Curried Parsnip Soup (V, GF, SF, Low-Fat!)

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep & Cooking time: 50 minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, protein, fibre, potassium, calcium, iron, no added sugars and is low in fats!

This soup has a lovely creamy texture and has a naturally sweet and very satisfying taste. The parsnips work great as a ‘blank canvas’- absorbing all the fantastic spices! 



+++++++++++++++++++++++++1L          Vegetable stock (Low-sodium, DF, GF)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1L          Water
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1kg       Parsnips
+++++++++++++++++++++++++200g     White onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++8g          Garlic cloves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g          Ground Cumin
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g          Ground Coriander
+++++++++++++++++++++++++3g          Curry Powder
+++++++++++++++++++++++++               Salt
+++++++++++++++++++++++++               Ground black pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++150ml   Soya milk (fortified/unsweetened)



Nutritional info:

NB: You can reduce the salt content further by: swapping some of the stock with extra water and/or DF milk and by not adding any additional salt (add more spices instead!)to the soup; make sure your spices do not contain any ‘added salt’. 




Place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Add the stock and water. Stir together. Bring to the boil.

NB: Our vegetable stock contained turmeric.



In the meantime, wash, peel, trim the ends and then chop the parsnip into slices. Peel and chop the onion and the garlic.




Add the parsnip, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander and curry powder to the saucepan. Season it to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Reduce the heat. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat.



Allow the soup to cool slightly.



Transfer the soup into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

NB: You might have to complete this step in batches.



Transfer the soup back to the saucepan or a large plastic container.

NB: Ours went into this plastic container; lunch prep for the next 3 days! 🙂



Pour in the DF milk.



Stir together.



Place the saucepan over a medium-low heat (if applicable). Heat to warm.



Serve warm. Ladle into a serving bowl. Garnish with some: herbs, nuts, seeds, croutons or soya yoghurt (if desired).

Ours was garnished with black pepper, dried chives and soya yoghurt.



Serve with some GF bread or a roll (if desired). 🙂

NB: This represents one portion of  the parsnip soup. We served ours with some low-fat houmous and homemade GF bread!







If preferred…

  • Try a different combination of spices and flavours. Make it Moroccan, Thai-flavoured etc!
  • Swap approximately 200g of the parsnips for peeled baking potatoes.
  • Increase the volume of the fortified DF milk for some extra nutrients!

Vegan Chilli (GF, SF, Low-Fat!)

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep & Cooking time: 70 minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-vitamins, Vitamin C, protein, fibre, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, no added sugars and is low in fats! 

Chilli is so versatile and it’ s something that the whole family can enjoy. Its a one-pot wonder containing so many wholesome flavours, nutrients and textures; ours is packed full of vegetables, legumes, pulses and a grain! It can be served with rice, a jacket potato or even a delicious multi-grain bread roll.

We sincerely encourage everyone to try and make their own; tinned and processed versions are really not that nice and can be high in sugar, salts and/or fats! Ours has a ‘mild’ chilli taste, but feel free to make it as hot as you like! It can be fairly inexpensive to make if you stick to a few basic ingredients and spices; some of these ingredients can be purchased in ethnic food stores for less than mainstream prices.

You will notice that this recipe also contains cinnamon! This spice is awesome and it really helps make this dish! If your unsure, add a little at first and see how you go!


Quick facts:

Do you love cinnamon? We do! Trying experimenting and adding it to different recipes. Various studies have shown that cinnamon can have a modest effect on stabilising our blood glucose levels and others that suggest that it can help lower our blood lipids too; although the specifics are not 100% conclusive. None the less, it can add a whole other dimension to your meal/recipe! 

One serving contains approximately all of your 5-A-Day needs! …But this doesn’t mean that you can’t eat even more throughout the day! 10-A-Day anyone?!


Fresh and vibrant!




 NB: We used dried black beans (*soaked overnight for 12 hours and then boiled/simmered for 1.5 hours) before adding them to this recipe. 



Nutritional info for chilli:

NB: One serving contains approximately 195% of your RDA for Vitamin C!




Peel and dice the onion and the garlic. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and roughly shop the bell pepper. Wash, trim the ends, peel and dice the carrot. Wash, trim the ends and dice the celery. Wash, dry and slice the mushrooms. Break the green beans into halves.



Meanwhile, place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil.

