Healthy Diet Plan Summer 2017 - recipes

    All the brand-new, nutritious recipes you need for our summer 7-day Healthy Diet Plan, plus an easy-to-follow menu chart to take you through each day.

    Logo banner for BBC Good Food's Healthy Diet Plan Summer 2017

    Whether you're aiming to lose weight, cut back on sugar or just glow with health, BBC Good Food is here to help. We've put together brand-new recipes and expert advice from our nutritional therapist, Kerry Torrens, to bring you a 7-day menu that's packed with nutrients. As with all our diet plans, we've focused on natural foods and stayed away from processed products, packing our recipes with healthy fats, lean protein and slow-release carbs, as well as a mix of vegetarian and vegan recipes to enjoy throughout the week. As a result, you can expect to cut down on added sugar, increase your energy levels, improve your digestion and lose excess weight, all while supporting your immune system.

    How to use the plan

    Using our handy chart, you can see at a glance what to eat and when. Our carefully analysed breakfasts, lunches and dinners deliver an optimum balance of nutrients each day and are based on a balanced combination of protein, fats and carbs, which helps to manage hormonal swings and blood sugar levels. If you follow our suggested menu plans, 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 while following the latest guidance on your intake of 'free' sugars. To get the best from the plan, we recommend eating the meals in the order set out in our chart. However, if you want to swap or repeat days, you'll still reap all the benefits of eating whole, unprocessed, nourishing foods. For those who want to lose weight, the daily calorie count of up to 1,500 kcals will help you reach your goal.

    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...

    Download and print this chart

    The recipes

    Our plan serves two people for seven days (sometimes with leftovers for another day) and covers breakfast, lunch and dinner — although the recipes can be easily scaled up or down to suit your family. If you're vegetarian or looking to cut down on meat, we have a vegetarian 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.

    Breakfasts

    Plate of sweet potato pancakes with orange and grapefruitSweet potato pancakes with orange & grapefruit
    Why it's good for you...
    Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, a protective antioxidant, and although naturally sweet, they don't cause blood sugar disruption. Citrus fruits like oranges are rich in collagen-supportive vitamin C, so are great for skin health and elasticity. This recipe is a great way to get two of your five-a-day into your breakfast, and it's low-calorie and gluten-free too.

     

    Bowl of homemade muesli with oats, dates and berriesHomemade muesli with oats, dates & berries
    Why it's good for you...
    Traditional oats, pecans, seeds and dates all add to the taste and texture of this delicious muesli, plus it's topped with gut-healthy yogurt and berries. Pecans are rich in heart-friendly monounsaturated fats, so although this recipe looks high in fat, it's packed full of the healthy variety. This recipe is a good source of calcium, folate, fibre and vitamin C and provides one of your five-a-day.
     

    Bowl of pink barley porridge with vanilla yogurtPink barley porridge with vanilla yogurt
    Why it's good for you...
    The pink colouring in this pretty recipe comes naturally from the plums that are mixed into the porridge as it cooks. Barley adds an intruiging texture and also lowers cholesterol, aids digestion and releases its energy slowly, helping to regulate your appetite. This recipe is healthy, low-fat and provides calcium and one portion of your five-a-day.
     

    Two dishes of mushroom baked eggs with squished tomatoes and rocketMushroom baked eggs with squished tomatoes
    Why it's good for you...
    Eggs contain zinc, iron and copper; vitamins A, D, E, B12, B6 and K; and several heart-friendly nutrients such as betaine and choline. We've baked them with tomatoes, mushrooms and rocket to add plenty of flavour and two of your five-a-day. This recipe is healthy, low-calorie, low-fat, gluten-free, and a good source of folate.

     

    Lunches

    Bowl of cucumber, pea and lettuce soup with rye breadCucumber, pea & lettuce soup
    Why it's good for you...
    This soup is light, refreshing and low in calories. The peas add substance and are a useful source of iron and fibre, including soluble fibre, which helps regulate cholesterol levels. Peas are frozen as soon as they are picked, so (unless picking straight from your garden) they are usually nutritionally richer than fresh ones. This recipe is healthy, low-fat, and provides three of your five-a-day.

