10 Hearty yet healthy meals

Karen Burns-Booth

March 1 is officially the beginning of spring—but there’s still more than the odd cold, wet and windy day to contend with. These healthy yet hearty recipes are just the job for a tasty family meal during the week or for the weekend. From comforting casseroles to spicy curries and gratins, these dishes are sure to please—and will ease you into spring no matter what the weather throws at you.

1. Healthy Kung Pao chicken


Image via Lavender and Lovage

The classic Szechuan chicken dish has been lightened up without taking away the taste. Serve it with a big bowl of steamed jasmine rice for a filling and delicious alternative to a greasy take-away. It’s considerably cheaper too!

Get the recipe for healthy Kung Pao chicken

 

2. Chipotle roasted chicken and vegetable deli wrap bake


Image via Belleau Kitchen

This simple recipe is cooked entirely in the oven, so you can prepare it slowly over a long weekend and assemble it just before you plan to eat. It can also be made ahead of time or even frozen before the final bake, which is great for busy cooks.

Get the recipe for chipotle roasted chicken and vegetable deli wrap bake

 

3. Skinny haddock, bacon and mushroom chowder


Image via Fab Food 4 All

You could make this soup with any white fish, such as cod or hake. This skinny haddock, bacon and mushroom chowder as it the perfect one-pot meal, which is full of healthy and nutritious ingredients.

Get the recipe for skinny haddock, bacon and mushroom chowder

 

4. Healthy three cheese macaroni cheese gratin


Image via Lavender and Lovage

A delicious and healthy version of the classic macaroni cheese, this serves three people—but if you want to serve this for a family supper, just double the ingredients. All you need is a simple side salad to accompany this classic comfort dish.

Get the recipe for healthy three-cheese macaroni cheese gratin

 

5. Potato, Gruyere and spinach dauphinoise


Image via Foodie Quine

Who doesn’t like dauphinoise—that classic French dish of creamy layered potatoes? I simply can't resist it! This recipe for potato, Gruyere and spinach dauphinoise can be served as an accompaniment or as a main dish in its own right. With its gooey, cheesy and crispy topping and healthy spinach, it’s a real winner.

Get the recipe for potato, Gruyere and spinach dauphinoise

 

6. Green split pea curry


Image via Tin and Thyme

Pulses are not only delicious, but are also relatively cheap, especially if you use dried ones rather than tinned. This spicy vegetarian split pea curry is nutritious and filling. One tip: the higher quality the curry powder the better your curry will taste—so don’t scrimp on it!

Get the recipe for green split pea curry

 

7. Roasted spiced cauliflower


Image via Fenland Lottie

Roasting vegetables has become very popular over recent years and rightly so, as chunks of roasted veggies are delicious. This hearty but healthy recipe for roasted cauliflower, the “New Black” of the vegetable world, looks and sounds delectable, and would make a great meal for meat-free Monday.

Get the recipe for roasted spiced cauliflower

 

8. Huevos rancheros


Image via The Eating Tree

Here’s a wonderful recipe for a weekend brunch or midweek supper—in fact, this delicious breakfast is a regular feature for Sunday brunch in the author’s house. What’s more, it’s a filling, healthy and an all-round better option than a greasy fry-up.

Get the recipe for huevos rancheros

 

9. Sausage and apple casserole in cider


Image via Lavender and Lovage

You cannot compile a list of hearty fare and leave out a sausage casserole! And this one is a winner—using low-fat sausages and lots of apples, onions and sweet parsnips, it packs in lots of your five-a-day as well as being healthier than usual. You can substitute the cider with apple juice if you wish, for a non-boozy and slightly lower-calorie version.

Get the recipe for sausage and apple casserole in cider

 

10. Healthy lemon chicken


Image via London Unattached

This recipe for healthy lemon chicken is very quick and simple to make and uses the wings and legs from a whole chicken. You can use chicken breasts if you wish, which cuts the cooking time down a bit if you’re in a hurry. Make this for a healthy alternative to Sunday lunch, serving it with oodles of steamed fresh greens and baby new potatoes.

Get the recipe for healthy lemon chicken

 

Karen Burns-Booth is a freelance Recipe Developer, Food and Travel Writer and is a member if the Guild of Food Writers. She writes for her own blog Lavender and Lovage.

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