Healthy Diet Plan January 2017 – vegetarian recipes

    All the nutrition-packed vegetarian recipes for our latest 7-day Healthy Diet Plan - plus an at-a-glance chart so you can see what's on the menu for each day.

    Healthy Diet Plan January 2017 – vegetarian recipes

    Whether your goal is to lose weight, cut back on sugar or glow with health, we’re here to help, with brand-new recipes and expert advice from our nutritional therapist, Kerry Torrens. As with all our diet plans, we’ve stayed clear of processed foods and packed our recipes with healthy fats, lean protein and slow-release carbs, as well as a mix of vegetarian and vegan recipes throughout the week. As a result, you can expect to cut down on added sugar, lose excess pounds and increase your energy. You’ll improve your digestion and give your immunity a boost too. 

    How to use the plan

    Our nutritious breakfasts, lunches and dinners deliver an optimum balance of nutrients and, by using the plan, you can see at a glance what to eat every day. Each day provides more than five of your five-a-day and keeps within the recommended Reference Intakes (RI) for fats, protein, sugar, salt and kcals, and follows the latest guidance on your intake of ‘free’ sugars. However, if you want to swap or repeat days, you’ll still reap all the benefits of eating whole, unprocessed, nourishing foods. 

    If this is a new way of eating for you, our nutritional therapist, 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.

    What to eat when...

    The recipes

    Our plan serves two people for seven days and covers breakfast, lunch and dinner - although the recipes can be easily scaled up or down to suit your family. If you're not vegetarian and would rather include some meat, we have a meat-eaters plan just for you.

    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.

    For the whole week

    Seeded wholemeal soda bread
    Why it's good for you...
    Shop-bought bread is often loaded with salt, sugar and preservatives, so make your own for a healthier loaf. This doesn’t take long and is used in recipes throughout the week. You can vary the seed mix depending on what you have in your storecupboard - we’ve included linseed because they’re a plant source of essential omega-3 fats and are rich in lignans, compounds that have a hormone-balancing effect. Keep your seed mix to hand for a final flourish over slaws, soups and mains – they’re a great way of topping up valuable minerals which can be hard to obtain, like magnesium and zinc.


    Poached eggs with crushed avocado & tomatoes
    Why it's good for you...
    Toasted soda bread makes a great base for this filling breakfast, using avocado as an alternative to butter. Rich in heart-friendly, mono-unsaturated fats, avocados are also a good source of protective vitamin E, which is excellent for skin. During the winter months it’s important to get a boost of vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin - and eggs make a valuable contribution.

    Cinnamon, apple & raisin porridge
    Why it's good for you...
    Soaking oats the night before is not only better for your digestion and helps you absorb more precious nutrients, it cooks more quickly and gives a lovely creamy texture. Cinnamon also enhances the action of insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels and prevents blood sugar spikes.

    Winter compote tumblers
    Why it's good for you...
    Dried fruit are concentrated packages of nutrients including calcium, iron, beta-carotene and B vitamins. They’re also rich in naturally occurring sugars, so we’ve balanced their sweetness with whole natural yogurt and almonds, to ensure you enjoy sustained energy throughout the morning. Green tea contributes antioxidants as well as adding flavour.

    Raspberry coconut porridge
    Why it's good for you...
    This fruity porridge is made with coconut yogurt, making it dairy-free. The coconut in our vegan porridge supplies a type of saturated fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). These are thought to have anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties, which promotes an optimal gut environment, and supports your immune defences. 


    Creamy leek & bean soup
    Why it's good for you...
    We've based this soup on the traditional leek and potato soup, but replaced the potato with extra nutrients from beans. Low in fat and packed with protein and fibre, beans also count towards your five-a-day. Leeks are packed with protective nutrients including vitamins A, C and E, plus as a ‘prebiotic’ they fuel the friendly gut bacteria that strengthen your immune defences. 

