When in clinic, a common concern raised by clients is how to stay healthy and on track during winter.
After all, when the temperature drops, our cravings for warm and comforting foods increase, whilst our desire to cook can decrease – as it can be more tempting to stay on the couch and order in!
The first step to assist with motivation to cook a nourishing home meal, is by being prepared.
Having the right ingredients on hand makes all of the difference and here I am sharing my cheat sheet on how to prep a healthy pantry for winter.
Staples to create easy meals from:
- Complex carb bases: quinoa, brown rice, legume noodles (eg black bean spaghetti), whole rolled oats, soba noodles, wholemeal pasta, wholegrain wraps, and buckwheat.
- Protein: legumes (lentils, chickpeas, black beans etc), nuts/seeds, tuna, salmon, mackerel, herrings, pea or rice protein powder.
- Healthy fats: nuts/seeds, EVOO, tahini, nut butter.
- Plant based milks (unopened): look for oil free if possible and unsweetened.
- Herbs and spices – turmeric, cumin, coriander, oregano, smoked paprika etc
- Soy sauce or tamari and miso paste (store in fridge once opened)
- Vegetable stock
- Coconut milk
- Jarred curry pastes
- Honey or maple syrup
- Tomato paste and passata
- Vinegar – apple cider, red wine vinegar and rice vinegar
- Seed crackers, brown rice crackers and spelt crackers
- Popcorn – salted rather than butter
- Roasted chickpeas and fava beans
- Low sugar muesli or granola
- Cacao powder
- Green tea or matcha green tea powder
- Peppermint tea
- Chamomile tea
- Dandelion root
Helpful kitchen appliances and cookware:
- Small chopper – to make sauces and dressings such as pesto, roasted veggie tomato sauce and curry pastes, is a great idea.
- Large Dutch oven pot for slow cooked casseroles.
- Stick blender for soups – much less cleaning up!
Easy meals to make from using the above staples
- Whole rolled oat porridge (soak oats overnight to reduce the cooking time) + plant based milk, nuts and seeds – add fresh fruit.
- Salmon or tuna on wholegrain toast or crackers with mashed avocado.
- Eggs scrambled with coconut milk and curry paste served on toast with avocado and tomatoes.
- Homemade hummus adding paprika and cumin served with crackers.
- Yoghurt with low sugar muesli or granola with fresh fruit.
- Warming hot chocolate using plant-based milk, honey, protein powder and cacao.
Lunch / Dinner:
- Leftover roasted veggies blended with coconut milk and curry paste turned into a soup and served with seed crackers.
- Wrap spread with hummus, topped with leftover roasted veggies and legumes, toasted in a sandwich press.
- Cooked pasta tossed with a sauce made by blending roasted tomatoes with walnuts, herbs and parmesan cheese, top with pan-fried tofu or fish.