When the nights are dark and the weather is bracing, there’s nothing more tempting than the thought of curling up with a nice big bowl of delicious warming food. However, it can often be tricky to find indulgent dishes that aren’t either loaded with calories or require half a day of cooking and michelin style equipment to prep.
So, knowing that most peoples time is short and their desire to watch their waistlines is key, we reached out to our hearty but healthy nutrition hero, Jenna Zoe , who’s cooked up three very different but oh-so-satisfying dinners to help you #StartBetter this 2015 by keeping you cosy and content on these cold, winter nights.
1. Cheesy truffle quinoa bowl
This is an easy recipe to make with very little time as it packs in flavour quickly and doesn't require much thinking ahead - it's also a great way to make the most of any leftovers you might have.
Start with a small cup of cooked quinoa as your base (you can either make big batches at a time so you always have some on hand, or else you can easily find ready cooked quinoa in supermarkets these days). Quickly toss some italian style veggies together in a pan until they're cooked through (or again, use leftover veggies). I recommend any combination of tomatoes, peppers, zucchini or mushrooms as they cook particularly fast. Place your cooked veggies on top of the quinoa, shave 12 ounces of parmesan on top, and drizzle liberally with truffle oil.
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2. Stuffed curry squash
Preheat your oven to 200C. Slice a small squash (like an acorn squash or kabocha squash) in half and scoop out the seeds. Using your fingers, coat the flesh with a thin layer of coconut oil. Then, pat on some curry powder. Place the squash face upwards on a baking tray and cook for 35 minutes, or until softened.
Meanwhile, sautée half a can of chickpeas with a leafy green of your choice, such as spinach or chard, with a little water, one clove of garlic and some cumin (I also like to add some green chillies for a kick).When the squash is cooked, stuff the insides with the chickpea and greens mixture, and feast.
3. Spaghetti au thon
This is such a simple dish to prepare that it can barely be called a recipe! It's based on a dish of the same name that I used to eat all the time as a kid. Using a spiralizer or grater, shred one whole zucchini so that it resembles pasta. Bring a pot of water to boil and blanch the zucchini noodles until softened and then set them aside.
Separately, heat up a jar of tomato sauce (look for a brand with honest ingredients that contains no added sugar). Remove it from the heat and using a fork, mix one small can of tuna (about 120 grams). Place your noodles in a bowl and top with the tuna and tomato mixture. Serve with some fresh basil and another drizzle of olive oil for the ultimate scrummy satisfaction.
Do you have a favourite comfort food recipe you like to turn to when the weather turns in? Send us a picture or tell your cooking plans to @GetTheGloss and @CliniqueUK .
This feature was written in partnership with Clinique. #StartBetter.