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Healthy recipes that are better for you, including healthy dinner recipes, healthy soups and salads as well as low calorie meals and even healthier desserts. Find healthy eating inspiration if you're trying to be good this month, want to lose a few pounds or just trying to get more of your recommended five-a-day fruit and vegetables.
Eating healthily might seem like a challenge when you've got a family to feed and you're on a budget, but there are plenty of healthy meals ideas to try - and they are easy on your purse! You will find delicious healthy recipes for all the family, and they are good for you too.
If you want to make sure you stick to your healthy eating plan (this time!), here are some easy things you can do to make it a little bit easier.
Don't forget breakfast!
We know everyone always says it, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. A big, filling breakfast will set you and your family up for the day and will help stop snacking later in the morning. You don't need to spend ages making it either. Make your own porridge or muesli, or you could even bake a big batch of breakfast muffins on a Sunday so you can grab one to start the day early in the week. Try sprinkling dried fruits or nuts over your breakfast for more protein, which will help keep you fuller for longer.
Plan your food
At the start of the week or month, take a little time out to plan exactly what you're going to eat. Plan your meals and what extras you're going to buy so you don't get tempted by any snacks in the supermarket. If you know exactly what you're going to eat and when, you can be sure not to let hunger take over your decisions when it comes to eating. Never shop on an empty stomach!
Pick what suits you
There are so many different diets out there, but they may not suit you or your lifestyle. Pick and choose the elements of diets that you think you'll stick to and work them into your everyday life. Don't think you could manage the very limited 500 calorie days on the 5:2 diet? Instead, try having 2 days where you don't have meat or snacks in a week. Little changes will help.
You can have the best intentions, but if you're hungry, you're much more likely to reach for quick fix snacks - and that means chocolate, biscuits and crisps! Keeping full by eating satisfying meals, or earing little and often, will mean that you can eat only what you want to, rather than giving into cravings. Drinking lots of water, eating filling meals and snacking on fruit, veg and nuts will stop your stomach rumbling.
Get your 5-a-day
One of the easiest ways to keep track of how healthily you're eating is to keep track of how much fruits and veg you're eating. The standard 5-a-day is a good measure but you can, of course, have more. Keep a mental list of how many of your 5-a-day you are having (or even write it down) and work out how to get more into your diet. One for breakfast, one for lunch, two for dinner and one for a snack is a good way of dividing it out.
Know your food
Understanding your food and knowing how to use different ingredients will give you much more scope to create healthy meals. If you don't know how to cook, it's easy to reach for unhealthy ready made options but it's really easy to learn the basics. A homemade pasta sauce, soup or smoothie is much healthier for you and will taste better if you make it yourself. Once you know how to use vegetables in lots of different ways, it makes them much less boring - for the whole family!
Homemade not shop-bought
It can be really easy to grab ready meals and shop-bought sauces, but you can never be sure what's going into them - and nearly every time the homemade version will be much healthier for you, and taste better too! If you've never made a sauce from scratch, it can be a little bit daunting but start with a basic recipe, such as a simple tomato sauce, and you will see how much healthier it can be.
Never allowing yourself a treat will only make you crave them more. Every now and again, give in and have what you really, really fancy. As long as you are generally healthy most of the time, it really won't matter - food is meant to be enjoyed! Some people are healthy during the week, then splash out at the weekend, others have a day or two where they forget about the diet - whatever works for you. If you find yourself needing a treat pretty much every day, you can cheat and have a lower-fat cake or dessert - if you make the right one, you won't be able to tell the difference.
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Pineapple carpaccio is a light and refreshing pudding perfect for after any celebration you’re planning on throwing. This Pineapple carpaccio recipe is simple but oh so delicious. After you’ve tried this recipe at home we guarantee you’ll never want to just serve ice cream again. Although carpaccio is Italian in origin, this Indian twist on a classic is zesty and crisp - ideal for a hot afternoon in the sun, when all you want is a cold drink and something delicate and fresh to eat. This dish is not just good for your state of mind but also for your body. Pineapple is packed full of vitamin C, which is thought to help reduce bloating, treat inflammation and indigestion, and is great for your immune system - what’s not to love. Your guests will leave healthier and chatting about how amazing your cooking is.
a vegan Buddha bowl is a healthy meal that is so on trend and instragrammable. Buddha bowls are typically filled with an array of colourful vegetables, plant based proteins, and healthy fats on a bed of grains, and often with a tasty but healthy dressing to tie it all together. We’ve used chunky ribbons of butternut squash, roasted vegetables, and chickpeas with a quinoa base for this healthy and filling vegan Buddha bowl recipe.
