With the start of Fall and the approach of winter, I am already thinking about foods and ways to keep our family healthy, ward off colds and flu and stay warm with food. That means, planning for meals that help us do all of this, and on a budget.
Yes, it can be done.
Plan Menus with Seasonal Produce
Winters in India, is a wonderful time for the veggie lover. While I don’t swap out my wardrobe for winters, I do bid goodbye to summer gourds and welcome the warming winter veggies. **laughing**
We have lush, green spinach, tender, tasty fenugreek, crunchy carrots and radishes, along with staples such as potatoes and peas. Just thinking about all these veggies makes me hungry!
Planning menus that include seasonal produce works well for two reasons:
- It is cheaper and more eco-friendly.
- It is healthier. You’re not eating produce that has been lying in cold storage since God knows when!
Indulge in Warm Foods
Winter is the perfect time to sample menus that include nourishing, warmth-inducing soups and salads. Not only are these healthier, they’re quick to whip up and paired with some breads are a meal in themselves.
Some of our favorite warm foods include baked pasta dishes and casseroles, grilled sandwiches, hearty stews, lentils and rice, meat and chicken-based dishes.
Again, I think casseroles and stews are great for the budget and the busy cook because I usually double up a casserole and have it later that week along with a different side dish.
Snack on Dried Fruit and Nuts
Crave a quick energy boost? Need something to munch on? And stay warm too? Dip your hand into a bowlful of mixed dried fruit and chopped nuts. Yum, instant warmth and energy. Dried fruits and nuts are a great source of energy and heat and can keep you feeling all warm inside for a long while.
My favorite mix includes walnuts, raisins, almonds and apricots. The husband and toddler prefer cashews and pistachios. So, I have two jars (yes, jars!) filled with these mixes ready to munch on.
To keep me on track and help me ensure that we eat warm, healthy foods on a budget this winter, I’ll be turning to my trusty Organizing Life as Mom planner. If you don’t have this, get yours now. Not only will you be eating healthier during the colder months, you’ll also get a headstart on planning for the holidays with Jessica’s awesome planning pages.
What does your winter menu plan look like?
Photo Credit: Shafiu Hussain