Healthy Eating Advice

Making sure you eat a healthy balanced diet and maintain an active lifestyle is a great way to help you feel at your best. It can also help you to support your long-term health and goals. To help you make healthy meal choices, our nutritionist Hayley Marson has provided her top tips to help you enjoy a balanced diet.


Getting your 5-a-day

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Getting your 5-a-day

Eating more fruit and veg is a great way to boost your fibre intake, as well as support your vitamin and mineral intake. Try and eat 5 portions of fruit and veg a day and remember, fresh, frozen, tinned and dried all count.


Carbohydrates

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Choosing the right carbohydrates

Bread, potatoes, rice and pasta are a good source of energy. Carbohydrates such as these should make up around ⅓ of your daily diet. When choosing carbohydrates, always try and look for wholegrain varieties, which will help increase your fibre intake.


Lean Proteins

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Lean Proteins

Try to eat lean proteins where possible, such as lean meat, eggs, fish, beans and pulses, and where possible, aim for two portions of fish a week. If you can, try and make sure one of your fish portions is an oily fish such as salmon, mackerel or sardines, as this will help to support your omega 3 intake.


Limit sugar

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Sugar

Try to limit the amount of sugar, salt and saturated fat in your diet. While it’s tempting to reach for the treat jar, you can use the food packaging labels to identify green or amber snacks.


Quick and simple recipes


Easy Lasagne

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Easy Lasagne

Ingredients
6 sheets Lasagne Sheets, you can use dried or fresh
15g Olive Oil
500g Minced Beef, you can use fresh or frozen, we’ve used frozen here
1 tin Chopped Tomatoes
1 tsp Dried Mixed Herbs
70g Tomato Puree
200g Light Cream Cheese
50g Grated Cheese
500ml Vegetable Stock
1 Egg
1 Garlic Clove, crushed and finely chopped

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 190c, add the oil to a large frying pan, and heat. Add the beef and fry until coloured or browned gently, then add the onion and garlic.
Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and dried herbs and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.
Make up 500ml of stock adding half to the pan with the mince.
Mix some of the stock (about 3 tablespoons) with the cream cheese, add the egg and beat together, (don't worry if this looks really wet the egg will help set it up and give a thick layer at the end).
Layer the beef and tomatoes and the pasta sheets in an ovenproof dish.
Top with the cream cheese mixture and grated cheese.
Leave to soak letting the sauce and pasta settle for 10-15 minutes, then place in the oven and bake at 190c for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling on top.


Easy Soda Bread

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Easy Soda Bread

Ingredients
350g White Plain Flour , Extra flour for dusting
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1½ tsp Salt
200g Milk
100g Natural Yoghurt , If you don’t have any yoghurt you can make up 300g of milk with a tablespoon of vinegar to sour the milk and use this instead.

Instructions
Pre-heat the oven to 180c/190c.
Dust a baking tray with a little flour.
Mix all the dry ingredients together and pour in the wet ingredients.
Mix thoroughly together (some flours are more absorbent than others, so if your mixture is too wet add a little more flour, or if it’s too dry add a little more milk, the mix should look like a soft bread dough, similar to a scone mix).
Place on a baking tray.
Slash a cross in the middle of the dough almost to the bottom (this helps cook the bread through to the centre)
If you’d like to, dust with a little extra flour for decoration and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the base makes a hollow sound when tapped.
Allow to cool slightly before using.


Simple Tasty Burgers

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Simple Tasty Burgers

Ingredients
1 Small Onion
475g Beef Mince, or any mince you would like
20g Vegetable Oil
4 Burger buns
½ Half an Iceberg lettuce
3 Tomatoes
80g Cheese
2 Gherkins, per burger

Instructions
Finely chop the onion into as small as possible pieces.
Mix the beef mince (or whatever mince you are using) with the chopped onion.
Add a little salt and plenty of black pepper, mix altogether so the onions are well distributed.
On a clean board or bench turn out the mince mix and split into 4 even portions and shape into patties/burgers (the thinner the better as they will cook more evenly).
In a clean pan add a little oil (just enough to brush the base of the pan).
Fry the burgers off, you may need to do two at a time depending on the size of your pan.
If you want to toast the buns for extra flavour, now would be a good time while your burgers are cooking.
Once the burgers are cooked through, top with a little cheese if you’d like to. Now it's time to build your burgers.
Use any toppings you like gherkins, mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomato onions, mayonnaise the list goes on.
Serve with chips salad, coleslaw, pickles, sweet potato fries or wedges.