    A lunchbox filled with curried pork bulgar saladCurried pork bulghar salad
    Why it's good for you...
    Packed with flavour from curry powder, cumin seeds and a natural hit of sweetness from medjool dates, this salad is a great healthy lunch option. It's low-fat, low-calorie and a good source of fibre, while including two of your five-a-day.

     

    Lunchbox filled with ratatouille pasta salad and rocketRatatouille pasta salad with rocket
    Why it's good for you...
    This filling lunch provides all five of your five-a-day in one delicious dish! We've used wholewheat penne pasta to boost the fibre content. It's low-calorie, low-fat, and a good source of folate, vitamin C and iron. Using the leftover ratatouille from your Sunday supper means that it's super quick to make, too.

     

    Oatcakes on a chopping board with a bean and feta spread and Greek salsa saladBean & feta spread with oatcakes & Greek salsa salad
    Why it's good for you...
    Cheese and crackers gets a wholesome upgrade in this light, yet filling, lunch. The vegetable-packed salsa provides three of your five-a-day, while butter beans add fibre to the feta spread.


     

    Plate with broccoli pasta salad with salmon and sunflower seedsBroccoli pasta salad with salmon & sunflower seeds
    Why it's good for you...
    Salmon is a great source of omega-3, and we've used pre-cooked wild salmon fillets to make this lunch super quick and easy to make. The recipe provides one of your five-a-day but if you want to increase this to two portions, increase the beans and broccoli to 160g each.
     

     

    Dinners

    Plate with herb and garlic pork with summer ratatouille and potatoesHerb & garlic pork with summer ratatouille
    Why it's good for you...
    All five of your five-a-day in one delicious Sunday supper! This healthy meal is low-fat, low-calorie, and provides beneficial folate, fibre and vitamin C.



     

    Plate with miso burgers with mint and pomegranate slawMiso burgers with mint & pomegranate slaw
    Why it's good for you...
    Chickpeas are a good source of manganese, which we need for healthy bones. The fibre they contain helps regulate cholesterol too. Miso is rich in essential minerals such as copper, manganese and zinc, and it is a good source of various B vitamins, including folate. As a fermented food, miso provides the gut with beneficial bacteria that can promote good gut health, known to be linked to our overall wellness.
     

    Plate with Jamaican chicken with rice and peasJamaican chicken with rice & peas
    Why it's good for you...
    A healthy, full-flavoured dinner that is sure to tickle the tastebuds and leave you satisfied. Meat cooked on the bone will add extra nutrients to the sauce in the form of amino acids, gelatin (good for the joints), selenium and zinc — which is why bone broth is so popular. This recipe also provides fibre, iron and three of your five-a-day.

     

    Plate of cod with cucumber, mango & avocado salsa saladCod with cucumber, avocado & mango salsa salad
    Why it's good for you...
    Avocados are a great source of potassium and along with their rich monounsaturated fat, they're super healthy for your heart. You might think the mango would make this recipe high in calories, but combined with low-fat cod (an excellent source of stress-busting B vitamins) and magnesium, it is surprisingly low. This healthy dinner is low-fat, low-calorie, gluten-free and provides folate, vitamin C and three of your five-a-day. Best of all, it's ready in under 15 minutes!

    Plate with balsamic beef with beetroot and rocketBalsamic beef with beetroot & rocket
    Why it's good for you...
    Round off the week with a hearty (and healthy) steak dinner. Red meat is rich in B vitamins and iron which fuel your energy levels. Using techniques like marinating helps tenderise the meat, making it easier for your body to digest. This recipe is low-fat, low-calorie, gluten-free and provides folate, fibre and three of your five-a-day.

     

    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 find they need more energy and are happy with their weight, supplement our daily menu plans with our suggested healthy snacks.

    A bowl of almond, raisin and popcorn trail mix

    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. 

    Two glass tumblers filled with yogurt, raspberries, blueberries and mint

    A note on dairy

    We've used full-fat 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 benefit from the calcium and protein that dairy contains, but be aware that the fat-soluble vitamins will be reduced.

    A plate with date and walnut cinnamon bites

    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.

