Three nutritious recipes to keep you cosy this winter

Laura Davies
Health Adviser at Bupa
12 December 2019
Next review due December 2022

These are my top warming recipes to help you stay cosy and healthy throughout the winter months. On the menu we’ve got winter-spiced oats, teriyaki salmon and a one pot veggie chilli. Delicious and easy to make at home, they are some of my favourite go-to meals when the weather takes a turn.

All the recipes include easily accessible ingredients, which you should be able to find in your local grocery shop. They’re also great for preparing in advance to take to work with you the next day. Each recipe takes no longer than an hour to make.

Winter spiced overnight oats

These overnight oats are prepped the night before so are great to grab for an on-the-go breakfast. They can be warmed up in the microwave if you prefer warm oats. This dish packs a lot of fibre and calcium.

two bowls of porridge topped with berries

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 50g porridge oats
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1tsp flax seeds
  • 150ml milk
  • 50g frozen mixed berries
  • 1 tsp mixed spice or cinnamon
  • Handful of chopped mixed nuts


  • Combine the dry oats with seeds and spice of your choice.
  • Slowly combine milk and oat mixture until the oats are just covered with the milk.
  • Mix in the frozen fruit until spread evenly. Top with nuts.
  • Leave to chill in the fridge overnight. Stir through before eating. Or put in the microwave for one minute, stir and then heat for a further minute if you like.

What are the benefits?


Fibre is a nutrient which you need for a healthy gut and digestion. Fibre may also help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and bowel cancer. UK guidelines recommend we have 30g of fibre a day, but most of us are only getting around 60 per cent of what we should be. If you’re not eating enough fibre, it’s important you increase it slowly to reduce the risk of symptoms such as bloating and gas. Make sure you’re drinking enough fluid (ie water) too, as this helps fibre to do its job.

Good sources of fibre include: starchy foods such as oats, cereals and sweet potatoes, fruits and vegetables and nuts and seeds.


Calcium is an important nutrient that helps to keep bones and teeth healthy and strong. The milk used in this recipe will contribute to your calcium intake, as dairy is a rich source of calcium. Low-fat dairy options will have just as much calcium as the full-fat options. If you have plant-based milks, just check that they are fortified with calcium or have added calcium.

Teriyaki salmon

Salmon is a quick and easy way to get vital nutrients, including vitamin D and healthy fats such as Omega 3.

Salmon filets and asparagus on a baking tray

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 diced chilli
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 minced garlic cloves


  • 2 baking potatoes
  • 150g mushrooms
  • 1 courgette
  • Bunch of asparagus
  • Drizzle olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs


  • Preheat your oven to 180c. Thinly slice the potatoes and drizzle with olive oil and Italian herbs. Put in the oven to bake for 30 mins.
  • Mix the sauce ingredients together, then place the salmon on a baking tray on a sheet of foil, pour over the sauce and then wrap completely with the foil. Put in the oven for 25 mins.
  • Once the salmon is in the oven, chop the mushrooms and courgette. Then drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of dried Italian herbs. Place on a baking tray with asparagus and cook for 20 mins.
  • Serve once the potatoes and vegetables have gone golden.

What are the benefits?

Vitamin D

During the summer months, we can get most of the vitamin D we need from the sun. Vitamins help our body to function, working alongside important nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus to keep our bones, muscles and teeth healthy. Vitamin D also helps to prevent health problems such as rickets, osteomalacia (bone weakness) and bone fractures by helping our bones and cells to absorb the calcium.

Foods rich in vitamin D include oily fish such as salmon. Mushrooms also have reasonable amounts. Other sources of vitamin D include cod liver oil, egg yolk, fortified breakfast cereals and formula milks.

Dietary sources of vitamin D are especially important in the winter months when we don’t get much sunshine. It’s hard to get enough from diet alone though. So, UK guidance also suggests taking a 10-microgram supplement, especially during the autumn and winter months (September – April).

Omega 3

Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that’s important for health, and has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. Oily fish is a particularly rich source of omega 3, but it’s also in plant-based sources such as nuts and seeds, for example walnuts and flaxseeds. And it’s also in soya products too. Current dietary advice recommends we eat two portions of fish per week, with one of these being oily fish.

One pot veggie chilli

This vegan option is great for meal prepping as you can put it in the fridge for the rest of the week. It has plenty of iron which can help prevent iron deficiency. It also has multiple sources of vitamin C to help keep your immune system working well.

veggie chilli with quinoa, avocado and salad served in a bowl

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 red chilli peppers
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 150g green lentils
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms


  • Preheat the oven to 180c. Chop the sweet potatoes into 2cm chunks, coat with the olive oil and paprika. Put in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Dice the red onion and garlic, fry on a medium heat for two minutes. Add in the diced chilli along with cumin, cinnamon and paprika and fry for a further minute.
  • Chop the peppers and mushrooms and add to the pan. Add in the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, kidney beans and lentils. Stir through and cover with boiling water.
  • Continue to stir so the lentils absorb the liquid and top up with water as needed. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Once the potatoes are golden, add to the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes so they absorb some of the liquid.
  • Serve alone or alongside rice of your choice and add some sliced avocado.

What are the benefits?

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps protect the cells in our bodies to keep our immune systems working properly. Vitamin C also helps maintain healthy skin. Dietary sources of vitamin C include fruits such as oranges, strawberries, blackcurrants. It’s also in vegetables such as tomatoes, broccoli, peppers and potatoes.


Iron is an important mineral involved in making haemoglobin – a protein that carries oxygen around your body in the blood. It also helps your immune system to fight off illnesses. People with iron deficiency often feel tired and might pick up illnesses more easily. More severe iron deficiency can lead to heart palpitations, weak hair and nails, and mouth ulcers.

There are two different forms of iron in our diet (haem and non-haem). Haem iron comes from animal-based sources such as red meat, and non-haem iron is in plant-based sources such as the beans and lentils in this recipe. Haem iron is absorbed more easily than non-haem iron, but it’s still possible to get enough iron from a plant-based diet.

Are you interested in learning more about your health? Discover more about our range of health assessments.

Laura Davies
Laura Davies
Health Adviser at Bupa

    • Vitamin D. The Association of UK Dietitians., reviewed August 2016
    • Vitamin D and Health. Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN)., published 2016
    • Calcium. The Association of UK Dietitians., reviewed July 2017
    • Dietary Calcium and Health. British Nutrition Foundation., accessed 29 November 2019
    • Omega 3. The Association of UK Dietitians., reviewed September 2017
    • Fat. British Nutrition Foundation., accessed 31 October 2019
    • Iron. The Association of UK Dietitians., reviewed September 2017
    • Fibre. The Association of UK Dietitians., reviewed September 2016
    • Vitamin C. The British Nutrition Foundation, revised February 2016
    • Advice on Fish Consumption. Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN)., published 2004
    • Carbohydrates and health. Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN)., published 2015

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