At this time of year when it is cold and miserable outside, we want something to eat that will warm us up from the inside.
Healthy Food Guide magazine shares a couple of recipes.
HFG shepherd's pie
This version is not a lot lower in energy (kJ) than the traditional dish, but it is much more nutritious and it tastes yummy.
Time to make: 1 hour 40 minutes
400g lean beef mince
1/2 cup green lentils
1 cup beef stock
1 cup water
400g can whole tomatoes
2 1/2 cups chopped field mushrooms
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Worcester sauce
1/4 cup wine
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
olive oil spray (1 teaspoon)
3 large floury potatoes
75g soft cheese (eg chevre, feta)
Step 1 Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based pan over moderate heat. Add onion, garlic, celery and carrot and cook gently until onions are soft but not brown.
Step 2 Add beef to pan and brown for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, stock, water, lentils mushrooms and sauces. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently for around 1 hour, adding more liquid if you need to.
Step 3 Add wine about 40 minutes into cooking time. You should end up with a richly-coloured, deeply-flavoured mixture without too much liquid.
Step 4 Preheat oven to 180°C. While the meat is simmering, cook the potatoes. Peel and chop potatoes into even-sized pieces, cover with cold water and bring to the boil in a large pot. Cook until tender, then drain and mash.
Step 5 Chop cheese into small chunks and beat into the mash with a fork, blending well.
Step 6 Spread meat mixture in the bottom of a large oval casserole dish, and spread mash over the top. Place in oven and cook until top has crisped and browned a little. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving with a side of green vegetables.
Lower-fat dairy products like ricotta and quarg add creaminess to mashed potato without the fat of cream. Quarg is a soft white cheese that can be used in the place of sour cream, cream or butter. Find it near the cottage cheese in the supermarket.
Apple, berry and coconut crumble
Frozen berries are a really handy ingredient to have on hand. You could use other fruit such as apple or plums with this crumble topping, too.
Time to make: 25 minutes
Total cost of all ingredients: $4.32 / $1.08 per serve
300g packet frozen mixed berries, thawed
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
3 tablespoons reduced-fat spread
Step 1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Place berries and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a bowl. Stir to combine. Divide among 4 ramekins.
Step 2 Place oats, coconut, remaining sugar and spread in another bowl. Use fingertips to rub mixture until well combined.
Step 3 Top berry mix with oat mix and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.
Serve with a scoop of low-fat vanilla or strawberry ice cream, your favourite fruit sorbet or low-fat natural yoghurt.
Instead of berries, use canned apricots, peaches or plums. Use fruit in natural juice, not syrup. You can also use in-season apples but cook them first - core apples, sprinkle with sugar and bake for 20 minutes before topping with oats and baking.
Recipes reproduced with permission from Healthy Food
For more healthy recipes, go to www.healthyfood.co.nz .