Healthy Winter Comfort Foods
Health and Wellbeing
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Health and Wellbeing
It’s no secret that winter’s cold and gloomy weather makes us crave indulgent dishes like fondue and baked goods like sticky toffee pudding and apple crumble. While Christmas is the season to satisfy your palate with these tasty treats, it’s important to nourish and take care of your body during the rest of the season, too. If you find it difficult to maintain a healthy diet during winter, we’re here to show you how easy it is to cook nutritious dishes using seasonal produce. From hearty soups to meat dishes and vegan options, find inspiration from our list of healthy winter comfort foods.
There are fewer things more satisfying than a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter’s day. If you’re looking to get your 5-a-day in, this recipe from Victoria Osborne-Broad for chunky spiced winter soup is a winner. It calls for onions, carrots and sweet potatoes, but you can also add vegetables like parsnips, pumpkin or butternut squash. A teaspoon of Quatre-Epices Spice Blend (a mix of black pepper, nutmeg, cloves and ginger) adds a warmth and depth of flavour to the soup. Although this is a vegan and vegetarian-friendly recipe, you can also add cooked chicken or goose if you have leftovers that need using up.
Seeing as we’re based in Merseyside, we may be biased, but you can’t go wrong with scouse. This stew was traditionally made from leftovers, and generally includes potatoes, carrots, onions and either lamb or beef. Each household has their own way of making it, but in our recipe, we’ve amped up the flavours with the addition of herbs and spices like bay leaves, thyme, fennel seeds and yellow mustard seeds. Don’t forget the crusty bread to mop everything up.
Feeling a little under the weather? Chicken soup is the ultimate comfort food that’ll nurse you back to health. Our recipe uses garlic (a natural antibiotic) and ginger (great for blood circulation), both powerful ingredients to blast any flu or cold away. With the addition of Lemon Pepper Seasoning, sweetcorn, parsley and spring onions, this soup contains 5 of your 5-a-day.
Traybakes are a fantastic option for midweek meals as you can just chuck everything into a pan and let the oven do the work. This Tesco Real Food recipe for spicy pork chops is a delicious Asian-inspired dinner that the whole family will love. It’s a complete meal, with carbohydrates, protein and vegetables. If you like it spicy, you can also add our Thai Seasoning Blend to the pork’s marinade for a spicy and zingy punch.
Another healthy winter comfort food is this recipe for lentil and sweet potato soup. It’s a great choice for vegans and vegetarians, and the protein in the lentils and carbohydrate-rich sweet potatoes will keep you full and satisfied for hours. This recipe also contains 5 of your 5-a-day, with the addition of onions, carrots and tomatoes. It’s also packed with plenty of herbs and spices such as bay leaves, chilli powder, lemon pepper and thyme to keep your immune system healthy.
Next time you make a roast dinner, try this recipe from Tesco Real Food. This Mediterranean-inspired roast chicken is cooked together with lemon quarters to create a fragrant meat, while the potatoes are roasted with lemon rind and garlic cloves. Reuse the roasted garlic cloves in the basil salsa for a fresh and zingy sauce to accompany the meat. Served with steamed greens for a healthy, well-balanced meal.
Winter is the best time of year for hearty, warming breakfasts. If unhealthy fry-ups are out of the question and you fancy a change from porridge, how about this mouthwatering recipe for shakshuka? This is a North African and Middle Eastern dish of eggs poached in a mix of tomatoes, onions and garlic. Spices like cumin and cayenne pepper can be added, but in our version we’ve used paprika and harissa, a powerful North African blend of red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin, caraway, sea salt and mint leaves. Top with chopped coriander and serve with flatbread or ciabatta.
Lentils are the ultimate healthy winter comfort food, and this recipe from Ian Simm makes the most of red lentils. It calls for Goan Xacuti Curry Powder, a punchy Indian spice mix with 14 ingredients including poppy seeds, ajowan, fenugreek and cinnamon. However, this recipe is highly versatile and you can swap out Goan Xacuti curry powder for any other Indian spice blend, such as Pasanda Spice Blend for something more mild, or a classic Garam Masala. Whatever you choose, serve this lentil dish with rice or pita for a tasty and filling meal.
A rice dish is always a good midweek dinner option when you want something easy to make. This recipe by Anna Glover from BBC Good Food is tasty and budget-friendly. Basmati rice is cooked together with spices like Garam Masala, cinnamon and cardamom, as well as ginger, chillies and garlic, to create a fragrant and fluffy dish. Top with a sauce of ginger, chillies, coriander and cashews and you have a comforting and healthy dinner that’s vegan-friendly.
No list of healthy winter comfort foods is complete without a chilli con carne. This classic dish is a family-favourite and in our recipe, we’ve added Chilean Alino Spice Blend. This is a sweet and tart herbal blend which includes rosemary, sage, marjoram, thyme, tarragon, mint, oregano and lemon balm. The spice blend adds a fragrant and peppery twist, something a little different to your usual chilli. We know it’s supposed to be a healthy recipe, but can’t resist adding a dollop of sour cream and a handful of grated cheese on top, just for balance. Looking for a vegan alternative? Try our Veggie Chilli which uses our Chilli Con Carne Spice Blend.
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