Cheap & Healthy Diet Plan recipes

Below you'll find the recipes for our three-day diet plan, plus the nutritional benefits for each dish...

Cheap & Healthy Diet Plan recipes

We’ve taken the latest health advice and recommendations and designed them into a three-day healthy diet plan that’s easy to follow, delicious and all done on a budget of just £30 for two people. We aso have a vegetarian version of this plan available here.

How you'll feel

By following our plan you can expect to feel lighter and more energised, plus after three days you should find you're more inclined to make healthy choices on your own.  All three days include all the nutrients you need for good health and prove that, even if money is tight, healthy eating is within reach.

Our plan has been designed to ensure you get a minimum of your 5-a-day, plenty of whole-grains and we’ve included one portion of oily fish to count towards your weekly quota. We’ve also included foods that provide some of the common nutrients lacking in our modern day diets, like vitamin D and magnesium. While following the plan you are free to change days around or repeat them, but try not to swap individual meals, that’s because each day is calculated to ensure you get the optimal mix of foods as well as the nutrients and calories you need. 
 

The Cheap & Healthy Diet Plan recipes

Download your shopping list

Day 1:

Red lentil & carrot soupBreakfast
Egg & tomato baps
Why it works...
A fabulous source of choline, eggs help boost memory. They’re also one of the few sources of vitamin D which modulates our immune system, helping us fight off bacteria and viruses. We’ve used wholemeal baps for their slow-release energy and useful B vitamins.

Red lentil & carrot soupLunch
Red lentil & carrot soup
Why it works...
Beans, lentils and pulses are excellent sources of plant protein and much cheaper than meat or fish. Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene, which our bodies convert to vitamin A for healthy, youthful skin.
 

Stir-fried chicken with broccoli & brown riceDinner
Stir-fried chicken with broccoli & brown rice
Why it works...
A lean protein, chicken is a good source of the mineral selenium, which we need for a healthy immune system and for the correct functioning of the thyroid gland. We’ve used olive oil in our recipes, a Mediterranean staple that provides healthy omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. Broccoli is a great seasonal veg and packed with immune-busting vitamins A and C as well as helpful liver compounds like sulforaphane.
 

Day 2:

Fruit & nut breakfast bowlBreakfast
Fruit & nut breakfast bowl
Why it works...
We’ve naturally sweetened our whole-grain breakfast bowl with a mix of dried and fresh fruit – this not only contributes to your 5-a-day but helps ensure a sustained energy release. Adding a mix of nuts and seeds boosts nutrient levels, especially minerals like calcium and zinc. 

Spicy chicken & avocado wrapsLunch
Spicy chicken & avocado wraps
Why it works...
Chicken is a good source of vitamin B6, which helps your body to store energy from protein and carbohydrates. We’ve used avocado in our wraps instead of butter or spread because it contains heart-friendly, mono-unsaturated fats as well as vitamin E and fibre.

Pan-cooked mackerel with beetroot salsa & bean mashDinner
Pan-cooked mackerel with beetroot salsa & bean mash
Why it works...
By combining beetroot with mackerel and fibre-filled beans we’ve created the perfect heart-friendly dish. Bursting with minerals and the beneficial compound betaine, beetroot is great for managing blood pressure. Oily fish like mackerel can help reduce your risk of heart disease and are a good source of vitamin D. The soluble fibre in beans will aid digestion and can help manage cholesterol levels. 

Day 3:

Porridge with blueberry compoteBreakfast
Porridge with blueberry compote
Why it works...
Cooking oats breaks down their natural phytate content so you benefit from all their nutritional goodness. Frozen berries are convenient and budget-friendly because you use only what you need, so there is no wastage. 
 

Egg & rocket pizzasLunch
Egg & rocket pizzas
Why it works...
A healthy version of a family favourite – our crispy based pizzas are packed with great-value protein. Plus, we’ve used tomato puree for its protective lycopene content and finished our pizzas with colourful green leaves for their energising magnesium.

Indian sweet potato & dhal piesDinner
Indian sweet potato & dhal pies
Why it works...
Sweet potatoes are a great addition to your diet – their natural sweetness means they're full on flavour. Being rich in vitamin C and easily digested carotenoids, like beta-carotene, makes them a fabulous immune booster. 

 

Suggested snacks:

While following the plan, you’ll be eating regular, balanced meals which should reduce the temptation to snack, but if you do need a little something here are some healthy, budget options:

The best fruits
Eating a piece of fruit instead of a sugary snack increases fibre and adds to your 5-a-day – opt for low sugar fruits such as citrus, those with stones like plums as well as berries. Where possible, choose those in season because they’re likely to be better value as well as nutritionally-rich.

Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are packed with heart-friendly fats as well as vitamin E, folate, magnesium, calcium, zinc and selenium. Buy whole, raw, unsalted nuts and seeds in small quantities, as and when you need them. Don’t be tempted by the multi-buy offers because these packs are often past their best. The ideal snack portion is the size of a golf ball or enough to fit in the small cup of your hand.

Use up any leftover ingredients from our three-day shopping list or make the most of store-cupboard staples with these healthy snack options:

Spicy chickpeas
Peanut butter & banana on toast
Grilled pesto tomatoes on toast
Chinese spiced seed mix

We'd love to hear how you get on with the plan. If you have any comments or questions please leave a post below, or e-mail us at goodfoodwebsite@bbc.com.

Comments, questions and tips

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michihyams
4th Feb, 2015
Saying it feeds 2 people for 3 days on just 30 quid is a bit of a misleading headline. You'll have to lay out 60 pounds to get the ingredients and then come up with other uses for the excess to requirement rocket, beetroot etc etc. The recipes look nice though.
eva_irene
29th Jan, 2015
I have enjoyed the meal plan, and will certainly use the recipes in the future. As I live in the country (50 km north of Oslo), the supermarkets do not necessarily stock all ingredients. I therefore had to substitute some of them, but tried to find something similar. As I am a one-person household, I divided the quantities (no problem), but found that I had leftovers (e.g. half an avocado), which I must dispose of later.
Clarep007
15th Jan, 2015
This is the first meal plan where I've looked down and thought they all sound really nice can't wait to get to the shops/ cooking now :)
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