6 Easy dinner recipes to warm up your winter

PUBLISHED 28 JUN 2021   

It’s winter time! Although we don’t see snow on our streets, our average temperature drops to as low as 10.2°C. That is still pretty cold. Add to that wind chill factor and the fact that the sun rises at around 7:10am and sets around 5:40pm, our winter days are short and miserable. The last thing you then want to do is stand for an hour plus cooking dinner. We asked around the office what our agents’ go-to quick winter dinner meals are. To make sure we catered for all food preferences, we’ve included all of the major protein categories.

 

Seafood – Scampi Po’ Boys

Take two baguettes, load with scampi, salad, gherkins, mayo and hot sauce and you have this filling sandwich. An ideal supper when you want something quick and easy.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 part-baked white baguettes

200g frozen scampi

½ iceberg lettuce

2 tomatoes

4 gherkins

1 small garlic clove

3 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 tablespoon hot sauce of your choice

lemon wedges, to serve

 

Directions

STEP 1

Heat oven to 200C. Put the baguettes on a baking tray and put the scampi on a second baking tray lined with foil. Put both trays in the oven and bake for 15 mins, turning the baguettes halfway so they cook evenly.

 

STEP 2

Meanwhile, slice the lettuce, tomatoes and gherkins. Crush the garlic clove into the mayonnaise and mix with the hot sauce and a little bit of juice from the gherkin jar. Season.

 

STEP 3

Split the baguettes down the middle lengthways. Generously spread the mayonnaise inside, then cram with the lettuce, tomatoes, gherkins and scampi. Squeeze over lemon juice to serve.

Chicken – Air Fried Chicken Breasts

Why take one of the healthiest meats and then ruin it by frying it in oil? Air fryers are all the rage at the moment and for good reason. It produces delicious food with very little to no oil needed when frying chicken. This recipe will deliver crispy chicken without any of the drawbacks. Add a fresh salad to balance out your plate.

Prep 10 minutes

Cook 30 minutes

Serves 2

 

Ingredients

1 large egg, beaten

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup bread crumbs

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

2 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon. cayenne pepper

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

 

Directions

STEP 1

Place eggs and flour in two separate shallow bowls. In a third shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, lemon zest, oregano, and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper.

STEP 2

Working one at a time, dip chicken into flour, then eggs, and then bread crumb mixture, pressing to coat.

STEP 3

Place in air fryer basket and cook at 190°C for 10 minutes. Flip chicken, and cook for another 5 minutes, until coating is golden and chicken is cooked through.

Red Meat – Garlic Butter Steak & Potatoes

This easy one-pan steak and potatoes recipe is so simple and even more flavourful. Juicy steak and crisp-golden potatoes are pan-seared and cooked to perfection with a luscious garlic, herbs and butter sauce. The thing we love with flank is that it’s a lean, yet soft cut of beef, meaning this garlic butter steak recipe is nearly impossible to mess up. Ready in 30 minutes or less, this is the best steak and potatoes you’ll ever have!

Prep time 10minutes

Cook time 15 minutes           

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

1 650g flank steak, sliced against the grain (or ribeye steak, tenderloin, strip loin, strip steak…)

1 650g baby potatoes, quartered

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons butter, divided

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped

Salt and fresh cracked pepper

Crushed red chili pepper flakes, optional

 

The marinade

1/3 cup soy sauce (or coconut amino for paleo and gluten-free)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon hot sauce (we use Sriracha)

Fresh cracked pepper

 

Directions

STEP 1

In a large bowl, combine the steak strips with soy sauce, olive oil, pepper, and hot sauce. Set aside and allow steak strips to marinate while you cook potatoes.

 

STEP 2

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, mix 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. When butter is melted, add potatoes wedges. Cook for about 4 minutes, stir and cook an additional 4-5 minutes until potatoes wedges are golden and fork-tender. Transfer sauteed potatoes to a plate and set aside.

 

STEP 3

Keep the same skillet over medium heat and add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, garlic, red chili pepper flakes, and fresh herbs. Lay the steak strips in one layer in the skillet, keeping the drained steak marinade for later. Cook the steak strips on each side for 1 minute each, until nicely browned – adjust timing depending on how you like your steak.

 

STEP 4

Right before the Garlic Butter steak is done, you can stir in the reserved marinade if you like, and cook for one minute. Add the potatoes wedges back to the garlic butter steak pan and heat through. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.

