mozzarella or fetta. It’s really easy to make this recipe: just prepare your zoodles, dress your vegetables, and toss it all together in a baking tray in the oven.
To create zoodles, you can either purchase a spiralizer, or you can use a potato peeler or box grater to get the job done.
Slow Cooker Meals
The slow cooker is the reigning champion of winter recipes, allowing you to slowly cook meals and bring our plenty of flavour. There are countless slow cooker recipes out there, from whole slow-cooked chickens to chili and stews and even bone broth (which is rich in amino acids and good for gut health!). One of the best things about slow cookers is that you can throw your ingredients in during the morning, and go about the rest if your day while your meal cooks.
Another classic winter recipe, pumpkin soup is probably top of the list when it comes to winter comfort food, being packed with delicious pumpkin and potato and topped with sour yoghurt (or coconut cream if you’d like to make a vegan version). Served with some fresh, crusty bread, pumpkin soup should be at the very top of your healthy winter recipes list.
Enter your details below for more information