Hearty party hotpot
Preparation time
less than 30 mins
Cooking time
30 mins to 1 hour
Serves 4

This delicious casserole was inspired by Mr Slater Senior who used to cook a similar version every Christmas. This one’s full of winter veg and mushrooms, but it’s equally as tasty with a few bits of turkey or ham thrown in too.

Each serving provides 268kcal, 6g protein, 38g carbohydrate (of which 18g sugars), 7g fat (of which 3g saturates), 10g fibre and 1.2g salt.

By Nigel Slater
From Nigel Slater’s Simple Cooking
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2 onions
20g/1oz butter
sprig rosemary
pinch salt
2 tsp juniper berries
1 carrot
1 parsnip
½ swede
4 tbsp Marsala wine
2 tbsp plain flour
150g/5½oz canned chestnuts
2 bay leaves
400ml/14fl oz vegetable stock
freshly ground black pepper
4 chestnut mushrooms
handful dried porcini mushrooms
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
1 pomegranate, seeds only, white pith removed
Roughly chop the onions and slowly soften in a casserole with a little butter. Meanwhile pick a sprig of rosemary into a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt and the juniper berries. Give them a good bashing then add to the onions.
Now chop the carrot, swede and parsnip into hearty sized chunks, they are going to be the body of the stew, and add to the onions.
To build the sauce, tip in a few glugs of whatever Christmas wines you have to hand, here I particularly like Marsala. Add a spoonful of flour and stir in allowing it to cook through and thicken the sauce. Add the chestnuts, bay leaf and stock, season with freshly ground black pepper, then leave to simmer for 15 minutes.
Quarter the chestnut mushrooms; then add them to the pot along with a handful of dried porcini. This will give the stew a woody depth. Now for the finishing touches to the sauce add a spoonful of wholegrain mustard and redcurrant jelly, and let simmer for a further 20 minutes.
Finally serve with a scattering of pomegranate seeds over each helping.

Black Bean Dip
Black Bean Dip
19/22 ,
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 medium tomato, chopped
1 tsp chopped red onion
1 tsp cumin
1/2 yellow pepper, sliced
6 baby carrots
6 radishes
1 stalk celery, cut into pieces

Combine black beans, tomato, onion, and cumin in a blender until chunky. Serve as a dip with the vegetables.

Total: 182 Calories

The seven grams of fiber will keep you so full, you won’t even think about sweets.

Sweet Treat Yogurt
Sweet Treat Yogurt
20/22 ,
6 oz plain nonfat Greek yogurt
5 fresh apricots, chopped
1 Tbsp agave
1 tsp lemon zest

Mix agave into Greek yogurt, and top with apricots and lemon zest.

Total: 245 Calories

Although it has around the same number of calories as honey, agave is sweeter, so you can use less.

Sweet and Savory Pair
Sweet and Savory Pair
21/22 ,
4 slices pineapple
2 slices 95 percent fat-free deli ham

Total: 226 Calories

While turkey breast is the go-to healthy deli choice, extra-lean ham has only 13 more calories for two slices, plus an extra gram of satiating protein.

Veggie Spread
Veggie Spread
22/22 ,
1 cup 1 percent cottage cheese
1 sprig fresh dill
1 cup sliced cucumber
3/4 cup sliced red bell pepper

Chop up fresh dill, and sprinkle over cottage cheese.

Total: 200 Calories

1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 cup frozen mango
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 2 oranges)
1/2 cup kefir

Blend and serve.

Total: 210 Calories

Kefir is a fermented dairy product that contains oligosaccharides—complex carbs that feed beneficial bacteria and are crucial for a healthy gut.

Veggies and Guac
Veggies and Guac
4/22 ,
1 pack Wholly Guacamole minis
1 cup carrot sticks
1 cup celery sticks

Total: 170 Calories

Enjoy that guac! People who eat a daily dose of avocado are typically healthier than those who don’t, research shows.

Zesty Watermelon
Zesty Watermelon
5/22 ,
1 cup watermelon, cut
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 cup unsalted roasted pistachios, chopped

Spritz watermelon with lime juice, and sprinkle with cayenne and pistachios.

Total: 220 Calories

Not only does cayenne give a unique kick to this snack, but it’s chock-full of health benefits, like aiding digestion, increasing absorption of nutrients, and reducing appetite.

Almond Cappuccino with Pears
Almond Cappuccino with Pears
6/22 ,
2 Tbsp espresso or coffee grounds
7 oz almond milk
1 pear, sliced

Brew espresso or coffee grounds with 1/3 cup water in a machine. Meanwhile, put almond milk in a jar, close the lid tightly, and shake until it doubles in volume. Remove lid, and microwave until warm. Pour into a mug with espresso or coffee. Serve with pear.

Total: 140 Calories

There’s nothing wrong with an afternoon pick-me-up; caffeine is a natural stimulant that can increase your metabolism.

Fruit and Cheese
Fruit and Cheese
7/22 ,
1/3 cup dried apricots
1 oz Gouda cheese

Total: 290 Calories

Researchers believe that the calcium found in dairy helps you burn more fat, so thank that gouda for your soon-to-be flat abs.

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