What’s that you smell in the air? Take a deep breath, ahhh… After a cold winter’s day, nothing beats a cold winter’s night like a hot delicious meal! However, there a lot of winter dishes that involve high-calorie comfort food like casseroles, cookies, creamy soups etc. which would make healthy eating habits difficult. Everybody knows that holiday weight gain is bound to happen but it doesn’t mean you have to throw away all of your hard work and dedication you had for the rest of the year. Here are some indulgent but still healthy recipes to try out!
Irish Lamb Stew
It must have been the luck of the Irish that created this hearty and delightful stew. Rich broth coupled with loads of vegetables is bound to gift your body the boost it needs to weather the weather.
- 2 tsp rapeseed oil (canola or olive oil would be fine too)
- 1kg lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2.5cm chunks
- 2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 celery stalks, trimmed and sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 litre of beef or lamb stock
- 900g potatoes peeled and cut into 1cm slices
- A knob of butter (a little goes a long way)
- Sea salt and ground black pepper
- Slices of whole wheat bread, to serve (yes, the original recipe says white but whole wheat is healthier!)
- Place a large, flameproof casserole pot over a high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and brown the lamb pieces in two batches.
- Remove and set aside on a plate.
- Reduce the heat to medium–high, add another tablespoon of oil and fry the onion, celery and carrot for 4–6 minutes or until the onions have softened.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C /325°F/Gas Mark 3.
- Return the meat to the pot, along with the bay leaf and stock, season with sea salt and ground black pepper and bring to the boil.
- Remove from the heat and push the slices of potato down into and across the top of the stew, dot with a little butter and give a final seasoning of sea salt and ground black pepper.
- Cover and place in the oven to cook for about 1½ hours or until the meat is tender, then remove the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes until the potatoes have coloured.
- You can serve the stew straight away or leave it covered overnight in the fridge for the flavours to develop. Serve in deep bowls with slices of bread to soak up the liquid.
Recipe and photo from www.donalskehan.com.
Guilt-free Oatmeal Arroz Caldo
Arroz Caldo, a Filipino staple dish inspired by Chinese congee is usually served during the rainy season. It’s thick, savoury and typically unhealthy with white rice being the star of the dish. In this recipe, oats are used instead subtracting the calories and adding more fibre and nutrients.
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 1kg chicken cut into serving portions
- 1 head garlic, peeled and crushed
- 100 grams ginger, peeled and sliced into ½ inch sticks
- 2 ½ cups rolled oats
- 2 litres chicken broth made from the bones of the chicken (store bought is fine but homemade is healthier)
- 3 Tbsp. fish sauce (patis) or to taste
- ¼ cup chopped spring onion as garnish
- Calamansi (or lime)
- Hardboiled egg for garnish
- In a pot, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil. brown the chicken pieces lightly and set aside.
- In the same pot, sauté half the garlic until golden brown for toppings, set aside. Pour the rest of the olive oil and sauté the remaining garlic and ginger.
- Add the oatmeal and sauté until grains are coated with oil. Pour the 2 litres chicken broth.
- Add chicken pieces and season with patis to taste.
- Allow to simmer until the oatmeal and chicken are fully cooked, about 30 minutes. Add more broth to achieve your desired consistency. The porridge should still have a soupy consistency when cooked as the oats will continue to absorb the liquid as it cools.
- Serve in bowls topped with browned garlic, spring onions, and slices of hardboiled egg. Serve calamansi on the side to taste.
Recipe and photo from https://fitwellfoodieblog.wordpress.com/.
Indian-Spiced Eggplant and Cauliflower Stew
Everyone knows that Indian dishes have a certain magic when it comes spices. What better way to get and stay warm than eating something flavourful and spicy. This stew can be served on the side or together with brown basmati rice or whole-wheat couscous.
- 2 Tbsp. curry powder (the recipe says preferably hot but choose according to your own taste)
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- 2 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 1 1-pound eggplant, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 15-ounce can dice tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup nonfat plain yoghurt, (optional)
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add curry powder, garam masala and mustard seeds and toast, stirring, until the spices begin to darken, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl.
- Add oil, onion, garlic, ginger and salt to the pot and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in eggplant, cauliflower, tomatoes, chickpeas, water and the reserved spices.
- Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Top each serving with a dollop of yoghurt, if desired.
Recipe and photo from www.eatingwell.com.
Perfect Roast Beef
There’s always something so cosy about having a nice roast in the oven. It warms up the whole house and fills it with an amazing smell from all the herbs and spices. Let’s get roasting!
- 5 kg topside of beef
- 2 medium onions
- 2 carrots
- 2 sticks celery
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 1 bunch of mixed fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, bay, sage
- olive oil
- Remove the beef from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to cook it, to let it come up to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 240°C/475°F/ gas 9.
- Wash and roughly chop the vegetables – there’s no need to peel them. Break the garlic bulb into cloves, leaving them unpeeled.
- Pile all the veg, garlic and herbs into the middle of a large roasting tray and drizzle with oil.
- Drizzle the beef with oil and season well with sea salt and black pepper, then rub all over the meat. Place the beef on top of the vegetables.
- Place the tray in the oven, then turn the heat down immediately to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and cook for 1 hour for medium beef. If you prefer it medium-rare, take it out 5 to 10 minutes earlier. For well done, leave it in for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- If you’re doing roast potatoes and veggies, this is the time to crack on with them – get them into the oven for the last 45 minutes of cooking.
- Baste the beef halfway through cooking and if the veg looks dry, add a splash of water to the tray to stop them from burning.
- When the beef is cooked to your liking, take the tray out of the oven and transfer the beef to a board to rest for 15 minutes or so. Cover it with a layer of tinfoil and a tea towel and leave aside while you make your other dishes (if you’re making more).
Recipe and photo from www.jamieoliver.com.
Healthy Pear and Apple Crisp with Quinoa
End the cold day with a sweet warm note (possibly topped off with ice cream but that’s up to you hehe!) After all those savoury soups and stews and roasted whatnots a light and fruity crumble is one fine way towards winter bliss.
- 3 large apples, peeled
- 2 pears
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- 2 cups gluten-free oats
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- ⅓ – ½ cup Grade B maple syrup
- ½ cup toasted quinoa flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a pie pan and set it aside.
- Remove the cores from the apples and pears and thinly slice. Add into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with coconut sugar and lemon. Toss to combine.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the oats, quinoa, coconut oil and syrup. Mix to combine. Add quinoa and mix again until mixture starts to hold together when you press it between two fingers. Sprinkle with cinnamon and mix until just combined.
- Transfer fruit to the prepared pie plate. Cover with topping and bake on the centre rack for 35 – 45 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the topping has browned. If the topping is browning too quickly, simply cover with tin foil until the filling is done.
- Serve immediately (or top with vanilla ice cream and maple syrup) and enjoy!
Recipe and photo from www.simplyquinoa.com.
Keep in mind that even though you should be healthy as possible, it’s still the holidays, enjoy! If you happen to slip a bit, don’t be upset just make up for it later. Happy eating!
Will you be trying out any of these recipes? Think your family and friends will like them? Share in the comments section below!