As the temperature drops it’s not unusual to crave warm and starchy food. Starting the day with something hot and protein-rich, can stop the sweet cravings from creeping in later. But how can you keep your cooking mojo firing for three meals a day? To stave off boredom, here are some super easy menu ideas and recipes to keep you happy and healthy through to spring.
Cold weather food favourites
Many of these dishes can be made in a slow cooker, or in one pot on the stove or oven. Making larger batches provides leftovers for lunch, or can be frozen for nights when you get home late or tired.
Stewed seasonal fruit (try adding some cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger for a bit of variety)
Homemade baked beans
Eggs – boiled, scrambled, poached, omelettes.
Soups (in a thermos if on the go)
Leftover bakes and stews
Roasts (nut or meat) with baked or steamed vegetable
Tagine (veg or omni)
Fish pie (dairy-free)
Grilled tofu or veggie burger/fish/meat with a side of roasted or mashed vegetables
A touch of sweetness
Warm stewed apples, pears or other dense, seasonal fruit. Add spices like cinnamon and nutmeg as desired.
Creamy quinoa, or quinoa with orange and ginger, make a satisfying dessert.
Instant miso soup (check first that it doesn’t contain MSG), or simply stir 1 tsp in a cup of boiling water, makes an enjoyable savoury drink on a cold day.
Chai is a popular drink but you don’t have to add tea, milk and sugar to enjoy warming spices like ginger, cardamom and cinnamon. These herbs make a great “kitchen cupboard spice tea”. Hibiscus, rosehips or a few slices of orange combined with a generous chunk of finely chopped or grated root ginger, a cinnamon stick and a pinch of star anise makes a delicious winter tea. The longer you infuse, the better this tea will taste.
Spices and warm drinks are synonymous with mulled wine. Much of the alcohol is driven off in the cooking process (if not fortified with brandy or other spirits before drinking) but grape juice is a good non-alcoholic substitute for wine.
Large batch cooking
Soups and stews freeze well, so cook larger batches when you have time. If live alone, save in single portions.
If you tend to arrive home cold and tired after a long day, cup sized portions of blended soups can be quickly reheated to revive you while cooking a larger meal. Single-serve soup is also handy for children and teens to snack on after school or sport.
Compared to many of our northern hemisphere (and even kiwi) friends, winter is comparably short in Australia. Make the most of the chilly weather by embracing some some “hygge time”. While eating warm food and drinks are part of a creating sense of cosiness, so too are candle light, soft blankets and for an Aussie twist on this Scandinavian tradition – Ugg boots.