Ben’s Super Simple, Healthy, Tasty Recipe Ideas
It’s all well and good me telling you to eat well and focus on whole food based, balanced, healthy eating, but I am fully aware that this may take some getting used to. Eating well isn’t just about opting to *Not* have a pizza for dinner or deciding against that 3rd beer; there’s more to it than what to do and don’t do. It involves starting to do new things, and one of those things is cooking and preparing food which is in line with your goals.
A great number of people in the UK aren’t able to cook very well, and this is fine – health doesn’t require gourmet presentation and preparation of exotic ingredients, but making chicken breast, vegetables, uncured meats and non-breaded fish taste good takes a little more skill than taking things from packet to oven. Even those who are great in the kitchen are often fantastic at making tasty food, but just because something is homemade from ‘household’ ingredients, doesn’t necessarily make it good for you. If your home made mince and dumplings or lasagne are made from 100% fresh ingredients, they still stand a pretty good chance of being a calorie bomb, and that’s something we need to bare in mind (as you’ll remember from the week on calories and portions). What I’d like to do today is give you a few sample recipes which are simple, quick and relatively cheap, but which will support you in reaching a better state of health, body composition and overall wellbeing.
These recipes should take no more than 10-15 minutes of ‘active cooking’ (some things might need to be in the oven or slow cooker for a while, but they don’t need to be watched), and none of the ingredients are hard to find in your local supermarket. Unlike a lot of recipe books you’ll find, this isn’t gourmet food – it’s tasty, but it’s simple, because that’s what 99% of people’s meals are in the real world.
If I gave you recipes with 15 ingredients in them, you’d probably not use them all that often, and that defeats our purpose here as it’s not food you tend to cook day to day.
As I mentioned last week, feel free to look for ‘yellow label’ versions of the ingredients, as this will help you keep costs down even more if cost is a concern. You can also batch-cook a lot of these (Highlighted by a ‘*’ next to the name) so make up a few days worth to save time – or make multiple portions to feed the family.
Serving sizes are suggested, adjust to your needs.
6 Quick & Tasty Breakfasts
“How do I get protein into my breakfast?” is probably the first question a lot of people asked when I asked you to improve your nutrition earlier in the journey. A ‘good’ breakfast is so far removed from the usual toast and/or cereal affair that most people start their day with, and thus many people struggle to start their day well, but that’s about to change. We’ve got a page dedicated purely to healthy breakfast recipes, but here are some to get you started…
1: Overnight Oats*
75g porridge oats
1Tbsp Chia Seeds
170g Fat Free Total Greek Yoghurt
1 scoop Protein Powder
Mix all of the above well and place in the fridge overnight. Perfect to grab and take to work the next morning. For variation, change up the protein flavour and/or the fruit.
2: The Lean Grill-Up
1-2 Chicken sausages
50ml 2 Chicks egg whites (scrambled)
½ can baked beans
Salt and Pepper
Grill sausages, bacon, mushrooms and tomato.
Poach 1-2 eggs by placing in a frying pan half filled with water on a slow rolling boil
Heat Beans in the microwave
Hash Brown: Grate potato and squeeze into a sieve to dry out. Place in a very hot pan using a tsp of oil/butter or 1 calorie spray
Season well with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce and cook until browning.
Spread out over the pan thinly and crack an egg in the middle. Quickly combine and mix it all into a patty shape in the middle and fry for 2 more minutes per side.
3: Power Parfait
500g Fat Free Total Greek yoghurt
25g Crushed Almonds
200g Sliced Strawberries
Splenda or other sweetener to taste – Optional
Heat a dry frying pan until very hot, and toast oats. Combine with cinnamon in a bowl along with a little Splenda sweetener if desired.
Layer in a bowl or mason jar, yoghurt, oats, strawberries, yoghurt.
Top with nuts, honey and almonds.
4: Basic Kedgeree*
(yes, you read right fish for breakfast – after all food is food, and anything can be eaten for breakfast)
200g Smoked Haddock or Cod, boneless and skinless
25g 2 Chicks egg whites
75g Basmati Rice
1 inch ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 tbsp curry powder
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 fresh red chilli (optional)
125g Fat Free Total Greek Yoghurt (optional)
Handful Fresh Coriander
Boil the egg and run under cold water to make it easy to peel. Peel, chop into quarters and set to one side.
Meanwhile, grill the fish on top of some kitchen foil for 2-3 minutes per side until cooked. Flake into chunks and set aside with the egg whites.
Cook the rice by boiling for 10-15 minutes (check the pack) and drain.
The above can be done in batches, ready to make up fresh as needed, or you can batch up the full dish, cooked, to take to work.
Melt the ghee over a low/medium heat and soften onion, garlic and ginger for 5 minutes. Add curry powder, tomatoes and juice from the lemon.
Add the cooked rice and the fish along with the chilli, salt and pepper.
Warm through then turn off the heat, stir through the coriander, add the eggs and serve with the yoghurt on the side.
5: Eatlean Cheese Toastie
2 slices wholemeal bread
Slices Cherry Tomatoes
Place one Eatlean cheese slice on one of the slices of bread. Sprinkle the chives and add some of the cherry tomato slices. Season.
Place the other cheese slice on top and then the other slice of bread. Place in a sandwich toaster or George Foreman grill.
**Bonus, you get to eat the melted cheese that leaks out the side.
6:Basic Scrambled Eggs With Veggies
100ml 2 Chicks egg whites
1Tbsp Butter to cook in
1 slice Burgen soya and linseed bread
Large Portobello mushroom
Handful Cherry Tomatoes
Melt butter in a pan over medium heat.