Almond Shortbread

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No-butter Almond Shortbread

Ingredients
125g caster sugar
1 egg
125g plain natural yogurt
70g ground almonds
200g plain flour
100g cornflour
2 tbsp Demerara sugar

Instructions
Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas 4. Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment. Whisk together the caster sugar, egg and yogurt, then stir in the almonds.
Sift in the plain flour and cornflour, then mix together to form a soft, pliable dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and use pastry cutters to stamp out shapes. Lift the cookies onto the baking sheets, sprinkle with demerara sugar and cook in the oven for 18-20 minutes until golden. Allow to cool.


Flapjacks

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Fruit-packed Flapjacks

Ingredients
100g Unsalted Butter
2 tbsp Soft Light Brown Sugar
5 tbsp Golden Syrup, (approx 70g)
175g Rolled Oats
40g Sultanas
50g diced Apricots, (about 8 apricots in total)
1 Small Apple, grated
50g Dried Cherries, (our chef used Morrisons Luxury Dried Fruits, however you can use any dried fruit you can find, cranberries will work well too)

Instructions
Preheat your oven to 180oc.
Grease and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Put the butter, sugar and syrup into a saucepan and melt over a low heat.
Place the oats and dried fruits as well as the grated apple into a large mixing bowl.
Pour in the melted butter and sugar with the syrup.
Stir well.
Tip the contents into the tray and press down using the back of a spoon, a fish slice or even a potato masher would work (the mixture will be hot so be careful).
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch - be careful as it will be very hot.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
Remove from the tin and cut into small treat size pieces.
You should get about 20 x little bite-sized pieces.


Chicken Chow Mein

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Chicken Chow Mein

Ingredients
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
20g Fresh Ginger
1 Red Chilli, you can use 1x fresh chili, 1/2 teaspoon of chilli paste or 7g of chili powder
1 tbsp Reduced Salt Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Tomato Puree or Tomato Ketchup
2 Chicken breasts, you can use defrosted chicken breasts if you have frozen
2 Nests of Egg Noodles
½ Head of Broccoli , (100g)
1 Carrot, cut into matchsticks (90G)
1 tbsp Oil
200g Beansprouts
4 Finely Sliced Spring Onions, (40g)

Instructions
Cook the noodles to pack instructions.
Make a sauce by mixing the chilli with the soy sauce and tomato puree.
Cut the chicken into strips.
Cut the carrots into matchsticks, cut the broccoli into little florets (Or baby trees).
Finely slice the spring onions.
Add the oil to a pan and fry the chicken, until it’s white and slightly browning, which should take about 3-4 minutes.
Add the ginger and garlic to the pan with the chicken and cook for a further 2-3 minutes stirring all the time.
Add the vegetables (except the spring onions and beansprouts) and cook for a few more minutes (2-3 mins).
Let the whole pan cook through for a further 2-3 minutes.
Add the noodles, stir in well and cook for a minute or so.
Add the sauce, stirring well.
Add the beansprouts and the onions, stir well, and allow to heat through and wilt slightly.


Mexican Pulled Chicken

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Mexican Pulled Chicken

Ingredients
2 Chicken breast, (alternatively, you can use 2x frozen chicken fillets)
1 Red Pepper
1½ tsp Ground Cumin
2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1 Onion, sliced
1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes
2 tbsp Ketchup
1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

Instructions
Rub the chicken with the cumin and the smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
Pre-heat the oven to 190c.
Fry the chicken on both sides in a frying pan, browning both sides to get a crusty spiced outer layer to the chicken.
Add the chopped onion, ketchup and chopped tomatoes to the pan, along with the vinegar.
Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven or place all the contents into an oven proof casserole dish.
Cook in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
After this time, remove the dish from the oven and carefully remove the foil.
Using two forks, shred the chicken into strands.
Taste, add some salt and pepper if needed, and if the sauce is too thin add it back to the oven (without the chicken) to cook uncovered for 5 more minutes before mixing it altogether.
Serve with wedges or rice salad or flatbreads.


