Diwali is one of the most uplifting events in the Hindu calendar. It is the festival of lights, the triumph of light over dark, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. It falls on November 7th this year and we think it’s a good opportunity to embrace a lighter (see what we did there?!) way to cook.
We’re now firmly into autumn and it’s tempting to eat stodgy, comforting meals every night. While these may make you feel full and cosy inside, they’ll actually lead to being sluggish in the long run. A better idea is to take these classics and cook them in an Actifry to make them lighter.
Corn, ham and tomato fritters
Fritters are a brilliant comfort food, because they’re so quick and easy to whip up and you can throw in any of your favourite ingredients that you’ve got knocking about. Cooking them in the Actifry means you can still enjoy that carb hit, but with less of the greasiness.
This recipe from Eat Like a Girl takes the humble fritter to a whole new level. Fresh corn kernels, torn slivers of cooked ham and ripe tomatoes make these a yummy and well-rounded snack. They can even be reheated if you make way too many.
Nothing beats that moment when you cut into your chicken kiev and all that lovely, oozy, garlicy butter comes bursting out. It’s a great way to serve meat and a bit of a family favourite in lots of households, so the kids are bound to love it.
There’s loads of things you can do to jazz up a chicken kiev, but before you start swapping breadcrumbs for polenta and garlic for chilli, make sure you master the classic. Here’s What To Cook Today’s recipe to get you on your way.
If you’re a bit fed up of fish cakes then mix things up and try crab cakes instead. The flavour is a bit more subtle, but you can ramp it up with some great sides. A bit of chilli is bound to warm you through at this time of the year.
My Gluten Free Guide shows you how it’s easy to adapt fish cakes to suit various food intolerances. These mini gluten-free crab cakes are great as appetisers at a party and you can tell guests they’re a lighter choice if they’re watching their weight.
Let’s not leave the vegetarians out, and anyone else who loves a falafel to be honest. These yummy balls of chickpeas are so versatile, you can throw them in a pitta or a wrap, toss them in a salad or slather them with plenty of homemade hummus.
Learn how to make them with this recipe from Tinned Tomatoes, who has used red kidney beans for a change. It works with chickpeas though too, if you’re a bit of a traditionalist. Make a huge batch and then you’ll have plenty in the freezer for those midweek meals.
Everyone needs a bit of sweetness in their life once in a while and doughnuts are a real crowd-pleaser. They bring back great memories of childhood and jam running down your chin. They may seem like an indulgence, but the Actifry makes them a little bit less of a guilty pleasure although we can’t quite claim they’re healthy.
The Little Loaf suggests adding vanilla bean paste, orange zest or cinnamon to the dough to make it extra tasty. She also says you can swap out the jam for cream, custard or dulce de leche – naughty!