Whether or not you’re trying to lose weight, it’s always a good idea to try and eat well, and if you start now as you mean to go on, then hopefully you’ll be more likely to stick to it. Eating well doesn’t mean surviving on cabbage soup – there are tons of awesome, easy recipes that you can make to give your tummy some much needed TLC.
So what should you eat to get you back on track? Here are my suggestions - some are my own recipes, others are from my Pinterest wanderings. All are good for you, tasty and do NOT taste like diet food.
Butternut Squash Lasagne
This is still one of my most popular blog posts by far. It’s not the quickest of recipes, mainly due to how long it takes to peel and chop up a whole butternut squash, but it is super easy and it makes 6 hearty portions, so the time it takes is very much worth it. It’s so good for you as it’s full of veggies, and it’s easy to customise with whatever vegetables you have at home. What’s more, it contains two types of cheese and it’s incredibly filling. I’d quite happily have this every night, because I know it’s full of good things, tasty and filling but also less than 350 calories a portion (and 6 Weight Watchers points!).
Sweet Potato Skins
I worked out the WW points for this recipe and it’s really not bad at all – and that’s including the oil to crisp up the skins (which I feel is a necessity). Sweet potatoes are super good for you, and potato skins are super tasty – what’s not to love? The reason this isn’t too naughty is because it’s not a starter or a side dish, it’s DINNER. And honestly, with a nice big salad, it’ll be plenty.
My recipe isn’t very authentic and it takes hours to cook, but that just makes it worth it. I pack it full of vegetables and cook it down until the sauce thickens and the flavours mingle, and it makes an incredible amount. Last time I did it, it made four portions PLUS a lasagne (which was six portions!), so ten in total. I like adding red wine and olives to mine, but you don’t have to. I always use extra lean mince, and honestly, it tastes the same. I love Spag Bol because it tastes even better reheated, so it’s the perfect dish to portion up and pop in the freezer.
KFC Style Chicken
I love Amy's blog - I always head here whenever I need recipe inspiration! Her KFC style chicken is incredible, and it's about a million times healthier than the real thing as it's baked, not fried. We had it with homemade courgette fries and it was pretty damn wonderful. I'd like to try it in a warm salad next.
This does NOT taste like diet food. It tastes like garlic and butter and cheese. But because the main filling is mushrooms – which are super low in fat and calories – it’s not naughty at all! Bonus fact: your house will smell amazing afterwards.
If you’re really missing burgers, this pasta bake incorporates all the flavours of a cheeseburger and isn’t a bad subsitute (although remember that you can make diet-friendly burgers too, like this one and this one!). I always add lots of mustard and tons of sweet pickles on top, but it’s so easy to customise.
Another one of Amy's recipes - this is an amazing Hunter's Chicken dupe. It has a homemade BBQ sauce, so it's not full of additives and sugar, and by limiting the cheese and bacon, it's really not too bad at all. This is Slimming World friendly, too.
Blue Cheese Pasta Bake
This pasta dish has a LOT of cheese in it. But also a lot of veggies. It’s creamy and green and oh-so-good, and the perfect dinner for a cold winter’s evening. It’s also vegetarian, and super low in calories.
This is a lot like the Cheeseburger Casserole in theory – taking something bad, adding pasta, making it not-so-bad. It’s easy to make, and the best bit is you can add your own toppings. I’m thinking of trying it with ham and pineapple...
Buffalo Chicken Mac ‘n’ Cheese
I still don’t really believe 1) how good this was and 2) how low in WW points it was. Every time I got it out of the freezer, I thought ‘This portion looks tiny!’ and every time it was plenty because it’s super rich. It takes a while to make, but pop Netflix on your laptop or iPad and take over the kitchen for the day. Cooking gets the blood going too, so it’s the perfect activity for a chilly January day!
Remember that the beauty of doing meat in the slow cooker is that it cooks in its own juices, so often doesn’t need oil to make it moist. This chicken recipe is a great one to try, and it makes loads - or check out my Pinterest board full of recipes!