 

STEP 5

Remove from heat and serve immediately your steak and potatoes, garnished with more crushed chili pepper, fresh herbs, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese over the potatoes if you like. Enjoy!

Pasta – Chorizo & chilli pepper pasta

Pickled chilli peppers, spicy chorizo and sweet cherry tomatoes make up this simple and quick pasta dish. Ideal for an easy midweek meal for two.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Serves 2

 

Ingredients

200g penne pasta

½ tablespoon olive oil

100g chorizo, skin removed and cut into chunks

400g can cherry tomatoes

2-3 pickled chilli peppers, sliced on an angle

½ small pack basil , leaves picked and roughly torn

parmesan , grated, to serve

 

Directions

STEP 1

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta, give it a good stir, then cook for 1 min less than pack instructions, about 9-10 mins.

 

STEP 2

Heat the oil in a sauté pan over a high heat. Add the chorizo and cook for a couple of mins until the oils have been released, then add the tomatoes, a pinch of sugar and some seasoning. Bubble away for 5 mins, then drain the pasta, toss it through the sauce and stir in the peppers and basil. Serve with a generous grating of parmesan scattered over.

Vegan – Jalapeño broccoli “cheddar” soup

A fast and easy weeknight meal that is loaded up with lots of healthy broccoli. This delicious soup is vegan, keto and gluten-free- and can be made in 30 minutes!

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

4–6 fat garlic cloves, rough chopped

1–2 poblano peppers, diced (We like 2)

1 jalapeno, diced fine (use 1/2 for less spice)

7 cups broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets (about 500 grams, stems ok if cut thinly)

4 cups veggie or chicken broth (or 4 cups water + 1 tablespoon “Better than Bouillon” Vegetable Base)

1 cup water

1 bay leaf (optional, remove before blending)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup raw cashews (soaked or simmered, see notes) or hemp hearts

2–3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (see notes)

1–2 large handful baby spinach (for vibrant color)

Optional Finishing oil:

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 jalapeno sliced

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

pinch chili flakes (optional)

1/4 cup corn kernals, frozen is ok (optional)

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (optional)

 

Optional Garnish:

cilantro or scallions,  lime

 

Directions

STEP 1

Heat oil in a big pot over medium heat, and add the onion, garlic, poblanos and jalapeno,  stirring occasionally, letting the onions get golden, about 5 minutes.

 

STEP 2

Add the broccoli, broth, water, bay leaf, coriander, oregano, salt, and pepper. The liquid should just cover the veggies. Cover, bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer gently until broccoli is tender, about 10-12. minutes. Turn heat off and remove bay leaf.

 

STEP 3

BLEND: Place roughly 1 cup of the broccoli and 1 cup of broth into a blender. Let cool 5 minutes. Add the cashews and 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast.

 

STEP 4

Cover tightly with blender lid and kitchen towel, holding it down firmly, when you start the motor (on the lowest setting, working up gradually) to prevent a blender “explosion”. Blend until silky smooth.

 

STEP 5

Add one more cup broccoli and one more cup broth. Blend again until silky smooth.

 

STEP 6
To the blender, add 1-2 big handfuls of fresh baby spinach for that extra vibrant “green” color, and blend until fully incorporated and smooth.

 

STEP 7

Pour this back in the broccoli soup pot, mix and heat gently over low heat, careful not to boil or simmer too long, or you will lose the lovely vibrant green color.

 

STEP 8

Taste for salt, heat, and acid. Add a little squeeze of lime if you like, or extra chili flakes or more pepper.  For extra “cheesy” flavor add another tablespoon of nutritional yeast.

 

STEP 9

Make the finishing oil: Heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add sliced  jalapeno, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, chili flakes, and optional corn kernals or pumkin seeds. Heat until cumin is fragrant, about 1 minute. Serve the soup in bowls and spoon a little finishing oil over the soup (when serving) in a crescent shape.

 

STEP 10

Garnish with fresh cilantro or scallions or a wedge of lime.

Something sweet – Microwave brownies

Ingredients

100g melted Butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 cup white Sugar

3/4 cup Flour

1/4 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

 

Directions

Mix melted butter, eggs, vanilla essence and white Sugar together in a bowl with a fork. Stir in dry ingredients until well combined. Cook in microwave proof dish on high for 4-6 minutes. Best served warm with ice cream or cream.