As the weather cools down, we naturally turn to hot food to warm ourselves up. Unfortunately, a lot of hot food is quite unhealthy, though this can seem a distant concern when the weather makes you want to hibernate until spring.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a choice between heat and health. There are plenty of healthy winter meals you can whip up to stay healthy while keeping the chill at bay. Here are some of the best winter food recipes to warm you up without jeopardising your figure or well-being.
Our Healthy Winter Warmers
Miso Udon Soup
There are more exciting winter soup recipes than just chicken and tomato, as this quick and delicious Japanese dish proves. Serves 1.
- 95g udon noodles
- ¼ small carrot, peeled and chopped into matchsticks
- ½ baby pak choy, trimmed and shredded
- 50g enoki mushrooms, ends trimmed
- 3 tsp miso paste
- ½ shallot, trimmed and thinly sliced
- Place all ingredients except miso paste into a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water.
- Rest for 1-2 minutes or until vegetables are softened.
- Refresh under cold running water, drain.
- Place miso paste and 330mL boiling water in a serving bowl, whisk with fork until dissolved.
- Stir in noodle mixture, set aside for 3-4 minutes or until heated through.
Pan-Fried Cod with Mustard-Caper Sauce
Healthy food for winter doesn’t come much tastier than this tantalising combination of cod, mustard and fresh salad. Serves 4.
- 4 x 170g skinless cod (alternatively halibut or striped bass fillet)
- 1 tbsp capers, drained
- 2 tbsp mustard
- 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped (optional)
- 4 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
- 6 cups or 1 large head Bibb lettuce
- ¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cucumber, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Salt and black pepper
- Stir mustard, capers, tarragon, 2 tbsp of oil and 2 tbsp water together in a small bowl. Add water as needed for spoonable consistency.
- Heat 1 tsp of the oil on medium heat in a large non-stick skillet.
- Season cod with ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper.
- Cook cod 4-7 minutes per side or until opaque throughout.
- Toss lettuce, onion, cucumber, lemon juice, remaining 2 tbsp oil, ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper together in a large bowl.
- Drizzle cod with mustard-caper sauce and serve with the salad.
Spiced Braised Venison With Chilli & Chocolate
Rich, decadent and filling, this stew may just be our favourite healthy winter food of all. Serves 6.
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1½ kg stewing venison, diced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp plain flour, heaped
- 1 large pinch chilli powder
- 1 red chilli
- 300mL beef stock
- 500mL red wine
- 400g canned chopped tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large thyme sprig
- 50g dark chocolate
- Preheat oven to 180°C, or 160°C fan forced.
- In a large flameproof casserole dish, heat the oil then brown the meat in batches.
- Add vegetables, brown lightly.
- Stir in spices, chilli and flour, cook for a few minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, beef stock and wine, then the herbs. Bring to a simmer.
- Cover with lid and put in oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Remove lid and cook for 1 hour more or until meat is very tender.
- Remove from oven, cool slightly.
- Stir in chocolate and serve.