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Winter Warmer Recipes

When it comes to winter most of us are ready to eat comforting foods.

It's no coincidence that we crave the heartier foods in winter. The drop in temperature is likely to set off a biological change that leaves us wanting higher energy and calorie loaded foods. Perhaps it harks back to ancient times where we needed to store energy for the harsh winter months?

It doesn't have to mean endless cups of hot chocolate and piles of pasta dishes though!

Check out these 3 healthy and warming recipes I found that will still give you that comforting feeling but are also high in the healthy scale too!

Rustic vegetable soup

  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 50g dried red lentils
  • 1½ l boiling vegetable bouillon (we used Marigold)
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 175g bite-sized cauliflower florets
  • 1 courgette, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ large Savoy cabbage stalks removed and leaves chopped
  • 1 tbsp basil, chopped

Heat the oil in a large pan with a lid. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and fry for 10 mins, stirring from time to time until they are starting to colour a little around the edges. Stir in the lentils and cook for 1 min more.

Pour in the hot bouillon, add the tomato purée and thyme and stir well. Add the leek, cauliflower, courgette, and garlic, bring to the boil, then cover and leave to simmer for 15 mins.

Add the cabbage and basil and cook for 5 mins more until the veg is just tender. Season with pepper, ladle into bowls and serve. Will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Freezes well. Thaw, then reheat in a pan until piping hot.

Source: BBC Good Food - click the picture for direct link

Curried chicken pie


2 tbsp cold pressed rapeseed oil
500g chicken breasts, cut into chunks
4 spring onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves, grated
thumb-sized piece ginger, grated
1 tbsp curry powder
1 large head broccoli, cut into florets, top of stalk thinly sliced
1 tsp soy sauce
250ml low-fat coconut milk, plus a splash
250ml chicken stock
1 heaped tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp hot water
4 large handfuls kale
4 sheets filo pastry
½ tbsp nigella seeds

Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Pour 1 tbsp oil into a flameproof casserole dish. Add
the chicken, season and fry for 4-5 mins on a medium heat, turning, until lightly browned. Remove with tongs and set aside.

Pour another ½ tbsp oil into the casserole dish and add the spring onions. Fry gently for a couple of mins, then stir in the garlic, ginger and curry powder. Cook for 1 min, then tip the chicken back into the pan, along with the broccoli, soy sauce, coconut milk, chicken stock, and cornflour mixture. Bring to the boil, then stir in the kale. Once the kale has wilted, take the dish off the heat.

Mix the remaining oil with the splash of coconut milk. Unravel the pastry. Brush each sheet lightly with the oil mixture, then scrunch up and sit on top of the pie mixture. Scatter over the nigella seeds, then cook in the oven for 12 mins, or until the pastry is a deep golden brown. Leave to stand for a couple of mins before serving.

Source: BBC Good Food - click the picture for direct link

Granola baked apples


5 heaped tbsp granola
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp light brown soft sugar
½ orange, zested and juiced
4 dessert apples (such as Cox's or Braeburns), cored and scored around the circumference
20g butter 
Crème fraîche or ice cream, to serve

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Mix together the granola, cinnamon, sugar and orange zest and juice. Put the apples on a baking tray and spoon the granola mixture into the hole, spooning over any juice left. Top each one with a knob of butter and bake for 30 mins until soft and sticky. Serve with a scoop of crème fraîche or ice cream.

Source: BBC Good Food - click the picture for

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