We know how hard it is to be motivated to make healthy meals especially during this lockdown when we are at home all day. You might be more tired than usual or just can’t be bothered trying to make healthy meals. It’s too easy to grab something readymade or substitute junk food for healthy options. However, It’s very important to eat healthily and to make sure that you are getting the correct nutrients to fuel your body, to help you maintain a healthy weight and to reduce your risk of chronic diseases.
It’s important to get the right amounts of fats, protein and carbohydrates and this can often go out of the window when you are out of routine and it’s easier to just reach for the most convenient thing to hand. We have decided to use this lockdown to overhaul our diet and exercise plans and we hope to come out the other end stronger, fitter and healthier.
We want to share our recipes with you so that you have some ideas ready when thinking of what to make. We have put together some of our favourite healthy recipes which you can try and hopefully enjoy. They are all relatively quick and easy to make and don’t require too many ingredients (I hate finding a recipe that I like the sound of only to find out that it has a huge number of ingredients or ingredients that I can’t get hold of easily!!). Hopefully, you should be able to find everything, although I know this can be tricky during this lockdown.
So, let’s start with some healthy breakfasts:
Branflakes with berries – Serves 1 (225 calories)
Use 55g of branflakes and 50g semi-skimmed milk with 6 raspberries, 10 blueberries and 2 strawberries
This is quick and easy if you either don’t have much time (although I think we all have lots of that at the moment 😊) or you like cereal. It’s much healthier than the sugar laden varieties and the fruit adds sweetness.
2 Scrambled eggs with 30g smoked salmon on a slice of wholemeal toast – Serves 1 (268 calories)
Pop a slice of wholemeal bread in the toaster, and whilst that is toasting, mix 2 medium eggs in a bowl and add the smoked salmon.
Heat a little oil in a pan and add the egg mixture. Cook to your taste and place on top of the toast.
Another quick and easy, but super nutritious breakfast, and a personal favourite of mine.
Porridge with 10 blueberries and a drizzle of agave nectar using 50g porridge oats and 250ml semi skimmed milk – Serves 1 (335 calories) – to reduce the calories to 275, use 125ml semi skimmed milk and 125ml water
This will really fill you up as it is packed with fibre and low on the Glycaemic Index, meaning that the sugar is released more slowly into the bloodstream. It’s also a great choice as it can be made in different ways with different added ingredients to stop it becoming boring.
Moving onto lunches:
1 pitta bread stuffed with 16g hummus (with a teaspoon of Nando’s peri peri sauce mixed in if desired), 20g feta cheese and 6 spinach leaves – Serves 1 (275 calories)
This is our new quick and easy go-to meal for lunch. It’s nutritious and low in calories. If you are wanting more calories for lunch, you can add more filling or maybe have a banana afterwards. This is also versatile as you can use different hummus flavours and different cheeses.
Avocado pesto rice and cajun chicken – Serves 2 (approx. 500 calories per serving)
1 packet of microwave wholegrain rice
Juice of half a lemon and lime
7g parmesan/romano cheese
3 cloves garlic to taste (or as much as desired)
Salt and ground black pepper
Olive oil as needed
250g chicken breasts
- Peel and pit the avocado
- Add to the blender with the lemon and lime juice, basil, cheese, 2 cloves of the garlic, salt and black pepper
- Blend until smooth
- Add olive oil 1 tsp at a time until it becomes a creamy consistency
- Set aside
- Rub the chicken breasts with the cajun spice and 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- Add a dash of olive oil into a frying pan and fry until cooked
- Microwave the rice
- Mix the avocado mix with the rice
- Share the chicken and rice between two plates and add raw spinach leaves along with some hummus mixed with hot chilli sauce
This meal is higher in calories than some of the others, but it is so delicious, nutritious and filling, that you will not need anything else until tea-time!
Homemade pizza using Lo-Dough pizza bases – Serves 2 (approx. 100 calories per pizza for the base, tomato sauce/puree and mozzarella)
2 Lo-Dough pizza bases
½ tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 garlic cloves
Basil to taste
Chilli to taste
Oregano to taste
Ground black pepper
½ ball low fat mozzarella
Toppings of your choice
- Blend the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and spices and spread over the pizza bases
- Break up the mozzarella ball and share between the two bases
- Add your choice of toppings
- Cook at 200° for 20 minutes
We discovered Lo-Dough a while ago and think it’s amazing. It’s well worth ordering from the Lo-Dough website. We can have the pizza we like for only 39 calories per base. I personally like smoked salmon on my pizza with spinach leaves, and this brings the calories up to a total of 280 compared with a Pizza Express Leggera pizza at just under 600 calories. The secret is adding lots of herbs and spices to get lots of flavour.
