FIVE DAY - Balanced meal plan




Without any dietary restrictions, the table below offers a good guide for a balanced five day meal plan. Each day meets an approximate intake of 4-5 portions of vegetables and across the week there is a mix of pulses and grains, proteins and fats. And importantly, a range of options so your diet stays interesting. This plan can be adapted with items added or removed to suit an individual’s preferences.


There is also a good mix of fresh and dried or tinned components, and items that can be frozen, so shopping for a plan like this can easily extend for a few weeks (with a small top up of fresh veg after one week).






Green smoothie


Ingredients:

1 ball of frozen spinach or two handfuls of fresh (washed thoroughly)

1 handful fresh mint leaves

Juice of 1 lime

½ banana

Pinch of salt

½ tsp honey

1 tbsp olive oil


Blend together with some ice and some black pepper.


Breakfast Banana Bread

Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 45 mins | Serves: makes 8-10 slices


Ingredients:

100g ground almonds

150g rolled oats

2 eggs

130ml olive oil

3 large very ripe bananas

2 tbsp honey

1 tsp cinnamon

1/3 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

Caster sugar to sprinkle over the top


Preheat oven to 180°oven / 160°degrees fan and use butter to grease a loaf tin

Mash the bananas with the honey and leave to the side.

In a large bowl sift the flour and ground almonds. Add the oats, cinnamon, salt and baking powder and mix together.

In a separate bowl whisk the oil and eggs together.

Add the dry ingredients to the oil and eggs and mix together. Finally add the banana and honey and combine.

Pour into your loaf tin and add any toppings (slices of banana / flaked almonds) for decoration. Bake for around 45 mins and check to see if it is done.

When ready, leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins and then tip out onto cooling rack.



Chicken Curry (45 mins)

Serves 4


1 white onion

1 thumb ginger

6 garlic cloves

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp cumin seeds

1tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp chili flakes

1 tsp garam masala

1tsp turmeric

1 tbsp honey

400g can chopped tomatoes

4 chicken breasts

150ml hot chicken stock

1 can coconut milk

Coriander


Chop the onion, garlic and ginger and add to food processor with 3 tablespoons of water - process to a paste. These vegetables can be grated or finely chopped if you don’t have/don’t want to use a processor.


Heat the oil in a wok or pan set over a medium heat. Add the cumin and fennel seeds with the cinnamon and chilli flakes and add to the pan in one go. Swirl everything around for about 30 secs. Add the onion paste from the processor– it will splutter in the beginning. Fry until the water evaporates for about 7-8 mins.


Stir in the garam masala, turmeric, and honey and continue cooking for 1 min before tipping in the tomatoes. Continue cooking on a medium heat for about 10 mins.


Chop the chicken into chunks and add to the pan once the tomatoes have thickened. Cook for 5 mins to coat the chicken in the masala and seal in the juices, and then pour over the hot chicken stock and the coconut milk. Stir and simmer for 8-10 mins until the chicken is tender and the masala lightly thickened, put on a low heat. The chicken will be cooked and curry can be served, the longer you can leave it on a low heat before serving, the better. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve with rice and yoghurt.


Sausage and Chickpea stew (30 mins)

Serves 2


3-4 Good quality sausages (90% pork)

1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed

1 can mixed beans or another can of chickpeas

1 x onion

2x carrots

200ml chicken stock

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 handfuls spinach


Put the sausage into the oven and cook for 20-25 mins. In a pan, fry the onions and chopped carrot with olive oil and pinch of salt and pepper. Leave cooking for 5 minutes.


Add the two cans of chickpeas/beans with the chicken stock. Stir and leave to simmer for 10 mins.


Take the sausages from the oven when cooked. Chop them and add to the pan. Stir and leave to simmer for further 5 mins.


Add the Dijon mustard, more to taste if required – depends on the kick you want. Add the spinach, one final stir and then serve.



Simple flapjack slices

Makes 12 slices

1 ½ cup porridge oats

½ cup ground almonds

½ cup desiccated coconut

½ cup butter

¼ cup honey

Pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 180°oven / 160°fan. Grease a brownie tin and line with baking parchment.

Gently melt the butter on a low heat.

Once the butter is melted add all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix together.

Add the mixture to the brownie tray. Smooth out and press down gently so the mixture can bind together.

Bake for 15-20 mins – the top should look golden. Leave to cool in the tray so the mixture holds together. Once cool, remove from the tray and cut into 12 slices.


Brownies

Makes 12 brownies


200g 70% dark chocolate

150g butter

Large espresso

50g sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 eggs (beaten)

150g grounds almonds

50g chopped / crushed walnuts / pecans / hazelnuts


Preheat over to 150 fan/ 170 oven

Melt together the chocolate butter and coffee

Once liquid, Stir in the sugar and vanilla and let it cook a little

Stir in the rest of the ingredients

Put into liner brownies baking tray

Cook for 23 mins



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