Heading to the gym, saving money, or taking up an adventurous new hobby? At this time of year we look to the future in a bid to better ourselves and beat the festive bulge.
However, being disciplined with your culinary creations doesn’t mean your meals have to be tasteless.
Enjoy guilt-free cooking with these four healthy, yet flavoursome recipes to feast on throughout 2015.
Chilli Beef with Black Beans and Avocado Salad
• 1 tbsp cumin seed
• 1 tbsp ground coriander
• 2 tbsp hot chilli powder
• 2 tbsp sweet paprika
• 500g extra lean steak mince
• 4 garlic cloves, sliced
• 400g can chopped tomatoes
• 1 reduced-salt beef stock cube
• 2 tbsp tomato puree
• 3 diced peppers
• Large pack coriander, stalks and leaves chopped and separated
• 2 x 400g cans black beans
• 250g wholegrain cooked rice
• 1 small avocado, chopped
• Handful cherry tomatoes, halved
• Empty spices into a large pan and heat for a few seconds to warm them.
• Add mince and garlic, stir and pour in the tomatoes and a can of water.
• Crumble the stock cube, stir in the tomato puree and add the peppers and coriander stalks.
• Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes before stirring in the black beans, cooking for a further 10 minutes until tender.
• Heat the rice following pack instructions and toss salad ingredients together.
• Stir coriander leaves into the chilli and serve.
Easy Risotto with Bacon and Peas
• 1 onion
• 6 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
• 300g risotto rice
• 1l hot vegetable stock
• 100g frozen peas
• Finely chop the onion, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a knob of butter in a pan.
• Add onions and cook until lightly browned (around 7 minutes).
• Add bacon and fry for a further 5 minutes, until it begins to get crisp.
• Add rice and stock and bring to the boil.
• Stir well, reduce the heat and cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes until the rice is nearly tender.
• Stir in peas, add salt and pepper and cook for a further three minutes, until the peas are cooked.
• Serve with ground black pepper and freshly grated parmesan.
Roasted Vegetable Couscous with Mascarpone
• 4 sliced red peppers
• 2 courgettes cut into thick sticks
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled and bruised
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• Half tsp sugar
• 1 red chilli, finely sliced
• 200g couscous
• 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
• 50g mascarpone
• Handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
• Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6.
• Add red peppers and courgettes with garlic, olive oil, sugar and seasoning in a roasting tray.
• Roast for 20 minutes.
• Add tomatoes and sliced chilli and roast for a further 20 minutes.
• Stir couscous and chick peas in a separate bowl and pour over 200-250ml boiling water until just covered.
• Place cling film over the bowl, leave to stand for 10 minutes and fluff with a fork, adding more water if required.
• Remove vegetables from oven, stir in the mascarpone.
• Divide the couscous, top with vegetables and finish with chopped parsley and drizzle with olive oil.
Zesty Lentil and Haddock Pilaf
• 250g easy-cook basmati rice
• 3 red onions, finely sliced
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 140g smoked haddock fillet
• 140g haddock fillet
• 250g pack ready-cooked Puy lentils
• Zest 1 lemon
• Large bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
• 25g flaked toasted almonds
• Cook rice until just tender and drain.
• Fry onions over a medium heat for 10-12 minutes until golden.
• Boil some water in a shallow pan.
• Add the fish fillets and poach for four minutes until the fish is just cooked.
• Drain and break the fish into large flakes.
• Spoon half the onions onto a plate and set these aside.
• Stir the drained rice and lentils into the onion pan and add to the fish, whilst adding parsley and lemon zest.
• Serve topped with reserved onions, some almonds and wedges of lemon.
Battling a New Year diet doesn’t need to be a drag with these exciting, yet healthy suggestions.
Image credits from BigStock