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The nights are getting longer and cooler, the days shorter, and soon we’ll be craving the kind of cuisine that warms body and soul. For many people winter food equals comfort food and this is often synonymous with rich, heavy and fattening fare. But you can cosy up your family’s tastebuds with winter food that is healthy and nutritious. These delicious and wholesome recipe ideas are certain to satisfy all on chilly days.

Carb-crunching chicken pie

Chicken pie is a nostalgic winter staple in just about every home. With a couple of small tweaks it can be less indulgent though while still giving you that crusty comfort food fix. Just ditch the puff pastry for this healthier crust while keeping your favourite chicken pie filling. Or swop the chicken with any filling of your choice really, just remember to go easy on the cream.

 

 

 

 

Ingredients for crust:
180 ml almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
6 tbs cold butter
250 ml cream cheese
2 extra-large eggs
Rub butter into flour and baking powder mixture until crumbly texture. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until light and fluffy, and add eggs one by one. Add flour mixture and mix until texture of smooth paste is obtained. Pour this mixture over pie filling in greased dish and bake.
Perfect with our Douglas Green Sauvignon Blanc

Skinny sweet potato curry

Asian food offers a great alternative to Western comfort food staples, because the dishes generally tend to be lighter and contain less fat. And what is a winter recipe arsenal without a delicious curry? This one is mild enough to appease the kids.

Ingredients

3 cups fresh spinach
1 onion, diced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 can coconut milk
1-2 tbs red or yellow curry paste
125 ml veg or chicken stock

Fry onion and sweet potato over medium high heat until soft and fragrant. Add curry paste and stir until well combined. Add coconut milk and stock and let simmer over low heat until thickened, then stir in spinach until wilted. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander and peanuts, and serve with sticky jasmine rice.
Perfect with our Douglas Green Chardonnay

Guilt-free brownies
You needn’t abandon your sweet tooth in the bid to cook healthier this winter. And brownies are such a great crowd pleaser and favourite with young and old.

Ingredients

160 g good quality dark chocolate
125 ml coconut oil
180 ml almond flour
250 ml fructose or other sugar replacement
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp bicarb
1 tbs cocoa powder
2 extra-large eggs
Mixed chopped nuts to taste

Method:
Melt chocolate and coconut oil in saucepan over low heat. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs well until frothy. Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and pour in the egg mixture. Mix and pour in the melted chocolate. Mix the batter together with an electric mixer and add nuts. Pour mixture into greased baking tin and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until set at 180 ᵒC.
Perfect with our Douglas Green Shiraz

More ways to beat the winter bulge? Comfort food staples can often be made healthier with a few simple fixes. Use lean mince and add extra veg and lentils to your usual lasagne or spaghetti Bolognese; swop some of the high fat cheddar in your favourite mac and cheese for a low-fat ricotta and add greens, such as broccoli or peas; top shepherd’s pie with sweet potato mash. All equally delicious options but less likely to pile on the kilos this chilly season.