10 Healthy and Easy Winter Meal Ideas

During the winter season, it’s all too easy to overindulge in stodgy, toasty, and reassuring food while catching up with friends and family. 

However, most of these hearty dishes are high in calories. And while your body needs calories for energy, ingesting too much can lead to health complications, especially if you don’t burn them out through physical exercise. 

But what if we told you that you could still enjoy your favourite cold-weather dishes without having to compromise your health?

We’ve gathered a slew of healthy and easy meal ideas that will keep you warm over the winter months without compromising your health goals. 

1. Roast Chicken

This is one of those recipes that doesn’t require much modification to become fantastic. This delicious roasted lemon chicken requires only four ingredients. Everybody, from adults to children, appreciates a good roast. The smell of a chicken roasting in the oven is very delightful.

If you love cooking your chicken with white wine, you can go with sauvignon blanc or chardonnay. However, there are many white wines you can pick from. Please view specials from Costco for the best white wines for cooking chicken. 

2. Portobello Mushrooms 

Meaty portobello mushrooms are a vegan comfort meal classic. Some people describe this dish as a “vegetarian analogue of steaks and potatoes.” Mushrooms are gently roasted in oil, chilli, and garlic until they have a rich, umami flavour and a great kick. On the other hand, the beans are velvety and straightforward, and you can serve them either cold or hot.

3. Roast Pork Belly 

Patience is a virtue when it comes to preparing roasted pork belly. However, while this dish may take a couple of hours on the stove, it requires very little pre-preparation. The recipe uses three types of apples: apple juice, apple cider vinegar, and whole apples. It is inspired by the Filipino pork adobo, where the meat is prepared in a soy-based sauce. 

4. Vegetable and Dumpling Broth

This delicate broth is prepared using celeriac and swede with leftover Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds. Celeriac is not always available in supermarkets in Australia. However, most specialised grocery stores will have them by mid-June. The dumplings are prepared with just eggs, parmesan, and cornflour. While preparing it may seem complex, this meal is unique and worth the effort. 

5. Spiced Couscous 

It takes a great deal of skill to get the crunchy, caramelised coating at the bottom of your pan and make this couscous incredibly appetising. The secret to perfecting this layer is to allow the couscous to boil gently. Don’t act on the impulse to stir. Heat the spices—star anise, cinnamon, and chilli—to get the warming flavour for this recipe, which you can neutralise with a spoonful of dairy-free yoghurt if you’re vegan.

6. Potatoes with Braised Eggs

This is a great way to spruce up the kohlrabi in your veggie basket. To get the best brunch combination, you can mash it with potatoes and chilli sauce “Korean” to create “a huge rösti with a crunchy bottom” for the cooked eggs to sit within. Ensure you buy a good-quality Korean red pepper sauce (gochujang) because gochujang is considerably juicier than most brands.

7. Orzo Pilaf

This orzo pilaf one-pot vegetarian pasta meal is easy to prepare with only five ingredients. Still, it takes a long time to cook. You have to bake it for a little over an hour to enable the flavours to develop.

8. ZA’Atar Salmon Baked in Tahini

This oven-baked salmon has a tangy za’atar and sumac coating. If prepared with baby spinach, the entire dish will be ready in just 25 minutes.

9. Tangerine Doughnuts

Tangerine doughnuts are vegan. Instead of using dairy and eggs, these doughnuts use olive oil, making them rich and velvety. To get the perfect teste, deep-fry the doughnuts and glaze them with Grand Marnier before sprinkling them with sea salt.

10. Apple Galette

Apple butter galette is our overall best meal idea for winter. Experts recommend making the dough about three days ahead of time and refrigerating it in an airtight container. You can keep your dough frozen for a month without worrying about spoilage. Drizzle some caramel sauce if you please. 

To prepare your apple butter, use Granny Smiths instead of the Bramleys and Jazz (a little tarter) or Fuji (somewhat sweeter) in place of the Cox apples.

Final Thoughts

Winter weather may cause a shift in appetite as you swap out light summer meals for heartier and stouter dishes that can fill you up and keep you warm throughout the day.

However, the harsh reality is that bad weather does not justify poor eating habits. Just as it isn’t advisable to overeat ice cream during the summer, you shouldn’t rely only on hot cocoa and warm biscuits in the dead of winter.

Instead, make your diet healthy, healthy sleep and delicious over the winter by including a few classic cold-weather foods mentioned above.