Comfort Food Recipes for When the Temperature Drops

 

Are you Craving Warm Food Since the Change in Weather?

This week in particular we have noticed a big change in the weather, evenings are getting shorter and mornings are getting darker. So as the cold winter weather slowly starts to creep in, it is important that we give our bodies some extra warmth, comfort and nourishment to fight off those pesky colds and flu. As the weather changes and temperatures drop our bodies automatically seem to  crave warm ‘hearty’ food.

Here at VOYA we have gathered some of our favourite winter recipes from well-known chefs & food writers that can be cooked in bulk, popped in the freezer and organised for the week!

Aoife McElwain’s Warm Chicken & Chorizo Salad

Chicken and chorizo are a trustworthy team and this salad makes the most of their complementary flavours. What’s great about this chicken and chorizo salad is that it’s thoroughly filling, as well as being a vessel for healthy greens at this colder time of year.

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

For the chicken

  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 50g of chorizo cooking sausage
  • Two large handfuls of green leaves, such as rocket
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped mint
  • Half a small cucumber, diced or roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 large mild chilli, de-seeded and sliced

 

For the dressing

  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 3 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

 

METHOD

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over a medium to high heat.
  2. Place the chicken breast on large piece of baking paper placed on top of a chopping board. Sprinkle the paprika evenly over the chicken breasts, and a squeeze of the lemon juice. Sprinkle generously with a pinch of salt and pepper. Fold the parchment paper so that it covers the chicken and hit the chicken through the paper with a rolling pin, until it is evenly flat but not too thin. Fry the chicken breasts in the hot frying pan, whole, for four minutes on each side.
  3. Slice the chorizo into rounds and cook alongside the chicken breasts for the last 4 minutes. Once cooked through, remove from the heat and allow the chicken to rest for a minute before slicing it into neat chunks.
  4. In a large salad bowl, toss the salad greens with the chopped mint, chopped cucumber, crumbled cheese and sliced chillis.
  5. Make the dressing by mixing together the honey, rapeseed oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  6. Add the chicken and chorizo to the salad bowl. Serve warmed or cold, with the dressing drizzled over the top.

 

Natasha’s Sweet Potato & Coconut Soup

Sweet Potato and coconut soup is an all-round winner, the combination of sweet potato and coconut just work. This hearty comfort soup is so easy to make and is absolutely delicious. It has a lovely creamy texture without using cream.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 oz (1/2 lb or about 6 strips) bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large celery stock, diced
  • 2 lbs (3 medium) sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk (I used “original”)
  • 2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 Tbsp parsley to garnish, optional

 METHOD:

  1. In a large pot, over medium heat, cook bacon in it’s own fat until crisp (8-10 min). Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Leave 3 Tbsp oil in the pot; discard excess or leave it in there for a more flavorful soup
  2. Add chopped onion, and celery and cook 4 min over medium heat or until soft, stirring occasionally, then add 2 pressed garlic cloves and saute another minute.
  3. Stir in diced sweet potatoes, 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves and 2 tsp salt. Now pour in 4 cups chicken broth, partially cover and simmer 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.
  4. Puree the soup until smooth. I accomplished this in two batches in my Blender. Return soup to the pot and stir in 1 cup coconut milk, or add it to reach desired consistency then season with more salt and pepper to taste if desired. Serve in warm bowls. Sprinkle the tops with bacon and garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if using.

 

Justine Pattison – Persian Lamb Tagine

This heart warming stew has a lovely combination of spice and sweetness. The spice comes from the cinnamon and cumin and sweetness from apricots and dates – perfect combination that can be served with fluffy couscous, rice or mashed potato

Serves 8 -10

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2KG Lamb Neck Fillets
  • 5tbsp mild olive or sunflower oil
  • 3 medium onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • Large pinch of saffron
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 perserved lemons (from a jar) drained and cut into thin wedges
  • 300g ready to eat apricots
  • 250g ready –to-eat dried pitted dates
  • 100g shelled pistachios
  • 2tsp rose water
  • 25g cornflour
  • Small bunch coriander leaves roungly chopped
  • Couscous, rice or mashed potato to serve

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Trim the lamb of any hard fat, cut into chunks and season all over. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish and brown the lamb in 3-4 batches over a high heat for 1-2 mins until lightly coloured. Add 1 tbsp more oil between each batch and transfer to a bowl each time a batch is browned.
  2. Heat the remaining oil in the same dish over a medium heat and fry the onions for 5 mins or until softened and lightly coloured. Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander, chilli powder, turmeric, 1 tsp ground black pepper and 1 tsp flaked sea salt. Cook for 1 min, stirring. Return the lamb to the dish and add 1.5 litres of water, the saffron, cinnamon and lemons. Bring to a simmer, stirring a few times. Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 1 hr.
  3. Carefully remove the dish from the oven and stir in the apricots, dates and half the pistachios, then cover once more and return to the oven. Cook for a further 30 mins or until the lamb is very tender.
  4. Transfer the dish to the hob and adjust the seasoning to taste. Mix the cornflour with the rosewater and 3 tbsp cold water, then stir into the tagine. Cook over a medium heat for 1-2 mins or until the sauce thickens. (Thickening the sauce with cornflour isn’t traditional but helps the tagine to freeze more successfully.) When ready to serve, roughly chop the remaining nuts and sprinkle over the top. Garnish with coriander and serve with couscous or rice

Did you know that London Fashion Week’s first ever wellness programme: The Be Well Collective is taking place next week. Sarah Ann Macklin, a top model, qualified nutritionist and writer at Women’s Health magazine, is going to give a talk on the importance of nutrition

 

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