Embrace winter with these soul-warming dishes
With the onset of darker days and cooler weather, it’s natural to start craving warming comfort foods to see you through the winter season. Whether it’s a freshly roasted pumpkin whizzed into a nourishing soup, letting your slow cooker take over for an old-fashioned stew loaded with hearty veggies, or the aroma of a golden apple and cinnamon crumble baking in the oven, we’ve rounded up our favourite soul-warming dishes to pull out when the temperature drops. So, embrace the chilly weather and get cooking!
‘Tis the season for soup
Gazpacho aside, soup and winter are a match made in heaven. Seasonal produce like root vegetables (think pumpkin, sweet potato, onion, parsnips, and carrots) form the perfect base for a nourishing soup. With salads often taking a backseat in the winter months, incorporating vegetable soup either as a side or main dish will help you keep your daily intake of good stuff on track. Best of all, after a little practice, veggie soup is an easy dish to freestyle. Check out these tips for ditching the recipe book and making a soup to suit your tastes.
Soup recipes we’re loving include:
Let the slow cooker take the lead
Experiencing a resurgence from their 1970s heyday, slow cookers are back on the scene thanks to the trend of slow cooked meats. Add to this the fact that they literally get the work done while you’re at work, typically produce meals that are lower in oils and fats and often create cheaper meals, you’re on to a winter dinner winner! Slow cooking brings out the flavour in any dish (with minimal effort) and makes for super tender meat that you can literally cut with a spoon – who doesn’t want to come home to that after a day at the office? Due to their new-found popularity, there are plenty of recipes (in fact whole websites) dedicated to slow cooker meals.
Our slow cooker favourites are:
Stoke the fire from within with curries
From a fiery Malaysian beef curry to a mellow Thai tofu red curry, there’s a curry to suit every palette, and winter is the best time to turn up the heat. Whether you go all out and make a curry from scratch on a lazy Sunday afternoon or kick-start things with a readymade paste or sauce, curries are sure to warm you from within and leave you feeling satisfied. Accompany with store bought or homemade naan and you’ll realise there’s no need to hit the takeaways.
Our favourite made from scratch curries are:
Hearty pasta dishes
There’s just something that lures us towards carbs as the days get shorter, and with plenty of healthier options to some traditional favourites, we’re embracing our love for all things pasta. Whether you’re drawn to that bubbling casserole dish of fresh from the oven mac ‘n’ cheese, delicious oven-baked risotto, or a classic lasagne oozing with bechamel and a rich red wine tomato sauce, there’s something to be said for meals that you can pop in the oven and relax fireside prior to serving.
We’re loving these healthier takes on the classics:
Make seasonal sides the star
Winter produce often lacks the appeal of fresh colourful salads, but we think they’re worthy of their season in the spotlight. Everything from crispy honey roasted root vegetables to new spins on classic mashed potato, sauteed spinach or a bubbling dish of potato bake are all dishes that are sure to please.
Our favourite winter sides are:
Opt for warming beverages
Keeping up your fluid intake over the winter months can be a challenge, which is why we recommend switching water for herbal teas. There are plenty of caffeine-free supermarket options available, or to take your teatime ritual up a notch head to T2 and explore everything from matcha, chai and chocolate teas.
For a homemade treat try:
Up your dessert game
Indulgent desserts are welcome all year round, but they really take a seat at the table as the temperature drops. Think sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce and a dollop of fresh cream, or the aromas of spiced apple crumble wafting from the oven.
Nothing quite rounds off a winter meal like a comforting pudding, so why not try adding one of these to your arsenal if you haven’t already:
Or for something lighter, try citrus-poached pears.
While winter eating lends itself to dense, calorie-laden meals, it’s entirely possible to recreate the classics with a healthier twist and hit your veggie intake, all the while feeling satisfied. By cooking nourishing homemade meals (particularly if we need to stay safe at home), you and your family will be set up with good eating habits for seasons to come. And more importantly, by keeping both your body and mind healthy throughout the cooler months (more on that in our blog here) you’ll keep the winter blues at bay. Who knows, winter might just become your favourite season.
All recipes are linked directly to their original source, here we share a compilation and reference to our favourites from a variety or sources. We make no claim to any recipes, no recipes are our own.