Karen Thompson, a multi-award winning Weight Watchers Leader, looks at keeping warm on the inside this winter
Karen runs meetings at Saddleworth Rangers Rugby Club, Shaw Hall Bank Road, on Tuesdays at 6.30pm. To find out more call Karen on 07970 370336 or email KThompson@weight-watchers.co.uk
THE TEMPERATURE has now dropped outside and it’s definitely that time of year where we want to wrap up warm and eat lots of filling foods like soups, stews, casseroles, pies and curries.
Most of these dishes are full of vegetables and lean protein – foods designed to keep you warm on the inside, are easy to put together and can be a great way to use up any leftovers.
At this busy time they’re also dishes that can be left in the slow cooker so there’s always a wholesome, healthy meal at hand for all the family.
Store-cupboard ingredients such as stock cubes, tomato puree, Worcestershire or soy sauces and spices can really add some zing to your creations.
Most of these dishes are also freezable so why not double up a batch so you have a home-cooked ready meal available at any time.
Carrots and onions are always a good base for any soups and stews then add whatever veggies you have available to get some variety.
If you feel your grey cells need waking up eat a decent breakfast and include things like lean red meat, poultry, seafood, beans and green leafy vegetables in your diet as these are all sources of iron – an essential mineral to help you stay alert. A ten-minute walk each day can also do wonders for clearing your head.
And as the cold season is definitely in full swing be sure to get a good amount of sleep, wash your hands well and stay active to keep germs at bay.
The set and forget soup below is an ideal winter warmer.
CHICKPEA & PASTA SOUP
(Serves 4 – 6 Pro Points per serve)
- Mist a pan with cooking spray, add a finely chopped onion, 250grms peeled and sliced carrots, 1 de-seeded red pepper sliced and 200grms chopped courgettes.
- Season with salt and black pepper, cover and cook over a low heat for 10 mins.
- Stir in a crushed garlic clove, 1 tsp chilli flakes and a few sprigs of fresh thyme and cook for a further 5 mins.
- Stir in a 400grm tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed, a jar of WW Roasted Garlic Sauce and a litre of hot vegetable stock, bring to a simmer and transfer to a slow cooker set on high.
- Cook for 3 hours then stir in 100grms dried pasta shapes & cook for a further hour.