Winter is well and truly upon us, and we all know what that means: temperatures drop and the vows fervently sworn in a hung-over induced delirium on the 1st of January to make 2017 the year of healthy salads and fewer carbs suddenly seem laughable.

It is well-known that during the colder months, humans crave warmer, carbohydrate and fat rich foods. There is much debate among scientists and psychologists as to why this is. Some argue that as temperatures drop, our bodies require greater amounts of energy to keep us warm as we go about our day-to-day activities, demanding more calories in the form of carbohydrates to keep up our core body temperature.

Others believe that fewer hours of daylight during the winter causes the pineal gland to produce more melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy. This sleepiness translates into a lack of energy and motivation, your activity levels decrease and you feel the cold more. As the metabolisation of food generates energy and heat, your body naturally craves carbohydrate rich foods in order to keep warm.

A more depressing theory is that many people eat more during the winter as they suffer from a disease called SAD (or seasonal affective disorder). This mild type of depression causes feelings of sadness and lethargy, and many people find themselves consuming simple carbohydrates to feel better (simple carbs produce the hormone serotonin which makes you feel temporarily happy).

Regardless of the reasons, the fact remains that warm, comforting food is on the menu in February. However, we believe that comfort food doesn’t have to be unhealthy, or take ages to make. We’ve tracked down five healthy recipes that are incredibly easy to make, only requiring one pot for the whole process! Packed with complex carbohydrates and protein that will stabilise your blood sugar and your energy levels, these dishes all require minimum effort but deliver maximum flavor.

Simple Coconut Quinoa and Lentil Curry with Lime Mango

Quinoa & Lentil Stew

This superfood curry recipe from Half-Baked Harvest is quick, healthy and packs a huge flavor punch. Full of muscle-building protein and fibre, this dish is packed with veggies like baby kale, red bell peppers and carrots, as well as ginger, lemon and lime. Energising and healthy, it manages to be both warming and fresh, with the heat of the curry complimented perfectly by the tropical zing of the lime soaked mango.

With the added bonus of being entirely vegan (unless you choose to top it off with a dollop of Greek yoghurt), this dish is perfect for everyone. If you’re feeling inspired, you could even make fresh naan to mop it all up…

Find the recipe here.

Twice Baked Chicken Fajita Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Fajitas

This healthy and filling take on a classic comfort food is both easy and delicious. Versatile and open to interpretation, it is the perfect healthy winter meal. Simply bake (or microwave if you’re short on time) your sweet potatoes and load them up with a healthy stir fry of chicken, vegetables and spices. Sprinkle with cheese and coriander and bake until the cheese is brown and bubbling. Serve with lime, chopped avocado and salsa.

A no-fuss, healthy take on fajitas that is guaranteed to satisfy your winter cravings – without the guilt.

Find the recipe here.

Creamy White Bean and Tomato Soup

White Bean & Tomato Soup

A steaming bowl of soup is an absolute staple in winter, and a guaranteed way to raise your body temperature. This recipe from Love & Lemons is wholesome and tasty, packed with veggies, herbs and spices. The white cannellini beans are a great source of protein and give the soup a wonderful texture.

This recipe is geared towards adding your own little twists, depending on what you’re in the mood for. Looking for some extra creaminess? Blend in some raw cashews and add another hit of protein. Feeling like something a little brighter, fresher? Stir through a touch of balsamic vinegar. Craving a little bit of mid-week decadence? Stir through a pile of grated parmesan and enjoy a gooey, cheesy bowl of goodness.

Super Speedy Steamed Salmon

Steamed Salmon

This Jamie Oliver recipe is the epitome of simple and easy. This one-pan dish is an absolute go-to if you’re short on time, or aren’t in the mood to put in much effort. With multiple health benefits, this recipe is perfect for warding off winter viruses: while the salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, the veggies are packed full of all the vitamin C. Tender, tasty salmon; sweet, soft veggies; and filling, flavoursome couscous.

Find the recipe here.

Creamy Sundried Tomato and Parmesan Chicken Zoodles

Creamy Chicken Zoodles

This recipe is ridiculously easy, without skimping on taste. While the sauce is decadently creamy and full of oozing cheese, the replacement of traditional pasta with vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and folate rich zucchini noodles makes this a great healthy, low-carb dinner option.  Sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and parmesan cheese are infused in a cream based sauce, and topped with crispy, golden pan fried chicken and zoodles for the tastiest, warmest winter dish. It provides all the comfort of a creamy pasta dish, with all the extra health benefits.

Find the recipe here.