Crack and separate eggs into a jug and whisk with salt and pepper. Pour into pan.
Meanwhile, grill mushroom and toast bread.
Serve with tomatoes.
3 Simple Lunches
These recipes are ‘designed’ so that you can cook them in batches and take them to work with you. They are delicious and quick, but above all they are portable, easy to store and packed with nutrition. For more easy, healthy lunch recipes head on over to our Lunch Recipes & Ideas Hub
175g cooked chicken breast
170g Total Fat Free Greek Yoghurt
2 Tbsp Curry Powder
Tbsp Mango Chutney
Dice the chicken and mix all ingredients together. Serve in wraps, on jacket potatoes, in sandwiches, with rice or simply with a large leafy salad.
2:Greek Eatlean Salad
½ Cucumber, seeded and cubed
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chunked
Handful black olives, pitted
40g Eatlean Cheese, cubed
Medium Red Onion, Roughly Chopped
Handful Fresh Mint, stalks removed, Finely chopped
40g couscous, cooked to packed instructions and cooled
Mix all together and store for up to three days. Serve with grilled chicken and roughly chopped romaine lettuce. Add extra cous cous if your calorie total dictates.
This isn’t so much a recipe as it is one of the most effective tips for making lunch really, really easy. It tastes great and requires almost no prep time, yet will help you massively in achieving your goals.
½-1 carton of fresh soup – Most supermarkets have their own brands, though Convent Garden are great. Check the label for one which suits your calorie needs as they will vary from 120-800 calories per carton. Look for one with a high vegetable content.
200g chicken breast or thigh, fish, lean pork or other meat, cooked.
Crusty bread bun
Heat the soup in your work microwave, or heat at home and put in a good Thermos flask. Mix in chicken and serve with bread. You could even grate in some Eatlean cheese!
5 Basic Marinades
Chicken breast is a little boring, but it’s one of the staples of many healthy diets for a reason. It’s packed with protein, pretty low calorie, versatile and cheap (you can usually buy 5kg from a wholesaler or local butcher for £20-25 so don’t be duped into paying supermarket prices).
The issue is that, on it’s own, it doesn’t taste of much and it can go dry when cooked. The answer to this, is marinating. Simply add the chicken and one of the below into a zip lock bag and leave overnight in the fridge before grilling!
- Natural yoghurt and Spicentice Rub.
- Eatlean Zero Sugar Ketchup, extra Tabasco sauce if feeling brave
- 2 Chicks egg whites, milk. Roll in a mixture of oats, salt, pepper and smoked paprika before oven roasting to make goujons
- Eatlean Zero Sugar Sauces, garlic, splash of vinegar
4 Evening Meal Ideas That The Whole Family Can Enjoy
Making healthy food is pretty easy, but making healthy food that the whole family will eat is not! These 4 easy ideas should get them all on board. Each healthy eating recipe is for one person, to make for everyone simply multiply the ingredients. For more family friendly, tasty healthy dinner recipes visit our Healthy Dinner Ideas hub.
1 Large chicken breast
2 tbsp tomato puree
Flatten out chicken breast, spread puree on top and add the other ingredients. Serve with homemade chips (below) and steamed vegetables.
2: Homemade Chips
300g White potato
Tbsp Olive Oil
Eatlean Sugar Free Ketchup or BBQ Sauce
Chop potatoes into chips and add to a pan of boiling water
Bring back to the boil for 2-3 minutes to soften slightly
Drain and shake in the pan to fluff the edges (this makes them go crispy)
Add the oil and mix round well, then place on a non-stick baking tray
Oven bake for 15-25 minutes (depending on chip thickness) at 220C in a fan-assisted oven.
Salt and serve with sauce of choice.
PRO TIP: Getting kids to eat vegetables can be hard, but here’s where you can sneak tasty stuff in. Making these using carrots, parsnips, celeriac, butternut squash, sweet potato and regular potato in big batches makes multi-coloured chips that are a taste sensation.
3: Cheesy, Meaty Balls & Sneaky Tomato Sauce
For the Balls
200g Lean Ground beef (look for 5-8% fat)
2 tbsp grated Eatlean Cheese Shaker
½ tsp garlic powder
Salt and black pepper
Mix in a bowl, form into balls and oven bake at 180C for 20-25 minutes until done.
For the Sauce (2-3 portions – batch and freeze if needed)
Green and Yellow bell pepper, diced
Medium courgette, diced
Eatlean Sugar Free Ketchup
Vegetable stock cube
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
Heat the oil in a pan over a low heat, add in the veggies and mix around. Put the lid on and sweat for 10-15 minutes until soft. Add the rest of the ingredients and heat through.
Blend with a stick blender to hide the vegetables. Make as smooth as family palettes and vegetable tolerances dictate.
Serve over meatballs alongside wholegrain pasta and extra steamed vegetables.
4: Spicy Turkey Juicy-Lucies
175g Turkey Breast Mince
1tbsp Eatlean Piri Piri Sauce (change for paprika for those with sensitive mouths)
Mix turkey mince with seasoning and spread into a large circle.
Place cheese in the middle and fold meat around it, to make a patty with cheese in the centre.
Grill for 3-5 minutes per side, depending on grill.
Serve on seeded buns with lettuce, salsa (or ketchup) and anything else you like in your burgers!