Simple Fishcakes

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Simple Fishcakes

Ingredients
350g Fish Pie Mix, fresh or frozen
¾ Spring Onions
150ml Milk
450g Potatoes
50g Sweetcorn, alternatively you can use 50g of peas
50g Grated Cheese, Reserve a little for the sauce
1 Egg
1 dusting Flour, for dusting before frying

Instructions
Pre-heat the oven to 190c.
Cook the potatoes until tender so they break up easily but aren’t too mushy. Allow them to steam dry in the strainer (the dryer they are the better).
Put the fish, spring onions and milk in a pan and heat till the fish is cooked.
Strain the fish and onions, reserving the milk.
Mix the fish with the cooked potatoes, cheese and sweetcorn.
Add some black pepper and form into 6-8 little fishcakes.
Beat the egg in a bowl or dish and dip the cakes in the egg followed by the flour.
Heat a frying pan with a little oil and fry the fish cakes on each side for about 3-4 minutes till golden brown.
Place the fishcakes on a baking tray and cook in a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes (190c).
Add the reserved milk to a small saucepan and gently heat.
Add a teaspoon of flour to a small bowl and add 1 teaspoon of water, mix together to make a thin paste and whisk this into the milk to thicken into a sauce.
If you have any cheese left, add a little to this to taste - add a little pepper if needed, or maybe some salt, a squeeze of lemon would be great too if you have any about.
Serve fishcakes with the sauce and vegetables of your choice (Our chef recommends green beans!)


Shakshuka

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Shakshuka

Ingredients
4 Extra Large Free Range Eggs
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 Red Onions (chopped)
1 Garlic Clove
1 small bunch Coriander
2 cans Tinned Cherry Tomatoes
1 tbsp Caster Sugar
1 Red Chilli (deseeded)
4 Crusty Rolls

Instructions
Heat the oil in a frying pan that has a lid, then soften the onions, chilli, garlic and coriander stalks for 5 mins until soft.
Stir in the tomatoes and sugar, then bubble for 8-10 mins until thick.
Using the back of a large spoon, make 4 dips in the sauce, then crack an egg into each one. Put a lid on the pan and cook over a low heat for 6-8 mins, until the eggs are done to your liking.
Scatter with the coriander leaves and serve with crusty bread.

Tip: Can be frozen for 1 month.


Easter Nest Cake

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Easter Nest Cake

Ingredients
240g Plain Flour
280g Caster Sugar
2 tsps Baking Powder
400g Butter , 100g for the sponge, 200g (softened) for buttercream and 100g for the nest
240ml Milk , plus 2 tbsps for the buttercream
100g Cocoa Powder , plus 5 tbsps for the buttercream
3 Eggs
250g Milk Chocolate
400g Icing Sugar
200g Marshmallows
100g Corn Flakes
1 handful A selection of chocolate eggs to decorate

Instructions
To make the sponges, preheat your oven to 180c, and line the base of 2-3 sponge tins with greaseproof paper and grease the sides well with butter or oil.
Place the butter and sugar in a mixer and blend well till softened, sieve the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder and add to the whipped butter and sugar.
Add the milk and the egg and beat again.
Add to your lined tins and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Once cooked, remove the tins from the oven and allow to cool.
To make your buttercream, melt the chocolate either in a microwave or over a pan of simmering water.
Soften the butter in a mixer and whip till pale, add the icing sugar and the cocoa a little at a time (so the icing sugar doesn't go everywhere!).
Add the melted chocolate and whisk well, add the drops of milk so you have a smooth but not lumpy velvety chocolate icing.
Build your cake in layers, and smooth the sides with the chocolate buttercream, and pipe some buttercream on the top to sit your nest on.
Next, melt the chocolate, butter and marshmallows in a bowl over simmering water or alternatively in a microwave (microwave it for 30 seconds at a time till it’s all melted, be careful it doesn't burn) stirring well, to make sure the mix doesn't split.
Line a glass bowl with greaseproof or clingfilm.
Add the cornflakes to the melted chocolate marshmallow mix and stir in well.
Place the cornflake chocolate mix in the bowl and shape up the sides like a nest, making sure it's not too thick and you have a nice nest-like shape.
Allow the nest to cool in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
Turn out the nest on top of your cake and decorate with the selection of chocolate eggs you have.
Enjoy!


