Healthy and hearty winter recipes

Theres been a definite change in the weather recently, and summer appears to be over for another year, so instead of lamenting the loss of warm days and long, sunny evenings, its time to look forward to dark evenings and delicious comfort food.

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Comfort food neednt mean junk food, however, and not everything needs to be stodgy. Also, not everything is full of calories, so choose a proper meal and dig in, guilt-free.

Cash-conscious beef stew

This wonderfully warming stew is great for all the family. Its nutritious, inexpensive, and any leftovers can be frozen.

Cube 320g stewing steak, season, and roll in plain flour until all edges are coated. Fry in 1tbsp oil until brown, and add two chopped onions and two cloves of garlic, with four chopped carrots. Add two cups of stock, some herbs to taste and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Add four cubed potatoes and simmer for at least an hour, until the meat is really tender.

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Homemade minestrone soup

This super-comforting soup is tasty and low-fat, and also really quick and easy to make, so perfect for busy families. Make a big batch and freeze some to make the next meal even faster!

Fry two cloves of garlic for 30 seconds, then add two diced carrots, a stick of celery and a diced potato. Cook for two minutes before adding a tin of chopped tomatoes, two cups of vegetable stock, 2/3 cup of pasta and a teaspoon of rosemary. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the pasta has cooked. Serve with fresh, crusty bread.

Alternative hot chocolate

Make a hot chocolate with a twist by following manufacturers instructions, using skimmed milk, and then add a teaspoon of honey, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of vanilla extract. Perfect for coming in from the cold or after Halloween or Bonfire Night.

Keep things simple with one-pot recipes, fresh vegetables, and store cupboard essentials to keep costs down and nutrition up.

For more tasty winter online food recipes, try the BBC website or sites like Food Tales (http://food-tales.com/) and cook up something special for the whole family.

Eating healthy, hearty food neednt be complicated or time-consuming. Try out several recipes, find a few you like, and you might even make one a signature dish.

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