Warming winter recipes from Petite Kitchen
Our favourite winter comfort foods aren’t always the healthiest options, but with a bit of creativity it’s easy to create healthier versions of winter favourites that are just as tasty.
We caught up with Eleanor Ozich, the creative force behind lifestyle blog Petite Kitchen, where she shares simple, delicious recipes and treasured moments with her family. Eleanor is a self-taught cook who has worked as a food stylist, photographer and writer for various publications and she is the author of three cook books. Eleanor shared with us a few of her favourite recipes to help you get inspired for a winter packed with ‘real’ food.
Herbed green polpette with minted tomato sauce
These little herbed green ‘meatballs’ are packed full of flavour, but they have a surprisingly light and crispy texture. Eleanor likes to serve them with a simple mint and tomato sauce, but they’re just as delicious tossed with pasta or served with a simple green salad.
2 tbsp ghee or olive oil, plus a little extra for frying
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 cup silverbeet, spinach or kale, finely sliced
1 1/2 cups lentils, drained well
2 cups sourdough breadcrumbs
a large handful of Italian parsley, finely sliced
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 free range eggs
1-2 tbsp buckwheat flour if needed
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
For the sauce:
1 can of chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
3 tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely sliced
1. Add the ghee or olive oil to a large saucepan or frying pan. Saute the onions, garlic and silverbeet over medium heat, stirring frequently until tender, about 5 minutes. Leave to cool.
2. Combine the vegetables with the remaining ingredients and mix until well incorporated. If the mixture feels a little too wet, you can add a little flour of your choice until the mix firms up, one tablespoon at a time.
3. Place the mixture in the fridge for about 20 minutes
4. To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in to a small saucepan and then simmer on low for 20 minutes, or until thick and pulpy. Season to taste.
5. Remove the mixture from the fridge, and then roll in to small golf sized balls.
6. Heat a little ghee or olive oil in a saucepan, and grill the meatballs in batches until nicely browned all over.
7. Serve with the tomato sauce, and an extra sprinkling of mint if you like.
Chickpeas braised in a rich sundried tomato and oregano sauce
3 tbsp ghee, butter or olive oil
2 brown onions, diced
6-8 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 large handfuls of fresh oregano, roughly chopped
1 tbsp honey
1 glass of white wine (optional)
4 medium potatoes, cut in to small cubes
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
2 cans of chickpeas, drained
1. Heat the ghee, butter or olive oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, oregano and honey, and saute until soft and slightly browned (about 10-12 minutes).
2. Add the white wine, and continue to cook while stirring for a further 5 minutes.
3. Add the potatoes, stock, tomatoes and chickpeas, and bring to a soft boil. Simmer on low for 45 minutes, stirring every so often, until thick and pulpy. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper, and sea salt.
4. Serve with poached eggs, and a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds if you desire.
Homemade hot cocoa
There is something quite magical about a frosty winter evening, the kind where cold hands are warmed with mugs of steaming hot cocoa. In this recipe, good quality cocoa powder is blended with golden rapadura sugar, powdered coconut milk and pure vanilla bean to make a simple but delicious hot cocoa recipe.
1 ¼ cups good quality cocoa or cacao
¾ cup coconut milk powder or whole milk powder
½ cup rapadura or coconut sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla bean powder
¼ teaspoon fine pink Himalayan sea salt
1. Sift the cocoa and coconut milk powder into a medium sized bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk to combine evenly.
2. Transfer to a medium sized jar or airtight container.
3. To serve, add 2 tablespoons of the cocoa mix to a mug, then top up with boiling water.