NB: We used ‘4 sprays’.




Add the onion and garlic. Stir and gently fry for 1-2 minutes, or until softened.



Add the bell pepper, carrot, celery and mushrooms. Stir together. Gently fry for 3-5 minutes or until softened.

NB: We used an additional ‘2 sprays’ of low-fat cooking oil.




Add the tomatoes, chilli powder, cinnamon, cumin, dried coriander, cumin seeds, onion powder and tomato purée. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Stir together. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for approximately 6 minutes, or until the tomatoes have  broken down slightly.



 Add the stock, quinoa and lentils. Bring back to the boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the quinoa and lentils are cooked/tender.

At about 12 minutes in it really smelt delicious! 😀




Add the green beans, sweet corn, kidney and black beans. Stir together. Simmer for a further 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

So many lovely veggies!




In the meantime, prepare a slurry. Place the corn flour into a small dish. Add equals parts water. Whisk together until dissolved.

NB: Give the mixture a quick whisk again before adding it into the chilli.



 Chop the coriander (leaves and stems).

This  coriander came straight out of our freezer stash!



 Add the coriander to the chilli.



Whilst continuously stirring, pour in the slurry. Stir until thickened; approximately 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.



Serve warm. Ladle into a serving bowl…..



 Serve with rice, a small baked potato or bread roll if desired….

NB: Just be mindful of portion sizes! We served ours with some brown basmati rice.



Top with soya yoghurt, avocado, radishes, spring onion, herbs or anything else (if desired).

This is one we made last year! 🙂






Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, place in a resealable container(s), freeze and consume within 1-2 months; defrost before use.

This is perfect for another 2 meals!




If preferred…

  • Use any variation of veggies! Try kale, spinach, aubergine, squash, sweet potato or courgettes!
  • Experiment with the spice blend! Add as little or as much as desired; try using fresh chillies, or turmeric, or maybe even some basic curry powder.
  • Vary your beans! Try haricot(navy), pinto or soya beans, or maybe some black-eyed peas or chickpeas!
  • Reduce the legumes and use some rehydrated soya mince instead; non-vegans can try using some Quorn, turkey breast mince or an extra lean beef mince.

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup (V, GF, Low-Fat!)

Healthy Recipes

Prep: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 5-8 hours

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K, protein, fibre, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, no added sugars and is low in fats!

This is a nutritious and hearty recipe. Soup is great for winter, perfect for keeping your food costs down (just use seasonal and/or frozen vegetables and/or dried pulses/legumes) and is ideal for those that do not have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen; leftovers can easily be stored and reheated!

Quick facts:

We’ve read that Minestrone means ‘the big soup’ in Italian. Its a substantial dish consisting of vegetables and beans (occasionally meat), with either rice or pasta; the recipe varies in most households but it’s loved all the same! 

It’s ideal to have recipes in a slow cooking format. Slow cooking is great for when you have to serve people in large quantities, saving on electricity costs and reclaiming some of your valuable time! Prep the vegetables the night before and store them in a container full of cold water (so they do not dry out); place your ingredients in the slow cooker before you go off to work! 

*Based on 10 servings, one serving provides you with approximately 4 of your 5-A-DAY! 



+++++++++++++++++++++++++Step 1:
+++++++++++++++++++++++++180g     Dried Butter Beans (soaked overnight)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++300g     Celery
+++++++++++++++++++++++++250g     White onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++450g     Baking potato
+++++++++++++++++++++++++280g      Carrot
+++++++++++++++++++++++++140g      Red Bell pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++16g        Garlic cloves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++200g     Frozen green beans
+++++++++++++++++++++++++20g        Fresh parsley
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1600g   Tinned plum tomatoes (no added salt/sugar)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2g          Herbs De Provence
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2g          Dried Oregano
+++++++++++++++++++++++++              Salt & ground black pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1.5L      Vegetable stock (low-sodium, DF, GF)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++Step 2:
+++++++++++++++++++++++++200g      GF Fusilli
+++++++++++++++++++++++++120g      Frozen sweet corn
+++++++++++++++++++++++++160g      Frozen spinach



Nutritional info:

  *This recipe provides approximately: 140% of your RDA for Vitamin C and 200% of your RDA for Vitamin A/ serving!




Prepare the dried beans according to the packet instructions. Drain.

NB: Our beans were soaked overnight for 12 hours.



