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5 winter warmer recipes that's easy on your budget

Independent Online (IOL) logo Independent Online (IOL) 2019-07-19 Lutho Pasiya
a bowl of soup: When the temperatures drop we crave cosy foods. Pexels © Provided by Independent Media When the temperatures drop we crave cosy foods. Pexels

When the temperatures drop we crave cosy foods. This means there is nothing better than a hearty meal to comfort us on a winter’s day. 

From meatballs, soups to cookies, and pasta bakes, you need hearty recipes to keep you warm. 

Need inspiration for supper tonight?

These recipes with minimal ingredients prove that whipping up a delicious dinner does not need to be difficult. Not only that, but they are also cheap and easy-to-prepare meals that do not sacrifice on taste or nutrients. 

Spicy Italian Meatballs 

Adding beans or other legumes into mince dishes is a great way to save money. 

Ingredients

½  bunch coriander

1 brown onion

400g can kidney beans

1tbsp ground cumin

1tbsp chili powder

3 garlic cloves

1.5tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 egg 

500g lean beef mince

Method

Place all ingredients (except oil, egg and mince) into blender, blending until smooth. 

Transfer into a bowl and combine with mince and egg. 

Roll into small balls and cook until brown in olive oil.

Combine with tomato paste.

Recipe by Ricki-Lee

Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup

You can add chili powder for extra warmth. 

Serves: 4

Ingredients

Olive oil for frying

1 red onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 large head of cauliflower

1 medium sweet potato 

1l vegetable stock 

½ tsp ground chili

¾ tsp ground cumin

Sea salt

Black pepper

Sautéed kale to serve (optional)

Method

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large saucepan (that has a lid) over medium heat. Finely chop the onion and garlic and sauté it in the oil until softened.

Roughly chop the cauliflower (including the stalks) and sweet potato and add it all to the saucepan with the stock, chili, cumin and a good pinch of sea salt and cracked black pepper. Place the lid on the saucepan and bring the liquid to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat slightly and leave to simmer with the lid on until the cauliflower and sweet potatoes are soft.

Once the vegetables are soft, allow the mixture to cool slightly and then tip it into a food processor and process until smooth. (You could use a stab mixer if you prefer, whatever you have). You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your food processor. Taste the soup and add more sea salt and black pepper if required.

To serve, spoon the soup into bowls and top with some sautéed kale and some more cracked black pepper if desired.

Recipe by Lilian Dikmans

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A post shared by bamixSA (@bamixsa) on Jul 17, 2019 at 2:12am PDT

Lentil Shorba Soup

Shorba Soup has many variations depending on where in the Middle East you travel, from Algeria to India this soup is a staple in many homes. 

Serves: 6

Ingredients

1 ¼  cup of split red lentils

1tsp of a neutral flavoured oil such as grapeseed

½  cup chopped onion

½  cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped carrot

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 bay leaf 

1tsp cumin powder

¼ tsp turmeric or borrie

1tsp ground coriander

¼  tsp cinnamon

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 cups water

1 lemon, juiced

2.5 tsp salt

½  tsp freshly ground black pepper

Method

Rinse and soak the split red lentils for 15-20 minutes, then drain

Heat the oil up in a large pot over medium heat

Cook the onions, celery, and carrots for 10- 12 minutes until they have become translucent

Add in the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds

Add in the bay leaf, spices, drained lentils, chicken stock, and water and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils have softened

Remove bay leaf. 

Blend the soup to the consistency that you like using the blender blade. 

Season with the lemon juice, salt, and pepper

Top with spiced chickpeas.

Recipe by Bamix

Butternut Soup 

This is a perfect meal for those cold winter nights. 

Ingredients

Butter

1 onion, chopped 

500g butternut, peeled and cubed

Pinch of ground cumin

300g chicken stock

15-20ml lemon juice

12 ml cream

Salt and ground pepper- to taste

Method

Heat the butter in a saucepan. Add the onion and sauté for 30 seconds.

Add the butternut, cumin and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the butternut is soft.

Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and cream. Pour into a food processor and blend until smooth.

Season to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper and garnish with toasted butternut seeds and crisps.

Recipe by GlamFoodie. 

Crunchy Choc-Chip Microwave Cookies 

Craving a sweet pick-me-up during winter afternoon? Then this recipe is for you. 

Ingredients

Butter 

1tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

⅓ cup firmly packed brown sugar 

¼ cup castor sugar 

¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda 

Pinch of sea salt

¾ cup dark chocolate melts, halved

⅓ cup dark chocolate chips

Method 

Place butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH (100%) for 30 seconds or until melted. Set aside for 2 to 3 minutes to cool.

Stir in vanilla and egg until combined. Stir in our, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and salt until combined. Add chocolate. Stir to combine.

Using 2 level tablespoons at a time, roll mixture into balls. Between the palms of your hands, flatten balls slightly. Line a microwave-safe plate with baking paper. Place about four cookies on prepared plate, allowing room for spreading. Microwave on HIGH (100%) for 2 minutes to 2 minutes 30 seconds or until cooked, but soft to touch. Stand for 1 minute. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Repeat process with remaining cookies in four batches. 

Recipe by Kelly Village

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