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Easy Meal Suggestions

Ideas for Breakfast

Many people often eat the same thing for breakfast, but as it is the easiest meal to prepare there is no need for it to make it uninteresting.

  • Whole oat porridge or steel cut oats or Irish oats™ made with a cup of skim milk and topped with low fat milk, banana, raisins and a sprinkle of brown sugar
  • Wholegrain muesli with low fat milk (DIY muesli – start with whole oats and either add your own mix of seeds and dried fruits or you can buy a ready pack of seeds and fruits). Top with sliced fresh fruit.
  • Wholegrain seedy bread (Burgen™ or multigrain seedy sour dough loaf) with 2 boiled eggs, tomato and spinach leaves
  • Poached eggs cooked in water on wholegrain muffin
  • Wholegrain toast with low fat cream cheese and a slice of smoked salmon and handful of spinach or rocket
  • Wholegrain toast with nut butter and sliced banana. Add a tiny drizzle of honey if you are looking for a sweeter taste
  • Wholegrain toast with avocado, tomatoes and a handful of feta cheese. Squeeze a little lemon or lime and lots of black pepper.
  • Lots of fresh berries, thick Greek yoghurt with ½ cup of a wholegrain cereal and a sprinkle of mix seeds (pumpkin, sesame etc).
  • High protein blueberry pancakes – Mix 1 cup of wholemeal flour, 2 eggs, 1 cup of low fat milk milk, 2 tbsp skim milk powder or 1 scoop of protein powder. Stir in ½ cup of frozen berries – Add a ladle of mixture into a heated non-stick pan (wipe margarine over the base of the fry pan) – cook until golden on both sides.
  • No added sugar baked beans on 1-2 slices of wholegrain toast
  • Wholegrain fruit bread toast with crème fraiche or cream cheese
  • All bran™ fruit smoothie. Blend together some fresh fruit (use a hand held blending machine) with low fat milk, a couple of tablespoons of yoghurt and add 1-2 tablespoons of All Bran™ to boost wholegrain fibre. Mix different fruits such as berries, mango or pineapple (can be canned or frozen, include some juice), banana etc
  • Make up your own dried fruit when fruit is cheap and abundant by slicing and then placing it on baking paper and cooking in on a very low heat (100C) for around 2 hours or you can buy a fruit dehydrator. The dried fruit can be added into cereals and use to make up your own seed and nut mixes.
  • Wholemeal crumpets with a quality nut butter and sliced banana

