As the temperature drops, our yearning for hearty meals rises. If you struggle through winter and miss long sun-kissed days, it’s lovely to turn to winter recipes that warm us from the inside out.
If you are currently in the process of reinvigorating your winter cooking habits for foods that are quick, simple, healthy and warming, here are a few dinner recipes to help you get started.
Moroccan lamb and couscous
If prepared in the slow cooker, the aroma will knock your socks off as it welcomes you at the door on chilly evenings.
- 300 grams lamb shoulder roast, diced and fat removed
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 400 grams tinned and diced tomato
- 2 carrots, sliced and diced
- 500 grams pumpkin, diced
- 1 zucchini, chopped and diced
- 400 grams chickpeas
- 300 grams couscous
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon cumin
1. Bring a jug of water to the boil while placing the couscous in a large bowl. Make as per packet directions. Set aside.
2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and brown the lamb in batches. Set aside.
4. Lightly cook onion and garlic in the pan.
5. Combine onion, meat, celery, carrot, pumpkin and zucchini. Add the tomatoes and spices, bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer gently until meat is tender (you could also do this in a slow cooker). The zucchini doesn’t take long to cook so can be added in the last 15 minutes or so. Add the chickpeas.
6. Serve alongside couscous.
Turkey meatballs with cannellini beans
This recipe is so easy to make with the bonus of not needing much time to prepare. All you need is the ingredients and you’re good to go!
- 500 grams turkey mince
- 2 whole carrots, grated
- 400 grams canned tomatoes
- 1 large zucchini, grated
- 400 grams cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup wholemeal breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons garlic
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 whole onion
- 300 grams risoni pasta
- 1 egg
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine the turkey mince, garlic, egg and fine breadcrumbs. Using damp hands, shape 1 heaped tablespoon of mixture into a small meatball. Set aside on a plate and repeat with remaining mixture. You should get about 20 meatballs.
2. In a large frying pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over a high heat. Once hot, add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until browned (they will continue cooking in step 4). Transfer to a baking dish and cover with foil until final step.
3. Return the pan to a medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the onion, grated zucchini, carrots and cannellini beans and cook for 2-3 minutes or until slightly softened.
4. Add the diced tomatoes with chicken stock and add the risoni, stir to mix. Simmer for 12-15 mins until stock is absorbed. You may have to add more stock or water, so keep an eye on it!
5. Remove risoni mix from heat and evenly spread over meatballs in baking dish.
6. Bake in oven for a further 20 mins, Divide the meatballs with tomato and veggie risoni between bowls (any small shaped pastas will do in this recipe).
Chicken and leek pie
Once you’ve made this recipe it is sure to become a family favourite. It’s a great way to use your spare veggies and fill hungry bellies with nutrition. The filo pastry replaces traditional puff pastry for a lighter, healthier version.
- 500 grams chicken breast, diced
- 250ml chicken stock
- 2 whole carrots, diced
- 1 whole zucchini, diced
- 150 grams frozen peas
- 1/4 of a whole leek, chopped
- 250 grams potato, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 teaspoons garlic
- 3/4 cup plain flour
- 10 sheets filo pastry
1. Remove the filo pastry from the fridge and bring it to room temperature, covered with a damp tea towel. Preheat the oven to 200C°/180°C fan forced. Grease a medium baking dish. Dice the free-range chicken thigh into bite sized pieces. Finely slice the leek. Finely chop the carrot, potato, zucchini, onion, and celery. Peel and crush the garlic or use jar.
2. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a medium frying pan over a medium-high heat. Coat the chicken pieces in flour and then add chicken in two batches, stirring, for 4-5 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Once cooked, transfer the chicken to a bowl and set aside.
3. Return the pan to a medium-high heat. Add the carrot, zucchini, onion, potato, and peas and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes covered, or until softened then add the leek.
4. Crumble the chicken stock cube into a medium jug and combine with the hot water (check the ingredients list for the amount) and add to the vegetables. Add the chicken back into the pan and the remaining plain flour. Mix well until combined and the mixture begins to thicken. Continue to cook covered for a few more minutes. Add more water if it starts to dry out too much.
5. Pour the vegetables and chicken into the baking dish. Spray each filo sheet with olive oil then scrunch each filo pastry sheet into a very loose ball and place on top of the pie. Repeat until the whole pie is covered, making sure not to overcrowd the pastry. Drizzle (or spray) with olive oil and place the pie in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the filo is golden and flaky.
6. Cut the chicken and leek pie into slices.