Main meals

These recipes have just a few ingredients, including kitchen cupboard staples which may be used for various recipes.

Courgette beefburgers

Beef contains iron which we need to maintain our energy levels, avoid anaemia and help with low mood.

Mix 100g lean mince steak with 1-2 courgettes (zucchinis) and one egg until well combined. Shape the mixture into 4 round patties and grill or dry fry each side until cooked through. Serve on burger buns with salad and tomato ketchup.

Tuna and bean patties

Pulses are low in fat, high in protein and fibre, and have a low glycaemic index (they release energy slowly).

Preheat oven to 180C/gas mark 4.

Blend 400g cannellini beans (one can) in a food processor with one egg white, one garlic clove, fresh parsley and one shallot until a rough puree is formed. Transfer puree to mixing bowl. Gently stir in 400g tinned tuna and season to taste. Alternative: use canned kidney, butter or borlotti beans or chickpeas if preferred.

Form bean and tuna mixture into 12 patties. Place on a lined baking sheet and cook in the oven for 15 minutes, until golden. Serve tucked into pitta bread with salad and your favourite dressing (I like tomato salsa).

Shepherds Pie (made from leftovers)

Any leftover meat dishes (like Chilli con Carne or a goulash) can be bulked out with vegetables, tinned lentils or beans and put into a ovenproof dish. Top with mashed potato (I use Smash) and bake in the oven for a quick and easy Shepherd’s Pie.

Salmon burgers

500g fresh skinless & boneless salmon fillet (chopped)

1 free range egg

1/2 cup almond meal

1 teaspoon dill

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1 onion (chopped)

1 tablespoon olive oil (for cooking)

Salt & pepper (to taste)

Combine raw salmon, egg, dill, coriander, onion, egg and a little salt and pepper into a food processor. Process until just combined. Make four patties and coat in almond meal. Rest the patties in the fridge for 5-10 minutes. Lightly fry in a pan using a little olive oil until brown on both sides.

Potato & Leek Soup

3 large leeks (washed and sliced)

5 medium potatoes (peeled and chopped)

1.5 litres vegetable stock (use low-salt stock cubes)

Black pepper

Put the chopped leek and potato into a large pan with the stock and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until the potato is soft. Season & serve hot.

Low-fat Thai Green Curry

Swap your takeaway for a home-made curry and stay in control of the ingredients.

1 cooked chicken breast (chopped or shredded)

1 pack supermarket stirfry vegetables

1 can low-fat coconut milk

2 teaspoons green curry paste

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon thai fish sauce

Juice of one lime

Put all of the ingredients in a saucepan, then simmer until the coconut milk is reduced by a third. Easy!

Chilli con carne

In a large saucepan heat 2 tablespoons of oil and brown 450g (1 lb) lean mince or chopped meat, then stir in 2 chopped onions and 2 chopped garlic cloves and cook on medium heat until the onion softens. Mix in 400 g (14 oz) chopped canned tomatoes, 2 chopped chillies, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce and pepper. Add some water or red wine to stop mixture from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan. Cover and simmer for 50 minutes until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally and adding more water or wine as required. Add 400g (14oz) tinned kidney beans and cook for 10 minutes before serving with rice and a dollop of sour cream. Serves 4 people.

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