Winter is well and truly upon us, and we all know what that means: temperatures drop and the vows fervently sworn in a hung-over induced delirium on the 1st of January to make 2017 the year of healthy salads and fewer carbs suddenly seem laughable.

It is well-known that during the colder months, humans crave warmer, carbohydrate and fat rich foods. There is much debate among scientists and psychologists as to why this is. Some argue that as temperatures drop, our bodies require greater amounts of energy to keep us warm as we go about our day-to-day activities, demanding more calories in the form of carbohydrates to keep up our core body temperature.

Others believe that fewer hours of daylight during the winter causes the pineal gland to produce more melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy. This sleepiness translates into a lack of energy and motivation, your activity levels decrease and you feel the cold more. As the metabolisation of food generates energy and heat, your body naturally craves carbohydrate rich foods in order to keep warm.

A more depressing theory is that many people eat more during the winter as they suffer from a disease called SAD (or seasonal affective disorder). This mild type of depression causes feelings of sadness and lethargy, and many people find themselves consuming simple carbohydrates to feel better (simple carbs produce the hormone serotonin which makes you feel temporarily happy).

Regardless of the reasons, the fact remains that warm, comforting food is on the menu in February. However, we believe that comfort food doesn’t have to be unhealthy, or take ages to make. We’ve tracked down five healthy recipes that are incredibly easy to make, only requiring one pot for the whole process! Packed with complex carbohydrates and protein that will stabilise your blood sugar and your energy levels, these dishes all require minimum effort but deliver maximum flavor.

Simple Coconut Quinoa and Lentil Curry with Lime Mango

Quinoa & Lentil Stew

This superfood curry recipe from Half-Baked Harvest is quick, healthy and packs a huge flavor punch. Full of muscle-building protein and fibre, this dish is packed with veggies like baby kale, red bell peppers and carrots, as well as ginger, lemon and lime. Energising and healthy, it manages to be both warming and fresh, with the heat of the curry complimented perfectly by the tropical zing of the lime soaked mango.

With the added bonus of being entirely vegan (unless you choose to top it off with a dollop of Greek yoghurt), this dish is perfect for everyone. If you’re feeling inspired, you could even make fresh naan to mop it all up…

Find the recipe here.

Twice Baked Chicken Fajita Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Fajitas

This healthy and filling take on a classic comfort food is both easy and delicious. Versatile and open to interpretation, it is the perfect healthy winter meal. Simply bake (or microwave if you’re short on time) your sweet potatoes and load them up with a healthy stir fry of chicken, vegetables and spices. Sprinkle with cheese and coriander and bake until the cheese is brown and bubbling. Serve with lime, chopped avocado and salsa.

A no-fuss, healthy take on fajitas that is guaranteed to satisfy your winter cravings – without the guilt.

Find the recipe here.

Creamy White Bean and Tomato Soup

White Bean & Tomato Soup

A steaming bowl of soup is an absolute staple in winter, and a guaranteed way to raise your body temperature. This recipe from Love & Lemons is wholesome and tasty, packed with veggies, herbs and spices. The white cannellini beans are a great source of protein and give the soup a wonderful texture.

This recipe is geared towards adding your own little twists, depending on what you’re in the mood for. Looking for some extra creaminess? Blend in some raw cashews and add another hit of protein. Feeling like something a little brighter, fresher? Stir through a touch of balsamic vinegar. Craving a little bit of mid-week decadence? Stir through a pile of grated parmesan and enjoy a gooey, cheesy bowl of goodness.

Super Speedy Steamed Salmon

Steamed Salmon

This Jamie Oliver recipe is the epitome of simple and easy. This one-pan dish is an absolute go-to if you’re short on time, or aren’t in the mood to put in much effort. With multiple health benefits, this recipe is perfect for warding off winter viruses: while the salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, the veggies are packed full of all the vitamin C. Tender, tasty salmon; sweet, soft veggies; and filling, flavoursome couscous.

Find the recipe here.

Creamy Sundried Tomato and Parmesan Chicken Zoodles

Creamy Chicken Zoodles

This recipe is ridiculously easy, without skimping on taste. While the sauce is decadently creamy and full of oozing cheese, the replacement of traditional pasta with vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and folate rich zucchini noodles makes this a great healthy, low-carb dinner option.  Sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and parmesan cheese are infused in a cream based sauce, and topped with crispy, golden pan fried chicken and zoodles for the tastiest, warmest winter dish. It provides all the comfort of a creamy pasta dish, with all the extra health benefits.

Find the recipe here.