Thursday, 21 December 2017

12 DAYS OF SHANMAS #7 | Christmas Comfort Food

Christmas comfort food is the one thing I look forward to in winter.

Christmas comfort food is the one thing I look forward to in winter.

Filling pasta dishes and yummy, slightly healthier alternatives are so good for the colder months.

I thought I'd give you all a few quick easy recipe ideas for winter and to be honest, all year round. I'm not a super fussy eater but once I like a particular dish I end up eating it so often, I once ate tuna pasta every day for six weeks! I know, its crazy but if you enjoy a meal then why not?

Below are 5 quick, simple yet tasty dishes you can make over the Christmas period.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

A traditional dish made slightly healthier, but still just as mouthwatering. If, like me, you'll find comfort in carbs over the winter period, but that doesn't mean you have to feel guilty!

I bake the 10% fat meatballs in the oven (following directions on the packaging) and proceed to boil the spaghetti. Instead of using a shop bought sauce, I make my own healthier version. Stir chopped tomatoes in garlic, tomato puree, passata and a dash of Worcestershire sauce for added flavour. You can also use salt and pepper to taste. Tip: garlic salt is extra tasty.

When the meatballs are cooked, add them to the sauce and mix into the spaghetti. Sprinkle cheese on top and voila.

You will need:
  • 10% fat meatballs 
  • Spaghetti
  • Tomato puree with garlic
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Chopped tomatos in garlic
  • Passata
  • Cheese
In this photo, I used tricolour pasta and added some sweetcorn to liven it up a little... 

Philidelphia Pasta Bake

I've eaten this meal so many times in the past few months. Mainly because it takes as little as twenty minutes to prepare and it's one of the tastiest on the list. While boiling your preferred amount of pasta, (I use 140g in this recipe) start to melt half a tub of light Philadelphia (90g) in a saucepan. Add the vegetable stock to the Phili (half a vegetable cube with 90ml of hot water) and begin to mix the two together until fully melted. 

The sauce should melt at the time that the pasta boils. Drain the pasta and mix with sweetcorn. Pour the sauce in with the pasta and sweetcorn and mix. Place the pasta into a baking dish, sprinkle cheese on top and pop under the grill until golden. As simple and delicious as that!

You will need:
  • Pasta 140g
  • Vegetable Stock 90ml with half a cube
  • Philadelphia Light 90g
  • Sweetcorn - Go crazy or use half a tin like me!
  • Cheese - Is there any limit?

Teriyaki noodles

This is such a tasty dish if you fancy a stirfry with a twist. I really enjoy teriyaki noodles but I try not to eat them often as they can leave you very thirsty! However, the best part is you'll spend less than ten minutes in the kitchen.

I use Mattessons Reduced Fat Smoked Pork Sausage, Bernard Matthews Turkey Ham, any frozen peas, Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce and any brand of wet egg noodles. You can use pretty much any toppings in this stirfry but this is what I used on this particular day. Start by throwing all of the meat into a pan, allow them to heat (They are already cooked) and then mix a dash of Teriyaki and leave to marinade for a few minutes.

Add the egg noodles and allow to cook for five minutes, while adding a few more tablespoons of teriyaki sauce. Add veg and mix everything together! It's as easy as that.

You will need:

  • Egg Noodles
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • Frozen or Garden Peas
  • Any Meat (If you wish) I like chicken, sausages and turkey ham. Protein mad!
Anything will taste good with this sauce!

Stuffed Jackets

Now, this is a potato dish with a little-added excitement. You could call it Christmas spirit but I wouldn't like to exaggerate. Essentially it's just a jacket potato, but extra tasty!

When I have no time to bake a potato in the oven, placing it in the microwave for ten minutes (turn over halfway through) and then popping it on a high heat in the oven for a further ten to fifteen minutes gives it the same affect. Scoop out the baked potato into a bowl, leaving the skin aside, add butter, cheese, salt/pepper and season to taste. You can add fillings you wish, I love to use bacon and peas. Then, place the filling into the skins, pop some cheese on top and put it under the grill until golden.

You will need:

  • Potatoes
  • Cheese
  • Bacon
  • Peas
  • Butter

Roast Dinner

Umm, duh?! I love to make homemade roast dinners but it's a rare occasion that I do so. I usually go to Toby carvery because you can never go wrong there! This year I'm holding out for the big Christmas dinner. While I don't have a specific recipe for the perfect roast dinner, I love to make my own 'healthy' version of roast potatoes using fry light throughout the year.

I love to eat carb-heavy foods, but I make sure to substitute ingredients for a healthier option where possible. Things like lighter cheese or 50% less fat meat taste exactly the same as normal, if not better. These recipes are easily adaptable and you can add your own twist to any of them. Let me know in the comments if you decide to make any!

Happy Shanmas Day Seven!


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