Healthier Baked & Roasted Christmas Tubers & Roots!

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep: 25-30 mins (Dependant upon skill and/or the number of kitchen helpers!)
Baking/Roasting: ≤45 mins
Type: Side Dish
Tools: 1 Large pot, vegetable peeler, sharp knife, 2 baking trays/tins, parchment paper/kitchen foil


Would Christmas be the same without some tasty and easily prepared baked/roasted vege?! Nah! Where authentically roasted potatoes might make it to a lot of UK dining tables this Christmas, we have made some healthier ones that everyone can enjoy; ‘Free From’ with a flavourful twist- perfect!

Instead of roasting our potatoes in two inches of oil or goose fat (bleh- no way!), we have coated them in a delicious dressing of rapeseed oil, garlic salt and rosemary! I mean if you’re going to have some ‘baked’ potatoes on Christmas, they’re going to have to be super tasty; a lovely seasoning, slightly crispy skin and fluffy internal texture. 

As for our parsnips and carrots, they were seasoned with oil and maple syrup, but we are opting for some cheeky apricot and ginger (or perhaps spiced plum!) chutney on the big day! Yes, whole-roasted veggies that have with minimal prep, that can look quite ‘chefy’ on your plate when served and are absolutely sweet and delicious! 

Happy cooking and Happy Holidays everyone! 😀 



++++++++++++++1kg            Baby New Potatoes (or your favourite roasting potatoes!)
++++++++++++++600g        Parsnips
++++++++++++++600g        Carrots
++++++++++++++2                Sprigs Rosemary
++++++++++++++2-3 tbsp   Rapeseed Oil
++++++++++++++1 tsp          Garlic Salt
++++++++++++++                  Salt
++++++++++++++                  Ground Black Pepper
++++++++++++++1-2 tbsp    Maple Syrup or Apricot and Ginger or (Spiced Plum!) Chutney



1. Wash and scrub the potatoes. Chop any larger pieces into halves or quarters if necessary. Tip: Having your potatoes roughly the same time will help them cook at the same rate!

2. Place the potatoes into a large pot of cold water over a medium heat. Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil. Allow them to cook for 6-8 mins or until just tender. Tip: This is par-boiling, great for cooking ease! 

3. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Line two baking trays/tins with some parchment paper or kitchen foil (if necessary).

4. Wash and peel the parsnips. Wash and scrub the carrots. Wash the rosemary, remove its leaves from its stem and roughly chop them. Tip: Save time and bake your root vegetables whole! 

5. Drain the potatoes in a colander. Allow them to dry (just slightly). Place them into a large mixing bowl. Pour over 1-2 tbsp of oil. Add 1 tsp of garlic salt. Add the rosemary. Season it with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss to coat. Tip: Looking for a really low-fat option? Spray them (and your root vegetables!) with some low-fat cooking oil instead! 

6. Place the potatoes into one of the baking trays/tins in a single layer. Try and leave as much space as possible between them. Tip: Overcrowding your pan will cause your vegetables to steam rather than roast! 

7. Place the parsnips and carrots onto the other baking tray/tin in a single layer. Pour over 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil and 1-2 tbsp of maple syrup (or chutney). Using your hands, rub and coat the vegetables in the oil and syrup (or chutney). Season it with a few grinds of black pepper.

8. Place the potatoes onto the middle oven shelf and the parsnips and carrots onto the shelf below. Bake/roast the potatoes for 30-40 mins, or until cooked through and lightly browned and crispy; turning/tossing at least once. Bake the parsnips and carrots for 40-45 mins or until tender and lightly browned; turn at least once. Remove.






Refrigerate any leftover veggies in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat (if preferred) and consume within 3-4 days.

Curried Potato, Lentil & Spinach Bowl [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-6
Prep, Cooking & Assembly: 40-45 mins

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, and (per serving) is low in added salt, sugar and sat fats! 

Another weekend gone and another ten Mondays to Christmas (not that we’re counting)! It’s just amazing how fast the year is going, and sometimes you don’t even realise until you overhear or find something that puts it all into perspective…like an old recipe!

Days and weeks flying by…here’s a delicious lunch that we whipped up over three weeks ago! It’s an untraditional and creamier version of  ‘Saag Aloo’ (with pulses|!). Warmed potatoes, lentils and spinach, flavoured with fresh ginger, chilli, coriander and a creamy, curried yoghurt base- what’s not to love?!

