Lifestyle, Recipes

My ‘Go To’ Winter Meals

Do you have go to meals for winter? We do! I can’t get through winter without these recipes. From around May I’ll get a kick start in the kitchen making stocks and broth. Freezing them up and starting the process for cooking and freezing up amples of lasagnas, tomato sauces, soups and a few more little bits and pieces!

I actually don’t know how to get through winter without my freezer full. We’ve just started Scarlet’s new dance classes. They run for an hour and a half. Meaning we get home at 6pm. Right on dinner time. Then the children have martial arts with the anticipation of a few other sport commitments coming up. And with all this running around we could soon become that ‘take out’ family. Spending WAY too much on junk food!

I believe you need one weekend (after making your stock and broth) to put together your plan of attack and cook your little heart out or what I like to do is let my little slow cooker do all the hard work on some of these dishes!

Righto, I’m going to share my go to meals for our family that are so nutritious, delicious and filling. Remember the key here is giving yourself time. Time to make your broth/stock and time to cook up double, triple quantities to freeze up. Ultimately making your life super easy.

Stock only takes 3 hours to make. It’s full of nourishing vitamins and minerals. Plus it’s appealing to make when in a hurry. Broth can take up to 36 hours in your slow cooker. Both Broth and stock aid in gut healing properties, digestion and helps to fight colds. Can I encourage you to look it up, research it yourself. You can make any broth but I recommend to use chicken because it’s delicious and it works with more dishes. Chicken Broth contains minerals that the body can absorb easily such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and sulphur. Bone broth (using beef and lamb bones) is another one worth investing into.
Oh, and an important note. We have watched one too many Netflix Documentaries. ‘Cowspiracy’ and ‘What the Health’.  We have been changed for the better and as a result and we only buy grass fed, steroid free, FREE RANGE meat. Helping the farmers, loving animals and the planet. For the family. It’s a win win. Pricy? yes, worth it? Absolutely.


Stock
Chicken carcass (you can get these for a couple of dollars from any

A 3 hour chicken stock is always something simple to make.

good butcher).

3 litres of filtered water.1 brown onion.

2 stalks of celery roughly chopped.

1 large or 2 carrots roughly chopped.

10 Peppercorns.

1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother).

2 bay leaves.

(Any other herbs you might have in the fridge or garden adds great flavour).

Method
Place bones in cold water, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Place all ingredients on a pan and roast for 20 minutes, toss and then roast for another. Almost until very dark. Pop everything into the filtered water. Bring to the boil. Scrap off the bubbly scum.
Cover and reduce to a simmer for 3 hours.
Pour through a sieve 3 times and freeze in 250g – 1 litre containers. The perfect portions for cooking.

Chicken Broth/Bone Broth
2-3 Roasted chicken carcasess.

Ready to Roast before slow cooking for 36 hours.

1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother.

2 Onions Unpeeled.

1 Australian Grown Garlic head.

2 celery stalks including the leafy green parts.

2 Carrots Unpeeled.

10 Whole Peppercorns.

3 Fresh bay leaves.

Small bunch of fresh Parsley.

Small bunch of fresh Thyme.

Place bones in cold water, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Leave all skins on the vegetables as they have so many health benefits. Cut entire garlic head across ways. Place all ingredients on a pan and roast for 20 minutes, toss and then roast for another. Almost until very dark. Then place into the slowcooker. Add water and vinegar so that it covers all ingredients by 2 inches. Cook for 12 to 36 hours on LOW! Strains 3 times to get rid of all the bones and scum. Freeze in batches.

Also, halve the recipe if your slowcooker isn’t large enough.

Pour through a sieve 3 times and freeze in 250g – 1 litre containers. The perfect portions for cooking.

Ok, there’s our base for SO MUCH!!!!

Our weeknight meals in winter will look something like this. (Give or take dinner parties, sales on particular vegetables and outings.)

Monday: Soup and Fresh Bread.

Tuesday: Organic grass fed sausages or steak roasted Sweet potato, Brussel sprouts and broccolini.

Wednesday: Fish and chips. Homemade.

Thursday: My lasagna. (Click here to find out how I make what my kids and husband say is the perfect lasagna).

Friday: Taco Movie night. (Click here to make my SUPER EASY house made taco seasoning!)

Saturday: Homemade Pizzas. (Click here to see how we make the perfect pizza dough).

Sunday: Pesto Pasta (click here to learn how to make our pasta and delicious pesto). James and I will usually eat a yummy homemade curry! (Click here to grab a few curry base recipes.)

*Note soup and lasagna nights are nights we finish sport late.


Remember keep your life simple by planning ahead and freezing in bulk. Making pasta and drying it out. What you are trying to do is leaving out the numbers and additives and going as clean and fresh and healthy as possible.

Stay warm folks and feel free to let me know if you have tried any of these recipes and what you think.


Jennifer X

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