Healthy Diet Plan Summer 2017 - vegetarian 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 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.



    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.



    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.

    Glass jar filled with minty beetroot, feta and bulghar saladMinty beetroot, feta & bulghar salad
    Why it's good for you...
    Oranges, which we've chopped to keep as much of their fibre as possible, are mixed with beetroot and mint in this easy grain salad. Mint is excellent for digestion, so any left over can be used in mint tea — simply pour boiling water over the fresh sprigs. This dish is low-calorie, provides two of your five-a-day and provides folate, fibre and vitamin C.


    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 eggs and sunflower seedsBroccoli pasta salad with eggs & sunflower seeds
    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 also used wholewheat penne pasta in this filling lunch, which provides fibre, vitamin C and two of your five-a-day.




    Oven dish filled with ratatouille and parmesan bake next to a plated dish with rocketRatatouille & parmesan bake
    Why it's good for you...
    All five of your five-a-day in one delicious Sunday supper! Top a flavour-packed ratatouille with slices of courgette and a creamy, cheesy topping. It's low-calorie, low-fat, gluten-free and calcium-rich, plus it provides 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.


    Bowl of West Indian sweet potato curry with brown rice and black-eyed beansWest Indian sweet potato curry
    Why it's good for you...
    Cooking tomatoes and using canned helps our bodies absorb more of their beneficial nutrient, lycopene, which helps lower cholesterol, strengthens blood vessels and supports our immunity. This recipe provides an impressive five of your five-a-day, while being low-fat and providing iron, folate, fibre and vitamin C.


    Bowl of guacamole and mango salad with black beansGuacamole & mango salad with black beans
    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. Always choose canned beans in water rather than brine because nothing else should be added. If you can't find black beans, red kidney beans are the next best choice. This healthy dinner is vegan, low-calorie, gluten-free and provides folate, fibre, vitamin C and four of your five-a-day. Best of all, it's ready in just 15 minutes!

    Chopping board with spinach and blue cheese pizza cut into slicesSpinach & blue cheese pizza
    Why it's good for you...
    Round off the week with a pizza. Yes, you read that right! This delicious dinner is low-calorie and calcium-rich, and provides folate, fibre and three of your five-a-day. Plus the yeast free, wholewheat spelt base is super quick to make. What could be better?


    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 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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    4th Jun, 2017
    Another query, do any of the the recipes freeze? I am by myself and I notice that they are all for two persons. I thought if anything can be frozen, I could use it the following week...but if it doesn't freeze I will have to half the ingredients in the recipes.
    4th Jun, 2017
    are there substitutes for feta cheese, blue cheese and guacamole? I have tried to use these ingredients before but they just make me ill.
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