Happy New Year and welcome to January 2017!
As many of us embark upon healthy eating plans, we thought we’d share some of our favourite winter recipes to keep motivation high. The cold, short days and the long, colder nights are not conducive to salads and daily jogs. But it doesn’t have to be this difficult to eat healthily. In fact, with just a bit of preparation it can be so tasty that you’ll not even stop for left over Christmas chocolate.
Here are some of our favourite healthy winter recipes to help inspire you to keep eating healthily.
Chicken noodle soup
Courtesy of Good Food magazine, this recipe will have you rushing home after work so you can warm up with a wholesome and easy meal.
- 900ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, about 175g/6oz
- 1 tsp chopped fresh root ginger
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 50g rice or wheat noodles
- 2 tbsp sweetcorn, canned or frozen
- 2-3 mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 spring onions, shredded
- 2 tsp soy sauce, plus extra for serving
- mint or basil leaves and a little shredded chilli (optional), to serve
- Pour the stock into a pan and add the chicken, ginger and garlic. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, partly cover and simmer for 20 mins, until the chicken is tender. Remove the chicken to a board and shred into bite-size pieces using two forks.
- Return the chicken to the stock with the noodles, corn, mushrooms, half the spring onions and the soy sauce. Simmer for 3-4 mins until the noodles are tender. Ladle into two bowls and scatter over the remaining spring onions, herbs (and chilli shreds). Serve with a little extra soy sauce according to taste.
A healthy, quick and versatile snack or the centre of a meal – falafel is a great staple for the healthy diet. This recipe is courtesy of Good Food magazine.
- 2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 400g can chickpeas, washed and drained
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander (or use more cumin)
- handful parsley, chopped, or 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan, then fry the onion and garlic over a low heat for 5 mins until softened. Tip into a large mixing bowl with the chickpeas and spices, then mash together with a fork or potato masher until the chickpeas are totally broken down. Stir in the parsley or dried herbs, with seasoning to taste. Add the egg, then squish the mixture together with your hands.
- Mould the mix into 6 balls, then flatten into patties. Heat the remaining oil in the pan, then fry the falafels on a medium heat for 3 mins on each side, until golden brown and firm. Serve hot or cold with couscous, pitta bread or salad.
Healthy, filling and perfect for lunch or dinner, these burgers can be enjoyed by meat-eaters and vegeans alike. Recipe courtesy of Jamie Oliver.
- 1 x 400 g tin of chickpeas
- 1 x 340 g tin of sweetcorn
- ½ a bunch of fresh coriander
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- zest of 1 lemon
- 3 heaped tablespoons plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- sea salt
- rapeseed oil
- 1 small round lettuce
- 2 large ripe tomatoes
- tomato ketchup
- 4 wholemeal burger buns
- Drain and place the chickpeas and sweetcorn into a food processor. Add half the coriander leaves to the processor along with the stalks. Add the spices, lemon zest, flour and a pinch of salt, then pulse until combined, but not smooth, to retain some texture.
- On a flour-dusted surface, divide and shape the mixture into 4 patties (about 2cm thick). Pop onto a tray and place in the fridge for around 30 minutes.
- Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the patties and cook for around 10 minutes, or until golden and cooked through, turning halfway.
- Meanwhile, wash and spin-dry four lettuce leaves and finely slice the tomatoes horizontally.
- Squeeze ketchup onto the base of each bun (toast them if you like), then top with the burgers. Layer over a couple of slices of tomato, a lettuce leaf, a few coriander leaves and finally the burger tops. Serve with a salad according to taste.
Homecooked beans on toast
A grown-up take on an ageless classic: beans on toast are perfect for winter, and dare we say these ones are even better than the original.
- 300 g dried borlotti or cannellini beans, soaked in cold water for at least 12 hours
- 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- A few sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 stick celery, trimmed
- 1 small potato, peeled and halved
- 2 cherry tomatoes
- extra virgin olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- A few sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- Drain and wash your soaked beans. Place them in a deep pot and cover with cold water. Throw in the garlic, herb sprigs, bay leaves, celery stick, potato and tomatoes and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on whether you’re using fresh or dried, until soft and cooked nicely. Top up with boiling water if needed.
- When the beans are cooked, drain and reserve enough water to cover them halfway up when back in the pot. Remove the garlic, herbs, celery, potato and tomatoes from the beans. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins and pinch the skin off the tomatoes. Put the garlic, tomatoes and potato on to a plate, mash them with a fork and stir back into the beans. Season with salt and pepper, pour in three lugs of extra virgin olive oil and a few splashes of vinegar. Stir in the parsley and serve on toasted sourdough bread.