Our grilled cod bowl is a healthy yet delicious week night meal. You can make this dish in advance and freeze individual portions, so you have a home-made ready meal waiting for you for those evenings where you just don't have time to cook.
Our chilli pork noodle bowls are a warming and delicious winter dish. This healthy week-night meal is easy to prepare, and can be made ahead and frozen, so you have a good-for-you ready meal for those days where there just isn't time to cook. Transport yourself to Japan with this incredible pork noodle recipe. It's a beautiful bowl full of Asian flavours.
Our Jamaican spiced beef bowl is a filling and healthy dinner option. Spice up your week nights with this healthy spiced beef served in a bowl packed full of colourful superfood vegetables. This is the perfect low carb meal for when you are trying to make healthy choices, but still want something delicious and easy to make. With three for your five a day, this spiced beef bowl ticks the boxes in terms of both health and flavour.
This delicious Hairy Bikers' healthy cottage pie recipe is a guilt-free treat the whole family can enjoy. If you want an easy and simple recipe for cottage pie, this is the one! The Hairy Bikers have created this delicious lower-fat cottage pie for their new show, The Hairy Dieters. This easy cottage pie recipe has all the rich warming flavours of the traditional dish with just 242 cals per serving! This healthy cottage pie recipe is well worth the wait. Serving 8 people, this family-sized meal combines lean minced beef together with plenty of veggies including celery and tomatoes to make a rich sauce. Besides being an easy low-calories dish, this simple cottage pie recipe is healthy for you because it’s packed with vegetables that will help you reach your five-a-day. Topped with a half-fat crème fraiche and leek infused mashed potato, you just can't go wrong. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Make sure you reheat thoroughly before serving.(306 ratings)
Sweet corn salsa with black beans is a versatile, flavour-packed side dish that can be paired with so many different meals. It has a slight heat and smokiness from the chipotle chillies, which is complemented by the zesty tang of lime juice. The addition of soured cream and mayo add a welcome creamy texture and help balance the punchy flavours of lime and chilli. This sweet corn salsa is a great stand alone side dish for any Mexican supper, working well with crowd pleasing dishes like chilli con carne. You can also use this sweet corn and black bean salsa to add some wow factor to other dishes. Why not try adding some shredded chicken to this mixture and using as a taco filling? You could equally serve with some green salad leaves and chopped tomatoes to makes a flavourful Mexican inspired salad, perfect for a light lunch. This sweet corn salsa is also perfect for party food. You could spread mini tostadas with some soured cream then top with salsa, or make Mexican canapé cups using the same sweet corn salsa recipe. Black beans are a legume that are particularly popular in Latin American cuisine. They have a dense and meaty texture, making them perfect for vegetarian dishes. What’s more, they are an excellent source of fibre, and are thought to help to reduce cholesterol. Black beans can sometimes be tricky to find, but try looking in the world foods aisle of the supermarket. Once you’ve made this tasty sweet corn and black bean salsa once, it will become a regular addition to any Mexican meals you make.
Salmon burgers are a fresh and tasty alternative to a regular beef burger. We’ve marinated our salmon in lime, soy and honey before cooking so that it is packed with flavour. Wassabi adds a great punch to these salmon burgers, but if it is too spicy for your liking, you could serve with a lemon mayo instead. Beef burgers may be a barbecue favourite, but salmon is a healthy and delicious alternative. This super fish is packed with omega 3 fatty acids, which help boost brain function. What’s more, by having this grilled salmon fillet burger instead of a processed pre-made beef burger, you are cutting out any nasty additives and preservatives. We’ve used one large salmon fillet, then cut into four before serving, but you could also use individual fillets if you prefer. The way we have prepared and cooked the salmon is perfect for a burger, but would also make a delicious light meal when served with an Asian salad or rice noodles. Make a change from the normal barbecue fare and try these zesty and flavourful salmon burgers.