Wash, trim the ends and slice the celery. Peel and chop the onion. Wash, peel and dice the potato. Wash, peel, trim the ends and then dice the carrot. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and then finely chop the bell pepper. Peel and mince the garlic.



Snap the green beans into bite-sized pieces. Wash, dry and roughly chop the parsley.

We used parsley straight out of our freezer. 🙂



Place the tomatoes into the slow cooker…

NB: Go the frugal route and buy ‘whole’ tin tomatoes like us…then just quickly chop them up in the slow cooker. 🙂



then the dried beans…..



…followed by the celery, onion, potato, carrot, bell pepper, garlic and green beans.



Add the parsley, Herbs De Provence. Season it to taste with some salt and pepper.



Pour in the ‘boiling hot’ stock. Give it a stir.



Cover with a lid. Place on a medium or low heat setting; 5-6 hours or 7-8 hours respectively.



For the second phase of this recipe, cook your pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain.

NB: We cooked ours for slightly less than the packet asked for… to help keep its integrity when its added to the soup! We find that GF doesn’t always hold its shape in soups!



Defrost the corn and spinach before adding it to the soup.

Still frozen at this point!



Drain off any excess water.



Add the cooked pasta, corn and spinach 30 minutes before the end of cooking.



Stir through. Cover with the lid.



Alternatively, cook your remaining vegetables and pasta; add them to the soup when it has finished cooking.



When it was finished, ours went straight into this plastic container.

Ready for many delicious lunches!



Alternatively, ladle into a soup bowl and serve warm.

NB: This represents one, re-heated portion of  the soup! We garnished ours with a few pieces of fresh parsley. 🙂


 Place any leftovers into a resealable container and refrigerate; consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, place the container(s) into the freezer and use within 2-3 months; defrost before use.




If preferred…

  • Stick with your favourite and/or seasonal veggies!
  • Adapt the herbs and choice of legumes to your taste. Non-vegans can try adding a little cheese and/or using a different stock/flavouring if desired.
  • Try using wild rice or lentils instead of pasta!
  • Use a spelt, wholemeal or spinach/wheat-based pasta if gluten is not a concern to you.

NB: If you prefer to add dried pasta to the recipe (at the start of the cooking process), adjust the liquid levels accordingly.

  • If you are not used to eating this quantity of fibre, reduce the quantities of vegetables slightly!

Mushroom Burgers & Sweet Potato Wedges

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking time: 65 minutes

Recipe adapted from: ASDA

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-vitamins, Vitamins C & K, protein, fibre, potassium and iron.

This recipe was our New Year’s Eve Meal! It contained a lot of lovely flavours and felt like an upmarket pub meal. Haha yes… before you say it…we know! We’re not chefs, professional photographers or people that have hours to spend in Photoshop (the pictures do not lie right?!), so the presentation will never look perfect!…But were not aspiring to be chefs or food stylists- just a nutritionist and a dietitian providing you with healthy meals and advice! So all vegans, healthy trend setters and mushroom lovers rejoice- this is a great recipe! 



+++++++++++++++++++++++++500g    Sweet Potato
+++++++++++++++++++++++++250g    Large Mushrooms
+++++++++++++++++++++++++20g      Wild rocket
+++++++++++++++++++++++++14g      DF Margarine (low-fat) (+4g for frying)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             1 Kcal Fry Spray (low-fat cooking oil)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4g        Herbs De Provence
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             Salt
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             Ground black pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++60g      White onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++120g    Salad tomato
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g      Walnuts
+++++++++++++++++++++++++30g      DF Hard cheese
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4           GF Bread rolls (small) (optional)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++5g        Balsamic vinegar
+++++++++++++++++++++++++16g      Sweet chilli & tomato chutney (optional)


Nutritional Info:

 NB: includes values for the bread and chutney.

The fat and salt contents in this recipe fall under the  ‘orange’ traffic light setting; meaning it’s an OK choice most of the time, but ‘green’ options are always the healthier choice!

Reducing the quantities of the: DF margarine, nuts and ‘cheese’ will help reduce the overall calories and fat content of this recipe; also ‘opt out’ of using condiments and load up on salad vegetables!  You can also try serving the burgers with a little wholemeal rice instead of a roll; this will help to further reduce the salt, sugar and/or fat contents.



Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Prepare two baking sheets; line one with kitchen foil or a silicone mat.


