As the temperature drops, it’s time your cooking heats up. But just because you’re going to be adding more clothes around the belly, it doesn’t mean you have to add some insulation under the skin. Here are some tips for creating some healthy winter warmers:
Nothing says staying warm in winter like a nice hot bowl of soup. The Aussie favourite is arguably the pumpkin soup. What makes this healthy comfort food even better is that it’s easy to make. It’s as simple as boiling pumpkin and potatoes in stock and then stir. For something a little different, adding some curry powder and lentils not only gives it a real kick taste wise, it adds plenty of nutritional value as well. Lentils are high in protein, iron and dietary fibre while curry powder is chock-full of vitamins and minerals.
For a truly huge hot healthy choice, an Asian noodle soup full of greens is also a great choice. Apart from the obvious health benefits of green vegetables, adding skin free chicken and spices like ginger, garlic and chilli is also great for your wellbeing.
If you don’t have a slow cooker in your house, you’re really missing out. For the lazy food lovers, it is truly the Holy Grail. For those who have never seen, used or experienced a slow cooker, the way it works is truly as the name says. You throw all of your ingredients in the pot and leave it to cook over several hours.
There are a few things you need to remember though:
• Make sure your ingredients are cut in similar sized pieces. You don’t need to be a physician to realise that a big piece of meat will cook different to a small one.
• Don’t put in anything that’s frozen. Everything has to be defrosted first.
• Fill the pot about 50% to 75% capacity.
• Don’t drown the food, a lot of the cooking happens by steam circulation.
• Any ingredients that require boiling (e.g. lentils, rice etc) need to be boiled first.
• Don’t use it to reheat meals. That’s what microwaves are for.
So gather up all of the vegetables in your fridge that are nearing their used by date and throw them in. Hot, tasty, and cost effective. Can it get any better when it comes to healthy comfort food?
Roasting meat and vegetables requires a lot more skill and attention than slow cooking, but boy are the results amazing when done right. Plus, roasting meat and vegetables is much healthier than frying them. While we won’t give any recipes here (there are way too many variables, we’ll save that for another blog on another day), the main challenge for a roast is the timing. But with modern technology, you’ll be making the perfect healthy comfort roast for your family in no time. It’s a sure way to become the champion of your family or friends.
First off, butter chicken is not a traditional Indian curry. It was invented in the west because the majority of westerners couldn’t handle the taste of traditional curries. It’s also unhealthy. Also like a lot of westerners.
Proper curries however, they are truly healthy comfort food. Curry was invented to preserve meats in situations where refrigeration was very hard to find. The result is the discovery of amazing spices and ingredients that are incredibly good for your body. Hipsters these days are taking turmeric in pill form, those on the subcontinent have been cooking with it for centuries.
Open fire treats
Roasted marshmallows are delicious, but all that sugar of course isn’t good for you. Instead, you can replace the sweets with nature’s sweets such as bananas, pineapple slices or peaches. You can even melt some dark chocolate (proper dark chocolate is a lot healthier than milk chocolate) with the fruit. Delicious and a healthy comfort food. Chestnuts are also a great hot treat you can easily cook on a fire or in an oven.
Inspirations from around the world
Compared to other nations in the world, Australians don’t need warming up desperately from their food that other nations do. Unless you live in southern Tasmania or on Mount Kosciuszko. Many of us are familiar with our mother nation Great Britain‘s winter warmers consisting of pies and stews. But elsewhere in Europe they do things a little differently. There are places like Greenland who do a lot with fish and other sea animals while over in Finland they will serve some piping hot reindeer. If you don’t have to resort to roasting Rudolph, Italy has amazing dishes like Osso Bucco and of course they’re the home of hearty pastas. Over in south-east Asia you have Laksa, Pho and Tom Yum while in northern Asia you can be inspired to make some pork soup from China or the Japanese have the delicious udon noodles to warm the heart. There are literally thousands of local cuisines around the world that will warm your heart. Perhaps throw a dart at a map and google the local dishes of that country?
Winter warmers at Lantern Club
Don’t hibernate this winter, Lantern Club has the fireplace pumping and the hot dishes in MàZi are delicious. To view the menu, click here.
To book a table at MàZi, call our friendly Reception team at 8037 8200.