Winter Recipes. How to Diversify a Meal in Winter

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winter-ingredients avaSometimes it is hard to cook something interesting and healthy in winter, because there are less fresh fruit and vegetables. Especially organic food isn't available in its whole variety. But still you can find some ingredients that are typical winter products. Try to diversify your diet/meal, use more fruit and vegetables which can be bought mainly in winter. We'll help you to choose several good recipes for winter set of ingredients.


1. Eat more warm salads. It can be hard to find and keep fresh greens and vegetables in winter. And sometimes we don't have a desire to eat raw salads. We need more calories because of cold weather, but still dishes must be colorful, bright and tasty to cheer us up.

You may remove fresh ingredients (like greens or herbs), if you can't buy them. Or you may use dried herbs instead of fresh ones.

Warm turkey & mixed mushroom salad

Ingredients:

* 1 small head curly endive, leaves separated
* 1 small head lollo rosso, leaves separated
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 2-3 rashers rindless smoked bacon, chopped
* 500 g (1 lb) turkey breast fillets, cut into thin strips across the grain
* 125 g (4 oz) mixed mushrooms, such as shiitake, chestnut, yellow and grey oyster, trimmed and sliced if large
* 4 tablespoons lemon juice
* salt and freshly ground black pepper

Dressing:

* 4 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 tablespoon wine vinegar (red or white)
* 1 garlic clove, crushed
* 1 teaspoon coarse grain or Dijon mustard
* pinch of sugar


2. Use pickles instead of fresh vegetables. If you can't buy raw fruit and vegetables choose pickles, preserves, canned products, jams, confitures etc. Also you can use dried products (including herbs and mushrooms).

Stuffed potatoes with bacon

Ingredients:

* 5 big potatoes
* 5 strips of bacon
* 1 sweet yellow pepper
* 1 big red onion
* 2 pickled cucumbers
* 1 bunch of fennel (optional)
* 150 g of Holland cheese
* Salt, pepper according to your taste

Sun-dried tomatoes topping for baked jacket potatoes

Ingredients:

* 2 tablespoons very low fat natural fromage frais
* 28 g/1 oz sun-dried tomatoes without oil (1/2 Sin), cut into thin slivers
* snipped chives or garlic chives

Mexican Soup

Ingredients:

* 250 g (8 oz) dried chickpeas
* 250 g (8 oz) dried red kidney beans
* 2 tablespoons oil
* 1 onion, chopped
* 250 g (8 oz) minced beef
* 1 green pepper, cored, deseeded and chopped
* 1 x 425 g (14 oz) can tomatoes
* 450 ml (3/4 pint) beef stock
* 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
* pinch of salt
* garlic or herb bread, to serve


3. Make unexpected mixes of vegetables, fruit, nuts, meat or other ingredients that are available.

Beetroot & Orange Salad

Ingredients:

* 6 small beetroot, peeled, cooked & quartered
* 2 large oranges, segmented, skin & pith removed
* 1 small red onion, sliced into rings
* 4 tbsp very low fat natural fromage frais
* 1 tsp clear honey
* grated rind of 1 orange, to garnish

Rich Pork Pate

Ingredients:

* 500 g (1 lb) pig's liver
* 50 g (2 oz) butter
* 1 large onion, finely chopped
* 3 garlic cloves, crushed
* 500 g (1 lb) minced pork
* 1 tablespoon juniper berries, crushed
* 1 teaspoon paprika
* 6 tablespoons brandy
* salt and pepper

To garnish:

* 2 bay leaves
* whole juniper berries

Stuffed onions

Ingredients:

* 4 large onions
* 125g (4 oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
* 25g (1 oz) white or wholemeal breadcrumbs
* 1 x 2.5ml spoon (1/2 teaspoon) salt
* 1 x 2.5ml spoon (1/2 teaspoon) mixed herbs
* 1 x 5ml spoon (1 teaspoon) made mustard
* Pepper

Lentil & Orange Soup

Ingredients:

* 113g/4 oz split red lentils
* 852 ml / 1 1/2 pt stock made with Vecon
* 1 onion, finely chopped
* 2 celery sticks, chopped
* 1/4tsp dried thyme
* 142ml / 1/4 pt orange juice
* grated rind of 1/2 orange
* 1 bay leaf
* salt & ground black pepper
* orange rind, to garnish


4. Use frozen fruit and vegetables. You can freeze them at home during summer and fall or just buy in a store.

Stuffed peppers (make frozen pepper in advance – wash, remove seeds and freeze without cutting)

Ingredients:

* 60g (2oz / 1 cup) pasta spirals
* 1/2 quantity Tomato Sauce
* 2 teaspoons capers
* 6 black olives, stoned and chopped
* 2 red peppers (capsicums)
* 2 yellow peppers (capsicums)
* 2 teaspoons olive oil

Minted green peas

Ingredients:

* 7 tablespoons water
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 75 g (3 oz) frozen petit pois
* 1 sprig frozen mint


5. Choose available ingredients which you can freely buy in a store in winter. For example, broccoli, asparagus, beans, cabbage, carrot, onion, garlic, beetroot etc.

Broccoli & mushroom salad

Ingredients:

* 375 g (12 oz) broccoli spears
* 300 g (10 oz) button or closed cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
* 1 tablespoon walnut halves

Dressing:

* 125 ml (4 fl oz) natural yogurt
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chicken and broccoli salad

Ingredients:

* 2 chicken breasts
* 300 ml (10 fl oz) chicken stock
* 200 g (7 oz) broccoli florets
* 150 g (5 oz) cooked frozen or canned sweetcorn
* 2 tbsp sesame seeds

Dressing:

* 2 tbsp vegetable oil
* 1 tbsp runny honey
* 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
* 1 tsp soy sauce
* freshly ground black pepper

Coleslaw salad

Ingredients:

* 1/2 quantity mayonnaise
* 1/2 white cabbage, finely shredded
* 1 raw carrot, peeled and grated
* 1 stick celery, finely chopped
* 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
* 1 red apple, cored and sliced'
* 1/4 pepper, de-seeded and sliced thinly'
* 2 x 15ml spoons (2 tablespoons) sultanas or raisins'
* 25g (1 oz) walnuts, chopped'
* Chopped parsley, to garnish
'optional

Asparagus ham squares

Ingredients:

* 1 quantity Traditional Pizza Dough, made up to end of step 2
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Topping:

* 185 g (6 oz) sliced ham
* 185 g (6 oz) curd cheese
* 2 tablespoons single (light) cream or milk
* 250 g (8 oz) asparagus spears, cooked
* salt and pepper
* freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

* 1 1/2 cups soup stock
* 1/4 cup margarine
* 1 medium white onion
* 3 or 4 cups cooked pumpkin
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (optional)

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