Leek and potato soup is a classic recipe but we've given it a modern twist with the addition of sweet peas and a crunchy garnish of saffron leek rings. Our leek and potato soup with peas is perfect make ahead and take for packed lunches or to keep in the freezer for days when you’re short on time. Leek and potato is always delicious simply served with crusty bread and butter for dunking. This soup only takes 30 mins to cook and works out at only 134 calories per serving. It's great for making for a family as it serves a big group and if you wanted to freeze it, you can do so once it's chilled and simply reheat whenever you want to enjoy it.(64 ratings)
Our coconut curry is a creamy and rich, yet healthy week night dish for the whole family to enjoy. Curry is one of the nation's favourite dishes, and when you make your own it is so much healthier. Adding a creamed coconut instead of cream to this delicious chicken masala curry not only makes it healthier but also adds a rich and nutty flavour to this scrumptious recipe. This coconut curry is a real crowd pleaser and will have everyone coming back for seconds. Why not try this dish with some pilaf rice or a naan bread for an authentic Indian meal.
Our teriyaki chicken bowl is a spin on an authentic Japanese meal that is both healthy and easy to make. This Teriyaki chicken dish is a packed with flavour as well as being good for you. You can freeze individual portions of this teriyaki chicken bowl and then you have your own frozen ready meals ready to go.
Stuffed peppers are always a delicious recipe to whip after a busy day. This delicious stuffed peppers recipe looks impressive but it's so easy to make! A colourful Mediterranean-style dish with sun blushed tomatoes and melting mozzarella, you can trusts us when we say it tastes as good as it looks! Not only does a portion of this recipe equal one of your 5-a-day, it also works out at only 315 calories and 0.4g salt per serving. These stuffed peppers are ideal for lunch with a salad or served for dinner with new potatoes and fresh greens. Ready in just 30 mins, our stuffed peppers with couscous, courgette and mozzarella are vegetarian-friendly and are sure to tempt children with their vibrant colours and tasty flavours too.(208 ratings)
Roasted red pepper hummus stays true to the flavours of the Mediterranean. This roasted red pepper hummus is given a twist with a tablespoon of harissa, giving it a little kick whilst still keeping the sweet, smoky, nutty flavours of the roast red peppers and tahini. Harissa is a chilli pepper paste from northern Africa. Adding herbs and spices, such as coriander seeds and garlic give harissa its distinct flavour and colour. Different brands of harrisa have different herbs and spices in them so why not experiment with a normal harissa and a rose harissa to see the difference (and to see which you prefer!). Chickpeas are high in fibre and help control blood sugar levels, aiding in keeping them within a normal range. On top of this, chickpeas also high in both vitamins and minerals and are an excellent source of plant-based protein, which for any vegetarian is a must. Roasting the red peppers in this delightful hummus brings out the sweetness of this lovely veg. This roasted red pepper hummus has perfectly balanced flavours, with just the right amount of spice, natural sweetness, and salty flavours. It is perfect for a snack with some crudités, or just as an accompaniment with a fresh and healthy lunch or week-night dinner.
Our super greens dip is a fresh and flavourful dish packed full of goodness. This creamy dip is something a bit different to the usual dips you find in supermarkets. This low-cost dish is sure to impress anyone that tries it, we guarantee they'll be begging for the recipe. As well as being delicious, this dip is so healthy. Spinach is high in iron, vitamin A, C, E and K as well as being low in fat and great for helping to lower cholesterol, perfect to hide in an evening snack or as a part of a week day lunch. Feta is most famously a Greek cheese, but for a creamy texture and slightly more subtle taste, why not try using Turkish feta instead. Turkish feta has a firm consistency but still if you close your eyes, you’ll think you're having lunch in the warm Mediterranean. You can find it in your local Middle Eastern or Turkish supermarket and in some larger supermarkets. Peas are another super green, and contain high amounts of vitamin K, manganese and dietary fibre which ensure that vegetarians are getting a variety of vitamins and minerals in this scrumptious dip. Instead of eating this super greens dip with crudités, why not try it spread on toast or rice crackers, or if you’re feeling naughty, with some root vegetable crisps. This super greens dip also works wonderfully as a dressing. Just add a little bit of olive oil, give it a good shake and pour over some healthy greens or a salad of your choice.
