Check out the second delicious meal plan of the series from World Cancer Research Fund! 

Lentil shepherd's pie

Swap the mince for lentils and create a wonderfully comforting vegetarian dish. There's nothing like coming home and enjoying a nutritious and warming meal after a hectic and tiring day. This vegetarian version includes a great range of vegetables that contain important nutrients and fibre. This recipe takes 90 minutes to make and serves 2. 

Ingredients 

  • 50g brown lentils, rinsed
  • 400g potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 30g low-fat cheddar, grated
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, cut into small batons
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 parsnip, cut into small batons
  • 4 mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 x 200g can chopped tomatoes
  • Sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-salt soy sauce
Method 
  1. Cook the lentils in stock (reserved vegetable water works well) or water until they are tender (about 45 minutes). See packet instructions.
  2. Meanwhile boil the potatoes. When tender, drain the potatoes, add the grated cheese and black pepper, and mash with the milk to obtain a creamy consistency.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/Fan 180ºC.
  4. Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed pan and fry the onion. Add the carrot, leek and parsnip and a little water. Cover and simmer until almost tender.
  5. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until they are soft. Then add the cooked lentils, tomato puree, tomatoes, rosemary, oregano and bay leaf, and cook for a few more minutes. Add the soy sauce and season to taste with black pepper.
  6. Spoon into an ovenproof dish. Cover with the mashed potatoes and use a fork to even out the surface. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the top is nicely browned, or pop under the grill to brown at the end if necessary.
You could double the quantity and freeze the leftovers. 

Warm almond peaches

These luscious peaches are filled with a sweet and creamy almond filling. Fruit is a perfect pudding as it is naturally sweet and low in fat. Using ricotta cheese is a good alternative to cream in desserts. The peaches are delicious on their own, or served with low-fat yoghurt and berries. This takes 30 minutes and serves 2. 

Ingredients

  • 4 peach halves (canned in natural juice, or 2 fresh peaches if available)
  • 50g reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 4 amaretti biscuits, lightly crushed
  • 1 lemon, zest (finely grated) and juice

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Fan 160ºC. Line an ovenproof dish with greaseproof paper.
  2. Place the peach halves, stone-cavity side up, on the baking parchment. If using fresh peaches, remove skin (by placing in large bowl and pouring boiling water over them, leave to stand for 2-3 minutes, and then the skin should peel away easily), halve and remove stone, and place on the parchment as for canned peaches.
  3. Spoon the ricotta cheese into a bowl and blend with a wooden spoon to a smooth consistency. Add the crushed amoretti biscuits, lemon zest and juice. Blend together well.
  4. Spoon an equal amount of filling mixture into each peach half and bake for 20 minutes.
You can use one crushed ginger or digestive biscuit for an alternative to the almond flavour of the amoretti biscuits. You can also use other fruit, like pears or apricots. Just scoop out the centre to hold the filling. 

Autumn bramble

Blackberries and apples make a perfect pairing. Rather than using them in a conventional pudding, impress family and friends with this non-alcoholic cocktail. This takes 10 minutes and serves 6. 

Ingredients 

  • 200g blackberries
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 750ml cold water
  • 250ml apple juice
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 apple, sliced to garnish

Method

  1. In a food processor, blend together most of the blackberries with the lime juice and 100ml water. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour the blackberry mixture into a large jug and top up with the apple juice, the rest of the cold water and handful of ice cubes. Garnish with a sliced apple and remaining blackberries.

Serve these autumnal refreshers in tumblers with plenty of ice and garnishing.

To find more healthy recipes you can try this Dry January, please visit https://www.wcrf-uk.org/recipes.