A warm lunch on a cold day is like a delicious hug. It’s lovely to be warmed up from the inside with a hearty soup or some of your favourite leftovers from the night before to wrap your hands around when the wind is chilling you to the bone. Here are some ideas to warm you up as the weather cools down…
Keep it Cosy
There is a great range of insulated food carriers (no affiliation) around at the moment, and they’re perfect for keeping leftovers hot for lunchtime. Pour some boiling water into the container to heat it up before you add the hot in the morning so it’s still ready to eat by lunchtime.
Try thick and chunky soups or stews, porridge with stewed fruit, noodles and zoodles, pasta dishes, taco mince or chilli con/sin carne.
For a lovely little treat at recess, keep a heatpack alongside a homemade treat such as brownies, muffins or cookies. Be careful that the heat up anything else in the lunchbox that need to stay cold do avoid contamination (cold meats or proteins, yoghurt, etc) or sandwiches that might get soggy and come home uneaten. Wrapping them up in their own separate insulated pack if you have one spare would work well.
Heat on the Spot
If you have the facilities at work or school, utilise microwaves, grills or sandwich presses. Think outside the square with flat sandwich presses and use them to heat burritos, grill some haloumi slices, get some colour on a cauliflower steak or some crunch on some leftover fritters… just remember, if it’s a shared item, be sure to clean it well once you’re done.
Add a little spice
If taking hot food isn’t feasible, you can still warm up cold bellies with warming spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, pepper, garlic, cardamom and turmeric.
Spices can be added to sweet or savoury dishes such as curries, stews, soups and dips or biscuits, stewed fruit and muffins.
Low and Slow
Slow-cooked foods are perfect for cold-weather meals, and great if you’re recovering from illness. Slow-cooked proteins such as meat, legumes and grains are easier to digest so the digestive system has less work to do.