January cheap eats #1

It’s taken longer than usual to get over the Christmas and New Year gatherings – which were lovely. As I have my youngest daughter’s birthday early in January and have also been tying up loose ends after running a Beach Hut pop up shop at the beach – am only just getting into the 2015.

So now we’re well into January and I am not detoxing or embarking on new diets or anything. But do need to get back to sensible eating again after Christmas indulgences.

January can be a long month and the weather and short days can make you want to eat comforting foods. Just at the time when you’re wanting to recalibrate your eating and drinking habits. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive and if you go for foods that are in season and make soups and stews they can be comforting without being unhealthy. I am going to post some healthy, cheap recipes and links throughout what’s left of January …

FIrst up is a recipe from My Darling Lemon Thyme – a blog by a Kiwi living in Perth, Australia. The style of the blog is gorgeous to start with and the recipes are vegan and gluten free. I’ve only had a chance to try one of the recipes : yellow split pea with carrot and sumac soup. I’m always drawn to simple recipes and I love beans and lentils, they’re great sources of protein, fibre and essential minerals and vitamins. A pack of yellow split peas are 55p for 500g from my local supermarket. So you can see it’s a cheap meal. Yellow split peas contain good amounts of thiamin, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese. This recipe makes lots of portions – I tend to make this up and freeze some of it.

My toddler loves this soup – probably partly because she gets to sprinkle the sumac on – I have to hide it after the second or third time. From my experience, children like beans and lentils, they’re a great way to make meat stews and sauces go further by adding a cheaper form of protein.

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For me healthy eating tends to be easier if I eat things that I can make for the whole family and/or adapt for me – so for instance I don’t really like pasta, so instead I will have puy lentils or broccoli with pasta sauce. Making healthy meals that the whole family can eat, creates less work, and therefore makes it easier for you to maintain a healthy diet.

First Steps Nutrition recently published an Eating well recipe book which has lots of simple cost effective recipes for the whole family, including guideline portion sizes. First Steps Nutrition is an independent, expert public health nutrition charity that provides resources to support eating well from pre-conception to five years. All their advice and guidance is based on the best available evidence.

Hope that 2015 is a happy, healthy year for you 🙂

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