It's cold, dark and generally a bit miserable outside. So get in the kitchen and keep warm with these tasty meals guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Starting to feel the chill yet?
Winter is well and truly here. The memories of summer and warm evenings are getting more distant, replaced by the dark, inclement conditions and temperatures that just make you want to retreat indoors.
And that doesn’t have to be a bad thing!
What better way to keep warm this winter by getting home, putting on your comfiest clothes and enjoying an awesome, hearty meal?
Best of all, cooking up a delicious autumnal and winter meal doesn’t have to take long, either.
Try these 4 great recipes below. They’re warming, tasty and take 50 minutes or less from start to finish!
(Image credit: Dan Goldberg)
Chicken Stew with Olives and Lemon
Total prep and cook time: 45 minutes
Stew is always a winner in the winter. And this one uses succulent chicken thighs and sweet lemons to create a stew packed with punch.
- 225g of skinned chicken thighs (thoroughly rinsed and dried)
- 1 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 1/2 tablespoon of capers, drained and crushed
- Lemon zest
- 210ml chicken broth
- 450g baby potatoes, chopped into cubes
- 30g artichoke hearts
- Dried parsley
- 150g medium dium green olives
- Lemon wedges
- Start by cutting your chicken thighs into medium sized chunks. Using a re-sealable plastic bag, add flour, salt and pepper. Then place your chicken inside, seal the bag and shake to coat it evenly.
- Using a medium sized pot, heat the olive oil over a medium to high heat. Then add the chicken, laid out evenly, and cook for 5 minutes until browned. Place the chicken on a plate for later.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, capers and lemon zest to the pot. Stir for about 30 seconds, then allow to simmer on a low heat for 2 minutes. Then add the broth, potatoes and the prepared chicken and allow to simmer once again. Cover the pot and leave for 10 minutes.
- Add in the artichoke hearts and stir. Cover and continue cooking until the potatoes have thoroughly softened (roughly 8-10 more minutes). Then sprinkle in some dried parsley and add in the lemon juice and olives.
- Give it one final stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Then serve, with the lemon wedges on the side of the plate.
(Image credit: William Brinson)
Sweet Potato and Apple Soup with Cheese and Walnuts
Total prep and cook time: 40 minutes
Like stew, winter is the perfect time for soup lovers. Warm and comforting, it’s as easy to eat as it is to make! This one, a vegetarian recipe, retains a velvety texture without the need for cream.
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- Salt and black pepper
- 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into medium sized slices
- 3 Granny Smith or Pink Lady apples, 1 peeled and chopped and 2 halved thinly sliced
- 240ml of vegetable broth
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 60g blue cheese e.g. Stilton, Shropshire Blue etc.
- Small handful of walnuts
- 8 crackers
- In a pot, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onion (along with salt and pepper) until softened.
- Then drop in the sweet potatoes, chopped apple, vegetable broth and nutmeg, as well as 180ml of water. Allow to simmer and cook until the sweet potatoes have thoroughly softened (12 to 15 minutes).
- Transfer your mixture in small batches to a blender and puree until its smooth. Add more water to ensure the best consistency.
- Serve with the blue cheese, walnuts, sliced apples and crackers.
(Image credit: BBC)
Quinoa with Stir-Fried Winter Veg
Source: BBC Good Food
Total prep and cook time: 30 minutes
Quinoa is everywhere these days. A great source of protein and low in fat, it’s incredibly popular with health foodies. In this dish it’s used instead of pasta to create a dish that’s as satisfying on your taste buds as it is nutritious!
- 100g quinoa
- 2 ½ tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 ½ carrots, cut thinly
- 150g of sliced leek
- 150g of broccoli cut into small pieces
- 50g of sundried tomato, drained and chopped
- 100ml of vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon of tomato purée
- Lemon juice
- Read the cooking instructions on your quinoa pack and prepare accordingly.
- Heat 1 ½ tablespoons of the olive oil in a wok or large pan over a medium heat. Then add the add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Toss in the carrots, leek and broccoli and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
- Add in the sundried tomatoes, vegetable stock and tomato purée, cover and allow to cook for 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, drain the quinoa and splash the remaining oil and lemon juice into it. Place onto the two plates (or half onto one if you’re having the rest for tomorrow’s lunch) and place the vegetable stir-fry on top.
(Image credit: EatingWell.com)
Southwestern Beef & Bean Burger Wraps
Total prep and cook time: 50 minutes
Just because it’s cold here in the UK doesn’t mean you can’t add a little of bit of the US south-west’s heat to your life! This Tex-Mex dish is so easy to make, and it’s so tasty you’ll want to keep making it long into the summer.
- 170g of lean beef mince
- 100g refried beans
- Dried coriander
- ½ tablespoon of cooking spray or olive oil
- ½ an avocado, peeled and pitted
- ½ tablespoon of chopped jalapenos
- 60ml salsa
- 2 warmed whole-wheat tortillas
- Handful of lettuce leaves, chopped
- 60g of grated cheese
- 1 lime, cut into 2 wedges
- Coat a pan with the cooking spray, or add the olive oil, and place over a low heat.
- Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine the mince, a generous sprinkling of dried coriander and jalapenos. With your hands, shaped the mixture into two even sized burgers and place in the pan of oil.
- Turning up to a medium heat, fry the burger until they are brown and cooked throughout (12 to 14 minutes).
- In a small bowl, mix together the avocado and salsa to create guacamole. Spread the mixture evenly onto the two tortilla wraps, before adding the lettuce and cheese.
- Finally, place a burger into each wrap and serve with the lime wedges.