Mixed Bean Chilli

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Mixed Bean Chilli

Ingredients
2 Large Peppers, (approx 200g)
2 Medium Onions, (approx 140g)
1 Small Carrot, peeled
1 Tin Mixed Beans, you can use any mix of beans
1 Tin Baked Beans
1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes
2 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Ground Cumin
2 tbsp Tomato puree
1 Garlic Clove
15g Oil
350g Self-Raising Flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp Baking Powder
350g Natural Yoghurt

Instructions
Finely chop or blend the carrot, onion and garlic.
Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped vegetables.
Cook for 2-3 minutes till softened and glossy looking, then stir in the spices and the tomato puree and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the beans (use all the beans including the water they are stored in) and the chopped tomatoes.
Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve with wedges, flatbreads, taco shells, or rice.
For the Flatbreads: Mix all the ingredients together into a dough, then roll flat and toast on each side in a dry pan.
Enjoy!


Potato Frittata

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Spiced Sweet Potato Frittata with Minted Yoghurt

Ingredients
3 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and sliced (approx 500g)
6 Eggs, beaten
2 Onions, (approx 150g)
1 Red Pepper, sliced
2 tsps Chilli Powder or Curry Powder
100g Natural Yoghurt
10g Oil
1 drop A drop of Vinegar or Lemon Juice
½ tsp Dried Mixed Herbs, (or you can use any fresh herbs)
1 Garlic Clove, (Half for the dressing)
1 large handful Crisp Salad Leaves

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 190c..
Peel and slice the sweet potato into chunky slices.
Boil the sweet potatoes until they’re half cooked and tender.
In an oven proof frying pan add a little oil (1x tablespoon) and add the sliced onions and peppers.
Add the cooked sweet potatoes and cook all together for 2-3 minutes.
Add the spice and continue to cook.
Meanwhile, beat your eggs and add half your mixed herbs and some salt and pepper.
Pour the eggs over the potato and onion mix and stir well, cooking until the egg starts to set.
Place the pan in the oven and cook until all the egg has all set.
If you can't put the pan in the oven you can use a grill, but you will need to try and flip the frittata over half way through cooking.
To make the dressing, mix the leftover herbs and garlic with the yoghurt and lemon/vinegar. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with the crisp salad and dressing on the side.


Recipes using what's in your cupboard

Using ingredients you're likely to find already in your cupboards, fridge and freezer, here you'll find tasty recipes for dishes such as bangers and mash, fish finger pie and tuna and sweetcorn burgers. 

The recipes are all easy to follow and result in some truly winning flavour combinations. You'll find plenty of ideas and inspiration below - tuck in and enjoy.

 







Storing food and reducing waste

As your fridge, freezer and kitchen cupboards may be fuller than usual at this time, Jonathan Coates our Morrisons Chef has provided some top tips on storing food and making the most of your space.


Storage Tips

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Storage Tips

- Potatoes are best kept somewhere cool, preferably dark and well ventilated - a cupboard or wardrobe is a good option, or even a garage. You can also store onions and garlic the same way.
- Store your mushrooms in a paper bag or a lidless plastic container lined with kitchen roll and covered over the top with paper towel. The paper will keep the mushrooms clean and dry as the plastic containers can make the mushrooms sweaty and slimy over time - by storing them in paper you can extend the life. You can also store mushrooms in a cupboard rather than in the fridge.
- Don’t keep bananas next to other fruit as the bananas release a gas called ethylene that will cause your fruits to ripen too quickly. Don’t keep ripe bananas in a plastic bag either as this seals the ethylene in and causes them to go brown/black. (If you store a few apples with your potatoes the same gas will help keep the potatoes for longer.)
- Tomatoes can be stored at room temperature and don’t need to be refrigerated; they will ripen better and it improves their flavour.
- “Display Until” is an indication to stores as to when to take the product off shelves and not a food safety issue. The product can be eaten after this date (before the product is spoiled/deteriorated).
- With a “Best Before”, the date indicated is to do with quality as opposed to food safety and products may be used after this date without affecting safety (before the product is spoiled/deteriorated). Check the label for guidance on how to store once opened. Products that must be stored in the fridge once opened should not be consumed after the number of days stated is exceeded.
- A “Use By” date is a food safety issue. The product should not be consumed after this date.