    Toasted soda bread with blue cheese & pear
    Why it's good for you...
    The perfect sweet and savoury combination - pears are low in calories and rich in filling fibre, most notably pectin - a soluble form that helps manage cholesterol levels. Blue cheese is a fabulous source of good bacteria to support a healthy gut environment, as well as being a useful source of calcium and magnesium, plus it tops up protein levels.


    Beetroot houmous toasts with olives & mint
    Why it's good for you...
    Beetroot is rich in betacyanins, an antioxidant which benefits the heart, lowering blood pressure, improving circulation and helping to maintain a strong heart beat. If your new year resolution includes a fitness regime, this delicious, deep-purple houmous may just be your secret to success, as including beetroot in your diet has been linked to increased stamina.

    Masala omelette muffins served with mustard slaw
    Why it's good for you...
    Eggs are a great source of vitamin D, which many people lack in the winter months due to low sunshine levels. Peas are a great source of iron and fibre – including the gentler form of soluble fibre, which keeps the digestive system happy and cholesterol levels balanced.


    Mexican bean soup with guacamole
    Why it's good for you...
    We don't always think of beans and pulses as being rich in protective antioxidants, but black beans rival blueberries for their flavonoid content. These plant compounds form one of the most important classes of antioxidants, helping protect the skin and body from the damaging effects of poor lifestyle choices as well as ageing.



    Sweet potato & chestnut roast with tangy tomato sauce
    Why it's good for you...
    Sweet potatoes are a low carb alternative to regular potatoes - with a lower Glycaemic Index (GI) and higher fibre content, they're the perfect healthy comfort food. They're also ideal for increasing your intake of protective antioxidants, which are good for the skin and respiratory system. Chestnuts are also a valuable source of B vitamins, which are essential for maintaining energy levels.

    Cauliflower, olive & lentil tagine
    Why it's good for you...
    Packed with vegetables, this recipe provides an impressive four of your five-a-day. Lentils are a rich plant source of iron as well as B vitamins and potassium which can help to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Cauliflower supplies glucosinolates which have been linked to anti-cancer properties and also protect against heart disease.


    Feta stuffed mushrooms with mustard slaw
    Why it's good for you...
    For optimum health, eat a portion of wholegrain a day. These cereal grains contain the germ, endosperm and bran, in contrast to refined grains, which have much of the goodness stripped out of them. This recipe is based on a balanced combination of protein, fats and carbs, which help manage hormones and curb cravings, while also providing three of your five-a-day.

    Sesame noodles with leeks & sprouts
    Why it's good for you...
    This delicious noodle dish uses ginger, which has a 'thermic effect' - as well as being a warming spice it also boosts the speed your body burns calories. This recipe is also brimming with immune safeguards from antioxidant-rich vegetables like sprouts and carrots, as well as antiviral garlic.

    Garlic aubergine steaks with romesco sauce
    Why it's good for you...
    Aubergine contains chlorogenic acid, a plant chemical that helps slow the release of glucose and helps balance blood sugar levels. Here we've paired it with rocket, which is a great immunity-booster.


    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 1500 calories. For the average female, who is moderately active, this should generate a shortfall allowing for steady and controlled weight-loss. For those who find they need more energy and are happy with their weight, supplement our daily menu plans with our suggested healthy snacks

    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, improve concentration and focus 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 sugar

    We’ve used naturally sweet ingredients like fruit, dried fruit and sweeter-tasting veg like beetroot so we can slash the amount of added ‘free’ sugars in our recipes. You’ll find this is the most painless way of cutting your sugar intake after a festive season of over-indulgence.

    Please email any questions about the recipes to and we'll do our best to help.

    All health content from BBC Good Food 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 health care 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 health care provider.

    Comments, questions and tips

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    Be the first to comment...We'd love to hear how you got on with this recipe. Did you like it? Would you recommend others give it a try?
    8th Jan, 2017
    Have you got a gluten free version of vegetarian 7 day diet plan please?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    9th Jan, 2017
    Thanks for your question. I'm afraid we don't currently have a gluten-free version although some of the recipes will be gluten-free. We'll add this to our list of requests as we're always looking to enhance the plans.
    Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.