Simple festive recipes

Emma Brown - Nutritionist | 31 Dec, 2020

Festive mini pizzas

Festive mini pizzas

Makes 6 - 145 kcals per serving

Kcals 145
Fat 3.9g
Sat fat 2g
Carbs 20.9g
Sugar 3g
Fibre 1.9g
Protein 6.1g
Salt 0.4g


  • 1 tbsp peas, steamed
  • 1 tbsp tinned sweetcorn
  • ½ red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 green beans, steamed and finely chopped
  • 150g readymade pizza dough
  • 150ml tomato passata
  • 50g grated mozzarella


  1. Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C Fan/Gas mark 8.
  2. Mix together the peas, sweetcorn, red pepper and green beans in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Lightly flour a clean dry surface and roll out the pizza dough to a ½ cm thick round.
  4. Using festive shaped cookie cutters, cut out 6 bases from the dough. You may need to re-roll it out after cutting out a few.
  5. Pour the passata into a bowl and carefully spoon a little onto each pizza base, evenly spreading it close to the edges.
  6. Scatter a little of the mozzarella over each pizza.
  7. Spoon a little of the mixed vegetables over each pizza and then bake in the oven for 5-8 minutes, until the base is starting to crisp and the cheese is melted.

Pigs in blankets

Lighter pigs in blankets

Serves 6 - 103 kcals per serving

Kcals 103
Fat 2.6g
Sat fat 1.0g
Carbs 2.5g
Sugar 1.0g
Fibre 0g
Protein 17.5g
Salt 1.6g


  • 6 reduced-fat pork sausages
  • 6 reduced-fat bacon medallions


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas mark 6.
  2. Wrap each of the bacon medallions around a sausage, trying to cover as much of the sausage as you can.
  3. Place the sausages on a baking tray and cook for 30-35 minutes until the sausages are cooked through and the bacon is crisp.
  4. Slice each sausage in 4 so you have 4 little lower fat pigs in blankets.
Spinach and cheese pastry christmas tree

Spinach and cheese pastry Christmas tree

Serves 8 - 278 kcals per serving

Kcals 278
Fat 12.6g
Sat fat 5.8g
Carbs 31.3g
Sugar 3.2g
Fibre 2.6g
Protein 8.7g
Salt 2.6g


  • 100g spinach
  • 150g low-fat cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Black pepper to season
  • 2 lighter ready rolled puff pastry sheets
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 10g low-fat spread


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas mark 6 and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Wilt the spinach in a frying pan over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and squeeze out any excess moisture.
  3. Cut the spinach up into small pieces and add to a bowl with the cream cheese, parmesan, garlic and black pepper. Thoroughly mix together.
  4. Lay each piece of puff pastry onto the greaseproof paper on the baking tray and cut them into two large triangles. Cut a base for the tree at the bottom of each triangle. Discard the excess pastry.
  5. Spoon the spinach and cheese mixture onto one of the triangles and spread it evenly across.
  6. Lay the other triangle on top of the one with the cheese mixture to make a pastry sandwich.
  7. Cut from the edges into the middle, leaving around a 2 inch gap down the centre, all the way up either side of the triangle – with each section being around an inch wide. Then carefully twist each piece to make the branches.
  8. Place the cherry tomato halves all over the tree and push them into the pastry a little. Melt the spread in the microwave or on the hob until runny, then brush over the pastry.
  9. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden and crisp.
Vegetable crips

Vegetable crisps and guacamole

Serves 5 - 69 kcals per serving

Kcals 69
Fat 5.4g
Sat fat 1.3g
Carbs 4.4g
Sugar 2.9g
Fibre 2.4g
Protein 1.1g
Salt 0.44g


