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Winter Recipe Ideas




I flippin' LOVE food! Good, honest, simple and easy meals that are nourishing for the soul.


I don't count calories, go on diets or restrict anything. Instead I opt for things I know are good for me, are varied, well balanced, include lots of the good stuff (i.e. vitamins, minerals, good fats, fiber, probiotics and protein) and make the best of colourful seasonal ingredients. I eat treats and indulgent food too and I'm good with that.


I've picked out my favourite tried and tested recipes for you.


Note for those who cook for little ones - most of these recipes are things I've cooked for my fussy kids, with some simple variations. I'm all for cooking one dish we'll all eat! Please don't be fooled though, they do eat fish fingers, peas and ketchup if I'm making something fancier for me and my husband. (Full disclosure, I sometimes eat these too or pick at their leftovers.) The kids don't always eat what I serve. I figure as long as I'm serving good stuff so they have the option and I'm encouraging them, that's ok with me.


Part of Seasonal Living and increasing your connection to nature involves eating what's in season in the country you live. There’s a reason it’s in season! Nature is so clever it gives you what your body needs when it needs it. Elderflowers for cooling cordials in summer, Elderberries for Vitamin C and immune boosting in Autumn as an example. Eating in this way will give you variety throughout the year and will reduce your carbon footprint as you’re buying more of the things that are grown in the country where you live.


Skip to each recipe using the links below.


Breakfast


Lunch


Dinner


Snack

Drink


Winter Breakfast Ideas


Orange and Cranberry porridge

(makes 1 portion - adjust quantities to suit)





Oats are full of magnesium, zinc and fibre. They keep you full and give you slow release energy. Oranges contain Vitamin C which is great for your immune system in winter. Cranberries are also full of Vitamin C, antioxidants and are good for digestion. Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidants.


Ingredients

40g porridge oats (gluten free if needed)

250-300ml of your preferred milk (I like almond in this recipe)

Handful of dried cranberries

Grating of orange zest

Pinch of cinnamon


Method

Add everything except the orange zest to a saucepan, cook on a low-medium heat for 10 mins, stirring often, until the oats are soft and the cranberries are plump. Add more milk as it cooks if needed. When it's done, add to a bowl and grate the orange zest on top. It's quite sweet already but you can drizzle with honey/maple syrup if you like.


*time saving tip, make it in the microwave – add all ingredients to a bowl and cook on full power for 2 mins 30 seconds (or however long you usually cook porridge depending on your microwave)


Warm chai winter smoothie

(makes 1 portion)





Ok...you're going to have to trust me on this one! If the idea of a cold smoothie in winter doesn't fill you with joy, give this warm one a try. Honestly, it works.


Spinach is nutrient packed, high fibre and boosts your immunity. The spices are anti-inflammatory and immune boosting. Coconut milk contains good fats, loads of vitamins and minerals.


Ingredients

Big handful spinach (you can use frozen)

1/2 cup brewed tea (allow it to cool so it's just warm before you use it)

1/2 cup coconut milk (from a carton)

1/2 pear, cored and chopped (the skin is really good for you)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 inch root ginger

1/8 tsp cardamom

Optional - 1 scoop Terranova Life Drink - I absolutely love using this in smoothies, it's packed with so much goodness.


Method

Blend all the ingredients and serve in a lovely mug.


*warning - I use a stick blender in a jug. Be very careful if you're using a blender with a lid on as the warm tea can cause pressure when you open the lid.


Winter Lunch ideas


Cranberry and ricotta toast

(serves 1, adjust quantities to suit)





You can serve this as a vegetarian dish, or add prosciutto like I have in the picture.


Cranberries are filled with Vitamin C, antioxidants and are good for digestion. Ricotta is a good source of protein and calcium. Fresh sage is full of Vitamin A, C & K.


