Healthy and comfort food are not words you would normally associate with going together, particularly at this time of year. However, you will be pleased to hear that healthy comfort food really does exist, you just need a little inside information into what’s good and what’s not! And it’s important to remember that it’s also a case of how you cook rather than what you cook, too.

Pies are undoubtedly traditional winter warmers but definitely a not so healthy bonfire night comfort food. All that red meat, saturated fat and pastry is a definite no-no if you are watching your weight – and you are conscious of your health. So why not do a little food swapping to drastically reduce the calorie content without affecting the overall taste too much. Do away with the pastry totally, or at least just reduce it to a thin and crispy pastry top; yes it’s yummy, but it is quite naughty! Now you’re left with the filling, which minus the presence of much pastry becomes a stew or casserole, so it’s already a much healthier option. Why not swap your beef, lamb or pork for leaner and healthier cuts of meat, such as turkey or chicken. Really high in healthy protein, but much lower in saturated fat, turkey and chicken are great diet swaps. Also, make sure you reduce the amount of meat going into your stew and compensate with additional winter root vegetables instead.