All you need for the vegetarian Summer 2020 Healthy Diet Plan

Everything you need to follow the vegetarian Summer 2020 Healthy Diet Plan. Find the menu chart, all the recipes for the week, handy shopping lists and more.

Welcome to BBC Good Food's Healthy Diet Plan for Summer 2020! This page contains everything you need for the whole week. Scroll down or click the links below to get started. Looking for the meat eater's plan? We have a separate page just for you.

Whether you're aiming to lose weight, increase your energy levels or just glow with health, our brand-new Healthy Diet Plan is here to help. Discover seven days of brand-new recipes that have all been triple-tested and nutritionally analysed to ensure you'll get all the nutrients you need to look and feel fantastic.

At BBC Good Food, we believe that the healthiest way of eating is to focus on whole, natural foods, and our diet plans are no different. All of the recipes are packed with healthy fats, lean proteins and slow-release carbs, plus we've avoided using processed products where possible. We've also included a variety of vegetarian and vegan recipes throughout the week.

The results? You can expect to cut down on added sugar, increase your energy levels, improve your digestion, lose excess weight and support your immune system.

For this plan, we've highlighted recipes that are especially good to enjoy post-exercise. For resistance training, protein is key for muscle repair, and for cardio and endurance training, you'll need some energising carbs to replenish glycogen stores, as well as protein. We've also included some natural anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as turmeric, in our recipes to help ease tired joints and muscles. Muscles are most receptive in the 30-minute window following exercise, so eat in this timeframe if you can. Remember to drink plenty of hydrating fluids and, if necessary, include a small amount of sodium to replace any lost through perspiration.

How to use the plan

Use the chart below to see your weekly menu at a glance. Eaten in this order, each day will deliver a balance of protein, fat and carbs, helping you to manage hormonal and blood sugar levels, as well as optimal nutrient levels each day. You'll also achieve all five of your five-a-day (or more) and keep within the recommended Reference Intakes (RI) for fats, protein, sugar, salt and calories, while following the latest guidance on your intake of 'free' sugars. As with any lifestyle or diet change, if you have any concerns or health issues, we would encourage you to check with your GP before embarking on our plans.

If this is a new way of eating for you, registered nutritionist Kerry Torrens, suggests you begin by introducing some of the recipes a day or two before starting the full seven days. This will allow your digestive system time to adapt to the more fibre-rich foods we’ve included. To help you supercharge your results, read Kerry's six tips to make the most of the plan.

Your shopping list for the week

To help you get organised, we've designed a handy shopping list so you can buy everything you need in one shop – just remember to check the packets for sell-by dates to make sure they'll last until the end of the week.

Download the printable shopping list.

Your menu chart for the week

Healthy Diet Plan vegetarian menu chart

The recipes

Our plan covers breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves two people for seven days (sometimes with leftovers for another day on the plan), although the recipes can be easily scaled up or down. 

Get the meat eater's Healthy Diet Plan recipes.

Breakfasts

Chia & oat breakfast scones with yogurt & berries

Chia & oat breakfast scones with yogurt & berries

Vegetarian, healthy, folate, vitamin C, fibre, 1 of 5-a-day

These breakfast scones have a slightly bouncier texture than traditional ones, but make a lovely summery start to the day topped with thick yogurt and berries. They make enough for breakfast the next day too. Did you know chia seeds are the richest plant source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats?

Breakfast egg wraps

Breakfast egg wraps

Vegetarian, healthy, iron, folate, fibre, 2 of 5-a-day

These are quick to make and filling too. Apart from being a perfect little package of protein, eggs contain carotenoids and selenium for a healthy scalp and skin. You will eat these over two mornings so make fresh each day using half of the ingredients.

Quinoa, peach & ginger bircher

Quinoa, peach & ginger bircher

Good source of carbs and protein for muscle recovery after exercise

Vegetarian, low-fat, healthy, calcium, folate, vitamin C, fibre, 1 of 5-a-day

Get ahead and make these the night before so they are ready and waiting for you as either a nutritious start to your day or even as a post-exercise breakfast! The recipe makes enough for three mornings. Soaking oats and grains overnight makes them easier to digest, which is another good reason to plan ahead.

Lunches

Chickpea soup with chunky gremolata

Chickpea soup with chunky gremolata

Good source of carbs and protein for muscle recovery after exercise

Vegetarian, vegan, healthy, low-cal, calcium, iron, folate, fibre, vitamin C, 4 of 5-a-day, gluten-free

This satisfying soup is loosely based on the flavours of hummus – with some added spice! Warming spices like cumin reduce inflammation and protect the cardiovascular system.

Noodle salad with sesame dressing

Noodle salad with sesame dressing

Vegetarian, vegan, healthy, low-cal, omega-3, folate, vitamin C, fibre, 3 of 5-a-day, gluten-free

In this lunch we’ve used a julienne peeler to shred up the carrot. It looks like a swivel potato peeler but it makes long thin shreds as if you had spiralised them. Of course, you can cut the carrot with a knife if you don’t have one. Brightly coloured vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes provide beta-carotene which our bodies convert to skin-friendly vitamin A.