Ingredients

2 tbsp cranberry sauce (if you can be bothered you can jazz it up, boil for a few mins in a pan with a sprinkle of fennel seeds, 1 star anise pod and 1 cinnamon stick (remove these last 2 after boiling) and allow to cool)

2 slices fresh crusty bread (I like sourdough)

2 tbsp ricotta cheese

1 tsp honey

1 tsp chopped fresh sage

2 slices prosciutto (if using)

1 tbsp olive oil

Lemon zest


Method

Toast the bread. Jazz up the cranberry sauce if you can be bothered.


Combine the ricotta cheese, honey, sage & 1 tsp olive oil in a bowl, whisk until smooth, season with salt and petter to taste. Spread onto the toast. Dollop on the cranberry sauce and (if using) arrange the prosciutto on top. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, black pepper and a pinch of lemon zest.


Mackerel pate

(serves 2-3 for lunch or 4-6 as a side/snack)





Mackerel is such a brilliant source of nutrition, packed with Omega-3, protein, Vitamins B & D. Creme Fraiche is a good source of calcium and protein, and also contains active probiotics which are great for gut health.


Ingredients

400g smoked mackerel from sustainable sources (i.e. proper fillets, I have also used tinned which works almost as well, just adjust your quantities)

200g creme fraiche

2 lemons

Handful cress, snipped

Extra virgin olive oil

(optional - 1-2 tbsp horseradish sauce - I really love adding this)

To serve - nice bread, toast, crackers, veg crudités like carrots & radish


Method

Peel the skin off the smoked mackerel and discard. Put the fish in a food processor, breaking it up slightly as you go. Add the creme fraiche, the zest and the juice of 1 lemon. If using, add the horseradish. Whizz for 20 seconds or so, until you get a nice creamy pâté. Season to taste. Dress with a good squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of extra virgin olive oil and some salt and pepper.


Cut the remaining lemon into wedges and serve alongside the pâté. Add a nice glass of chilled white wine or prosecco if you wish ;)


This is really nice served as a social nibble.


Green shakshuka

(serves 2)





This is soooooo good. I made it 3 times in 1 week! It's perfect for a weekend brunch. It's full of green goodness. Brilliant for a nourishing boost during the winter months. Or any time of year really. It's one of my longer recipes but is actually pretty quick to make. For the kids I just did them eggs on toast. You could do an omelette if yours would eat that.


Leafy greens contain loads of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants & iron. Brilliant for overall health and mental vitality. So are garlic, herbs and spices. Eggs are a good source of protein, vitamin D and good cholesterol. Feta and yogurt contain calcium and probiotics.


Ingredients

4 tbsp olive oil

2 shallots thinly sliced

1 onion, finely chopped

2 leeks, sliced 3 garlic cloves, crushed 2 tsp cumin seeds 250g leafy greens (such as spinach, spring greens, kale, or cavolo nero), tough stalks removed, leaves roughly chopped 150g frozen peas

Large bunch of coriander, mint or dill (or use a mixture), chopped 4-6 eggs 1/2 lemon zest and juice 2 tbsp harissa paste 100g feta, crumbled Optional - warm flatbreads and natural yogurt


Method

Heat 3 tbsp oil in a deep frying pan over a medium heat and fry the shallots for 5 mins, stirring occasionally until crisp. Scoop out using a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Season with a little salt.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the remaining oil to the pan and cook the onions and leeks for 10 mins until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic, cumin and preserved lemon, and stir-fry for 1-2 mins until aromatic.

Tip in the greens and peas, season well and stir. Cover and continue to cook until the greens have wilted, about 1 min. Stir in most of the herbs, reserving some to garnish.

Create four to six gaps in the mixture using the back of a spoon and crack an egg into each. Season the eggs with a pinch of salt, then cover the pan and cook for 4 mins until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny, or a bit longer according to your preference.

Squeeze over the lemon juice, dot with the harissa, then scatter over the feta, lemon zest, reserved herbs and crispy shallots. Serve with toast or warm flatbreads, and the yogurt on the side for everyone to help themselves.


Winter Dinner Ideas


Mushroom stroganoff

(serves 4)





Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

3 shallots, finely chopped

400g chestnut or portobellini mushrooms, sliced

600g wild mushrooms, sliced if large

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp tomato purée

2 tbsp plain flour

1 tsp smoked paprika

300ml soured cream

2 tbsp wholegrain mustard



Method

Put the porcini in a heatproof jug and cover with 400ml boiling water. Leave to soak.


