10 Lighter recipes for January

Helen Best-Shaw 30 November -0001

The New Year period is one of much-needed respite from endless sumptuous feasts and the once-a-year catch up with all those relatives. Here are some easy recipes to help kick start healthier eating.

1. Skinny haddock, bacon and mushroom chowder

skinny haddock chowder
Image via Fab Food 4 All

Soups and chowders are great lunch favourites, but a rich, cream-laden soup isn’t what we look for in January. This chowder recipe—with bacon, mushrooms, sweetcorn, potatoes and haddock—uses semi-skimmed milk, but still results in a richly fulfilling dish.

Get the recipe for skinny haddock, bacon and mushroom chowder


2. Lamb and lentil shepherd’s pie

lenti shepherd's pie
Image via The Cook's Pyjamas

Shepherd’s pie is the traditional way to use up leftover lamb from a Sunday roast, but you don’t have to go to those lengths—lamb mince will do just as well. This recipe uses lentils as well as the meat, making it go much further and be more economical.

Get the recipe for lamb and lentil shepherd’s pie


3. Ginger chicken lettuce wraps

ginger chicken wraps
Image via Living Lou

Using a leaf rather than a wrap or soft tortilla is an easy and tasty change. As a bonus, with a judicious choice of leaves it’s easy to add a welcome crunch to the wrap. Here, the chicken is spiced up a little with ginger, and bell peppers add colour.

Get the recipe for ginger chicken lettuce wraps


4. Easy bouillabaisse

Image via Hapa Nom

Bouillabaisse is the classic fish stew of Marseille; a dish surrounded with rules and strong traditions. But rather than struggle around endless fishmongers trying to find a source of red scorpion fish (rascasse), here’s an easy recipe using seabass, monkfish, shrimp, mussels and clams.

Get the recipe for easy bouillabaisse


5. Low-fat vegetarian lasagne

low-fat lasagne
Image via Living Sweet Moments

Rather than make a traditional ragu as the base, this lasagne uses a range of tasty vegetables: squashes, courgettes, carrots and mushrooms. The low-fat theme is continued with fat free ricotta and low fat mozzarella cheese.

Get the recipe for low-fat vegetarian lasagne


6. Three-bean sweet potato chilli

bean and sweet potato chilli
Image via A Virtual Vegan

Budgets are stretched in January, but here’s an economical as well as tasty dish that’s perfect for feeding a crowd. Using a number of different beans adds to the flavour, but it’s the sort of dish where using what you have is more important than following the recipe precisely.

Get the recipe for three-bean sweet potato chilli


7. Walnut parsley pesto spaghetti

walnut parsley spaghetti
Image via Splash of Flavours

Pesto can come from a jar—and for a late-night carb-fest, it’s a great resource. However, fresh pesto is easy with a food processor, and much nicer, and also gives the opportunity to really vary the ingredients. Here, a homemade walnut and parsley pesto is served on spaghetti enlivened with edamame beans and cherry tomatoes.

Get the recipe for walnut parsley pesto spaghetti


8. Spicy chicken curry with cauliflower “rice”

chicken curry with cauliflower rice
Image via Emma Eats and Explores

Cauliflower rice is so easy to make, and a great way to add extra helpings of vegetables to your diet. Simply pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor until it’s in small, rice-sized pieces. It can be eaten raw in salads, or like here cooked and served hot.

Get the recipe for spicy chicken curry with cauliflower “rice”


9. Spaghetti squash carbonara

spaghetti squash carbonara
Image via Wholesome Yum

Another vegetable adaption here, with spaghetti squash. If you haven’t come across this vegetable before, it’s worth seeking out. Underneath the tough skin, the texture of the flesh separates out into long, narrow strips—very much like spaghetti. It does need a little cooking, but it can do its thing in the oven while you’re busy with other things.

Get the recipe for spaghetti squash carbonara


10. Crockpot carrot cake overnight oatmeal

carrot cake oatmeal
Image via Fuss Free Flavours

Overnight oatmeal—porridge cooked in a slow cooker, ready to go when you are in the morning, is a really handy way to prepare breakfasts for those in a hurry. Here, we’ve added grated carrots to the oatmeal for added flavour.

Get the recipe for crockpot carrot cake overnight oatmeal

Helen Best-Shaw, is a freelance food & recipe writer and blogger at Fuss Free Flavours.

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