Healthy winter meal ideas to keep you toasty warm

Nourishing winter meal ideas to warm you up from the inside out.

We would like to wave a big hello to winter as the season is well and truly being felt around Australia right now.
Chilly mornings and crisp days can alter your appetite and preferences for specific foods.Often we crave warming, comfort foods in the cooler months – creamy, saucy, slow cooked meals with lots of flavour.
Here are our tops tips to eat well during winter and create meals full of flavour, comfort and nourishment.
Go with the season

  • Root vegetables like pumpkin, sweet potato and swedes are all at their best right now and make a great base for soups or ovenand are delicious when roasted with herbs.
  • Broccoli and cauliflower are a tasty side dish on their own when steamed and dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar or lemon juice. Cauliflower is especially tasty when cut into florets and   roasted with a sprinkle of ground cumin and coriander. 
  • Make use of seasonal leek and silver beet by sautéing with garlic and serving as a side dish. Both vegetables also make a tasty addition to soups or casseroles. 
  • Seasonal pears and apples make a delicious sweet treat when baked or stewed. Add flavour with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or nutmeg.

Lighter comfort foods that are equally satisfying

  • Try a shephepard’s style pie topped with mashed sweet potato instead of using pastry.
  • Cream- based pasta sauces are high in fat and kilojoules. To recreate a creamy texture that is much lighter, try heating evaporated milk with a few teaspoons of cornflour to thicken it and flavour as usual.
  • Mashed potato partners well with slow cooked meats and roast dishes but can have a high. If you are using butter or cream in your mash the added fat content is likely to be high fat content when adding butter or cream.
  • Tasty lighter alternatives are For a tasty, lighter option, try pureed cooked cauliflower, or tinned white beans (such as cannellini or borlotti) blended with a small garlic clove and lemon juice.
  • There is nothing quite like a warming bowl of soup on a cold day! Choose vegetable- based soups over creamy soups. To boost the fibre content and help thicken the soup, add tinned lentils and a handful of pearl barley.  which will help to thicken the soup. 
  • Make a no crust quiche without crust using leftover vegetables and fresh ricotta instead of cream. .

Take shortcuts to save time

  • Tomato- based sauces, slow cooked casseroles and soups are perfect for freezing. Cook in large batches and freeze in smaller quantities to defrost and use on a busy night.
  • Consider usingUse a food processor or mini chopping device to help save time when prepping ingredients like diced onion, carrot and celery.
  • Pumpkin and sweet potato can be peeled and chopped ahead of time and stored in an air tight container in the fridge for a few days.


NAQ Nutrition

NAQ Nutrition is a not-for-profit, non-government organisation. We aim to shape the health and wellbeing of our community through informed food choices. Food is life. Food is you. 

Healthy Food Healthy Planet is NAQ Nutrition’s community meal planner and recipe website. It aims to provide people with simple, healthy recipes that are tasty and won’t break the bank.