It’ll make a great start to your week and we hope that you enjoy it as much as we did!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂



++++++++++++++++++++120g      Dried Brown Lentils
++++++++++++++++++++930g     Baking Potatoes
++++++++++++++++++++              Salt
++++++++++++++++++++1             Bay Leaf
++++++++++++++++++++200g     Red Onion
++++++++++++++++++++5g          Garlic Clove
++++++++++++++++++++75g        Root Ginger
++++++++++++++++++++30g        Red Chilli
++++++++++++++++++++20g        Fresh Coriander
++++++++++++++++++++65g        Baby Spinach
++++++++++++++++++++               Low-Fat Cooking Oil
++++++++++++++++++++1 tbsp     Rapeseed Oil
++++++++++++++++++++1g            Coriander & Cumin Seeds
++++++++++++++++++++3g           Mustard Seeds
++++++++++++++++++++1/2 tsp    Ground Turmeric
++++++++++++++++++++2g           Garam Masala
++++++++++++++++++++1/4 tsp    Dried Chilli Flakes
++++++++++++++++++++300ml    Plain Soya Yoghurt (unsweetened & fortified)



  1. Wash the lentils in a sieve, remove any stones and then cook them according to the packet instructions. Drain. Allow to cool slightly.


2. In the meantime, wash and chop the potatoes. Place into a pot of lightly slightly water. Add the bay leaf. Cover with a lid. Bring to a boil. Simmer and cook for 6-8 mins or until just tender. Drain. Allow to dry/cool slightly.


3. Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the onion. Peel and dice the garlic. Wash, peel and finely chop the ginger.


4. Wash, remove the stem, deseed (unless you prefer more heat!) and finely chop the chilli. Wash the coriander, remove the leaves from its stem and then roughly chop it. Wash and thinly slice the spinach.


5. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat. Spray with some low-fat cooking oil (or add 1-2 tsp of rapeseed oil). When hot, add the onion, garlic and ginger. Gently fry for 3-4 mins or until softened. Transfer into a bowl.


6. Place the frying pan back over the heat. Add 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil. When hot, add the coriander, cumin and mustard seeds, ground turmeric, garam masala and chilli flakes (or your own curry spice blend). Gently fry/temper for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the potatoes. Toss to coat. Remove from the heat. Add the lentils and onion mixture. Stir and gently toss together.


7. Transfer the potato mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the yoghurt, chilli, coriander and spinach. Toss to thoroughly combine. Taste and season as necessary.


8. Serve in a bowl garnished w/ additional coriander and/or toasted nuts (if preferred).



Store any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container. It’s best consumed within 3-4 days (at room temperature); refresh with additional yoghurt, herbs and/or seasoning!


If preferred…

  • Use your favourite blend of curry spices (dried or paste); try heating some curry paste with coconut oil!
  • Swiss chard would make a tasty alternative to spinach!
  • Cook some swede, squash or baby new potatoes instead of standard ones.

Vegan Lentil ‘Meatloaf’ W/ Gravy & Vegetables

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep: 60-80 minutes
Cooking time: 55 minutes + (10 minutes cooling)

This recipe was adapted from:

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-vitamins, Vitamins C, E & K, protein, fibre, potassium, some magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium and is low in saturated fats.

This recipe was a bit of a marathon to make…. but worth it! We originally made this recipe earlier in the year when we were transitioning into veganism. This recipe could be labelled as one that is trying to ‘recreate the wheel’ instead of embracing of what nature has to offer; it really does look like ‘meat’!

Don’t get us wrong, it’s a tasty, hearty dish, packed full of fantastic flavours and nutrients that is definitely worth the effort! As it does take a fair bit of energy and time, we’d suggest making two at once; give your self a night off down the road!


Oops! I fell a sleep at the wheel!  You’ll find that you will also require some cauliflower & tomato purée!





Rinse the lentils and remove any stones. Rinse the rice.


Place the lentils, rice, vegetable stock, water and onion powder into a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat; leave to cool for 10 minutes w/ the lid on.

NB: All of the water should be absorbed by the time the end of the ‘cooling’ period.


Meanwhile, place another non-stick saucepan full of cold water over a high heat. Bring to the boil. Add the cauliflower. Simmer for 6-7 minutes or under tender. Remove from the heat. Drain.


In the meantime, prepare the ‘loaf’ ingredients. Peel and dice the onion. Wash, dry and dice the mushrooms. Wash, trim the ends and roughly dice the celery. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and then dice the bell pepper (if using). Peel and dice the garlic. Wash, dry and chop the parsley, thyme and rosemary (if using fresh). Roughly chop the walnuts.


Grease a one-pound loaf tin with the oil.

NB: The oil was added into the tin, but I did not grease it at this point.


Fill a measuring jug with some water.