Light Meals or Lunch

  • A bowl of vegetable and bean (lentils) or minestrone soup with a wholegrain bread roll. Finish with a piece of fruit.
  • Wholemeal pasta with a tomato based sauce, add some vegetables, along with some chicken or fish (can be canned) or a tin of lentils.
  • Pilchards or sardines on 1-2 slices of wholegrain toast
  • Sushi can be made easily yourself or purchased fresh (not advisable when on treatment). To make your own boil some brown rice, add a dash of rice wine vinegar and then place a piece of seaweed on a bamboo mat. Put a layer of rice on the seaweed and then add a line of fillers such as salmon, tuna, avocado, cucumber. Use the mat to roll and a little water at the ends to pat the seaweed together. A cheats way to eat sushi is to make sushi tacos. Cook the rice, chop some cucumber and carrots into fine sticks, cook a piece of salmon, some egg and then you can pick and mix the fillings using the nori seaweed like a wrap or a taco type container.
  • Baked jacket potato (try baby or new potatoes if at home) and fill with fish or baked beans and a sprinkle of cheese or cottage cheese. Take with a side salad
  • Pasta and bean salad. Boil up some whole-wheat pasta or whole-wheat cous cous and mix a small call of salad beans or a four bean type mix. Add extra vegetables such as rocket, baby tomatoes, beetroot, capsicum etc
  • Asian broth soups e.g. Rice noodles with green Chinese vegetables
  • Wholegrain pita bread and vegetable crudités with low fat hummus
  • A freshly prepared sandwich with wholegrain bread or pita with fillings of either lean chicken, turkey, fish, egg, falafel and lean roast beef with lots of salads to moisten the bread. In winter toasted sandwiches are lovely with some Mediterranean vegetables, turkey or chicken or fish.
  • Caesar salad (just hold the Ranch dressing) ask instead for some balsamic and a little olive oil. Greek or other salads are great start to a meal.
  • Keep a bowl or bag of coleslaw undressed in the fridge. Grate carrot and finely slice cabbage, celery. Use a small amount of a light mayonnaise dressing. You can dilute mayonnaise with low fat yoghurt for a lower fat alternative.
  • Thai style chicken or lean beef salad – add a teaspoon or so of ginger, lemongrass, red chilli (teaspoon) (fresh or in jars) and little fry in a little oil in a pan. Add fish or chicken or lean beef sliced or tofu into fine strips and cook through. Add in a bag of mixed Asian vegetables or chopped pepper, cabbage (good one to fill up on), selection of other greens like broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, mange touts etc. Once cool add a splash of fish sauce and soya sauce (~1 tablespoon), lime juice and fresh chopped coriander (1 tablespoon). Serve pilled over rice noodles, lettuce leaves, brown rice or quinoa
  • It can also pay to put a quick lunch box together. A quick one is some pita bread (heat in the toaster), wholemeal wrap or roll with either some leftover chicken, piece of fish, with avocado or slice of cheese. Grab some leaves like Rocket or baby Spinach and some cherry tomatoes.  Include a couple of pieces of fresh fruit, slice up some Malt Loaf (Soreen) as a snack or look for a healthy nut and fruit snack bag or take in a yoghurt. It saves you time and money!