    Please email any questions about the recipes to goodfoodwebsite@bbc.com 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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    DaveCookinGoon
    8th Jun, 2017
    A nice mix of recipes, some definitely better than others. The repeated meals and use of leftovers helps simplify the cooking demands over the week. Give it a go, we all feel better, and I've lost a few pounds. Will try the vegetarian menu next week.
    Cybamuse
    8th Jun, 2017
    I love the fact you incorporate leftovers - that is generally my biggest issue with multi-day plans - I can't afford to buy ingredients for a different meal EVERY meal... Mind you, it would be nice if things get mixed up. I worked in a remote field camp there and the cooks were very good at turning one days stew into the next days pasta with the leftovers (for example). Keep thinking if I ever have the time, I'll work on this... but for now, thank you GoodFoods for at least acknowledging we don't want to or need or can afford to buy new foods for each meal!
    evieagnes
    6th Jun, 2017
    Disappointing considering how many different foods there are. Appreciate using leftovers but on the vegetarian menu you get sweet potatoes on 3 consecutive days. I can't eat garlic, salmon and avocado which limits this even further!
    MCP
    4th Jun, 2017
    While repeating recipes during the week is good economically, it isn't so good for single people, as one would already be either attempting to halve quantities or eating the same thing on 2 days anyway. Also, if you print off the recipes you lose the number of portions and also the nutritional information, which personally I would like to keep, so have to write out the extra info, and there isn't always much room.
    elainerichardson
    3rd Jun, 2017
    I completely agree that it is a good idea to repeat meal/use up leftovers. This saves time, money and effort. Personally, I would like to see more of this sensible approach.
    ChrisF22
    3rd Jun, 2017
    Although I understand the need to use up leftovers I found it disappointing that recipes were repeated during the week. Personally I don't want to eat the same dinner twice in a week! I'll have to dip in and out of the vegetarian plan to get the 7 days recipes promised!
    bristoldave49
    3rd Jun, 2017
    Personally I think it is a good idea to repeat the meals and each one is only repeated a maximum of twice. Imagine the cost of this plan and the wastage of food, if you had to buy ingredients for 21 different meals and only use them once in the week. With repeating during the week you can batch make and freeze some of the meals therefore cutting down on time spent cooking, cut down on costs and and hopefully use most of the food up.
    artfulowl
    3rd Jun, 2017
    Although I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, I find it sad that you have to repeat so many of them during a single week's menu plan,....do you not have any others you could use to fill the week up with! Having to repeat a meal idea during only one week's menu plan shows a terrible lack of imagination, especially when they are on consecutive days....tut,tut!
    Ells66
    7th Jul, 2017
    @artfulowl: Your comment is unkind. This is a free-of-charge program helping people to eat healthy, put together with effort and care by a lot of people at BBC GF, and they must have considered the fact that not everyone has money to buy tons of ingredients just to eat something different every single day. You could try a kinder comment next time, maybe?
    gxf00u
    12th Jul, 2017
    Thank you for this week long plan; we especially appreciated the shopping list and repeated meals (saves time and cash). Are there any more we can follow? It gave us a great head start and saved a working mum lots of time in terms of meal planning!
    lapsheridan
    5th Jun, 2017
    My husband dislikes peas with a passion, is there anything I can swap them for?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    6th Jun, 2017
    Thanks for your question. The nutritional values have been worked out using the ingredients as is but feel free to change or omit things according to taste. The Jamaican chicken with rice & 'peas' actually uses black-eyed beans.
    lapsheridan
    6th Jun, 2017
    Thank you for your reply but sorry it was the Cucumber, Pea and Lettuce soup that is causing the issue. Could I use broad beans instead, without changing the nutritional value too much or tinned black-eyed beans?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    14th Jun, 2017
    We haven't tried this soup with different ingredients so can't say exactly how it'll turn out. You could try this alternative soup recipe from last year's diet plan - the nutritional values are different but it'll make for a healthy addition to the plan. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/chunky-vegetable-brown-rice-soup
    littlemisssk
    3rd Jun, 2017
    The link to suggested snacks doesn't open, it just takes you to the log in page. When you log in, it still doesn't open up the link.
    goodfoodteam's picture
    goodfoodteam
    6th Jun, 2017
    Hi there, the link seems to be working for us so here it is again. Let us know if you still can't access it. www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/healthy-diet-plan-summer-2017-snacks-sweet-treats
    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.