Cheap and healthy winter recipes: Shepherd’s pie, tuna mornay, Zoodle bolognese, curry


Winter weather often means a rotation of high-carb staples on the dinner table.

But with nutritionist Sarah Di Lorenzo’s few simple swaps, you can give your favourite comfort foods a delicious and nutritious makeover.

Watch: Sarah demonstrates how to make her healthier versions in the video above

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And as well as being healthy, Di Lorenzo’s recipes are also budget friendly.

“All of these are family friendly, they’re also great for anyone looking at weight-loss”, the clinical nutritionist and author of The 10:10 Diet told Sunrise.

“As far as I’m concerned, because they’ve got so many different elements to them, they’re actually all a meal in one … and then you can freeze them as well.”

Sarah Di Lorenzo’s shepherd’s pie. Credit: Sunrise

Sarah’s healthy twist on Shepherd’s Pie

Serves 6


  • olive oil
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cups finely chopped kale
  • 1 chopped red capsicum
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 can of black beans (rinse well)
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 500g of pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  • 1/2 kg of beef mince
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tbs almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons of chives, chopped
  • salt and pepper


Pumpkin mash

  • Steam the pumpkin. Then mash it with a potato masher, add a pinch of salt and teaspoon of butter.

Beef mixture

  • Add 1 tbsp oil, onions, carrots, mushrooms, capsicum, kale, tomato paste to a fry pan on medium heat until soft add the beef and cook. Next, add the black beans. Then add the almond flour and vegetable stock and cook further until the mixture starts to look thick.
  • Add the mix to a baking dish and then top with the mashed pumpkin. Bake for 20 minutes on 180C.
  • Serve with chopped chives over the top as a garnish.
Sarah Di Lorenzo’s tuna mornay. Credit: Sunrise

Sarah’s healthy tuna mornay

Serves 4


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 2 chopped zucchini
  • 1 x 425g tin of tuna drained
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups of brown rice cooked
  • 1 cup of spinach leaves
  • 1 small cauliflower head
  • 50g of butter
  • 1/2 litre of vegetable stock
  • dash of milk
  • salt and pepper


  1. Cook the cauliflower in the vegetable stock until soft. Preheat the oven to 180C fan-forced. In a saucepan cook the onion, celery, carrot, zucchini in oil until tender.
  2. In a blender add the cooked cauliflower, butter and milk and blitz until it resembles a white sauce. Spread the rice over a baking dish, add the cooked vegetables, spinach and flaked tuna then pour the white sauce over the top.
  3. Sprinkle the cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Serve with salad, garnish with herbs, salt and pepper

Sarah’s zoodle bolognese

Serves 4


  • 400g of turkey mince
  • 1 tbs of olive oil
  • 1 cup of chopped carrots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 2 stalks of chopped celery
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of fresh basil
  • 4 zucchini
  • Salt and pepper


  • Add the garlic, onion and olive oil to a fry pan and cook until translucent, then add the celery, carrots, salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and turkey mince and cook on a medium heat until cooked through, then add the basil. Let simmer for about 20 minutes on a low heat.
  • Zucchini – make into noodles with a spiraliser or potato peeler. Add to a frying pan for a few minutes and cook. Add salt and pepper.
  • Serve with fresh basil over the top as a garnish.
Sarah Di Lorenzo’s healthy curry. Credit: Sunrise

Sarah’s Winter curry

Serves 6


  • 3 tbs sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbs fresh grated ginger
  • chilli (cayenne or birdseye), to taste
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 cup diced pumpkin
  • 1 parsnip, chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or stock
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 2 cups chopped cauliflower

Optional: salt and pepper

Optional: Greek yoghurt, to serve

1 bunch coriander, to serve


  1. In a soup pot over medium heat add the oil, cumin, turmeric, garlic, ginger and chillies. Stir well. Add the onion, salt and pepper, and cook until transparent.
  2. Add the tomato paste, pumpkin, parsnips and vegetable broth. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 10–15 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through. Add the chickpeas and cauliflower and cook for another 6 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper (if needed). Serve with Greek yoghurt, if using, and top with coriander.

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