Now, summer has gone and gone with it is our desire for cold fresh salads. We want warmth, comfort and substance to our meals. But does this mean we should eat pie and mash every day? Sadly, probably not. We wanted to know how to stay ‘healthy’ (i.e. follow a balanced diet) throughout the cold seasons when all we want to do is eat warm burgers. So, here are a few different recipe ideas to help you out if you struggle with this!
Roasted Veggies and Balsamic Dressing
I think I’m always the first to ditch the summer salads as soon as the weather begins to turn! I love everything about the colder seasons and especially the warm, cosy meals that come with them. This dish is really, really simple so its quick and easy to make but still packs great flavour– making it a perfect go-to meal after a long day at uni or to refuel after a tiring gym session.
To keep my diet healthy during winter, I always keep my cupboard full of cans of mixed beans as it’s not only cheap and practical but they’re a great source of protein and fibre, especially if you follow a vegetarian diet like I do. For this meal, I pair a nutritious mix of beans with all my favourite veggies and drizzle with a flavourful balsamic vinegar dressing. I serve this with couscous to make a tasty and wholesome vegetarian meal.
Firstly, preheat the oven to 200C fan/220c/Gas 7.
Next, you’ll need a few of your favourite veg to roast- I love using red pepper, carrot, tomatoes, and courgettes. Chop them up and make sure any larger veg is cut into small pieces so they all roast evenly. Then chuck them into a roasting tin with a sliced onion and two whole cloves of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, season, and then sprinkle with some dried rosemary. This needs to be roasted in the oven for 25 minutes or until the veggies have browned.
While the veg is roasting, you need to prepare the couscous by following the packet instructions and flavour using a vegetable stock cube. The veg and bean mixture makes two servings so you can either share with a pal and make enough couscous for both of you, or save half of the mixture to be reheated up the next day with a fresh serving of couscous.
Next, use two tablespoons of olive, two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and a teaspoon of sugar to make the balsamic dressing. Mix this together then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Whilst the veg finishes roasting, open a can of mixed pulses, pour into a frying pan, and simmer. Do so for one minute before draining them.
Lastly, mix the beans with the roasted veg, and drizzle with the dressing. Serve with your couscous.
Words by Emily Stanton.
Creamy Carrots and Ginger Soup with Yoghurt Dressing
Start by cutting in four parts 250g of carrots, 100g of potatoes and one white onion. Put a pot with water – enough to boil the veggies – on the hob and once the water is boiling add a pinch of salt. Boil the veggies until they are cooked and soft (depending on the size it should take around 20 minutes). In the meanwhile, start preparing the yoghurt sauce by mixing two tablespoons of yoghurt (Greek yoghurt is preferred), one of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Once the veggies are done (make it sure by using a fork), drain them while they are still hot (remember to keep the water, as you might need it to dilute the soup!) and put them into a mixer with fresh ginger.
The quantity of the ginger is up to you: if you like it more or less spicy. However, if you are not sure, just try with a little bit at first and then add more later on. After all the vegetables have been mixed properly, check the thickness of the soup.
If your soup seems too dense, add some of the remaining broth. Finally, add salt and pepper as you wish, pour it in a nice place with the yoghurt dressing at the top. Your soup is ready!!!
Words by Caterina Dassie.
Sweet and Firm Roasted Squash with Mixed Seeds and Feta Cheese
Turn the oven to 180°C. Carefully wash the peel of a green squash (Green Kabocha – you can find it at Lidl, no worries). Cut the squash into four pieces – or more if you don’t have too much time – and season them with olive oil, salt, pepper and mixed seeds. I like to add paprika, cumin and mixed aromatics herbs as well. It is really up to your taste, but make sure you be creative! Once the squash has been seasoned, it’s time to put it in the oven. Cook it for at least 15 minutes. Then check the wedges, if they are not yet soft, cook them for other 5 minutes (the cooking time really depends on sizes, kind of oven and freshness of the squash). While you are waiting, start cutting the feta cheese into squares. Take the squash out, sprinkle the feta cheese on the top and put the wedges in the oven for the last round. If you want to add meat to this dish, this is also a great opportunity to add some chorizo. This time at 220°C, with the grill option on, for just 2-3 minutes. Make sure you check now and then, to make sure you are not burning instead of grilling the cheese. As soon as the time is up, take out the roasted squash, put it on a plate and enjoy your new favourite wintery meal.
Words by Caterina Dassie.
So go try these delicious healthy wintery meal ideas, they are all veggie and meat-eater variable so there are plenty of tasty meal ideas for everyone!