Lentil salad with tahini dressing

Lentil salad with tahini dressing

Vegetarian, healthy, low-cal, calcium, iron, folate, vitamin C, fibre, 4 of 5-a-day, gluten-free

Ginger along with lemon zest adds a subtle undertone to this, which will provide two lunches in the week. Ginger helps relieve swelling and joint pain while pumpkin seeds, added for crunch, provide zinc for clear, healthy skin.

Quinoa salad with avocado mayo

Quinoa salad with avocado mayo

Vegetarian, healthy, iron, folate, fibre, vitamin C, 4 of 5-a-day, gluten-free

For the vegetarian version of this filling lunch, simply omit the chicken topping. Supplying twice the protein of the equivalent portion of rice and more energising B vitamins, quinoa adds a nutritious punch to this easy-to-put-together salad.

Vegan jambalaya

Vegan jambalaya

Good source of carbs and protein for muscle recovery after exercise

Vegetarian, vegan, healthy, iron, vitamin C, fibre, 5 of 5-a-day, gluten-free

Chunky butter beans add texture to this classic rice dish that uses a base of onion, celery and pepper to add flavour and contribute to your five-a-day.

Dinners

Porcini loaf with summer greens

Porcini loaf with summer greens

Vegetarian, healthy, low-cal, low-fat, calcium, iron, folate, vitamin C, 5 of 5-a-day, gluten-free

Get all five of your five-a-day in this tasty weekend roast. Dried mushrooms pack in a delicious umami flavour while jackfruit provides the texture in this sliceable loaf. It tastes great cold as well.

Pasta arrabbiata with aubergine

Good source of carbs and protein for muscle recovery after exercise

Vegetarian, healthy, low-cal, low-fat, calcium, fibre, 3 of 5-a-day

This classic spicy pasta supper is a great option for refuelling after a cardio workout. Tomatoes contain protective antioxidants to support healthy skin. Although not traditional, we’ve added an aubergine to the sauce for another of your five-a-day.

Vegan three bean chilli with potato jacket

Good source of carbs and protein for muscle recovery after exercise

Vegetarian, vegan, healthy, iron, folate, vitamin C, fibre, 4 of 5-a-day, gluten-free

Crisp, fluffy jacket potatoes are a wonderfully filling base for this plant-based dinner. Be careful when buying the three-bean salad – you just want the beans to be in water, not a vinaigrette.

Paneer jalfrezi with cumin rice

Vegetarian, healthy, low cal, calcium, iron, folate, vitamin C, fibre, 3 of 5-a-day, gluten-free

Paneer is an Indian cheese and a good alternative to meat in this curry, providing calcium for healthy bones and to support muscle function. It is high in fat though, so you don’t need much to provide a satisfying portion.

How to customise the plan

Everyone has different needs and lifestyle requirements, which is why our plans are easy to adapt. If you find you’re hungry or would like to increase the daily calories, try adding our healthier snacks and sweet treat suggestions. These recipes are all based around whole foods and keep the processed ingredients to a minimum.

If you want to mix up the menu so you can follow the plan in the longer term, or you don't like a particular dish on the menu, you can swap it for one of our extra Healthy Diet Plan dishes that all follow the same nutritional guidelines as the recipes in this plan. Please bear in mind that adding snacks or swapping recipes will alter the overall calories and recommended daily intakes for the day.

About the Healthy Diet Plan

Still hungry?

The calories you need on a daily basis vary depending on your age, height, weight, sex and activity levels. There are numerous calculators you can use online to determine your optimum calorie intake but we’ve based our daily menu plans on no more than 1,500 calories. For the average female who is moderately active, this should generate a shortfall, allowing for steady and controlled weight loss. For those who are hungry on the plan, require a higher calorie intake or are happy with their weight, take a look at our healthier snacks and sweet treat ideas. As with any lifestyle or diet change, if you have any concerns or health issues we would encourage you to check with your GP before embarking on our plans.

A note on fat

Fat is in most of the foods we eat – meat, fish, nuts, seeds and grains, as well as dairy and eggs. Obtaining fat from these whole foods is a healthier way of getting this essential macronutrient. We need fat for healthy skin, to boost our mood and improve concentration, as well as for a well-functioning immune system. Our recipes include full-fat rather than processed low-fat ingredients, like yogurt, and extra virgin cold-pressed oils rather than refined ones. That’s because all fats are not equal – we should avoid processed, refined fats and oils and limit (but not exclude) our intake of the saturated variety.

A note on dairy

We've used whole milk and whole bio yogurt in our recipes. These contain around 4% fat, and because of this, are richer in essential fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. If you prefer the taste of semi-skimmed milk and reduced-fat yogurt or you've been advised to reduce your sat fat intake, you can swap for these. You'll still reap the benefits from the calcium and protein that dairy contains, but be aware that the fat-soluble vitamins will be reduced.

A note on sugar

We’ve used naturally sweet ingredients like fruit, dried fruit and certain vegetables (such as broccoli) to slash the amount of added ‘free’ sugars in our recipes.

Please email any questions about the recipes to goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk and we'll do our best to help.

All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. Any healthy diet plan featured by BBC Good Food is provided as a suggestion of a general balanced diet and should not be relied upon to meet specific dietary requirements. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our terms and conditions for more information.