Beetroot hummus is a healthy, bright and different alternative to dunk your pitta bread into. This delicious beetroot hummus would go delightfully as part of you main meal, with some roasted chicken, as an alternative to a dressing on a salad of your choice, or just as an afternoon snack with crisps or crudités. We have added a bit of horseradish to our beetroot hummus to give it a subtle fiery kick. Horseradish is also great for gut health and bloating. Horseradish root is elated to the mustard and cabbage family, and can be found as a root in supermarkets as well as already creamed in a jar. An essential ingredient when making hummus is tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds that can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. Tahini is higher in calcium than milk and full of vitamins such as vitamin E, vitamin B and is thought to be able to help protect against strokes and heart attacks. Once you’ve got tahini in your cupboard it can also be used for a simple delicious salad dressing, to rub over meat before you cook with it, or even for a nutty flavour drizzled over a brownie, or placed in the biscuit base of a cheesecake. After you’ve made this easy and quick recipe once you’ll never want to buy supermarket hummus again. Impress anyone you have round for dinner or drinks with this zingy and zesty beetroot hummus.
Pistachio butter is a healthy and vibrant alternative to peanut butter, and is so easy to make at home. This beautifully green nut butter is perfect on toast, stirred into porridge, eaten with fruit, or used in baking. It is an alternative healthy nut butter that is jam packed with antioxidants. Pistachio butter is far harder to find in supermarkets, so making your own is often cheaper and easier. We've added matcha to our pistachio butter for extra colour and nutrition. Matcha is Japanese in origin and is now popular with health-food lovers all over the world. Coming in both a tea and powder form, matcha is ground tea leaves that are naturally caffeinated to give your breakfast an extra dose of natural energy. One teaspoon of matcha has the equivalent goodness to 10 teaspoons of green tea. Matcha can be consumed in many different ways, including with hot water, or as a matcha latte. The pistachios in this moreish nut butter can also be roasted, adding an extra depth of flavour, but if you do it will loose its vibrant green colour, whilst keeping the same health benefits, helping to protect your heart, and adding a wealth of vitamins and minerals into your diet. This pistachio butter with matcha is the perfect way to put a colourful twist on your breakfast.(1 ratings)
This classic tomato soup recipe is the perfect recipe to whip up on a cold winter's evening, for a starter at a dinner party or special occasion. This delicious tomato soup would also be ideal if you maybe just fancy a lighter dinner than usual but still want lots of nutrients. Packed with fresh tomatoes, this soup is great way to make sure you're getting your 5-a-day. Not only is this tomato soup recipe a quick soup recipe, it's healthy and filling too. The kids are guaranteed to love it too - who doesn't like a classic tomato soup? This healthy tomato soup is so easy to make that we dare say you'll never buy tinned tomato soup again. Unlike canned tomato soup, you know exactly what you're putting in to your soup, so it makes it a much healthier option. Top off with a dollop of creme fraiche, a sprinkle of black pepper and some garnish if you have any to hand. Serve with a chunk of warm fresh bread, to make it a more filling meal or just have it on its own.(100 ratings)
Energy balls are the perfect healthy, energy-boosting on the go snack. The combination of peanut butter and chocolate flavours in our energy ball recipe makes these feel like an indulgent snack, but they are actually filled with good-for-you fats and natural, unrefined ingredients. You can make a big batch of these energy balls and store them in the freezer, so they are ready to grab whenever you need a little pick me up, or when feel like the biscuit tin is calling your name. These energy balls are gluten-free, dairy-free, and if you swap the honey for maple syrup or agave, they are also suitable for vegans. When you are trying to follow a healthy diet, having some healthy snacks to hand is key. When your blood sugars dip, and your body craves something sweet to give you a burst of energy, you might want to reach for a convenient, packaged snack, but these home made energy balls are a natural and healthy way to keep you going until your next meal. You can cover your energy balls in any coating you like - we chose coconut, matcha powder, and freeze dried raspberries to add a burst of colour, but finely chopped nuts or other health-boosting superfood powders would also work well. Be careful if using matcha powder to coat your energy balls – it is very strong so should be used sparingly! You can buy energy balls in shops, but making your own is so easy, much cheaper, and means you know exactly what has gone into them.(1 ratings)