How to Turn Boring Food into Tasty Meals - THE FIT MUM FORMULA

How to Turn Boring Food into Tasty Meals

Most people realise that some of their favourite tasty meals are going to need restricting or adapting on a weight loss diet.

 

And that’s certainly true to a point – most people can’t get away with 1500 calories of spaghetti carbonara with garlic bread or a take-away korma with naan and bhajis and still lose weight unless it’s a very rare one off.

 

But that doesn’t mean you have to swing completely the other way and eat dull, plain food day in day out.

 

In fact being unhappy with your meals is a sure fire way to fall off the wagon.

 

Food is to be enjoyed, and tasty meals should play a part of any weight loss or weight maintenance diet if you are to be able to stick to it long term.

 

Let’s start with the basics of a healthy meal.

The two non-negotiables are some sort of protein (about 75-150g) – less if you like more carbs with your meal, more if you feel better without so much starch. Then add a good half a plate of vegetables, salad, or maybe fruit if appropriate (likely breakfast).

From there you add starchy carbs like potatoes, rice, quinoa or beans, and/or fats like avocado, cooking oils, dressings, cheese and olives.

 

What makes a tasty meal?

I was lucky enough to grow up with a chef for a father, which means I was exposed to a large variety of foods and tastes from an early age. He taught me that a good meal has to have variety:

 

  • Hot & cold (e.g. hot barbequed chicken on a cold salad)
  • Soft and crunchy (e.g. roast peppers and squash sprinkled with pumpkin seeds)
  • Sweet & sour (e.g. sweet potatoes with soured cream)
  • Sweet & salty (e.g. melon wrapped in parma ham)

 

These ideas in brackets are just that, examples.

 

Cooking is a creative activity, so see what combinations you can come up with on your own.

Tried and Tested Food Combinations for Healthy but Tasty Meals

 

Taking the non-negotiable aspect of a healthy meal; protein & vegetables, here are some easy additions to any plain meal to make it super tasty without making it super unhealthy.

 

Hawaiian – add pineapple & mushrooms

pineapple tasty meals

Goes well with ham or gammon. Try lean gammon steaks baked with sliced pineapple and mushrooms in the same dish to absorb the meat juices. A crisp green salad is all you need.

 

Chinese –soy sauce & ginger

Goes well with beef or tofu with cabbage. Stir fry everything in one pan until cooked. Could it get any easier?

 

Greek – olives & feta

greek tasty meals

Goes well with lean lamb steaks or halloumi and aubergine. Bake or pan fry aubergine while the steaks are on the bbq or under the grill. Top with crumbled feta and a few halved olives.

 

Spanish – chorizo & paprika

Goes well with prawns or eggs and peppers. Continental sausage on a diet?! Chorizo is very strong tasting, so you only need a small amount for a lot of flavour, so you’re not pushing the calories up too much.

 

Italian – tomato & basil & parmesan

Goes well with fresh tuna or chicken. Pour tinned tomatoes and basil over raw meat or fish and oven bake until the meat is cooked through. Sprinkle with parmesan (you won’t need lots, it’s very strong tasting) and  serve with a small portion or rice or an Italian bean salad.

 

Mexican – avocado, salsa & chilli

pepper tasty meals

Goes well with minced beef or Quorn mince. Pan fry the mince with the chilli, then use large lettuce leaves as wraps. Top each wrap with some salsa and sliced avocado, and a tsp. of reduced fat soured cream.

 

Now you’ve seen how simple it can be putting healthy, tasty meals together, what combinations can you come up with? I love new inspiration and ideas so tell me your top quick combinations in the comments below!

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