Menu Planning

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Menu Planning

Menu planning is a great way to plan your shopping and to get the most out of the food you buy. Here are Jon’s top tips for good meal planning.

- Check your cupboards, fridges and freezer when planning your shopping list and meals.
- Plan your week’s meals each day, remembering to think about lunchtimes as well.
- Plan one meal that is all vegetables and meat free, sometimes these meals can be cheaper and a great way of introducing more vegetables into your diet.
- Look at planning your meals with a way of using up the leftovers, so for example if you are making a stew can you then use the leftovers for a pie the next day?
- Consider using a portion planner tool to help you make sure you’re finding the right balance of protein, vegetables and carbohydrates in each meal.


Freeze It

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Freeze It

- Always ensure that food is placed in an airtight container, freezer bags or wrapped up well before freezing.
- Remember to label your products with what it is and the date that it was frozen - this will help you easily identify the food that you are looking for when it comes to getting out for future meals.
- When you freeze products, look at whether you will want to use the whole pack on defrosting, or smaller portions. If you don’t need the whole pack, split it into individual portions so it's easy to defrost only what you need.
- Leftover food is perfect for the freezer - ensure that you cool the leftovers down as quickly as possible after cooking and only freeze when cool - these make easy meals for another day.
- You can freeze most foods, but where there is a use by date, freeze them before this date, then defrost in the fridge when needed, ensuring that you use it within 24 hours of defrosting.
- Bread can be frozen to make it last longer - just take out a slice as you need it for toasting or if making sandwiches, take out the slices of bread at least 30 minutes before you need it and wrap in clingfilm to stop the bread from drying out.
- Milk can be frozen, simply make sure the lid is on tight. It will keep for months when frozen - to defrost, take out and defrost in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
- Hard cheeses, like Cheddar or Wensleydale, can be frozen. Make sure you wrap them up or place in an airtight container first.. You can grate cheese into individual portions, wrap into little cling film parcels and just pop them out of the freezer as and when you need them.
- You can freeze eggs, but don't freeze them whole in their shells otherwise they will pop in the freezer. Eggs can be beaten with a fork and then frozen individually in little containers
- Most products bought fresh can be frozen with little effect on the nutritional values.
If you have any leftover fruit or vegetables, these can all be chopped and frozen for use at a later date. For example apples can be chopped and frozen in food bags or little cling film bags which can then be defrosted to make smoothies or fruit crumbles from the frozen fruits. Soft fruits like strawberries and raspberries can be frozen and will be perfect for making smoothies or stirred through natural yoghurt. Bananas also freeze well, and can be eaten straight from the freezer or used in smoothies.


Chill It

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Chill It

- Check that your fridge temperature is set for optimum freshness at below 5 degrees C, anything above this is too warm and will speed up the spoilage of perishable foods such as milk and salad leaves.
- Certain products can last for longer by ensuring that once opened they are sealed well - tupperware containers can help keep products for longer, or you can make sure you cover them well with cling film or foil to protect exposure to the air.
- Celery will last longer by wrapping it in foil and just using a stalk at a time. Wrapping in foil works on lettuce and broccoli too.
- If you want berries such as raspberries and strawberries to last longer, wash them in a mix of 100ml of vinegar to 300ml of water, this will reduce the microbial spoilage and should extend the life as long as they are dried thoroughly before refrigerating.
- Fresh herbs can be stored in the fridge but bunch them together much like a bouquet and store them like you would a bunch of flowers in a clean pot of fresh water. Fresh basil is the exception to this, and is best stored in a cool dry place rather than the fridge. If you have left over herbs, look at chopping and freezing them in little parcels of cling film till they’re needed.
- Eggs are best stored in the fridge and, if so, will often keep fresh beyond their Best Before date. Keep them at a constant temperature to avoid condensation forming on their shells.