What do you eat for dinner when you’re trying to lose weight?

Well for starters (no pun intended) you’ll need to make sure that the other meals that you eat during the day are also helping you to achieve your weight loss goal.  Eating a high fat, high calorie breakfast and lunch then ending your day with a “healthy” dinner in the hope that the last meal will help you drop a dress size won’t work!

You need to ensure that all your meals are balanced and that you are not consuming high amounts of sugar and saturated fat.So what is a balanced meal?  Split your plate into four, one quarter is for protein (meat, fish, and legumes/beans), another quarter for carbohydrates (potatoes, pasta, rice) and the other half of the plate is for salad or vegetables.

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Don’t have huge servings, it’s easy to think that because a meal is classed as healthy that you can eat as much as you want.  Not true.  If you’re not burning off the excess calories that you eat, your weight loss goal will get further and further out of reach. Try not to eat too late.  Having a large evening meal then going to bed within a couple of hours means that you probably won’t be using up many calories, thus encouraging your body to store the excess as fat.

So here are some healthy dinner recipes for you to try.

Healthy Fishy Pie

Ingredients

– 500 g of fresh fish of your choice cut into chunks (or try a pre-prepared supermarket fish mix)

– 450 g sliced new potatoes

– 600 ml skimmed milk

– 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

– 200 g broccoli (cut into small florets)

– 1 tbsp olive oil

– 50 g plain flour

– Salt & pepper to season

– Serves 4

Method

– Preheat the oven to 190°C, 170°C (fan oven) Gas Mark 5

– Prepare a saucepan of boiling lightly salted water, cook the potato slices in the pan for about 3 minutes.  Then drain the pan and place the slices in a single layer onto a plate to avoid them sticking together.

– Place the flour, milk and 1 tbsp olive oil into another saucepan.

– Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon bring the pan to the boil over a low heat, then allow to simmer gently for a minute.

– Remove from the heat, stir in the broccoli, fish, parsley and seasoning and mix.

– Pour the contents into a 1.8 litre baking dish, cover with the potato slices and season with pepper.

– Bake for 30 minutes until golden in colour.

– Serve with extra steamed vegetables of your choice.

5 healthy dinner recipes2

Mackerel Spice Dish

Ingredients

– 1 mackerel 300-350 g cut into two fillets

– Extra-virgin olive oil

– 1 small onion, peeled and chopped

– 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

– 1 can of tomatoes (200g)

– 125 g courgettes

– 1 small red pepper, seeded and chopped

– 1 teaspoon ground cumin

– ½ – 1 tsp harissa or chilli powder

– Couscous

– Serves 2

Method

– Preheat the oven to 180°C Gas Mark 4

– Heat the oil in a small heavy-based saucepan, stir-fry the onion, garlic, cumin, and harissa or chilli powder for 1-2 minutes.

– Add the red pepper and courgettes and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring all the time.

– Pour on the tomatoes and bring to the boil, leave to simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

– Prepare the couscous as the instructions on the packet.

– Place the mackerel fillets on a non-stick baking tray, cover with foil and bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the fish is completely cooked through.

– Serve the fish onto the couscous then add the sauce all over the dish.  Add a side salad or steamed vegetables.

Sweet Potato Frittata

Ingredients

– 600 g sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (1cm cubes)

– 3 tablespoons olive oil

– 8 medium eggs

– 200g feta cheese

– 1 tbsp finely grated parmesan

– Freshly grated black pepper

– 150 g baby spinach

– Serves 4

Method

Preheat the grill to its highest setting.

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium to high heat.  Fry the sweet potatoes until tender and golden all -over, then remove from the heat.

Break the eggs into a medium bowl, pour in the last tablespoon of olive oil and whisk gently.  Crumble the feta into the eggs, then stir in the parmesan and season with freshly ground black pepper.

Put the sweet potato back onto the heat, add the spinach to the pan in small handfuls, and stir through each time until the spinach is just wilting.

Pour the egg mixture into the pan, quickly stir the pan to distribute the contents evenly, then leave the pan to cook for 2-3 minutes or  until the eggs start to set.  Don’t stir at this stage.

Next pop the pan under the preheated grill for 5 minutes or until the eggs have puffed up and the frittata is golden and cooked through.

Serve with a large side salad.

Healthy Chilli

 Ingredients

– 2 tsp olive oil

– 1 large onion, sliced

– 2 cloves of garlic, minced

– 225 g extra lean minced beef

– 2 green peppers, chopped

– 450 ml canned tomatoes

– 3 tbsp chilli powder

– ½ tsp cayenne

– ½ tsp salt

– ¼ tsp basil

– 450 ml water

– 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed

– 1 can haricot beans, rinsed

– Serves 2

Method

Add oil to a deep saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic until nearly tender.

Add the minced beef, cook breaking up with a spoon, until browned then drain off the fat.

Next add the green peppers, tomatoes, chilli powder, cayenne, salt, basil and water then bring to a boil.  Simmer uncovered until it has thickened (1-2 hours).

A few minutes before serving and add the haricot and kidney beans.

Serve with a small serving of wholegrain rice.

If you prefer you can prepare this dish using the beans only without the mince, it will still be balanced and nutritious.

Chicken Curry

 Ingredients

– 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

– 2 whole skinless chicken breasts (bone-in) cut into halves

– 1 large onion, chopped

– 2 garlic cloves, minced

– 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

– 1 tablespoon ground cumin

– 1 tablespoon ground coriander

– 2 teaspoons turmeric

– 2 large tomatoes, chopped

– ¼ to ½ teaspoon garam masala, to taste

– ½ teaspoon sea salt

– Chopped fresh cilantro, to taste

Serves 4

 Method

Heat a large pan or wok over a medium-low heat, add the oil and the chicken, sauté for about 5 minutes until the chicken is lightly browned on both sides, add a small amount of water to prevent it from sticking if required.

Remove the chicken from the pan and keep it warm.

Add the add the onion, garlic and ginger to the pan, sauté for about 5 minutes until the onion is tender, add more water if required.

Add the cumin, coriander and turmeric then sauté for 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and mix well.

Return the chicken to the pan and reduce the heat to low.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, cook until the chicken is tender and no longer pink inside.

Remove from the heat and stir in the garam masala, sea salt and cilantro.

Serve with basmati rice.

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