NB: This will be used for steam-frying. You won’t need to use all of this though!


Meanwhile, place a large, non-stick frying pan or wok over a medium-low heat. Add a spoonful of water to the pan. When it starts to sizzle…


…add the onion, mushrooms, celery and bell pepper (if using). Stir together. Cover and steam-fry for 3-6 minutes, or until softened. Add more water and stir occasionally to prevent the vegetables sticking (if needed).


Add the garlic. Continue to steam-fry for a further 2 minutes. Let everything steam-fry until all the water has just evaporated. Remove the pan from the heat.

NB: Its important to let the water evaporate, otherwise your loaf will take longer to bake.


Remove the lid. Place it somewhere it can cool down for approx. 10-15 minutes.


In the meantime, prepare the ingredients for the gravy. Place the cashews into a blender with 300 ml of water; allow them to soak.

NB: I added more than this, but suggest you start with just 300ml.


Peel and dice the onion. Wash, dry and dice the mushrooms. Wash, trim the ends, peel and then dice the carrot. Wash, trim the ends and finely dice the celery. Peel and dice the garlic.


Meanwhile, get a large mixing bowl for the ‘loaf’ ingredients. Add the oats, puree, sage, parsley, thyme, rosemary and the walnuts. Season it with some black pepper to taste. Once the medley of vegetables and lentil mix have cooled down, add them to this bowl.


In the meantime, prepare the gravy. Place a large non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add a spoonful of water. When it sizzles, add the onion, mushrooms, carrot and celery. Stir together. Cover and steam-fry for 3-7 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic, vegetable stock and onion powder. Stir together. Cover and steam-fry for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.


Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F.


Transfer the ‘gravy’ vegetables into the blender. Add the cauliflower.


Blend until thickened and smooth. Add more water if a thinner gravy is preferred. NB: the mixture will still look a bit ‘grainy’; if too much water is added, you can always thicken it later with a slurry of corn starch.


Transfer it into a non-stick saucepan. Season it with some salt and black pepper to taste. Place the pan over the minimum heat setting to keep warm. Cover with a lid.

NB: I used the same saucepan the vegetables were steam-fried in.


Meanwhile, mix together the lentil loaf ingredients.


Transfer half of it into a food processor. Pulse it about 8-10 times.


Transfer the blended mixture into the loaf tin; press it down into an even layer.


Repeat these last 2 steps with the remaining mixture to form the loaf.

NB: I helped to shape my loaf with a silicone spatula.


Cover with foil. Place into the oven.


Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil.

Slightly out of focus I know…but you try and take a picture in a squat/hovering position!


In the meantime, prep any side vegetables you be serving with your loaf….

We chose purple-sprouting broccoli and baby pearl potatoes!


….and do your dishes! Let’s not pretend there isn’t any after this marathon!


Once the foil has been removed. Place it back into the oven. Bake for a further 25-30 minutes, or until lightly brown and slightly firm. Remove and allow to cool in the tin on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before serving.


NB: When I removed mine, I placed a large plate firmly on the top of the tin, turned the tin over, gave it a few solid knocks and then removed the tin.


In the meantime, place any ‘side’ vegetables into a steamer pot. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Steam over a low heat or until tender. NB: My vegetables took approximately 10-13 minutes.


Serve immediately. Place a slice of the loaf and the vegetables onto a large serving plate. Pour over the gravy…


as little…

NB: This plate contains one portion of ‘meatloaf’.


….or as much as you desire.

NB: This plate contains two portions of ‘meat’ loaf.



Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container (ideally within an hour after cooking); reheat and consume within 1-2 days.

NB: When reheating the ‘meatloaf’, always check to make sure it’s steaming hot all the way through and do not reheat it more than once. 

If preferred… 

  • Use dry herbs instead of fresh (but we think using a fresh variety makes a big flavour difference here!)
  • Use green lentils (if you are not concerned about the overall colour of the loaf) or wholemeal rice instead.
  • Maybe try substituting the water in the gravy from unsweetened/fortified almond milk instead.
  • Reduce the fat content further by reducing the amount of walnuts used and grease your tin with low-fat cooking oil.
  • Try varying some of the vegetables in the loaf: maybe try grated courgette, spring onions, wilted spinach or dried mushrooms instead.

Vegan ‘Shepherd’s Pie’ With Lentils

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-6
Prep & Cooking time: 80-90 minutes


Recipe adapted from: Coeliac UK

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C & K, protein, fibre, iron, potassium, some magnesium, zinc, calcium and is low in fats!

