Winter is really here now. And as it gets colder and darker we tend to want “winter warmers”, and “comfort food”. Which typically implies high stodge, high calories and general unhealthy. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Comfort food doesn’t have to mean unhealthy. So today I’m giving you 3 recipes, which won’t break your healthy streak…

Oh, and because I don’t pretend to be some expert chef, they’re pretty easy to whip up too.

#winning.

 

Moussaka

Love moussaka. Cos I is from the Med, right?

Anyhow. Choose a 5 or 10% lamb mince. All other ingredients are full fat! (Kcals assume the 10% mince). This is my absolute fav comfort food option…

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized potatoes
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 500g lamb mince – go for the 5 or 10% option
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 500g carton passata
  • 4 large aubergines, cut into slices
  • 300ml tub crème fraîche
  • 120g Kefalotyri cheese, grated or crumbled ( Use Pecorino if you can’t get Kefalotyri)

Method

  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Brush a little olive oil over the aubergines, spread them out on a roasting tray and roast in oven for 15-20mins.
  2. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes whole for 20 mins or just until tender. Drain and allow to cool.
  3. Cook onion until softened, then add the lamb. Fry the mince for 5 mins or until cooked through and starting to char. Add the garlic and spice, and stir in the passata. Bring to a simmer, then season to taste, take off the heat and set aside until needed.
  4. Once cool enough to handle, cut the boiled potatoes into thick slices. Put 1 tbsp oil in the base of a deep ovenproof dish and start with a layer of potatoes, then aubergines, a sprinkling of seasoning, then a layer of the lamb mixture. Repeat until all the mixture is used up, ending with a layer of aubergines. Spread the crème fraîche over the top and scatter with the cheese. Put in the oven for 10 mins or until the cheese is golden.
Serves 4 adults / Prep: 30min / Cook: 45min
Nutrition: per serving
  • kcal 437
  • fat 31g
  • carbs 23g
  • protein 29g

 

Mediterranean Meatloaf

Another great comfort food option. I like this because it takes minutes to prepare, although it takes an hour to cook… My kids eat it too… win win. Add some veg and some potatoes or rice. Done.

Ingredients

  • Butter to grease loaf tin
  • 750g extra lean (5%) minced beef
  • 250g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • 2 tsps dried oregano
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil plus a drizzle extra
  • Salt and pepper to season

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150˚C/300˚F.
  2. Grease a loaf tin with butter.
  3. In a large bowl, mash up the mince, using a masher or your hands. Add all the other ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Cook in the oven for 1 hour.
  5. Drain away any excess juice, then allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
  6. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Serves 6 adults / Prep: 10min / Cook: 70min
Nutrition: per serving
  • kcal 238
  • fat 8g
  • carbs 5g
  • protein 30g

Tip – You can jazz this up if you wish. Add chopped cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs on top. Add feta cheese and / or olives in the mixture. It’s hard to get wrong!

Lentil, sweet potato & coriander stew

Can’t beat some lentil stew as a top comfort food and winter warmer. This vegetarian option is healthy and super tasty…

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsps coconut oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 400g red lentils, soaked overnight
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 litre cold water
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Handful coriander, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tbsps plain yoghurt for serving

Method

In a large saucepan, melt the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and carrots. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic, ground coriander, celery salt and cumin and cook for 30 seconds. Add the lentils, water and the bay leaf.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender.

Stir in the tomatoes and cook for several minutes until warmed through. Remove the bay leaf. Stir in the lemon juice, coriander, salt and pepper. Spoon into a bowl and top with a spoonful of yoghurt.

Serves 6 adults / Prep: 20min / Cook: 30min
Nutrition: per serving
  • kcal 348
  • fat 12g
  • carbs 47g
  • protein 13g