Ways to warm up your winter menu

warm up your winter menu with Creamy Pan Fried Gnocchi

When the cooler weather comes, we switch over to a winter wardrobe and get out our big warm coats, scarves, and boots. But what about our winter menu? Summer salads become a thing of the past and high fat stodgy foods gradually become the norm.

Let’s look at the winter menu before this happens and switch your high fat, high calorie comfort foods for my warming winter favourites below.


Add warm milk to cereals – The best cereal choice should contain at least 3g of fibre per serve, warm skim milk in the microwave then add to your cereal.

Porridge – This is a winter favourite in many households, make sure you use the ‘rolled’ oats as these are higher in fibre than ‘quick’ oats. If you want to make oats for one, just add 1/3 cup oats and 2/3 cup water to a microwave safe cereal bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes (depending on your microwave power), add a bit of skim milk, half a banana and sprinkle with cinnamon for a deliciously warming breakfast.

Beans on toast – A small can of beans and a slice of multigrain toast will provide a good start to the day.

Cooked breakfast – Poach or use cooking spray to fry an egg. Add multi grain toast for more fibre. If you want bacon, use bacon short cuts. Add more than just protein by including sliced tomato, mushrooms and spinach.

Don’t be tempted to skip breakfast – If you’re short on time my Breakfast Shakes are the perfect start to the day, and can be whisked with warm water for a satisfying breakfast. The 15g of protein and 7g of fibre will keep you feeling fuller for longer… and there’s also a dairy free option.

Each of my 4 shake flavours include at 14-day downloadable weight loss menu plan. Includes all recipes to complete the plan and lots of tips and inspiration for a happy, healthy winter.


Leftovers – Cook my delicious recipes, then freeze leftovers or take to work the next day

SoupsI have 24 deliciously healthy soup recipes in my cookbooks and all are suitable to be frozen. Cook up a batch on the weekend and you’ll have lunch for the week sorted. If you don’t have a way to warm this at work, buy a wide-mouthed flask and warm it before leaving for work. Try my Minestrone – book 1 or Hearty Vegetable Soup – book 3

Fried Rice – This is another great lunch option that can be made ahead and frozen. See my recipe in book 3.

Toasted sandwiches, jaffles or wraps – If adding cheese make sure it’s reduced fat. Check out the sandwich section in book 5 for more inspiration.

Stuffed spuds – Microwave for a quick lunch option. Use leftovers to fill the spud or add creamed corn or baked beans with grated reduced fat tasty cheese and lean bacon or ham. There’s a Stuffed Potato recipe in book 1.


There are loads of delicious warming winter recipes in my cookbooks. The key is to pick recipes that suit your schedule. With the shorter daylight hours in winter it can seem like there’s never enough time to cook a healthy meal. The key is to be prepared. Write your menu plan for the week and keep in mind the time that you have available.

If you struggle for time, cook double serves when you can and freeze the extra serve for another week. A little bit of time spent planning on weekends will be your saviour too. Find time to cook at least one meal and freeze for later in the week, you’ll be so glad you did!

Here’s some quick meals to add to your winter menu:

Creamy Pan-Fried Gnocchi – Cooking for 1 or 2 people (pictured above)

Chicken in a Hurry – book 1

Nachos – book 1

Macaroni Beef – book 2 + MORE Cooking for 1 or 2 people

Mongolian Lamb – book 3 + MORE Cooking for 1 or 2 people

Penne Pasta with Creamy Bacon Sauce – book 4 + Cooking for 1 or 2 people

Asian Lamb Potato Curry – book 5 + MORE Cooking for 1 or 2 people

Spaghetti and Meatballs – book 6 + Cooking for 1 or 2 people

Rendang Beef and Vegetable Curry – book 7

Or look for inspiration here


Summer snacks aren’t as appealing in the warmer months, who wants a cold piece of fruit when the weather is freezing outside. Many of my recipes are suitable to be frozen into individual serves, then when you’re ready to eat just microwave to warm them through.

Date Loaf – book 1

Wicked Chocolate Cake – book 2 + MORE Cooking for 1 or 2 people

Jam Crumble Slice – book 3

Mini Quiches – book 4

Apricot and Walnut loaf – book 5

Stuffed Baked Apples – book 5 + Cooking for 1 or 2 people

Savoury Pikelets – book 6

Tomato and Bacon Muffins – book 7

Fruit toast makes a good snack. There are a few things to be aware of with this option – avoid the thick café style slices and check the calories per slice as this can vary quite a bit between brands. Spread with a thin scraping of Flora Light Margarine.

For variety, try crumpets, English Muffins, Ryvitas, cup-a-soups, low fat dips and check out the baking section in my cookbooks.

And… my Breakfast Shakes are also great as an afternoon snack. They will curb the 3pm munchies on a cold winter’s day and they’re 99% fat free. Just whisk with warm water and serve. Now available as samples.

One last winter menu tip

Beware of adding milky drinks into your daily regime in winter – lattes and hot chocolates add lots of extra calories! If you are craving a hot drink that has the added benefit of fibre to fill you up, take a look at my Breakfast Shakes.

By making wise choices with your winter menu you’ll reap the rewards when summer comes.

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4 thoughts on “Ways to warm up your winter menu

  1. I have all Annette’s Books – love them. My husband is on the mailing list (which is how I am writing). Thought I had looked in every book but ould not find one.

    Does Annette have a chocolate brownie recipe?

    1. Hi Marjorie, Annette has a fabulous Symple Brownie recipe in the gluten free section of book 7. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s gluten free… it’s absolutely delicious 🙂 Cheers Dianne

  2. Hello Annette I watch your video again this morning after I made the Hummingbird Cake. First mistake, what I left out of my cake was the 1/2 cup of skim milk. The 1/2 cup sifted icing sugar was what you used so I am learning not to rush in till I have everything in my head! I hadn’t printed out the recipe so next time I know what I need to do. However, the cake still tasted great! Can’t wait to make another when I have bananas on hand again.

    1. Yes, it’s always important to follow the recipe. Glad it still tasted great 🙂

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