Adapting your midweek meals with little healthy changes can make all the difference. Whether it's swapping pasta for brown rice or trying a new dish like ramen for dinner, our tips will help you plan healthy meals that you and the whole family can enjoy.
A few simple ingredient swaps can make hearty meals a bit lighter and more nutritious. Switch up a stir-fry by replacing rice or noodles with carrot ribbons – they’re delicious, colourful and one of your 5-a-day! This griddled chicken with almond courgetti is a great way of using courgette instead of pasta, and this vegetarian courgetti and spaghetti with goat’s cheese recipe combines the two while remaining healthy, plus it’s a deliciously quick and easy meal to rustle up at any time.
It’s always tempting to reach for the white rice, but swapping it for a wholegrain alternative keeps mealtimes interesting, not to mention healthier. Grains, such as quinoa, bulgur wheat and brown rice, don’t take any longer to prepare, plus they give dishes a deliciously nutty flavour. Have a go at this vibrant sweetcorn and herb grain bowl or follow our 10 delicious quinoa recipes for inspiration.
Avoid tinned soup when you’re in a hurry, it can contain high levels of sugar and salt. Instead, try homemade soup, which is quick and easy to prepare, plus as you decide exactly what goes into it, you can ensure it’s super healthy, too. Just cook a big batch of vegetables (root veg and tomatoes work well) with stock or a reduced far coconut milk and blend for a silky-smooth soup. Check out this secret veg soup for inspiration or have a go at one of our 10 sumptuous soup recipes.
As well as being filling, pulses, such as lentils, beans and chickpeas, are packed with protein and are low in fat. To save time you can buy them ready cooked, so all you need to do is heat them up. They go perfectly in winter salads and pair well with fragrant herbs, such as this cannellini beans with rosemary and garlic recipe. For a light, yet satisfying supper, why not try this coriander and lime chicken with chickpea salad?
If you give up the batter and go easy on the oil, fried fish can be a healthy option. Not only is it versatile, quick to cook and filling, it’s also full of omega-3. And if you usually cook with vegetable oil, try swapping it for coconut oil or a calorie-controlled cooking spray while contains less fat than oil. Use the leftovers to make a healthy and gluten-free fish pie or how about bringing the zingy, fresh flavours of Thailand to the table with this Thai prawn skewers with grapefruit salad recipe?
As well as being one of the quickest dinners you can make, omelettes are low in fat and high in protein. What’s more, you can pack in as much veg and meat as you like, making it a perfect meal-in-one. Try our recipe for this souffléd mushroom omelette, which is as healthy as it is impressive.
Ramen – a traditional Japanese noodle soup – makes a great alternative to a smooth, blended soup. We love how much delicious fresh veg you can pack into one bowl, not to mention the tender meat and wholesome noodles. See our veggie version with butternut squash or, for a speedy dinner, try this steak ramen with ginger and star anise infused in a miso broth.
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