Wash and chop the potatoes into wedges. Wash and pat the mushrooms dry; remove the stems and set aside. Wash the rocket and allow to dry. Place the margarine into a small dish; melt in the microwave.


Place the potato in to a large mixing bowl. Spray it with the low-fat cooking oil. Add half the quantity of the Herbs De Provence. Season them with some salt and pepper to taste.  Mix to coat. Transfer onto the baking sheet without any foil. Place into the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.

Raw, sprayed & seasoned wedges 🙂

NB: We baked ours for 33 minutes!


Meanwhile, use a pastry brush and brush the underside of the mushrooms with the margarine. Place them onto the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet onto a ‘low oven shelf’. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove.

Annoyingly the store did not have a ‘four pack’ of mushrooms…. an odd mushroom?!….let the table wars begin!



In the meantime, dice the mushrooms stems. Peel and dice the onion. Wash, remove the stem and then thinly slice the tomato; reserve the bottom slice and dice it. Roughly chop the nuts.



Finely grate the cheese.

Ours was a fake ‘cheddar cheese’.



Remove the mushrooms from the oven. Gently place the tomato on top. Season as necessary. Place back into the oven. Bake for a further 3-4 minutes. Remove.



In the meantime, heat a large non-stick frying pan or a medium-low heat. Add the remaining margarine. Allow to melt.

We used a wok…but its all the same!



Add the mushroom stems, onion and reserved tomato ‘bottoms’. Gently fry for 1 -2 minutes or until tender.



Add the nuts and remaining Herbs De Provence. Mix together. Gently fry for a further minute.  Remove from the heat.



In the meantime, prepare and/or heat your rolls (if desired/applicable).



Transfer the mushroom mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the cheese and vinegar. Season it as necessary.



Mix together.



 Spoon the mushroom mixture on top of the tomato. Place back into the oven. Bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove.

As you can see… the mushrooms and tomatoes give off a lot of water!

Cooked and ready to eat!



Cut the rolls into halves. Place the rocket onto the lower half, followed by the mushroom and  then top with the other half of the roll. 🙂

NB: We went into ‘burger mode’ and put chutney on the roll 😦 …this is not recommended! If you are using the chutney, save it for the wedges!



Serve the potato wedges ‘to share’….


…or next to the burgers with some sweet chilli and tomato chutney (if desired).

NB: This plate has 2 portions. Feel free to serve these ‘burgers’ with more salad vegetables!



Broccoli, Leek & Potato Soup

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking time:  45minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K,  protein, fibre, calcium, potassium, iron, no added sugars and is low in fats!

 This is a great, simple and delicious soup that can be created in less than an hour! It has a very velvety and satisfying taste; as broccoli is out of season here in the UK, use a frozen variety if preferred. 



+++++++++++++++++++++++++360g      Broccoli
+++++++++++++++++++++++++220g      Leek
+++++++++++++++++++++++++200g      Potato
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4g           Garlic
+++++++++++++++++++++++++140g       Green lentils
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1.5L         Vegetable Stock (low-sodium, DF/GF)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++500ml   Water
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g            Dried thyme (optional)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++                Salt
+++++++++++++++++++++++++                Ground black pepper


Nutritional Content (*Based on 4 Servings):

1 serving provides: 192kcal, 13.3g Protein, 1.4g Fat, 0.51g Sat/fat, 11g Fibre, 0.3g Salt,    95mg Calcium, 7mg Iron



Wash and chop the broccoli (including the stem). Trim the ends, slice and then wash the leek (preferably place it into a large bowl filled with water; allow to soak and then drain). Wash and roughly chop the potato. Peel and dice the garlic. Remove any stones from the lentils; wash and then drain.


Meanwhile, prepare the lentils according to the packet instructions. Drain.

NB: Once cooked, my lentils went straight into this plastic tub; this soup was going to be many delicious lunches for us throughout the week. 🙂


In the meantime, place the vegetable stock and water into a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Add the broccoli, leek, potato and garlic. Stir together. Bring back to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.


Remove from the heat. Add the thyme (if using). Allow to cool slightly.


Use a hand-held blender in the saucepan or transfer the soup mixture into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.


Transfer back into the saucepan (if applicable). Add the lentils. Stir together. Season it to taste with some salt and pepper.


Return to the heat. Warm slightly (if applicable).


