We’ve pulled together some of our favourite low calorie meal ideas to help give you a little inspiration when it comes to planning your healthy dinner. You might even be surprised that healthy food can taste this good!
Spinach, Aubergine and Chickpea Curry
This recipe ticks all of the boxes! Not only is it just 215 calories but it’s also vegetarian and vegan. Begin by boiling 1kg of spinach for a couple minutes then drain the water and squeeze any excess water from the spinach. You can choose to blend the spinach into a thick puree texture or leave it as it is.
Pop some olive oil into a pan and add 2 diced onions, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 tbsp of coriander seeds, 2 fresh chopped green chillies, 200 grams of chickpeas and leave to cook for 5 minutes at a gentle heat.
Top up the pan with more olive oil then add 1 chopped aubergine, 400 grams of chopped tin tomatoes then leave to simmer for 15 minutes, checking back every now and then to stir. Finally, add in the spinach and mix together well, then you are ready to serve up and tuck in.
Mexican Bean Burgers
Pour 800 grams of drained kidney beans into a bowl and crush with a potato masher. Add in 100 grams of breadcrumbs to the mix as well as 2 tsp of chilli powder, 2 tsp of salsa, some chopped coriander and 1 beaten egg. Mix the ingredients thoroughly with a fork and feel free to add in any extra seasoning or herbs that you fancy.
Once it is all bound together, with wet hands you should be able to mould 6 burgers out of the mixture and place them onto a non-stick baking tray and grill for 4-5 minutes before flipping over to repeat on the other side.
Prep your wholemeal burger buns by adding some salad and spreading salsa on the inside of the buns before placing your bean burgers in and serving.
Instead of opting for the takeaway version, you can make a delicious homemade pad thai that still packs lots of flavours but is a lot healthier coming in at under 300 calories per serving. Begin by heating up 1tbsp of sesame seed oil in a wok until it is piping hot. Then, add in 1 chopped red chilli, 1 crushed garlic clove, 2 diced spring onions and mix for a few minutes.
Next, move the vegetables to one side of the wok and add in 1 beaten egg to the other side. Then quickly stir-fry and toss all of the mixture together with the egg now becoming scrambled.
Add in 2 shredded courgettes (the noodle alternative) and continue to toss and leave to cook for 4-5 minutes. Then, add in 50 grams of bean sprouts and 200 grams of pre-cooked and peeled prawns and leave to cook for a further 2 minutes.
To serve, place the pad thai into bowls and top with a drizzle of fresh lime juice, coriander and chopped peanuts.
Make sure that your oven is preheated to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Prepare 2 tbsp of oil, 1 sliced garlic clove, 1 aubergine cut into small chunks, 1 red pepper, 8 halved cherry tomatoes and 1 sliced onion to mix all together in a large shallow tin and roast for around 35 minutes. Don’t be afraid to get creative and add in your own mix of vegetables and spices.
Once cooked, spoon out a layer of the vegetable mix into the bottom of a baking dish then pour in some passata over the top and repeat the layers until the dish is full. Place a sheet of lasagne pasta over the top to cover the dish then top with grated cheese and seasoning. Now it’s ready to go into the oven and bake for 25 minutes until the top layer goes a wonderfully tempting golden colour and the cheese is bubbling away. Leave to cool a little then you are ready to serve up with a sprinkle of black pepper.
Hopefully, the healthy eating now feels a little less daunting knowing that cutting back on the calories doesn’t mean cutting back on delicious food. If you try out any of these recipes make sure to send us a picture of your scrumptious creation.