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Chilli in bowls and crusty bread

Store cupboard recipes

Limited access to fresh food doesn't mean you can't eat healthily. Healthspan nutritionist Rob Hobson has whipped up some delicious, nutritious recipes using ingredients from your cupboard.

Tuna and sweetcorn fishcakes on a white plate with salad

Tuna and sweetcorn fishcakes

Serves 4

358 calories per serving

This really simple dish uses store cupboard essentials canned tuna, sweetcorn and dried herbs. Each fishcake contains a source of iron, zinc and selenium, which help to maintain the normal function of the immune system.

The dish is also rich in B vitamins, which are needed by the body to convert food into energy, and is also an excellent source of protein, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C.

Ingredients

  • 450g potatoes, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablsepoon Greek yoghurt
  • 2 x cans tuna in brine, drained
  • 1 x 198g can sweetcorn, drained
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 100g dried breadcrumbs
  • Light olive oil
  • Salt

Method

  1. Cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender, then drain. Tip the potatoes into a bowl and season with salt, then mash.
  2. Add the mayonnaise, yoghurt, tuna, sweetcorn, oregano and chilli flakes to the bowl and combine well.
  3. Shape the mixture into four cakes then chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  4. After chilling, dip each fishcake in the beaten egg, coat in breadcrumbs then chill for another 10 minutes.
  5. Heat a little oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add the fishcakes and cook for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  6. Serve with fresh or frozen vegetables.
Photo of black bean chilli on a grey wooden worktop in a blue bowl

Black bean chilli

Serves 4 (generously)

360 calories per serving (without avocado)

This chilli recipe is high in protein and rich in fibre, which has been shown to support gut health and reduce the risk of heart disease. A serving of this dish also provides many of the nutrients that may be tricky to get from a plant-based diet, including iron, calcium and zinc. The body doesn't absorb iron easily from plant foods such as black beans, but the vitamin C from the lime juice and onions helps with take-up.

This is also a great dish to help promote sleep, as it is high in magnesium and the amino acid tryptophan, which helps to make melatonin (the sleep hormone) in the brain.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mild chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons bottled lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 x 400g can sweetcorn, rinsed and drained
  • Salt

Method

  1. Set a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Now add the onions and garlic and fry for about five minutes to soften. Add the spices and cook for two minutes until they become fragrant.
  2. Add the lime juice, cocoa powder and tomatoes then cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Now add the beans and sweetcorn to the pan and cook for another 10 minutes.
  4. Serve the chilli in bowls and top with crumbled cheese. It also works great with sliced avocado, if available.
Chickpea curry in a metal bowl on a red table cloth background

Chickpea curry

Serves 4

430 calories per serving (without rice or quinoa)

This plant-based dish is rich in protein and fibre, which helps to promote satiety and may prove useful for people trying to lose weight. A serving of this dish also supplies a good source of protein, fibre, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and vitamins B1, B6, E and C.

Vitamin C has been shown to help support the normal functioning of the immune system, while vitamin B6 can help to improve mood by converting tryptophan into serotonin - a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps to balance mood.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g can coconut milk
  • 1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 100g frozen spinach
  • Salt

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan set over a medium heat.
  2. Add the onions to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the garlic and spices, stir to combine then cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes to the pan and season with salt, then simmer for 10 minutes as the sauce thickens.
  5. Add the coconut milk, chickpeas and spinach then simmer for another 10 minutes.
  6. Check the seasoning before serving.
  7. Serve alone in bowls or with a small serving of quinoa or brown rice.

Rob Hobson MSc RNutr is a Registered Nutritionist who has worked with some of the UK’s largest food and health companies and performs training in the public health sector (including government agencies and the NHS). Rob contributes regularly to UK press publications and has a monthly column in Women's Health magazine.

Find out more at Rob Hobson's website, or read more about Healthspan's health experts.