Mrs Crunch shares healthy food and recipes that are good for your waist and wallet

With some clever planning, you can put the whole family on a healthier footing for the year ahead.

Forget giving things up. The new year is all about giving things a GO.

Try my tasty recipes from morrisons.com too.

Swap snacks

Chocolate Santas and mince pies begone! Instead, have a good supply of healthy snacks to hand at work and at home.

Ocado green seedless grapes are down from £1.99 to £1.59 until January 22, while British cox apples are now £1.28, down from £1.92.

Figure out fats

Instead of trying – and failing – to cut out all fats, keep eating the good ones: nuts, avocados and oily fish such as salmon give all the family essential goodness.

Co-op baby avocado are on special offer, 99p per pack.

Berry enjoyable

Some foods pack a super-healthy punch and berries top the list. They are packed with anti-oxidants and illness-fighting goodness.

Asda Grower’s Selection blueberries are £1.60.

Exotic tastes

Give your breakfast a tropical taste by making your morning porridge with coconut milk.

Buy two Alpro Fresh coconut milk, £1.80, for £2 at Tesco. Add sliced fruit on top, such as an Ocado ripen-at-home giant mango, down from £1.80 to £1.

Fill the freezer

Stack your ice box full of foods to make healthy eating easier. Buy two packs of Birds Eye’s Steamfresh mix of garden peas, romanesco broccoli and leaf spinach for £3, or £1.75 each at Morrisons.

Get greens

Whatever you’re eating, pile a heap of green veg on the side. Leafy greens or kale, broccoli, and tasty beans all count – fresh or frozen.

Save a third on Waitrose fine green beans down from £2 to £1.33.

Don't take it away

For the days when you feel like caving in and reaching for the takeaway menu, reach instead for a healthy ready-made meal.

Morrisons has Weight Watchers’ chicken and lentil tikka masala at a new low price of £2, down from £2.50.

Souper lunches

Making your own soup at home is super simple, but if time is short, grab a ready-made pot. Read the label, opting for those low in sugar, salt and fat, and high in protein and fibre.

Get Glorious! SkinnyLicious soups for less than half price at Morrisons, currently down to £1 from £2.10.

Meat-free Mondays

At least one meat-free day a week will boost your health and your wallet. The easiest things to make are tasty vegetable curries and chilis.

Using chunks of butternut squash or sweet potato will make it feel extra filling. Buy a butternut squash, for 69p per kilo at Lidl, down from 99p.

Fine tune five-a-day

Some clever swaps will help you pack in more goodness from nature’s best. Swap orange juice for Asda apple, pear, spinach, kale and mint fruit and veg juice, £1.50. Swap regular white rice for cauliflower rice – and make it easy with Iceland cauliflower rice steam bags 600g, £2 for four.

Take your pulse

Pack your curries, casseroles, and pasta sauces with pulses to fill the family with extra goodness. Stock up on cheap tins of chickpeas, cannellini and kidney beans, and lentils. Pile a baked potato high with chilli con carne packed with essential Waitrose canned red kidney beans in water, 55p.

Clever carbs

Swap white carbs for wholewheat rice or pasta to pack more fibre into your diet. Napolina wholewhat fusilli, 500g, is now reduced from £1.32 to £1 at Morrisons.

Chicken, carrot and apricot tagine

(Serves four)

YOU NEED:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 chicken legs
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 5cm root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 350ml chicken stock, made from a cube
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 12 dried apricots, halved
  • 15g fresh coriander, roughly chopped

METHOD:

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a saucepan. Season the chicken well and sear until browned on both sides.

Remove from the pan and add remaining oil along with the onions, garlic and ginger. Season well and sauté for about ten minutes until the onions are soft.

Lightly crush the saffron strands and add 1 tsp boiling water. This will intensify the colour and taste.

Add the saffron to the onions along with the other spices and tomato purée.

Continue to cook for two minutes then add the chicken, carrots, stock, honey, lemon juice and apricots.

Simmer for 40 minutes or until the chicken is tender, cooked through and no pink meat remains.

Garnish with the coriander. This dish is great served with couscous.

Parsnip and pear soup

(Serves four)

YOU NEED:

  • 3 parsnips
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 conference pears
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • 750ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp thyme, chopped
  • Black pepper and salt

METHOD:

Peel the parsnips and keep the peelings to one side.

Place the parsnips in a roasting tin and drizzle with a little of the sunflower oil. Roast at 180C for 20 minutes.

Place the pears on the roasting tray with the parsnips and roast for a further ten minutes. Using the remaining oil, saute the onion and garlic in a large saucepan for four to five minutes.

Add the cinnamon and cook through for another minute. Tip the roasted pear and parsnip into the pan.

Add the stock and bring to a simmer, then blitz with a hand blender. Stir in the thyme and season to taste.

Add the parsnip peelings to the roasting tin, drizzle with a little oil and cook for five minutes until crisp. Serve the soup, garnished with the parsnip crisps.

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