Beef stir-fry with stir fry vegetables and wholemeal noodles – Serves 2 (approx. 477 calories per serving)
Dash of olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 x 130g beef steak
Fresh ginger (about a thumb size) finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
325g stir fry vegetables (peppers, broccoli, spring onions, mushroom, carrots, sugar snap peas etc)
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 x 50g wholemeal noodle nests
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok and fry the onion
- Cut the beef into strips and add to the pan
- When the meat is almost cooked, add the ginger and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, then add the vegetables.
- Cook for a further 5 minutes and then add the soy sauce (you can add more or less, depending on taste)
- Boil a pan of water, turn off the heat, drop the two noodle nests into it and leave for 4 minutes
- When the noodles are cooked, add them into the stir fry mix and mix well
- Share between two plates
This makes quite large portions, is really tasty and fills you up. You can experiment with different vegetables and different spice flavours.
Healthy Chicken Korma with onion bhajis
For the chicken korma – Serves 2 (423 calories per serving) – Add 111 calories per serving if adding the brown rice
1 small onion, chopped
2 small chicken breasts
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tbsp korma/medium curry powder
300ml chicken stock
500g low fat crème fraiche
- Fry the onion in a frying pan for 5 minutes.
- Cut the chicken into small pieces, add to the pan and cook for 10 minutes over a medium heat.
- Add the ground ginger and curry powder and mix in with the chicken.
- Add the chicken stock and leave to cook for 20-30 minutes, over a low heat.
- Add the crème fraiche and stir until well mixed in and heated through.
- Serve with 50g brown rice per person.
For the onion bhajis (approx.16 calories per bhaji) – Makes 11
2 small onions
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp cumin seeds or ground cumin
2 1/2cm piece of fresh ginger or 1 heaped tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground turmeric
¾ tsp ground coriander
1 small bunch fresh coriander
1 green chilli, finely chopped
¼ tsp chilli powder
30g gram flour
1 ½ tbsp rapeseed oil
Chutney to serve
- Finely chop the onions and mix in a bowl with the salt. Mix with your hands so that all the onion is covered and leave to sit for half an hour.
- Heat the over to 200°C of Fan 180°.
- Squeeze the onion with a potato masher to squeeze out the water.
- Add the cumin, ginger, turmeric, coriander, chill and chilli powder and mix it all together.
- Sift in the gram flour and mix well. There should be enough water from the onions to make a batter that sticks together. If not, add a drop of water.
- Mix in the oil with your hands so that the onions are evenly coated.
- Line a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper (don’t use foil, as they will stick).
- Using a spoon or your hands, make 11 evenly sized onion balls and place on the baking paper.
- Cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Serve with a chutney of your choice.
Baked sweet potato with chicken and salad – Serves 2 (approx. 350 calories per serving)
2 medium sweet potatoes
200g chicken breast
1 tsp paprika or to taste
1tsp garlic or to taste
A pinch of salt
Ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp chilli powder, or to taste
100g mixed salad
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
- Prick the potatoes with a fork and put in the microwave for 8 minutes.
- While the potatoes are in the microwave, mix together all of the spices in a small bowl and then rub into the chicken.
- Heat a little oil (garlic flavoured is delicious!) in a frying pan and fry the chicken until it is cooked through.
- When the potatoes are done, rub some oil, garlic and pepper into the skin and put them on a baking tray in the oven for 10 minutes, to crisp up the skin.
- Serve the chicken and sweet potato with the spinach leaves and salad.
We’re adding a few snacks in as well so that if you get an attack of the munchies, you can choose something healthy rather than chocolate or crisps (although we all need a little bit of those now and again especially at this time!)
- Greek yogurt with a drizzle of agave nectar and berries
- A packet of ‘Eat Real’ lentil crisps (if you’re needing something crunchy! I don’t know what I’d do without these! 😊)
- A banana dipped in dark chocolate
- Red bell pepper with guacamole
- An apple dipped in peanut butter
- Celery sticks with cream cheese
- Kale chips – Mix 70g of kale leaves in a bowl with 15ml olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt (I like to add black pepper too) and bake at 180° for 10 minutes
- Cucumber slices with hummus
- A piece of fruit – apple, orange, banana, pear
- Cherry tomatoes with mozzarella cheese (another favourite of mine)
- 100g tinned sardines, mixed with salad or on a slice of wholemeal toast
- Olives (yet another favourite)
- Melon wrapped in parma ham
Try to eat whole foods when snacking rather than highly processed foods. These will help to fill you up as well as providing excellent nutrition.
We hope you like these recipes. Remember to drink lots of water too to keep your hydration levels up as our brains sometimes confuse thirst for hunger.
Look out for our blog on healthy brunches, coming soon! 😊
Caroline & Hannah 😊 xx