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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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This Joe Wicks vegetarian dish is a delicious choice for an easy-to-make, nutritious lunch. Using lentils and chickpeas, this veggie lunch recipe is packed with healthy protein that will keep you full, which is a massive help if you're a fan of snacking but want to shed the pounds. The best part about Joe Wicks' Veggie Super Bowl, also known as the Body Coach, is that it takes no time to cook - all you need 15 mins and you'll have a homemade meal that's packed with goodness. This dish is veggie but we bet any carnivore will also love it - and it's especially great if you want to add more veg to your diet. Joe Wicks says: 'Here's a vegetarian meal that is packed full of goodness and flavour. It makes a great lunch on the go, so box it up and carry it to work for the win.'
Wholemeal pancakes are lower in fat than your usual pancake and this healthy wholemeal pancake recipe is perfect for a healthy breakfast or snack. One of the reasons these wholemeal pancakes are so great for you is because wholemeal foods keeps you fuller for longer, so you won't feel the need to snack until your next meal. For these wholemeal pancakes, we also used semi-skimmed milk, so you can enjoy them Pancake Day - or any other time - without feeling guilty. This recipe makes 8 regular sized pancakes and will take only 10 mins to cook up a batch. They're a great alternative to your regular pancake mix, especially if you're trying to be healthy. It takes only 3 ingredients to make these pancakes too which means they're so easy to make, even the kids could join in. If you think you're going to be in a bit of a rush before you want to serve these then simply make them up ahead of time, they reheat beautifully and nobody will be able to tell the difference. You can also make the batter ahead and keep the mixture in the fridge until you're ready to whip them up. We think the best way to serve up wholemeal pancakes is with homemade compote and fresh berries to make them extra delicious!(52 ratings)
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.(213 ratings)
Joe Wicks' chicken pie is one of our favourite Lean in 15 recipes. This healthy chicken pie takes a bit longer to make than the usual 15 mins, but it's a meal you can easily serve to friends and family, even if they're not following the Lean in 15 programme. Joe opted to make this chicken pie with filo pastry as it's not as thick as puff pastry and has less fat, so it's definitely a much healthier option. This Lean in 15 chicken pie is high in protein due to the breast fillets, which are also the healthier type of chicken meat. If you're looking for a healthier version of the traditional chicken pie, Joe Wicks' chicken pie is exactly the dish you should be making - and it's so delicious too! This Lean in 15 chicken pie serves 4 people, and you can also make a fresh salad or steam some veg as a side dish, to help up your 5-a-day intake. Joe Wicks says: 'If you love chicken pie, this recipe won’t disappoint. It’s actually Lean in about 60 minutes, but is such a nice treat that you won’t mind the extra effort. Plus, there’s cream and butter in it, so you know it’s going to taste incredible.'(105 ratings)
Spanish chicken is a lovely dish to whip up when you want a filling yet delicious meal, and this Hairy Bikers' Spanish chicken bake recipe is the perfect one-pot wonder. The Hairy Bikers have captured the classic flavours of Spain in one dish - and it's one of their diet dishes too! At just 370 calories per serving, you'd think this Hairy Bikers Spanish chicken would be lacking in flavour - far from it! The powerful flavours of paprika and chorizo give the chicken a lovely Spanish twist. This delicious Spanish chicken bake serves 4 people and will take about 1hr and 15 mins to make in total. It’s well worth the wait! The Hairy Bikers use chicken thighs in this recipe to cut down the cost but feel free to use your favourite cut of chicken instead e.g. chicken breast or drumsticks. And the best thing about this Spanish chicken recipe - it's all made in one pot! Less washing up and a delicious family meal - what more could you want? This Spanish chicken recipe is part of the Hairy Dieters series.(922 ratings)
Mushroom soup is a really easy and simple soup recipe to make and can be on the table in under an hour. You can make this homemade mushroom soup recipe in just three steps. This creamy mushroom soup will take around 35 mins to prepare and cook and serves 2 people. Look out for value packs of mushrooms to use if you're planning to prepare this mushroom soup – they don’t need to be perfect looking or all the same shape. Large open cup or brown cap mushrooms will give the best flavour, simply wipe with a damp piece of kitchen paper to remove any bits of earth before frying – there is no need to wash them. Double or triple the quantities if you're feeding more people with this creamy mushroom soup recipe. Leftovers can be frozen or stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days. This mushroom soup recipe is also a healthy option for dinner or lunch, with plenty of vitamins and minerals that are great for your health like selenium and iron. Serve with thick slices of sourdough bread so you can dunk them in this tasty soup.(237 ratings)
This green soup will give you a real health boost. Packed with peas, broccoli, spinach, basil and soya beans this green soup is bursting with nutrients. From magnesium-rich spinach which helps with healthy bones to broccoli which is full of fibre, vitamin C, A and K. Soya foods are naturally low in saturated fat, which helps to lower cholesterol. The special proteins in soya also seem to help the body regulate cholesterol. Studies show that you may be able to reduce cholesterol by around 6% by including 15g of soya a day in your diet. Choose from soya alternatives to milk and yogurt, tofu and beans, as we have here. Our green soup is comforting and warm and is great if you’re feeling under the weather or want to eat something to warn off a cold! We’ve blended half the soup and returned it to the pan with the rest for a thick, chunky finish but if you prefer a smooth soup you could blend it all. This one pan wonder is quick and easy to make and is great for the whole family. By blending the vegetables you can trick the fussy eaters into eating more veg than they would normally agree to. It can be prepared ahead and warmed through when needed.
