Easy healthy weeknight meals

Red lentil korma easy meals

One of the things I’m often asked as a health coach, particularly around meal planning, is what easy recipes can be made on a week night. As much as it would be great to create a culinary masterpiece every evening, I actually think healthy eating is a whole lot easier when you have a few staple meals you can make time and time again with a few twists. These are my current favourites and we tend to eat these in come kind of rotation every couple of weeks, just changing up a few ingredients to suit. After sharing these on Instagram I’ve had loads of requests for the recipes, so here we go! 

Crustless Quiche

Asparagus and spring onion crustless quiche

I make this time and time again! These are great for lunch or dinner, I sometimes make them up and eat one on an evening and the other the next day for lunch:

Crustless Quiche
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 4 large free range eggs
  2. 1/2 - 1 cup of cooked / raw veggies
  3. handful of cheese
Instructions
  1. Pre heat the oven to 200c. If your veggies need to be cooked first fry them or roast them. Oil your pan (I use two individual ceramic trays). Beat the eggs and chop or grate the cheese then mix in with the eggs. Divide the veggies or other ingredients between the trays and then pour over the egg and cheese mix equally divided. Bake in the oven until the quiche is firm - this will depend on the size of your tray, with my two small ones it's about 20 minutes.
Notes
  1. You could also use muffin liners to make mini egg muffins - the silicone muffin liners would be great.
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Feta red onion crustless quiche

You can put all sorts of ingredients into these depending on the season, here are some of my favourite combinations:

  • Red onion + feta cheese
  • Butternut squash + goats cheese
  • Leek, pea + feta cheese
  • Roast red onion, peppers and courgettes + mozzarella 
  • Bacon and cheddar

You can make a larger portion in a big quiche tin by doubling the ingredients if you want to make more portions, I’m looking forward to trying this with my new silicone pan! If you’d like to make them lower calorie, replace two of the eggs with 3 egg whites. I prefer these cold from the fridge, but you can have them warm from the oven too. Delicious!

Beef Ragu with Courgette Spaghetti

Courgette spaghetti beef ragu with peppers

Beef Ragu
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 onion
  2. 500g of beef mince (I get the 3 for £10 deal on organic beef at Sainsbury's)
  3. selection of veggies - mushrooms, peppers etc
  4. tomato passata - I use about 1 1/2 cups
  5. 2 tsp Italian herb seasoning
  6. Optional - fresh garlic 1-2 cloves
Instructions
  1. Warm some oil in a large frying pan. Finely chop the onion and add that to the pan, cook for a few minutes until softened. Then add the mince and cook well until all pink bits have turned brown. Add your veggies and continue to cook until they have softened a little. Add the passata and seasoning and simmer for 10 minutes or however long you have.
Notes
  1. If using garlic crush it and leave it out before adding near the end of cooking as this retains the healthy compounds in the garlic instead of adding at the start. This can be served with the courgette spaghetti, regular pasta or on top of a baked potato or sweet potato.
  2. Tip - sometimes I change up the flavours of this by leaving out the Italian seasoning and adding hot chilli powder instead.
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If you don’t have a spiraliser just use a veggie peeler to make ribbons with the courgette or use your grater like a mandoline, as demonstrated in this post. I love adding some parmesan or a few chopped olives and fresh basil to this. Sometimes I serve the sauce on top of the raw courgette, other times I add the courgette spaghetti to the pan and warm it through. This is a nice easy low carb meal and can easily be made for partners who need a bit more food – I just boil up some pasta for James to have with his. You can make this a vegan meal by using a couple of tins of green lentils (or any bean really) in place of the beef. 

Red Lentil and Veggie Curry

Red lentil and new potato curry

Red Lentil and Veggie Curry
Serves 2
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1-2 tbsp of curry paste of choice, my faves are Pataks Tikka or Korma pastes or Thai Taste Red Curry Paste
  2. 2/3 cup of dry red lentils
  3. 1/2 cup of tomato passata
  4. 1/2 tin (200mls) of coconut milk, I use full fat
  5. Hot water from the kettle as needed
  6. Fresh, steamed or frozen vegetables - about 1-2 cups
Instructions
  1. Add a dollop of the coconut oil to a large pan or wok over a medium heat. Add the curry paste and stir to combine, cook for a minute or so until it becomes fragrant. Rinse the red lentils in a sieve then add to the pan along with the tomato passata and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, adding hot water as needed until the red lentils are tender and 'fluffy' (basically whenever it gets a bit thick and sticks, add more water) If using fresh or frozen veg, add these at the start, if using pre cooked / steamed veggies add at the end.
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As with the other recipes this is about adding in whatever vegetables you have lying about, or that are in season. Currently I love adding some steamed new potatoes, but in the winter squash or sweet potato would work. Cauliflower is also great in this. I tend to steam my vegetables separately rather than cooking them in with the curry as I find this works best for me, however you can easily add a handful of frozen veg and they will cook through quicker and stay crunchier. 

Red lentil korma 4

What are your current go to meals? How do you change them up when you have different ingredients on hand? 

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  • That curry looks delicious. I’m not doing a lot of cooking right now as I just don’t seem to have time, but my staples at the minute would be stir-fries and veggie burgers.
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    • Laura

      You know I have such a craving for a good bean burger, this has reminded me to try and make some at the weekend!