Main Meals

  • Roast vegetables with lentils. Cut up a selection of vegetables such as sweet potato, pumpkin, parsnips, mushrooms, asparagus, and carrots. Place in a baking dish with garlic, oil and vinegar. Roast about 30 minutes until golden. Combine in a large bowl with 400g of canned lentils and chopped parsley. Also great with some crumbled goats or feta cheese mixed through.
  • Salmon fillets with fennel. Mix in a casserole dish a chopped red onion, 1-3 bulbs of finely sliced fennel (depends on size) and two 400g tins of tomatoes, a tablespoon of lemon juice with salmon or other fish fish fillets. Cook in the oven at around 180C for 20-25 minutes or until fish is cooked. Serve with some herbs brown rice or quinoa and steamed vegetables or a crisp green salad.
  • Fish cakes made with fresh or canned salmon. Make up around 300g of mash potato (can incorporate sweet potato), cook 2 -3 salmon fillets lightly on a grill, bbq or in the oven. Mix the fish together with the potato, an egg and a few handfuls of chopped vegetables such as corn, celery, chopped peppers etc. Form small cakes, dip in seasoned flour (wholemeal), then egg and then breadcrumbs. Lightly pan fry and serve with vegetables or salad.
  • Grilled or bbq meat, chicken or fish with steamed vegetables. Choose a small piece of a lean, good quality steak or fish or chicken and marinade using the recipe below for 2-4 hours (or overnight), lightly grill on a bbq (don’t burn) or pan fry. Roast whole baby or new potatoes in their jackets in the oven. Steam a range of vegetables including broccoli, asparagus, corn and carrots in the microwave.  Serve with a horseradish and beetroot type mustard. Fruity relishes or the marinade of meat is great if you have taste changes. Balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of good quality olive oil can add flavour to vegetables. A spoon of cottage cheese in the potato if you want something to fill you up a bit more.
    • Easy Marinade: In a jar mix about 1 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (alter to taste and priorities) and 1 clove of garlic, juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon of mustard and 1 teaspoon of honey. Season with pepper and rock salt. Shake well.
  • Wok cooking is easy and with the packs of prepared vegetables and noodles it can prepared in minutes. Heat a little sesame or canola or rice bran oil in a wok. Add crushed garlic, grated ginger and some sliced chilli (leave out if your mouth is feeling sensitive), 2-3 tbsp oyster sauce, 2 tbsp soy sauce. Add around 130g of meat, chicken, fish, tofu per person etc. Cook for around 2-3 minutes. Remove once cooked through. Add any mix of vegetables (good way to clear the fridge) or try the stir fry vegetable bags. Frozen vegetables in the freezer work equally as well. Add extra soya sauce to taste,
  • Pasta with vegetables. Cook some wholemeal or good quality Italian pasta until al dente. Then mix anything you like into it. Some ideas include quality tomato sauces with added vegetables (try some canned artichoke, chopped peppers, courgettes, aubergine, olives with cooked chicken or browned lean mince), pesto, tuna and vegetables with a drizzle of olive oil. Borlotti beans will also mix in well.
  • Another quick meal is to cook up a heap of vegetables and rice and mix with a thick soup. Vacuum packed or canned beans are fast or there are soup mixes that have beans that you can to soak in boiling water overnight.
  • Fill grainy pita bread with some lean steak or chicken or fish, hummus and fill with lots of interesting salad vegetables. Try to make some tabbouli or you can buy a container from a middle eastern deli or the bigger supermarkets.
  • Roast dinner. Roast is everyone’s favourite Sunday lunch or dinner. A healthy roast can be enjoyed by choosing a good quality, lean piece of meat or a free range, (organic) type of chicken or turkey. Cook it on a rack in a tray of water, this steams the meat and allows the fat drip away (marinades can be used to keep the meat moist), use a healthy stock as a gravy base and cook up a lovely selection of coloured root and green vegetables in a tray with a little olive oil. Rosemary, garlic and (a pinch of sea salt) add some extra flavour if needed. Finish off with a lovely fruit crumble and custard made with lower fat milk.    Use leftover meat and vegetables in salads and in the lunch box.
  • Homemade curry can be delicious. A simple one is to brown some mince with an onion, large clove of garlic and 2 tablespoons of curry madras powder, add ½ cup of chicken or beef stock. Once meat is cooked, drain fat and then add ¼ cabbage, beans and other vegetables you may have in the fridge or freezer. Cook until lightly cooked.  Serve with brown rice and top with crunchy noodles (use plain chicken noodles out of the chicken noodle soup packets).
  • If will also pay to make up some freezer bags of pasta sauces. You cant go past an easy spaghetti bolognaise meal when you are home late and want something that is warming and filling. Just be sure to grate in extra vegetables such as carrots, zucchini and you can mix in some lentils as well.

Snacks

  • Vegetable crudité with a hummus dip
  • Berry or banana smoothie – blend 1 cup of low fat milk and either fresh or frozen fruit such as berries, strawberries, mango or banana. Add ice if the fruit is fresh and for an extra boost add 1-2 tablespoons of greek yoghurt
  • Ryvita crackers with a quality peanut butter
  • Boiled egg with a rye cracker
  • Tomato and cottage cheese on a rye cracker
  • Air popped corn with a sprinkle of turmeric, paprika and salt
  • Pot of Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit
  • Home baked muesli cookies (beat ½ cup of sugar, 180g of olive oil margarine until pale. Add 1 egg, beat well. Mix in dry ingredients – ½ cup w’meal flour, 1 cup whole oats, 1 cup natural muesli, ½ cup of desiccated coconut, ½ cup of sesame seeds, ½ cup of skim milk powder. Roll into small balls and place on baking paper on a sheet tray. Cook in the oven at 160C for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Weetabix with a scrape of margarine and vegemite
  • Slice of soreen malt loaf (in a yellow packet)
  • Slice of wholemeal fruit toast
  • Handful of almonds or walnuts
  • Green juice – ½ apple, ½ pear, handful of kale, spinach, celery, ice, cup of water
  • Beetroot juice – blend beetroot, carrot, apple (a good one to buy when out)