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Try the weekday dinner diet...

Woman in a red dress - Try the weekday dinner diet... - Diets and weight loss - Diet and wellbeing -

Take the simple approach to weight loss, with no calorie counting: eat sensibly during the week, enjoying one of these five delicious recipes for dinner each day, then eat what you want over the weekend.

You can carry on with this healthy eating plan using our 200+ calorie-counted recipes to keep your weekday intake under control.

Miso, noodle and tofu broth

Refreshingly light, but it fills you up
Serves: 2
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Cals per portion: 290
Fat per portion: 14g
Carbs per portion: 20g

● small drizzle sesame oil
● 4-6 spring onions, chopped
● 2 heaped tsp miso (we used Clearspring Barley Miso, from Sainsbury’s Special Selection)
● 250g pack original tofu, cubed
● 250g pack noodles (we used Amoy Straight To Wok Udon Noodles, available at supermarkets)
● fresh coriander or parsley, chopped, to serve

1. In a large pan, heat oil and add spring onions, cook till soft then throw in tofu and toss for couple of mins. Add in miso and stir. Add 2 pints boiling water and stir again to combine.

2. Bring to boil then reduce to a simmer for 5-10 mins. Add noodles and cook for a further few mins till soft. Season to taste and sprinkle with coriander or parsley to serve.

Roasted balsamic fish with chilli and mint beans

Full of fresh, punchy flavours
Serves: 2
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15-20 mins
Cals per portion: 240
Fat per portion: 4g
Carbs per portion: 14g

● 2 fillets or loins of white fish, such as haddock
● drizzle olive oil (optional)
● splash balsamic vinegar
● pinch dried oregano
● 225g/8oz frozen soya beans
● 200g pack sugar snaps, sliced
● 1 red chilli, finely chopped
● 2.5cm/1in piece ginger, finely chopped
● small bunch fresh mint, finely chopped

1. Preheat oven to gas mark 6/200°C (190°C in a fan oven). Place fish in a roasting tin and add the tiniest amount of olive oil to coat, then drizzle with balsamic and sprinkle over oregano. Put in oven and cook for about 8-10 mins, till fish is cooked.

2. While fish is cooking, in a pan of boiling salted water add soya beans and cook for about 5 mins. Add sugar snaps for last couple of mins, then drain and refresh with cold water and drain again. Add chilli, ginger, mint and a drizzle of oil, if using. Season to taste and serve with fish.

Sticky pork and squash with harissa, chickpeas and lentils

Succulent and juicy pork with sweet squash and nutty lentils make for a tasty, filling combo
Serves: 4
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Cals per portion: 451
Fat per portion: 13g
Carbs per portion: 45g

● 450g/1lb lean pork, cubed
● good splash soy sauce
● 2.5cm/1in piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
● zest of 1 orange
● 1 butternut squash, halved and cubed (about same size as pork)
● drizzle olive oil
● 400g can chickpeas, drained
● 400g can green lentils, drained
● ½tsp harissa paste
● small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
● juice of 1 lemon

1. Preheat oven to gas mark 6/200°C (190°C in a fan oven). In a bowl, add pork then add soy sauce, ginger and orange zest. Stir till well combined then put in fridge for 30 mins, if time permits. In a large roasting tin, add squash and coat with oil using your hands, then add a splash more soy. Add pork and squash to a large roasting tin and cook for about 20 mins, till pork is cooked and squash is nicely charred.

2. In a saucepan, add chickpeas and lentils and heat gently. Stir through harissa, parsley and lemon juice, and season to taste if needed. Serve with pork and squash. A spoonful of 0% fat yogurt is good with this on the side.

Cauliflower, broccoli and tomato tagine with bulgur wheat

A delicious tomato sauce flavoured with fennel, cinnamon and lemon
Serves: 4
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30-40 mins
Cals per portion: 315
Fat per portion: 5g
Carbs per portion: 55g

● drizzle olive oil
● 1 red onion, finely chopped
● 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
● pinch each of fennel seeds and ground cinnamon
● juice of 1 lemon
● 2 x 400g cans tomatoes
● 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
● 1 small broccoli, cut into florets
● 225g/8oz bulgur wheat
● small bunch parsley, finely chopped

1. In a large, heavy-based pan, add olive oil then add onion and cook till soft. Add garlic, stir, and add a pinch of sea salt. Stir through fennel seeds and cinnamon. Add lemon.

2. Now tip in tomatoes and stir well to combine. Bring to boil then reduce to a simmer and cook gently for about 30 mins, till flavours are really working. You can either add cauliflower and broccoli to the pot and cook on a really low heat with a lid on till cooked through, or cook cauliflower and broccoli separately in boiling salted water, drain and add to pan just before serving. Taste sauce and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, if needed.

3. While that’s cooking, add bulgur wheat to a large bowl and pour over boiling water. Leave for about 15 mins, till water has been absorbed, then fluff up with a fork, season well and stir through parsley. Serve with tomato stew mixture.

Hot and spicy tikka chicken with fruity red rice

Succulent hot spicy chicken, cooled down with a little yogurt
Serves: 4
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Cals per portion: 330
Fat per portion: 4g
Carbs per portion: 39g

For the marinade:
● 1 small red onion, quartered
● 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
● 2 tomatoes, quartered
● squirt tomato purée
● good pinch of cinnamon
● good pinch of chilli flakes
● juice 1 lime
● ½ bunch fresh mint
● 1 bunch coriander (reserve half for rice)
● 2.5cm/1in piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped

For the chicken:
● 4 chicken breasts, skinned
● 1 packet Camargue red rice
● handful sultanas
● 0% Greek yogurt and lime wedges, to serve

1. In a liquidiser, whizz all marinade ingredients together till well combined. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Smother all over chicken, both sides, then carefully lay in roasting tin. Cover with clear film and put in fridge for 30 mins, or overnight if time permits.

2. When ready to cook, preheat oven to gas mark 6/200°C (190°C in a fan oven). Put in oven till golden and cooked through.

3. In a saucepan, cook rice as per pack instructions with chicken stock instead of water. To serve, stir through remaining coriander and sultanas. Serve with a squeeze of lime and a dollop of yogurt.

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