The BEST way to kickstart the new year

A new year is synonymous with making resolutions, however fresh beginnings and trying new things can be started at any time. January in the UK can be cold, limiting the hobbies you generally enjoy like gardening. If find yourself with more time on your hands craving that spark, we've got your next favourite!

Alongside gardening, cooking is the best hobby for your mental health. This is because both activities can help improve moods and lower stress as you produce the hormones dopamine and serotonin, which are beneficial to your mental health. During the colder, wintry months, gardening has to be put on hold, but have you ever considered cooking to relax?

Cooking is a creative hobby, and as a creative species (we did invent the wheel!), humans benefit from flexing their creativity. One study by the Wall Street Journal cited that cooking can help "soothe stress, build self-esteem and curb negative thinking by focusing the mind on following a recipe."


If we invited you to experiment with cooking, would you jump in?

Knowing where to start can be a struggle, especially if you’re new to cooking. Together TV’s Green Challenge is the perfect way to kickstart cooking from home. It’s an 8-week challenge that includes 3 exclusive recipes and plenty of cooking tips and hacks. Sign up for free and join thousands already on the challenge.

As you wait for your Green Challenge kit to arrive, here are some easy recipes from the Hairy Bikers which you can catch daily on Together TV. Check out our TV guide for specific times, and be sure to tune into Big Cooking Showdown starting 24th January hosted by Zoe Ball and Nadiya Hussain. It features some terrific recipes including meals to serve four for under a tenner!


The Hairy Biker’s Comfort Food: Delicious Spiced Cauliflower Cheese

  • A cauliflower
  • 1tsp fennel seeds
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Red chili pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • Gruyere cheese
  • Emmental cheese

Preheat the oven to 180C (fan).

Blanche florets of cauliflower for 5 minutes in hot water.

Crush fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar. Add a teaspoon of paprika and cumin. Add a glug of olive oil, pinch of salt and a twist of pepper.

Mix 1 deseeded chopped chili, juice of a lemon, tablespoon of honey in a bowl. Add to the dry spices.

Add the drain cauliflower florets to the spice mix. Transfer to a tray and bake until crispy (20 minutes).

Top with grated gruyere and emmental cheese! Serve with deep fried kale (kale crisps) with a dressing made of smoked paprika, lemon juice and olive oil dressing.


The Hairy Bikers Comfort Food: Juicy Turkey Burgers

  • 2 leeks, finely chopped
  • 1 courgette, grated
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Turkey mince

Sweat leeks down in a medium hot frying pan. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Add the grated courgette, lemon zest and turkey mince. Mix and form into burger shapes.

Fry on a griddle pan for 3 minutes on both sides or until cooked through.

Build as you please! Onions? Avocado? Tomatoes? Rocket? Serve with homemade chips.


Catch more of Dave and Si's delicious recipes in The Hairy Bikers: Comfort Food on Together TV  Freeview 82Sky 170Virgin 269 and Freesat 164.

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