Eating With The Season: Hearty, Warm Winter Meals
From a registered dietitian
This blog and the following recipes come from registered dietitian Raina Beugelink of Revive Wellness. Revive’s mission is to improve the lives of Canadians through nutrition and wellness coaching.
I find it so interesting how our bodies and minds naturally gravitate towards certain meals depending on the weather.
Can you imagine on a smoking hot summer day firing up your oven to bake bread? While you are doing that, why not start filling your pots and pans with spicy, warm, hearty ingredients that will come together to make a steaming bowl of soup or stew? I’m sweating just thinking about it.
On the flip side, it definitely doesn’t feel comforting to come inside from a cold, windy, snowy day and sit down to a nice light salad of mixed greens with vinaigrette, chilled shrimp, and ice-cold lemonade.
It just feels wrong, doesn’t it?
Honoring our bodies’ natural tendencies depending on the season will create a more enjoyable eating experience overall. The dead of winter is the perfect season to spend some time in front of the oven, soaking in its radiating heat, and create some wonderful, warming meals.
If you don’t typically cook from scratch, this might be a good time to try a couple of different recipes. A cold, snowy weekend day is the perfect opportunity to try your hand at a homemade bread. This Multigrain Bread is dark, rich, and full of flavour. It will pair perfectly with a hearty vegetable soup or meat stew. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect. This is a wonderful time to experiment and challenge yourself with something new.
Another way to create heat and warmth from the inside out is not just the temperature of the dish itself, but the spice. Experimenting with different spices and cultural foods can add both variety and literal heat to your dish. You just get to control the spice level when you make it from home. Whether you’re adventurous or spice-shy, you can still create flavourful meals. A dish like Moroccan Couscous is the perfect example. Spices like cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, and turmeric work wonders on a frigid winter night. It might even have you peeling off one of your sweater layers.
So, lean into your body’s natural intuitions and go with the flow in the different seasons. You can still eat healthy wholesome foods in the winter just as we tend to eat more fresh and light foods in the summer. Both are great for your body and your overall mental well-being. Enjoying the foods we eat and feeling like it is nourishing our body in that moment is a very healthy and in-tune way to live life.
About Raina Beugelink, Registered Dietitian
At the start of Raina’s career, she was interested in health and wellness, and knew the impact that food could have on one’s energy, vitality, and overall health. Raina quickly realized she was passionate about helping people find their “aha” moment and empowering them to choose foods that nourished and fueled their body. As people grow and mature, we develop an intricate relationship with food, sometimes very positive and sometimes a little more negative. Working with someone to define (or redefine) their relationship with food and speak the truth about their health is something Raina feels both passionate about and privileged to do. Raina’s areas of specialty include weight loss, shift work, pregnancy, and postpartum nutrition.
PREP 10M | COOK 25M | ENJOY IN 35M
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced red onion
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
⅛ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cayenne (optional)
1 cup frozen peas
1 can (398 mL) no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1½ cups vegetable low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup couscous, dry
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
1 cup spinach, chopped
¼ cup slivered almonds
- Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat.
- Add onion and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add peppers, garlic, salt, paprika, coriander, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon and cayenne. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add peas, chickpeas and broth and bring to a boil.
- Remove from heat and add couscous. Cover and let sit until couscous is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork, then stir in parsley and spinach. Sprinkle with almonds.
- Serve and enjoy!
Serves 8 (1 cup per serving)
Nutritional analysis per serving
5 g fat
7 g protein
31 g carbohydrate (26 g available carbohydrate)
5 g fibre
79 mg sodium