Ladle into a soup bowl. Garnish with seeds, nuts, herbs, rocket, croutons or plain yoghurt if desired and serve.



If preferred…

  • Try swapping the potatoes or the broccoli for some brussel sprouts!
  • If you are not vegan, try adding some cheese to the soup.
  • Use onion if you are not keen on leeks.
  • Try adding a bit of cooked brown rice instead of lentils; adjust portions accordingly.
  • Use fresh or frozen vegetables.
  • Once the soup is puréed, try adding some DF milk or yoghurt (or low-fat dairy products if you’re not vegan). If you decide to do make this alteration, slightly reduce the amount of water used.

Vegan Sicilian Pasta With Chickpeas

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep & Cooking time: 20 minutes

Recipe adapted from: fatfreevegan

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, protein, fibre, potassium, iron, no added sugar and is low in saturated fats!

From what I’ve read, Sicilian pastas dishes include cheap, simple and tasty ingredients! This recipe is very fresh, light and it’s easy to execute! The orange and chilli flavours work beautifully together and it’s a nice change from dense tomato, pesto or creamy pastas.

Quick fact: The corn-based pasta and the chickpeas provide a nice bit of ‘protein combining’ action!



+++++++++++++++++++++++++130g   GF Spaghetti
+++++++++++++++++++++++++400g   Tin Chickpeas (in water)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++16g     Garlic cloves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++140g   Red onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             1 Large orange (zest and juice)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++220g   Baby plum tomatoes
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g     Black olives
+++++++++++++++++++++++++8g        Fresh basil leaves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             1kcal Fry Spray (low-fat cooking oil)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++             Salt & ground black pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g        Chilli flakes
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g        Dried oregano
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g        Dried basil


 *Based on this meal serving 2, this recipe provides approximately:

485Kcal, 18.2g Protein, 8.1g Fat, 1g Sat/fat, 1.12g Salt, 4.6mg Iron

(NB: To lower the calorie and fat content, reduce the quantity of the chickpeas.)



Place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions.


Meanwhile, drain and wash the chickpeas.


 Add the chickpeas to the saucepan just before the pasta is finished cooking. Save one cup of cooking water before you drain the pasta.

NB: The brand of GF pasta I used took 12 minutes to cook.


 In the meantime, peel and chop the garlic into slices. Peel and dice the onion.


Wash, zest and juice the orange.


Place a large non-stick frying pan or wok over a medium-low heat. Allow it to heat up.


Meanwhile, quarter the the tomatoes.


Rinse the olives (if they were in brine), de-stone(if necessary) and roughly chop them.


Wash, dry and remove some basil leaves from the stem. NB: I used some straight out of my freezer.


Spray some low-fat cooking oil into the pan/wok. Add the garlic. Gently fry for 1 minute or until fragrant.

NB: I used ‘3 sprays’.


Remove and transfer onto a small plate.


Spray a little more low-fat cooking oil. Add the onions. Gently fry for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Season it with some salt and pepper to tatse.

NB: I used ‘3 sprays’.


Add the zest. Fry for 30seconds.


Add the chilli flakes, the dried oregano and basil. Stir together. Fry for 20 seconds.


Remove from the heat; leave the burner on.


By this point you can probably add (or have added) the chickpeas to the pasta. Remove a cup of cooking liquid.


When the pasta has been drained, place the pan/wok back over a medium-low heat. Add the cooking liquid and juice. Stir together.



Add the tomatoes, olives and fresh basil. Stir together. Simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the tomatoes are just softened.


Add the pasta mixture.


Stir together. Remove from the heat.


Serve warm. Serve in a pasta bowl or lipped plate. Garnish and season as desired.




If preferred… 

  • Use half the amount of zest if you do not like your meals too ‘zesty’.
  • Use wholemeal or spelt pasta if you are not concerned about gluten
  • Try adding a bit of spinach.
  • Use a dried variety of chickpea; soak/cook before use .
  • Try green lentils or broad beans instead of chickpeas, or oregano instead of basil.
  • Try some other Sicilian pasta ingredient combinations, e.g. fresh pasta, dried fruits (raisins, sultanas or apricots), nuts, seeds, shaved fennel, aubergine, mushrooms, fresh herbs, capers, toasted/garlic breadcrumbs or some oily fish, prawns or cheeses (if you are not vegan).