Heat the oil and butter in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat and fry the shallots for 5 mins until soft. Add the chestnut mushrooms, turn up the heat to medium-high and fry for 5-10 mins until lightly golden. Add the garlic and wild mushrooms and fry for another 5 mins, then stir in the tomato purée and stir in the flour and paprika for 30 seconds until all the flour has been absorbed.


Add the rehydrated porcini and mushroom stock, leaving any the last bits of gritty stock at the bottom of the jug. Bring to a simmer, then stir in the soured cream and mustard. Season and simmer for 5-10 mins until reduced enough to coat the mushrooms.


Serve with rice or jacket potatoes.


Sesame parsnip & wild rice tabbouleh

(serves 2)





Parsnips are a winter staple and are an unsung hero in my eyes! The parsnips, herbs and spices are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals and anti-inflammatory. Tahini is a wonder food - good for your nervous system, good fats and packed with vitamins and nutrients.


Ingredients

5 parsnips, peeled and cut into thumb-sized pieces

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tbsp sesame seeds

130g wild rice

2 red onions, sliced

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

3 tbsp tahini

1 pack mint leaves roughly chopped

1 pack coriander, roughly chopped

2 tbsp pomegranate seeds


Method

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the parsnips in 1½ tbsp of the oil, the turmeric, coriander and some seasoning, then sprinkle over the sesame seeds so each piece is well coated. Roast in the oven for 30 mins until tender.


Meanwhile, cook the wild rice following pack instructions.


Heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in a separate pan, then add the sliced onion with 3 tbsp water. Cook for 10-15 mins, stirring occasionally until completely soft. Turn up the heat, add 1 tbsp of the vinegar and cook for a few mins until bright pink.


Whisk the tahini with the remaining vinegar and enough warm water to make a creamy dressing. Season to taste.


Drain the wild rice, then mix through the onions and ¾ of the chopped herbs. Plate up then top with the sesame parsnips, pomegranate seeds and the remaining herbs. Serve with the tahini dressing drizzled over.


Winter Snack Idea


Chocolate fruit clusters

(makes 15)





A delicious treat of a snack that's good for you too. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and is good for brain function. Dried fruit and nuts are health hero's, full of plant compounds, vitamins and minerals.


Ingredients

100g dark choc

60g soft dried prunes

60g dried apricots

40g skinned hazelnuts

40g golden sultanas

15g shelled pistachios

10 mint leaves

10g caster sugar


Method

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Microwave the chocolate (60 seconds at a time, being carful not to burn it).


Roughly chop the prunes and apricots into small strips (matchstick thick). Roughly chop the hazelnuts. Add the hazelnuts, prunes, apricots and sultanas to the chocolate and stir lightly.


Place large spoonfuls of the mixture onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Put the pistachios, sugar and mint leaves into a food processor and blitz to a fine powder. Sprinkle over the chocolate clusters and leave in the fridge to set.


These make a lovely home-made gift.


Winter Drink Idea


Wassail

(makes 4 cups)




Wassail is traditionally drunk on twelfth night (6th Jan) and it's literal meaning is 'be in good health'. This is a non-alcoholic version but traditionally it's made with cider and brandy if you fancy giving that a go. It's the perfect tonic to the winter blues, or the winter sniffles!


Ingredients

3 cups apple juice

1 cup smooth orange juice

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

1 whole clove

1 star anise

Slices of apple, orange

Handful of fresh cranberries


Method

Add ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Strain the liquid into a mug then serve warm.


Hope you enjoy!! Let me know if you try any of these and what you think. I'd love to know.


You can write in the comments, email me at hello@solis-coaching.com or get me on socials.


Love Lisa xxx


PS if you found this blog interesting, you'll LOVE my emails! Subscribe to receive my emails here. I'll send you one every few weeks and you can unsubscribe at any time.



note - some pics used above are my own, some are from images on Canva or google.







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