  • 200g mixed vegetables e.g. carrots, parsnips, beetroot
  • Frylight
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • Squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C Fan/Gas mark 3.
  2. Very finely slice the vegetables using a very sharp knife, wide peeler or ideally a mandoline. Lay all the slices on kitchen towel and pat to remove excess moisture.
  3. Place the vegetables slices in a single layer on one or two baking trays and spray with Frylight.
  4. Cook in the oven for at least an hour or longer until the vegetables have dried out and crisped up. Some veg may cook faster than others so keep a close eye on them.
  5. Meanwhile, make your guacamole dip. Chop the avocado in half and remove the stone. Scoop out all of the avocado and place in a bowl.
  6. Mash up the avocado until no large lumps are left, then add the lime juice, paprika and season with salt and pepper. Mix well, cover and set aside in the fridge until ready to use.
  7. Remove the vegetables crisps from the oven once crisp, season with salt and pepper, allow to cool and serve with the guacamole.
Filo Mince Pies

Filo mince pies

Serves 6 - 122 kcals per serving

Kcals 122
Fat 0.9g
Sat fat 0.4g
Carbs 25.8g
Sugar 14.7g
Fibre 0.7g
Protein 1.9g
Salt 0.11g


  • 3 sheets of filo pastry
  • Frylight
  • 140g mincemeat


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas mark 4. Put a muffin tray into the oven to warm through.
  2. Lay the 3 sheets of filo pastry out on top of each other and cut into 6 fairly equal squares. You now have 18 squares in total.
  3. Remove the muffin tray from the oven when warm and line 6 holes of the tray with 3 of the filo pastry squares. Place one sheet in at a time and arrange in a staggered pattern so the edges are fairly jagged.
  4. Spray with Frylight and place in the oven to crisp up for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and fill each case with a dessertspoon full of mincemeat. Pop back in the oven to warm through and crisp up for a further 5 minutes.
Strawberry Santas

Strawberry Santas

Makes 12 - 26 kcals per Santa

Kcals 26
Fat 2.2g
Sat fat 1.7g
Carbs 1.1g
Sugar 1.1g
Fibre 0.5g
Protein 0.4g
Salt 0.0g


  • 12 medium strawberries
  • 100ml lighter double cream
  • 24 black sesame seeds


  1. Wash all of the strawberries thoroughly and dry with some kitchen towel. Chop off the pointy end, about a third of the way down the strawberry, and set all pieces of the strawberry aside.
  2. Using a whisk, mix the double cream thoroughly until it starts to thicken.
  3. Put the cream in a piping bag and squirt a little onto the flat end of the largest part of the strawberry. Pop the pointy end of the strawberry on top of the cream to make a hat.
  4. To finish decorating, pipe a little cream onto the point of the strawberry and two buttons down the front. Then place two of the sesame seeds onto the main bit of cream, for the eyes.
Strawberry Cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake

Serves 12 - 101 kcals per serving

Kcals 101
Fat 3.2g
Sat fat 1.5g
Carbs 10.8g
Sugar 6.8g
Fibre 1.2g
Protein 7.8g
Salt 0.46g


  • 6 low-fat digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 2 tbsp low fat margarine, melted
  • 20g gelatin, powdered
  • 90ml water, just-boiled
  • 500g low-fat soft cheese
  • 200g low-fat plain fromage frais
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp artificial sweetener, powdered
  • 150g strawberries, sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar


  1. Mix the crushed biscuits with the melted margarine. Press the mixture over the base of a 20cm (8 inch) loose-bottomed cake tin or deep flan dish. Chill for 20 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the hot (not boiling) water. Stir well, then leave for about 5-6 minutes until completely dissolved, stirring occasionally.
  3. Beat together the low-fat soft cheese, fromage frais, vanilla extract and sweetener. Check the sweetness, adding a little more powdered sweetener if you like.
  4. Stir in the cooled gelatin liquid, making sure that it is thoroughly incorporated. Pour over the biscuit crumb base, then chill for about an hour, or until firm.
  5. Arrange the strawberries over the surface of the cheesecake. Sprinkle with the caster sugar to give them an attractive glaze. Chill until ready to serve.

Nutritionist Emma Brown (ANutr), MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.