Comforting and delicious winter recipes

Comforting and delicious winter recipes

It’s been a long year and no one needs to remind us that we still have to get through the winter.

But like it or not, the season is here so we might as well get the best out of it by taking care of ourselves and eating well.

Needless to say, “comforting” and “delicious” were key criteria in compiling this list. But we also put it together with a mind towards healthy recipes that feel achievable on a weekday evening, even for novice chefs.

The following are some of our favorite veggie-forward dishes that do not need expensive ingredients, as well as a dessert that is not to be missed.

Overhead photo of a vegetable dahl along with a bowl of white rice, a delicious winter recipe.
Do not be intimidated by mixing your own spices. It is incredibly satisfying and makes all the difference.(ABC TV)

If you’ve listened to Samin Nosrat and Hrishikesh Hirway’s wonderful podcast Home Cooking, you may have been inspired to experiment with your dahl recipes – or you may have simply been reminded of how much joy this dish can bring.

Either way, this version from Christine Mansfield is a perfect starting point for chefs who are not in the habit of mixing their own spices.

If this is you, we’re pretty sure that after doing this, you will not be using packaged curry powder for a dahl again.

Budget conscious: Dahl is not an expensive dish, but if you are buying some of these spices for the first time, remember that they all hold up well and you will have heaps left over for other purposes.

A pot of pasta soup with spinach and chickpeas, an easy dinner made with pantry staples for the cooler months.
An easy, healthy soup with a depth of flavor that ticks in all comfort food boxes.(ABC Everyday: Peter Tarasiuk)

When you think of “comfort food”, pasta and soups are among the first things that come to mind, so a recipe that combines both would always find its way to the top of this list.

That it’s quick to cook, inexpensive and uses ingredients that you probably already have on hand just adds to the appeal.

Substitutes: This dish can accommodate any short pasta, the chickpeas can be replaced with white beans like borlotti or cannellini, and the silver beets and cavolo nero work fine instead of spinach.

Bird's eye view of a mac and cheese with crumbling cheddar sprinkled over the top.
A recipe that should banish pack mix mac ‘n’ cheese forever.(ABC TV)

As everyone knows, macaroni and cheese is a completely fat-free dish made from 100 percent raw vegetables. *

It’s also fast, cheap, and among the three most sought-after meals by people queuing for a binge-streaming playlist on Saturday night. **

We weighed Heidi Sze’s amazing creamy corn paste instead of this wonderful creation, but sometimes you have to give a nod to the classics.

*It is not. Do not send us an email.

** Nor based on strictly prosecuted facts.

A serving of vegetarian lasagna on a plate with a leafy side salad and the remaining lasagna nearby, a family dinner.
A lasagna with refreshingly few steps, and only one sauce.(ABC Everyday: Tim Gray)

It is very possible that you used the lockdown to learn a lasagna recipe from behind.

If it’s not you, or if you just want to change things up, this surprisingly fast version from Heidi Sze is fast enough to make on a weekday evening and delicious enough to be served to guests.

Seasonally: Zucchini and peas are not winter vegetables, but can of course be picked at any time. And if you’ve found yourself with a surplus of frozen peas, this recipe is perfect.

A bowl of baked gnocchi, broccoli and lemon topped with grated pecorino cheese, an easy vegetarian dinner for families.
It turns out in all this time that we have made gnocchi wrong.(ABC Everyday: Hetty McKinnon)

If you do not feel like a full lasagna, this amazing mid-week recipe from Hetty McKinnon takes up a fraction of the time, while still giving you the special delicacy that only baked pasta provides.

Throw in some slices of lemon for charring and some fennel seeds and you have an aromatic winner that feels lighter than gnocchi has a right to be.

Cleaning the bottom of the refrigerator: You can easily replace or add other vegetables to put a different twist on your baking sheet. At the end of this recipe, Hetty gives a lot of suggestions.

Three bowls of tomato chickpeas served over rice and topped with parsley, a healthy and warming family dinner.
There is nothing wrong with baked beans, but this recipe takes them to another level.(ABC Everyday: Heidi Sze )

Another recipe that makes the chickpeas whole? Why not.

Especially one that literally takes five minutes to pull together. To be fair, the ease of this dish is somewhat offset by the fact that it needs three hours of cooking time. On the other hand, if you are still working from home, this is not a problem.

Dried versus canned: If you’ve always used canned beans, they’ll be fine here. But if you have never soaked your own overnight, this recipe really illustrates the difference.

A whole head of red cabbage lies on top of chopped shallots, garlic, brushed with a maple glaze, a vegetarian roast.
Yes, a whole cabbage. Poured into maple syrup. Give it a shot. You want to thank us.(ABC Everyday: Hetty McKinnon)

One of last year’s feel-good recipe hits was our whole-fried cauliflower.

Let us turn our attention this year to the humble cabbage. This is another recipe that benefits from a long time over heat, but unlike the dish above, it does not need attention once it is cooked (if you need more encouragement, there is the added bonus of simply having the oven on for four hours while working from home on a winter day).

Pages: As with any roast, if you plan this as a main course, it will go well with a tray of your favorite roasted vegetables.

A bowl of mushroom stroganoff with baby spinach and chives served over rice, a warming and hearty vegetarian dinner for the winter.
Once a staple in regional RSL kitchens across the country, this recipe gives the stroganoff the update it deserves.(ABC Everyday: Peter Tarasiuk)

I have two small children. The youngest loves mushrooms. The eldest does not deeply do, but this dish has, if not exactly won her over, then at least given her an appreciation of mushrooms.

It is also a meal that with a little planning can be on the table in half an hour, and really appreciates the comfort food brief.

Rice or pasta: This recipe goes equally well with both. Just follow the tips to make it a pasta dish, and do not forget to save some of the boiling water.

A bowl of udon noodle soup with baby bok choy, sliced ​​shiitake mushrooms and spices, a warming and quick winter soup.
Basic ingredients achieve bold flavors in this easy favorite from Hetty McKinnon.(ABC Everyday: Hetty McKinnon)

We could not make a list of our favorite comfort foods without noodle soup, and you can have this delicious, healthy version on the table in less than 30 minutes.

If you feel a little low, this is the perfect antidote: a healthy, spicy soup with a great depth of flavor.

Variations: As with many of Hetty McKinnon’s recipes on ABC Everyday, she’s included a number of options that work to replace most ingredients.

A bowl of puttanesca risotto topped with parsley, sliced ​​chili and a slice of lemon, a family dinner effortlessly.
A risotto that halves the effort by going in the oven. Game changer.(ABC Everyday: Hetty McKinnon)

As Hetty McKinnon writes in this recipe, risotto is not a particularly difficult meal, but by recreating this puttanesca, she has removed the one cumbersome task (the constant stirring), making it even more of a winner of a weeknight.

Vegan version: The dairy components of this dish are completely optional, making it an easy vegan meal.

A serving of bread and butter pudding in a ceramic bowl with a spoon, another bowl in the background. A comforting dessert.
A simple, sensational and decadent dessert that by its very nature should be world famous.(ABC Everyday: Thalia Ho)

After so many healthy main meals, we head to town with this unapologetically decadent dessert.

While most of the recipes on this list rely on pantry staples and cheap ingredients, this one really benefits from using brioche instead of some old bread, but if you do not feel like buying a brioche bread to make this, try raisin bread .

Roasting nuts: If you decide to roast your own nuts, as Thalia suggests, be sure to keep an eye on them: they can easily burn on.

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