These healthy fish fingers are a great homemade twist on a frozen family favourite. You can freeze the uncooked, coated healthy fish fingers and cook them from frozen. Simply add 5 mins to the cooking time. That way they are just as convenient as shop bought fish fingers but will taste heaps better and they are much healthier. Our salmon fish fingers are coated in oats, which are rich in a soluble fibre called beta glucan. Once eaten, this glucan forms a gel that helps bind cholesterol in the intestine and prevents it from being absorbed. This recipe is a fantastic way to increase your intake of oily fish and it is perfect for fussy eaters. We have served our healthy fish fingers with courgette but if you wanted to have a treat, try them served with chips and peas. It’s still healthier than takeaway fish and chips without compromising on flavour.(2 ratings)
Our vibrant green hummus is brighter than the usual beige variety and is packed with flavour. This green hummus takes your snacking game to new heights and it will give you a real health boost at the same time. By making your own green hummus you can be confident that the flavours and colours are 100 per cent natural, as you know exactly what has gone into it. Your saturated fats intake should be no more than 20g a day for women and 30g for men – but it’s also important to include modest amounts of unsaturated fat, such as olive oil, rapeseed, sunflower, corn, nut and seed oil, too. Avocados and oily fish are also great sources. The avocado in this green hummus recipe adds a lovely smooth rich finish, it is a great way to convert anyone sceptical of them as it is blended with the other ingredients and is super subtle. We served the hummus with baby carrots, radishes, celery and soda bread but you can dunk with whatever you fancy. Why not try sliced peppers, breadsticks, baked tortillas or cucumber batons.
From lunch and dinner ideas to delicious snack recipes, you'll love these healthy recipes...(52 ratings)
Slimming World's low-fat tomato soup recipe is a really easy and delicious soup that takes hardly any time to rustle up. This Slimming World tomato soup is ideal for lunch and can be made in batches too - perfect if you're trying to save time and money. This tasty soup is made with chopped tomatoes, infused with garlic and topped with a generous swirl of low-fat natural fromage frais. This Slimming World tomato soup saves 4 people and will take around 35 mins to make. Leftovers can be frozen and saved for future use. Leave to defrost in the fridge over night before reheating thoroughly. Serve with homemade crusty bread or garlic bread for a naughty treat.(392 ratings)
Cauliflower kedgeree is a twist on the classic rice-based dish that we’ve lightened up by using cauliflower. Kedgeree is a curried rice dish with smoked fish, parsley, and eggs. We’ve omitted the eggs to keep things simple, and used a mix of basmati rice and blended cauliflower to recreate the flavours of a kedgeree while making it a dish that is a bit different. Cauliflower kedgeree is a healthy and flavourful fish dish that makes a great light lunch or simple supper. Why not try serving it with a take on a raita made with Greek yoghurt, mint, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper. We used frozen smoked haddock fillets to make this cauliflower kedgeree, which help to keep costs low!(1 ratings)
Taking part in the Slimming World plan? Starting to notice that it's taking over your shopping lists and kitchen cupboards? Don't worry, you're not the only one.(135 ratings)
Slimming World's chicken curry recipe is one of our favourite delicious and simple-to-make Slimming World curry recipes! It’s guilt-free too, making it the perfect Saturday night alternative to a takeaway. This Slimming World curry is easy to make, and it's ready to be eaten in less than hour. Curry is one the nation's favourite meals and it's not off the menu if you're counting the calories. Diet club Slimming World have taken the classic dish and made it nice and healthy, and the best part is that it has not lost out on any of the flavour. The main way this Slimming World curry recipe is better for you in terms of calories is that it‘s not made with coconut milk or any other liquids that can add more calories to a curry – it’s simply cooked with water but it still taste absolutely delicious. This Slimming World curry recipe is so tasty, even those not following the diet can enjoy it, so you don’t have to cook two meals if you’re following the Slimming World plan. The potato in the mix means you don't need to serve it with rice and sides. This Slimming World chicken curry serves 4 people and should take approximately 40 minutes to make. If you’re craving curry, make this light and tasty Slimming World chicken curry instead of getting a takeaway – it’s a lot healthier and cheaper. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up 2 days. Reheat thoroughly before serving this Slimming World curry.(514 ratings)
The fast days are undoubtedly the hardest part of the 5:2 diet but we're here to show you that it doesn't have to be a food-free day. There are many different ways to eat your 500 calories on your fast days...(1284 ratings)
Our healthy pizza will satisfy your pizza cravings without breaking the diet! We’ve used a wholemeal pizza base to give you plenty of fibre, and rolled it out really thin to make a large healthy pizza to share, or two smaller pizzas. Reducing the size of your pizza is a great way to stick to your diet and still enjoy your favourite foods. Making your own tomato sauce cuts sugar and calories, and using just a scattering of mozzarella cuts the fat content, whilst giving you the cheesy pizza fix you’re craving. Good-for-you toppings like spinach, onion and mushrooms add nutritional value and flavour without upping the calorie count too much. This healthy pizza has a beautifully crisp base, making it taste much more like a real pizza than ones made from cauliflower or tortillas. This veg-packed healthy pizza proves you can still enjoy your favourite comfort foods whilst watching what you eat.
These Lisa Riley skinny turkey burgers from her Honesty Diet are super lean and they are perfect for when you're looking for something that tastes like a treat, but won't ruin your healthy eating efforts. These Honesty turkey burgers from her Diet skinny book are served with chunky celeriac chips, a fun and inventive way to cook a vegetable you might not use all the time. When the weather warms up these burgers would also be fantastic on the barbecue!(2 ratings)
Lisa Riley's super simple kedgeree from her Honesty Diet book makes a delicious breakfast or brunch treat but would also work well as a speedy lunch or light dinner. This recipe serves two but you could easily scale it up for four. It's simple to cook and can be thrown together in a hurry. What's great about the Lisa Riley Honesty Diet is that it is great tasty food that is also good for your body. So there is no need to feel like you're going without or having a restricted diet because there are so many varied options!