The dishes you need to start a new year on

The indulgent holidays are over so now you need 3 post-Christmas healthy dishes to kick-start the year.

Here are 3 of my favourites which have loads of vegetables to boost the immune system.

3 post-Christmas healthy dishes

  • Butternut squash and tomato lasagne – totally vegetarian using bright vegetables great for mid-winter… a little cream to enjoy a little more indulgence
  • Korean Bibimbap… mixed rice bowl. I’ll admit this can be a little fiddly the first time round but wow, it packs loads of flavour and is great for your veggie intake
  • Spicy Thai beef salad – the name says it all. Wonderfully healthy, spicy and tasty. Plus, it can be whipped up in 15 – 20 mins.

Butternut squash and tomato lasagne recipe

I found this recipe in my new favourite cookbook, Mezcla.


  • 1 small to medium (or ½ large) butternut squash, sliced thinly (4mm)
  • 400 g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced/thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Cracked pepper for seasoning
  • Glug of olive oil
  • 10 sage leaves


  • 220 g double cream
  • 80 g parmesan, grated
  • ¼ tsp finely grated nutmeg
  • 250 – 300 g lasagne sheets
  • 400 g chicken stock or vegetarian/water
  • Sea salt and pepper for seasoning


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220 C.
  2. Peel the butternut squash and using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice thinly (approx. 4mm) circles.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the butternut, halved cherry tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste, chopped sage (keep some sage leaves for the topping), salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, make the sauce. Mix the double cream (keep a little cream for later), parmesan, and nutmeg.
  5. Use an oven dish (approx. 28cm x 23cm) and start layering –
  6. Lasagne sheets, butternut mix, a little cream sauce. Repeat until you’ve finished the ingredients (approx. 3 layers). Remember to keep a little cream sauce.
  7. Now, pour the stock/water over and cover the dish with foil. Pop into the oven for 50 mins.
  8. After 50 mins, take the foil off, spoon over the last of the cream sauce, then pop back into the oven for another 10 mins.
  9. Optional: Last but not least, add the last sage leaves to the top (brush with a little oil so they don’t burn) and put it back in the oven for 5 mins.
  10. Rest the lasagne. Add more parmesan and serve.

If you fancy a non-vegetarian lasagne, visit here.

Butternut squash and tomato lasagne

Korean Bibimbap… mixed rice bowl

Bibimbap is goodness and comfort in a bowl.

Korean bibimbap. Mixed rice bowl recipe
Korean bibimbap. Mixed rice bowl

Korean Bibimbap. Mixed rice bowl

Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Keyword Asian, bibimbap, hearty meal, Korean, Rice bowl
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinade beef 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Cost £


For the beef marinade

  • 300 g beef mince (Veggie version; switch for tofu)
  • 21/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp roasted sesame seed oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 3 spring onions, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 400 g short-grain white rice

For the gochujang sauce

  • 3 tbsp gochujang chilli paste (buy in Asian section at supermarket or online)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp sugar or maple syrup

For the toppings

  • 150 g carrots, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cucumber halved lengthways, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 150 g bean sprouts
  • roasted sesame seed oil to season
  • soy sauce to season
  • sunflower or vegetable oil to fry
  • 200 g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 300 g spinach
  • dried seaweed Optional
  • 4 eggs
  • toasted sesame seeds to serve


Gochujang sauce

  • Start by making the gochujang sauce in a bowl, then set aside.

Beef marinade

  • In another bowl, mix together the ingredients for the beef marinade, then add the beef, cover and set aside for 30-60 mins.


  • Cook the rice according to the packet instructions, then set aside and keep warm.


  • In a saucepan, bring some water to a boil and blanch (cook for approx 1min) your sliced carrots, cucumber and bean sprouts. Keep them separate each time.
    When you remove each vegetable (using a slotted spoon) drain fully and season each with ½ a tsp of roasted sesame seed oil and soy sauce.
  • In a pan, heat 1 tbsp of sunflower oil and stir-fry the mushrooms for 4 mins until softened. Remove from the pan and season with ½ a tsp of roasted sesame seed oil and soy sauce.
    Using the same pan, add the spinach and sprinkle over 2 tsp of water and fry for a couple of minutes, stirring, until it's wilted.
    Then remove the spinach, squeeze out any excess water and season as before with ½ teaspoon of roasted sesame seed oil and soy sauce. Set aside with the other veggies.


  • In the same pan again, add the marinated beef.
    Stir-fry over high heat for 3-5 mins, until the sauce has reduced and the meat is cooked.

Egg (optional)

  • In a clean frying pan, fry the eggs.

Assemble your bibimbap

  • To serve:
    Add the rice as the base.
    Place 1 egg onto the centre of the rice.
    Arrange the vegetables and meat around it.
    Sprinkle some sesame seeds.
    Add a couple of spoonfuls of gochujang sauce.
    And to eat, mix everything together including breaking the yolk.
    Add more gochujang sauce to taste.


recipe inspired by: The Guardian

Spicy Thai Beef Salad

Simple, refreshing and quick to put together.

Spicy Thai beed salad

Spicy Thai Beef Salad

Course Main Course, Salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Cost £


  • 250 g egg noodles Optional. I do this as a side for hungry growing teenagers
  • 4 minute steaks, sliced thinly (locally sourced where possible)

Steak marinade

  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp oil


  • 1 juice of lime
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed or grated


  • handful of mint, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 cucumber, grated
  • 400 g bean sprouts
  • handful of peanuts, crushed
  • 1 red chilli chopped
  • half a handful of coriander, chopped


  • Steak marinade: In a wide bowl, mix the fish sauce, ginger, garlic, soy and rice vinegar with the 2 tsp of brown sugar.
    Place the steaks in and leave to marinade for approx 20 minutes or while you are doing the other prep.
  • Optional noodles: Cook noodles as per packet instructions. Then set aside.
  • Salad prep: Into a bowl, grate your cucumber and carrot and add the mint and bean sprouts.
    Dressing prep: In a cup or small jug, add the lime juice, garlic, fish sauce and brown sugar and mix well. Taste and make any adjustments if needed.
  • Now, in a frying pan, on a high heat, add some oil and cook the steaks for a couple of minutes on each side (depending on how thick your steaks are).
    Sprinkle a little sea salt over them and leave to rest.
    After 10 minutes, slice the beef into thin slices and add to the salad bowl. Mix all the salad ingredients and beef with the dressing.
  • Serve in individual bowls or on a large platter. Sprinkle some coriander over and some sliced red chilli
    Optional noodles: if serving these as well, cut the noodles so they are shorter and then lightly fry in the pan and serve in a bowl for everyone to help themselves to.