One of your new year resolutions may have been to try to lose weight or simply eat more healthily.
But when it comes down to it, that can be more easily said than done, especially straight after treat-laden December and during the chilly weather of January and February.
But according to cook Barbara Crick, you can have comfort foods and eat them.
It’s all about making meals and snacks in the correct way, modifying ingredients and balancing those tempting treats with angelic options.
The key is to get in the kitchen and create as much as possible from scratch. And even that doesn’t have to be hard, says Barbara, who runs Emsworth Cookery School.
‘I’m doing a Seasonal Suppers course, where all the dishes can be cooked in under 30 minutes, which proves people can come home from work, make something from scratch and be eating it fairly quickly, ‘ she says.
‘Another good thing to do is double up when you’re making meals and freeze the rest, so you can have them later.’
On the course, which runs on March 21, participants will be creating spring vegetable and sun-dried tomato soup, quick seafood paella and other dishes.
Of course ready meals are handy, but Barbara says another quick and easy option is a stir fry.
‘The packets of pre-prepared stir fry vegetables are fine. They save a huge amount of time and wastage.’
She suggests grating ginger, adding garlic and perhaps soy sauce or a sweet chilli dipping sauce. Lime juice is another good option.
The benefit of cooking from basic products is controlling ingredients like salt and sugar, says Barbara, who suggests using honey or less refined brown sugar.
And there are many lower calorie cake recipes online that use vegetable fat instead of butter.
There are several other courses scheduled at Emsworth Cookery School including Light and Healthy (March 7) and Saints and Sinners Cake Baking (April 20).
The saintly recipes include a banana and date cake with crunchy seed and manuka honey topping.
And because sometimes we want full fat, sugar-laden treats, students will create their very own cupcakes in the afternoon.
For information visit emsworthcookeryschool.co.uk.