Eating over Winter can be great – you get multiple large meals, lots of chocolate, cheeses, and the chance to match your food with wine and beer. However, these foods can take a toll on your health, especially when you factor in the time you spend sitting around your home during the season. In this way, it’s important to vary your Winter diet by making some small adjustments to main meals, and by trying some alternative meals. Some meal ideas include:

1 – Healthier Festive Dinners

You can cut down on the calories for your Christmas dinner by removing the skin from your turkey, and by draining off its fat. Moreover, you can swap turkey stuffing for chestnuts and fruit, and can use baked potatoes in place of roast potatoes; low fat gravy can also be found, while vegetables can be served without butter.

2 – Couscous and Roasted Vegetables

For a lighter meal, you can try couscous with roasted vegetables; couscous can be easily made up, and then served along with rapeseed oil, and a range of different roasted vegetables for a tasty and low calorie dish.

3 – Glazed Ham and Apricots

It’s possible to still enjoy meat at Christmas without the fat content – a glazed ham can be made using the shank, and by specifying low sodium meat. Smoking ham will also reduce the amount of fat it uses, while a glaze can be made more healthy by using marmalade, and serving with salad and apricots.

4 – Slow Cooked Provencal Beef Stew

A good way to use your slow cooker during Christmas, Provencal beef stew involves using ground or chuck beef, and mixing with celery, thyme, onions, mushrooms, and peppers, while using a low fat beef stock for a sauce.

5 – Roasted Vegetables in a Cheddar Crust

Another good use of roasted vegetables is to combine them with a cheese crust and tart – this dish can also feature leeks and broccoli for extra taste.

6 – Christmas Pasta

For a more unusual pasta dish at Christmas, you can make up penne rigate with garlic, pancetta, ground beef, and vegetables – all these ingredients can be added to a baking pot, and served with parsley, cinnamon, and wine.

7 – Winter Fruit Salad

A very light option if you can’t manage another three course meal, a Winter fruit salad is
straightforward; combine oranges and lemons with pomegranates and grapefruit to make a tasty salad, making sure to remove any seeds beforehand.

8 – Stuffed Squash with Leeks

This dish represents an excellent way to make use of squashes and vegetables, and can be served with cheese and creme fraiche, as well as with English mustard, for some extra taste. Squashes can be hollowed out, with leeks, cheese, creme fraiche, and mustard placed inside and baked.

9 – Nut Roast with Roasted Vegetables

A familiar option for vegetarians at Christmas, nut roast involves putting together a range of vegetables and nuts to make a loaf, while adding sweet potatoes and oil for flavour; the final result should represent a parcel baked through with breadcrumbs – there are many different approaches to a nut roast, so check online before going further.

10 – Baked Red Onions with Toasted Spiced Couscous

An imaginative use of red onions, this dish involves combining them with couscous, cinnamon, and vegetable stock, as well as pine nuts, to create a baked dish. Cut the tops off the onions and add in the couscous, onions, and cinnamon, before baking until golden.

Luke James