Let me get one thing straight.

I love food.  I love talking about it. I love cooking it and, of course I love eating it.  I think grub is one of life’s most fabulous things.   I could not imagine an existence where dinner meant pushing a lettuce leaf round a plate.

But I also like to eat a healthy diet that keeps me, within reason, lean, healthy and shape.  So by definition,  the good news is that being lean and healthy does not mean eating nothing, eating tasteless food,  being hungry, being miserable. It just means you have to find a way to “clean” up your favourite dishes so you can still enjoy them without feeling guilty and piling the pounds on.

BIG BOLS:  My lean and lean Italian fave

BIG BOLS: My lean and lean Italian fave

This dish, parsnip spaghetti bolognese is a perfect example of that.  Instead of  pasta which is made from inflammatory, belly-bloating wheat,  you use parsnips. Instead of throwing a jar of Dolmio over the top, you cook the sauce from scratch yourself.  The result is a delicious take on an Italian classic that’s a great source of protein and nutient-dense carbs.  And I think it tastes every bit as good as the original, albeit with a twist.   In order to make this,  this you have to make an investment in an amazing little tool called a julienne peeler.  This will cost you the princely sum of around £3. What this does is cut the parsnips into long strips just like spaghetti so the dish actually looks just like the real thing!


Bolognese ingredients

  • Turkey mince  (pref free range – you can buy this from Tesco online)
  • One large red onion, roughly chopped
  • Two or three (or more, depending on taste) cloves of garlic
  • Tablespoon of coconut oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Organic chopped tomatoes
  • Fresh or dried oregano
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Black pepper

Spaghetti ingredients

  • Five or six parsnips, peeled with the julienne peeler into strips
  • fresh tomatoes
  • Slug of olive oil
  • Large clove of garlic
  • Six to eight small plum or cherry tomatoes sliced
  • Handful of fresh rocket
  • Soft goats cheese (optional)

    CHOP SWAP:  julienne peeler makes parsnips look just like spaghetti, only healthier

    CHOP SWAP: julienne peeler makes parsnips look just like spaghetti, only healthier


Method (Bolognese)

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a deep frying pan and add the red onion.
  2. When the onion has started to soften and go opaque,  add garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add the turkey mince and stir fry with the onion and garlic until lightly browned.
  3. When the mince is lightly browned,  add the chopped tomatoes ,  oregano, salt and pepper and stir through, then place a lid on the pan, turn down the heat and leave to gently simmer for a couple of minutes
  4. After a couple of minutes add a slug of balsamic vinegar to sweeten the sauce and continue simmering.

Method (Parsnip spaghetti)

  1. Add two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil to a wok
  2. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook slowly until both are softened
  3. Stir the parnip “spaghetti” into the pan and coat in the oil, garlic and tomato and stir fry on a medium heat, continally tossing so the parsnips are well coated.
  4. When the parsnips are cooked ‘al dente’, ( about five or six minutes) add the rocket and stir through.
  5. Plate up with the spaghetti on the bottom, spoon the mince over the top and add a little crumbled goats cheese over the top .  The sharpness of the goats cheese makes a perfect foil for the sweetness of the parsnips.  I defy you not to love this!