This healthy meal plan takes the faff out of deciding what to have for dinner

We know full well that taking on extreme diets or restrictive food rules is a surefire way to be absolutely miserable in the year ahead.

In our pursuit of better health and weight loss, we’ll often find ourselves feeling hungry, irritable, and rubbish, whether we manage to stick to a crash diet or not.

A far more sustainable approach to health comes in the form of this weekly meal plan, that’s not about excluding foods or going hungry, but about eating delicious dinners that do you good.

This particular plan comes from Second Nature, a 12-week programme that aims to focus on health first, with weight loss more of a side effect than an at-all-costs goal.

All the meals are tasty, easy to make, and nourishing – and following the plan takes all the faff out of deciding what to have for dinner. Let’s get into it.

Healthy weekly meal plan for two

SUNDAY BEFORE STARTING:

  • Prepare baked beans
  • Prepare mini omelettes

MONDAY

Breakfast: Homemade baked beans

Ingredients (makes four servings):

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely diced or minced
  • 1 handful fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 500ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 125g tomato paste
  • 2 x 400g tins white beans (haricot, butter beans, or cannellini), rinsed and drained

Method:

Lunch: Mini omelettes

Ingredients (makes four servings):

  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 2-3 handfuls spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp sundried tomatoes, finely sliced (optional)
  • 8 medium or large eggs
  • 125ml milk
  • ½ tsp ground paprika
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 60g Cheddar cheese, grated

Method:

Dinner: Chilli con carne

Ingredients (makes four servings):

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced or minced
  • 500g beef mince (or Quorn)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp hot smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 2 large red peppers
  • 1 x 400g tin kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 150ml beef or veg stock
  • 100ml red wine
  • 1 lime, ½ juiced, ½ sliced
  • 4 tbsp sour cream (optional)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 romaine lettuce head, finely sliced
  • 80g uncooked brown rice

Method:

TUESDAY

Breakfast: Peanut butter jam oats

Ingredients (serves two):

  • 80g rolled oats
  • 500ml milk
  • 4 tsp chia seeds or milled flaxseed
  • 120g frozen berries
  • 120ml water
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter

Method:

Lunch: Leftover chilli con carne with brown rice

Dinner: Creamy salmon

Ingredients (makes four servings):

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 salmon fillets, skinless and boneless
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced or minced
  • 250g asparagus spears
  • 250g frozen peas
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 300ml single cream
  • 1 large handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 small handful fresh dill, roughly chopped (optional)

Method:

WEDNESDAY

Breakfast: Leftover mini omelettes

Lunch: Leftover creamy salmon with a slice of sourdough toast

Dinner: Lamb massaman curry

Ingredients (makes four servings):

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 500g lamb, diced
  • 300g butternut squash, diced into 2-3cm cubes
  • 3 tbsp massaman curry paste
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 x 400g tin coconut milk
  • 200g green beans, diced into 3cm chunks
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 200g cooked brown rice
  • 2 tbsp salted peanuts
  • 1 large handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 80g uncooked brown rice (4 portions)

Method:

THURSDAY

Breakfast: Leftover baked beans + poached eggs and asparagus or spinach

Lunch: Leftover lamb pitta massaman curry (no rice)

Dinner: Coconut dahl

Ingredients (makes four servings):

  • 2 tbsp coconut or extra virgin extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely diced or minced
  • 2cm fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 200g red lentils or split peas
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
  • 1 large handful baby spinach
  • 1 handful fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Method:

FRIDAY

Breakfast: Toasted muesli

Ingredients (makes ten servings):

  • 200g rolled oats
  • 45g desiccated or flaked coconut
  • 45g pumpkin seeds
  • 150g raw nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 85g butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg white (optional)

Method:

Lunch: Leftover coconut dahl

Dinner: Chicken fajita bake

Ingredients (makes four servings):

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 600g chicken breast or thigh, finely sliced
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 3 red peppers, sliced
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 80g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 handful fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 60ml sour cream
  • 2 little gem lettuce heads
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Method:

SATURDAY

Breakfast: Blueberry oat pancakes

Ingredients (makes four servings):

  • 2 bananas
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 70g rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 50-100g blueberries

Method:

Lunch: Leftover chicken fajita bake

Dinner: Sweetcorn fritters + poached eggs and spinach

Ingredients for fritters (makes four servings):

  • 80g fine porridge oats
  • ½ tsp ground paprika
  • ½ tsp dried thyme (optional)
  • 2 x 198g tins corn, rinsed and drained
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 80g Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method:

Dessert: Banana bread

Ingredients (serves eight):

  • 3 medium overripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 80g butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g almond flour (ground almonds)
  • 80g porridge oats
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 60g pecans, chopped
  • 1 banana, sliced lengthways (optional topping)

Method:

SUNDAY

Breakfast: Leftover sweetcorn fritters

Lunch: Warm lamb salad

Ingredients (makes four servings):

  • 200g plain natural or Greek yoghurt
  • ½ lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely diced or minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 400g lamb fillet or leg steaks
  • 4 handfuls (100g) baby spinach and/or salad leaves
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and finely sliced

Method:

Dinner: Chana masala

Ingredients (serves four):

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground or fresh ginger
  • 1 x 400g tin plum/chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400mltin coconut milk
  • 2 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 200ml veg stock
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 250g spinach
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • Yoghurt (optional garnish)

Method:

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