  • Rebecca Scarrott

    One of my regular weeknight meals is baked eggs with tomatoes, chop up loads of cherry tomatoes, bake in the oven with a little olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper for around 15 minutes, take out and crack eggs in and put back in for around 8 minutes if you want them runny, serve with some toast and a big green salad! Lovely :)

    • Laura

      That sounds awesome! I’ve been meaning to try baked eggs for ages, must give something like this ago!

  • I’ve been meaning to inquire about your gorgoues quiches! Thank you :) . Love the flexibility of these recipes; room for experimenting without the fear of a disastrous result. I’m usually grabbing whatever Mum cooks to go along with veg that I prepare for myself :) . I think I need to give the lentil recipe to my Mum!

    • Laura

      My pleasure, let me know if you try them!

  • Yum love all these and make my own versions quite a lot! My current weekly staple would have to be vegan vegetable curry its so easy to make and me and Dale are happy to eat this a couple of times during the week so I make a big pot and we eat it over a few days. I usually add different extras to change it up like veggie sausages, eggs etc.
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    • Laura

      I bloody wish I could get James to eat a vegan curry!

  • I am SO trying your red lentil curry it looks amazing … I may have to add some chicken in for hubby but basically I can’t WAIT to try it :-)
    Thank you for sharing these.
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    • Laura

      Ooh do let me know what you think when you’ve made it! I’m having the leftovers from that tonight from the freezer for a quick dinner!

  • The quiche sounds lovely. Sounds a bit more of a ‘tidier’ version of my ‘throw everything in the pan’ scrambled eggs.
    I love throwing ingredients in the slow cooker. Recently it’s been chicken, a jar of salsa, sweetcorn and sweet potato chunks. So easy and so tasty.
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    • Laura

      I need to get my slow cooker out again, I think I made a mistake buying a huge one as it takes up too much space on my counter top! Need to get a smaller one, that sounds like such a tasty easy meal :-)

  • Your quiche looks like something I would like to try! Currently I tend to make egg salad every week – just boiled eggs and mixed salad leaves, but need to start experimenting with this a bit! Other meal I now make weekly is brown/green lentils with roasted vegetables – normally I make this with vegetables I need to use and would choose from: sweet potato, red onion, courgettes, carrots and would also add some other fresh ingredients depending what I have. You can see a version of this on my website: http://www.behealthynow.co.uk/healthy-meals/brown-lentil-salad-with-roasted-veg/

    • Laura

      I love roasted veg, I probably need to get back into the habit of roasting a tray of veg at the weekend as I find they can add such good flavour to so many different meals :-)

  • The crustless quiche is definitely something I want to try making. Omlettes are my go-to quick meal or stirfries with lots of veggies (although sadly I cheat and buy pre-chopped packs!) x
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    • Laura

      Hey nothing wrong with pre chopped packs if it means you are getting your veggies in! I could do with trying that again for evenings when things are a bit busier

  • heather

    Hi, I often enjoy reading your blog however I am just wondering how you justify your diet being healthy and balanced when none of the evening meals in thus post contain carbohydrates. Surely you are.missing out an entire food group?

    • Laura

      Hi Heather that is a fair enough question, however vegetables also contain carbohydrates as do lentils and the new potatoes in the curry – quite a reasonable amount actually. Of course this is not all the meals I eat every single evening, and even if they were, I am confident that my diet is balanced and believe me, after 5 years of learning about and studying nutrition, and most importantly what works for my body, I am. There are many women that benefit from not eating as many whole grains, breads or potatoes, particularly later in the day, and I generally feel stuffed and bloated when I eat them later, however I eat more than enough during the day to sustain my energy levels and right now, my pregnancy. If you would like any further info please let me know and I can point you to some resources with more details x

  • My fave meal at the moment is sweet potato chilli with avocado,luckily Andy makes it so I just have to lay the table :) We are having gnocchi tomorrow evening- after trying it on holiday we quite liked it so it was nice to have it as a change.
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    • Laura

      I wish James could make something as healthy as that! I need to get him trained ;-) I don’t think I’ve ever tried gnocchi, sounds lovely!

  • Fantastic post Laura, so helpful and so needed given we’ve fallen into a weeknight dinner rut!
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  • I make similar quiches in muffin moulds for M and I. Finely chopped spring onion, peas and cheese was her favourite combo when she was first starting to feed herself. So nice!
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  • I have to try your Crustless Quiche!
    My easy go-to evening meals involve roast veg with goat’s cheese in a tomato based sauce and casseroles in the slow cooker. The slow cooker has become my saviour during busy weeks!
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  • These all look delicious! I love quick and easy midweek meals like stir fries, omelettes, and things you can just bung in the oven!
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  • I got the biggest delivery of lentils the other day, so I have been making a lot of lentil curries. They are so filling and comforting. Not the best thing for summer, but I always eat strange unseasonal foods.
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  • Helen H

    These are exactly the kind of meals I like to eat! I make quiches like those quite a lot – my favourite is to add courgette, feta and mint. Definitely going to try that curry – it looks delicious!

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