While we have had some gorgeous winter days, I have a feeling we have not seen the last of the cooler weather yet. Warming winter dinners are often what we feel like, but this doesn’t mean they have to be unhealthy. Comfort food can be jam packed full of vegetables too! Try one of these nutritious dinners on the next cool winters evening.
Slow cooked beef ragu
Preparation time: 10-15 minutes, Cooking time: 6-8 hrs
- 500g blade steak, cut into 2-3 chunks
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 carrots, roughly chopped
- 4 celery sticks, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp semi dried basil
- 1 tsp semi dried oregano
- 700g bottle passata
- ½ cup red wine
- Heat a large frying pan on medium and heat and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (if your slow cooker has sauté mode, you can use this too). Add the steak to the pan and cook on each side for 2 minutes to seal the steak. Once cooked transfer to a slow cooker.
- Return frying pan to heat and drizzle with a little additional extra virgin olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until aromatic. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes. Next ad the herbs, passata and red wine to the pan. Stir until combined and cook until sauce is heated through.
- Pour the sauce mixture into the slow cooker over the steak. Cover with a lid and cook on low for 6-8hrs, until steak is tender.
- Once cooked, use a fork to shred the beef. Meat should be tender and fall apart easily.
- Return beef to sauce, reheat and serve with your desired pasta
Delicious pumpkin soup
10 minutes preparation time, 30 minutes cooking time
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1kg Kent pumpkin, skin removed and chopped into the cubes (approx. 750g end weight)
- 1 large carrot, cut into 1cm cubes
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 3 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1L salt reduced vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoons light cream
- Pepper to taste
- Heat a medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes until they have softened and aromatic.
- Add the pumpkin and carrot and stir through, then add the nutmeg and the white parts of the shallots and stir so all ingredients are coated with nutmeg. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add the vegetable stock, bring saucepan to boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and use a stick blender on high to bring the mixture to a smooth consistency. Stir through the light cream. Reheat soup if you with, otherwise season with pepper and serve with the green shallots to garnish.
Mediterranean roast chicken
Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
- 1 small double chicken breast, fat removed and cut into 4 even pieces
- 1 small sweet potato, cut into cubes
- 1 Red onion, cut into wedges
- 1 red Capsicum, deseeded and cut into 3x3cm pieces
- 1 Eggplant, cut into cubes
- 2 x zucchini, sliced
- ¼ cup pitted olives
- Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- Caramelised balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup fresh basil
- Pre-heat oven to 180oC and line a large baking dish with baking paper.
- Heat a large frying pan on medium heat and grease with olive oil spray. Add the chicken breast to the pan and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Cook the chicken on each side for 2-3 minutes to seal the chicken. Remove the pan from heat and place chicken in the 4 quadrants of the baking tray.
- Meanwhile, place sweet potato in a heat proof bowl, cover and microwave for 3 minutes.
- Spread the red onion, capsicum, eggplant, zucchini and sweet potato evenly on the baking tray around the chicken. Scatter the olives around the tray.
- Drizzle the chicken and vegetables with olive oil and caramelized balsamic vinegar. Add the basil over the vegetables and bake for 25-30 minutes until the chicken and vegetables are cooked.
- Once cooked, remove from heat, rest for 5 minutes, then serve.