This recipe may not be as traditional or authentic as some British folk would prefer, but let’s face it- it’s a recipe that’s been adapted several times over the last 100 years or so! I think it’s a great recipe for those cold winter nights that are upon us, or for anyone implementing healthy lifestyle changes, and it’s definitely a meal the whole family can enjoy. The bottom line is, it tastes great, it’s easy to prepare and the ingredients are very interchangeable and inexpensive!  


NB: Based on four servings, this recipe provides approximately: 400kcal, 2.3g fat, 0.45g s/sat per serving. (*A standard supermarket version with lamb could provide 10g-20g of fat from the meat, butter, cream or full-fat milks they use in their recipes.)
*Based on a cursory look at some of the main supermarket brands.


NB: I used two peppers as I had some to spare!



++++++++++++++150g      Brown lentils
++++++++++++++2L           Vegetable broth (low-sodium/DF/GF)
++++++++++++++1000g    Rudolph Potatoes
++++++++++++++4g           Garlic cloves
++++++++++++++170g      White onion
++++++++++++++160g      Carrots
++++++++++++++180g      Red bell pepper (I used 2 because I loads to spare!)
++++++++++++++100g      White mushrooms
++++++++++++++100g       Garden peas
++++++++++++++ 8g           Corn starch
+++++++++++++                  ‘1 kcal’ Fry spray (low-fat cooking oil)
++++++++++++++3g           Seasoning mix (Sweet paprika, Cayenne pepper & Dried Basil)
++++++++++++++30ml       Unsweetened Soya milk
++++++++++++++7g            Vegan (reduced fat) soya margarine
++++++++++++++                 Salt
++++++++++++++                 Pepper
++++++++++++++40G         Tomato Puree
++++++++++++++1g            Dried Thyme

NB: If using frozen vegetables, defrost them before use. 



Wash and drain the lentils; remove any stones. Prepare the broth.


Place the broth into a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Add the lentils. Cook according to the packet instructions and then drain.

  Reserve 600ml of the cooking liquid before draining.


In the meantime, wash, peel and chop the potatoes into quarters. Place them into a separate, large saucepan full of cold water over a medium heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain and leave to dry.


Meanwhile, peel and finely grate the garlic. Peel and chop the onions. Wash, trim the ends, peel and dice the carrots. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and dice the bell pepper. Wash, dry and slice the mushrooms. Wash and drain the peas. Place the corn starch into a small dish. Add some cold water and stir/whisk until dissolved; creating a slurry.

Meanwhile, ladle out some cooking liquid and transfer it into a large measuring jug.


Heat another large non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Spray with a little low-fat cooking oil. NB: Add a little of the reserved cooking liquid to help ‘steam-fry’ the vegetables. Add the garlic, onion, paprika, cayenne pepper and basil. Stir to coat. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened.

NB: I used 1g of each herb/spice to make the seasoning mix.



Add the carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms and a little more cooking liquid. Stir together. Cover and allow to steam-fry for a further 10 minutes; stirring occasionally. Add the peas 5 minutes before the end of cooking. Stir together.


Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Get out a large, heat-proof casserole dish.



In the meantime, prepare the mashed potato topping. Transfer the potatoes into a large mixing bowl (or use the same pot they were cooked in). Add the milk and margarine. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Mash until smooth and creamy.

NB: I didn’t want to scratch my pot so I used this plastic bowl; one more cooking utensil to wash at this point wasn’t going to make a difference!




Add the lentils, puree and the remaining cooking liquid into the saucepan. Stir together. Add the cornstarch mixture. Stir to combine. Stir and allow the mixture to thicken slightly; approximately 2-4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

NB: You might have to gently whisk the corn starch mixture again before adding it into the saucepan.



Transfer the mixture into the casserole dish.



Top with the potatoes.

NB: I gathered some with my hands, made ‘patties’ and gently placed them on top of the mixture. It really doesn’t take as long as it sounds!



Smooth with a silicone spatula, sprinkle over the thyme and roughen the surface with a fork.



Place into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until boiling and slightly brown on top.

NB: Mine just started to bubble over but I caught it just in time ( I was attending to the queue of dishes)!



Serve warm in a lipped serving plate.

NB: This represents one serving. *Based on this meal serving four people.



Next day leftovers!

NB: Enjoy hot or cold with additional vegetables if desired. This portion was unheated and enjoyed straight from the fridge!


If preferred…

  • Use seasonal vegetables or any others you desire to create your favourite vegetable medley!
  • Substitute the lentils for prepared dehydrated soya mince or some beans.
  • Try using different herb and spice blends; use fresh if available and/or convenient.
  • If your not vegan, try adding a small portion of low-fat cheddar cheese into the mashed potatoes before baking.