Winter Comfort Food With A Healthy Twist

Turn your winter comfort food classics into less of an calorie assault by swapping out some key ingredients for some more wholesome alternatives.

Winter is not coming; it’s here. Gone are the days of waking up with green smoothies and falling asleep on a bed of light salad. It isn’t a coincidence our calorific cravings increase during the chilly season – it’s a primal muscle memory to stockpile in case food becomes scarce. The trouble is in our modern age most of us live around the corner from the supermarket, so we need to adapt our hungry hankerings with a sprinkle of self control, a dash of smart cooking and one very straight talking Nutritionist, Rosie Mansfield, to help.

Here are some innovative healthy twists on all our Wintery comfort food favourites.

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Kangaroo bangers and sweet potato mash 

Shake up one of the most traditional comfort dinners with a delicious local lean protein and an alternative to the boring potato, with the slow releasing carbohydrate sweet variety – meaning no nasty sugar spikes – allowing for stable energy levels. A meal that wont add calories, but will add comforting culinary nostalgia.


2 organic Kangaroo meat sausages
½ medium sweet potato, chopped
¼ cup nut milk
Pinch sea salt
5 cherry tomatoes


Serves: 1 Time: 30 mins

Boil sweet potato in a pan of water until fall apart when poked with a fork.

Turn on grill and cook sausages until golden brown on all sides.

Drain potatoes; add splash of milk, pinch of salt and mash.

Serve together with a side of sliced cherry tomatoes.

2 / 5


Grass-fed steak and parsnip chips

No longer is it frowned upon to be fussy. Ask a local Butcher if you can have a steak of beef – and if you can afford it – organic or grass-fed as contains higher quality protein, compared to grain fed. Remember to trim the fat, and switch oily hot chips for some naturally sweet parsnip fingers which contain more vitamins and minerals than the standard potato. Choose to bake in coconut or olive oil, which keep their nutrition as they’re more stable when heated than vegetable oils.


1 small organic grass fed steak
1 large parsnip, sliced chips
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 pinch sea salt and back pepper
1 sprig rosemary
Handful raw spinach


Serves: 2 Time: 30 mins

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Roast parsnips with salt, pepper, rosemary and coconut oil on a baking sheet tray for 10 minutes on each side.

Heat frying pan with olive oil and fry steak for 4 minutes on each side for a medium cook.

Serve together with a handful of raw spinach

Image via thecarousel.com

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Turkey Zoodle Bolognese

Move over spaghetti, there is a new low carb twisted Sister in town. Zucchini is an easy way to lower your calorie intake at the same time as getting more vegetables in your diet. Pair that with a rich tomato sauce and we have a antioxidant match made in heaven. Switch beef mince for turkey mince to make this an ideal meal for anyone watching their weight or trying to stay lean (and go organic when possible).



2 zucchinis, spiralized
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil

Bolognese Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 stalk celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pinch sea salt & back pepper
1 pinch Italian mixed herbs
1 cup ground turkey
½ cup leftover red wine (optional)
½ cup cheddar cheese (optional)


Serves: 2 Time: 30 mins

Spiralise (or thinly slice) your zucchini and squeeze excess water.

Sauté garlic in olive oil and add zucchini noodles, cooking for about 2 minutes or until tender.

In another pan sauté onion, celery and garlic for about 3 minutes. Add ground turkey and cook until golden brown. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Serve Bolognese sauce on top of zucchini noodles and sprinkle cheddar cheese.

Image: Claudia’s Cookbook.

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Margarita Cauliflower Pizza

I am yet to meet someone who does not enjoy pizza. It seems we also can’t just like pizza – we adore it – so why not make a weekly dinner regular into a healthy affair? Cauliflower is an ideal low-calorie base for anyone gluten free or looking to stay away from bread-based products.



3 cups riced cauliflower (1/2 head)
1 egg
1 cup grated cheese
2 crushed garlic cloves
½ teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1 pinch Himalayan Pink salt
1 pinch black pepper


2 tbsp tomato paste
5 sliced cherry tomatoes
5 fresh basil leaves
8 feta cubes


Serves: 2 Time: 30 mins

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until it becomes rice like and squeeze excess water out with your hand.

Mix in the cheese, salt, pepper, basil, garlic and egg to form dough.

Pat dough onto an oiled baking paper pizza tray.

Bake for 10 minutes or until it starts to turn golden brown.

Add the toppings and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the cheese is slightly golden.

Image: via The Vintage Mixer

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Cheddar cheese, garlic and red onion Rye toastie

Whether you’re a tad hungover or crave some savoury indulgence, you can boost your immunity at the same time. Switch your grill on and watch your favourite cheese ooze into some of the most medicinal seasonings in the business. Garlic and onion are a natural immune booster as potent antibacterial and antifungals. Make the switch to Rye bread to feel fuller for longer, aid digestion and balance blood sugar levels.


2 slices rye bread
½ cup cheddar cheese
1 clove garlic
¼ red onion
Splash of Tobasco (optional)



Serves: 1 Time: 10 mins

Lightly grill 2 slices of Rye bread till golden.

Sprinkle cheese, garlic, onion and a splash of tobacco over one of the untoasted slices.

Add the other toasted side onto the cheese.

Grill until cheese is melted and toast top is golden.

Image: The Food Poet

The Gen Y Nutritionist, Rosie, has a unique ability to connect with the next generation about what and how they eat in a way that is educational, sustainable and entertaining. As the founder of My Nutrition Adventure, Rosie’s knowledge extends to every type of eating plan be it vegetarian, gluten free, body specific and beyond.