cold is a pathogen in traditional chinese medicine, each season we should adapt our activities and diet to the changing environment but often in today's world we resist this as an inconvenience or are simply oblivious since we actually don't interact much with the environment. Here is an example of a warming meal that we can consciously choose to adapt to the cold, strengthen the Yang and nourish the protective Qi:
fresh Ginger root, peeled and minced- 1 inch or more
1/2 tsp ground ginger powder
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom, if you have it
12 dates, pitted and soaked
2 carrots peeled and diced
3/4 cup millet (rice could be substituted)
8 cups water, milk or stock
1 oz of astragalus root if you have it, place in tea ball or cheesecloth bag and tie with string so you can retrieve it.
toast the millet or rice in oven or skillet. simmer all together 1-2 hours or in crockpot 6-8 hours, remove the astragalus and eat! this is from Between Heaven and Earth a guide to chinese medicine by Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold, an excellent book.