Menu: Curry, cranachans and Virgin Marys

World Cancer Research Fund | January 2018 | 8 minutes

In the first of the series, World Cancer Research Fund have provided a tasty meal plan, to give your Dry January an additional health boost!

Turkey and chickpea curry with brown rice


Make your curry night a healthy one with this speciality. This fibre-and protein-packed curry makes a satisfying and filling meal. It will take about 40 minutes to prepare, and will feed 4.


  • 200g brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons mild chilli powder (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger root
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 2 x 130g turkey fillets, diced, skin removed
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 250g low-fat natural yoghurt


  1. Cook the brown rice according to the pack instructions.
  2. Add the oil into a thick-based saucepan and put on a medium heat. Add all the spices and gently cook for 3 minutes, stirring all the time.
  3. Add the chopped onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, before adding the garlic and cooking for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped turkey and cook for 5 minutes, stirring all the time so that the turkey gets well coated with the spice mixture.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and chickpeas, bring to simmering point and cook, uncovered, for a further 7-8 minutes until the turkey is cooked and the sauce has thickened.
  6. Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly and then taste the sauce. Season with black pepper if necessary, then swirl the natural yoghurt into the sauce, without over mixing.
  7. Drain the rice and divide between four serving plates. Spoon the curry on top and serve.

Get an extra 5 A DAY portion by serving this with a fresh green salad or okra, broccoli or peas

Spiced apple and blackberry cranachan


A lovely layered dessert that is suitable for any occasion. It may be missing the alcohol, but that means it is also much lower in calories. This healthier version of the Scottish classic is packed with warm, spicy apples - undoubtedly one of my favourite flavour combinations - and juicy blackberries. A delicious treat on a cold evening.This recipe will take 15 minutes to prepare, and serves 2.


  • 3 teaspoons reduced-fat spread, suitable for baking
  • 1 medium eating apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm cubes
  • ½ 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons golden caster sugar
  • 30g porridge oats
  • 120g fat-free vanilla yoghurt. Try to pick a variety that contains less than 8g sugar per 100g. Alternatively, swap it for fat-free natural yoghurt with 3 drops of vanilla extract.
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free Greek yoghurt
  • ½ lemon, zest and juice
  • 150g blackberries, fresh or frozen (defrosted)


  1. Melt 1 teaspoon of spread in a small saucepan, over a medium heat. Add the cubes of apple, and sprinkle with the cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly, until the apple is soft and golden brown. Add a splash of water if needed.
  2. Remove from the heat and place the spiced apple in a bowl to cool. In the same pan, melt the rest of the spread. Then add the oats and the rest of the sugar. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the oats start to brown.
  3. Spread the oats over a piece of baking paper and leave to cool.
  4. Put the vanilla yoghurt, Greek yoghurt and lemon zest and juice into a bowl, and mix thoroughly.
  5. Set a couple of blackberries aside for decoration. Layer the blackberries and spiced apple with the oats and the yoghurt mix.
  6. Decorate with the remaining blackberries and serve.

The spiced apple could be used as a pancake filling or on porridge or muesli, for breakfast

Virgin Mary

Virgin Mary

Quench your thirst with this delicious mocktail version of a Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary is the perfect accompaniment to a weekend brunch - especially with poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce. This version packs a flavour punch, without the booze, and counts as one of your 5 A DAY. This recipe serves 2, and will only take 5 minutes to make.


  • Ice cubes
  • 300ml tomato juice
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 4-6 drops Tabasco sauce (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 stick celery, halved


  1. For each serving, add 3 or 4 ice cubes to a high-ball glass.
  2. Pour half the tomato juice over the ice in each glass.
  3. Add half the lemon juice and Tabasco sauce to each glass.
  4. Season with pepper and stir with half a stick of celery before serving.

To find more healthy recipes you can try this Dry January, please visit