Christmas is over and it’s time to stop indulging and think about healthy eating. January for me always starts with good intentions so before I break my New Year’s resolution to lose weight and eat better. Here are some very good low fat recipes to try.

We all know that reducing the fat in your diet means losing weight, but we do need some fat. Our brain tissues and bone marrow both need fat to function and we also need fat to protect our organs such as our liver, heart and kidneys. Nutritionists suggest cutting our intake of fat to 30% of our total intake will bring good results. Saturated fats are bad fats which the body has difficulty breaking down so it tends to store it; these are solid at room temperature. Unsaturated fats are normally liquid and are classed as good fats which the body needs. Another tip is to grill things instead of frying so the fat drains away. Below are several recipes to help with a healthier diet.

Buen Apetito

Oat Crusted Chicken Pieces

25g rolled oats
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
4 skinless chicken quarters
1 egg white
150g natural low fat fromage frais
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
Salt and pepper

Mix together the rolled oats, rosemary and salt and pepper. Brush each chicken with egg and then coat with oats mixture. Place the chicken on a baking tray and cook for about 40 minutes 200º C. Test the chicken with a skewer – the juice should run clear if cooked. Mix fromage frais and mustard, add salt and pepper and serve with chicken salad.

Hot Pot Chops

4 lean boneless pork chops
1 small onion
1 medium carrot
1 medium potato
1 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Trim excess fat from the chop, season both sides and place on a baking tray. Alternate layers of sliced onion, carrot and potato on each chop. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the chop is tender. Serve with peas.

Ginger Beef with Chilli

4 lean beef steaks
2 tbsp ginger wine
2.5 cm piece of root ginger
1 garlic crushed
1 tsp ground chilli
1 tsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
225g pineapple
1 small red pepper
1 red chilli
2 tsp soy sauce
1 piece stem ginger in syrup, drained and chopped.

Trim all excess off the beef steaks. Using a rolling pin or mallet, pound the steaks to tenderise and season both sides, then place in a shallow dish. Mix the ginger wine, root ginger, garlic and chilli and then pour over the meat. Cover and leave for minimum of 30 minutes. Make the relish by finely chopping the pineapple and place in a bowl. Halve and deseed the pepper and chilli and then finely chop. Stir into the pineapple together with the soy sauce and stem ginger. Chill until required. Brush a grill pan with oil and heat until very hot. Drain the meat and add to the pan turning the heat down and cook one side for 5 minutes and then turn over. Serve with noodles and the relish.

Leek and Parsnip Bake

350g parsnips (cubed)
350g leeks (chopped)
1tbsp olive oil
3 eggs separated
2tbsp plain flour
225g low-fat soft cheese
Salt and pepper

Boil parsnips in water until tender and drain and mash. Heat the oil and cook leeks until tender. Add half the leeks to the parsnips, stir in the flour and then the egg yolks. Beat egg whites until stiff and then add to the mixture. Spread the mixture in a tin and bake on 190 degrees for 25 minutes. Stir the remaining leeks into the soft cheese and heat up. Add seasoning to taste. When the bake is cooked, remove from the oven and spread the leek/cheese mixture over the top. Serve either hot or cold.

Sesame Seed Oatcakes

200g 7 oz oatmeal
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Pinch of salt
Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp of olive oil
2-3 tbsp of hot water
Flour to dust

Mix all ingredients to form firm dough, but add the water a little at a time. The mixture will be very crumbly, but keep pressing together. Roll the mixture out on a floury surface as thinly as you can. Cut into triangles or rounds and place on baking tray. Bake on 180C 350 F for about 10 minutes until golden brown.