Summer often means one thing; a race to get in shape. But this doesn’t have to be a fun-sacrificing, sigh-inducing experience; lower-fat meals are just as delicious and they come guilt-free – here are some tantalising dishes that’ll keep you coming back for more:
Go-to lunch and dinners
High in essential omega-3 fatty acids, salmon helps with both brain function and heart health. Consider a quick and easy garlic, soy and honey roast salmon with sesame stir-fried veg (because no one wants to spend all summer in front of the stove) – here the sesame oil provides that familiar nutty flavour while being a lower-fat alternative to olive oil.
Grains are an excellent, cheap source of protein and can be utilised in a whole host of recipes. Beetroot and feta grain salad has the winning combination of freekah – high in fiber – and quinoa, a protein containing all of the nine essential amino acids.
After a lighter meal? We’d go for a summery crunchy prawn salad with passion fruit dressing, cucumber ribbon and edamame salad or spicy lentil, vegetable and harissa soup for those looking for a little heat.
Comfort food and clever switches
Buttery, pastry toppings mean steak pies are not typically conducive to a summer diet. But, all is not lost! Simply replace this casing with a delicious vegetable mash and you’ve got yourself one satisfying meal, as well as a helping hand towards your 10-a-day. If you’re after a filling dinner, these rich meatballs will do the trick – substitute pasta with spirals of courgette for a guilt-free way to enjoy your favourite Italian dish.
And don’t think we’ve forgotten about pizza! Take note; the king of comfort food doesn’t have to leave you feeling all dough’ed out. Kale pesto and avocado flatbreads provide a healthy take on your usual takeaway with heart-healthy avocado and a wholewheat wrap – being low GI, it releases energy slower, keeping you fuller for longer. Craving pasta? Opt for a lighter spaghetti, like this crab, chilli, lemon and asparagus combination.
Dessert (there's no need to miss out)
Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to skip dessert. Stone fruit is an ideal healthy sweet treat and tastes great when roasted. Warming cinnamon and nutty butter give these juicy plums an indulgent edge – you can also sprinkle them with an almond granola topping.
Replicating your favourite desserts with low-fat alternatives ensures you don’t feel like you’re missing out. Scattered with colourful dots, pink peppercorn frozen yogurt ice creams have that delightfully creamy texture without the added sugar while nut and berry quinoa squares – packed with goji berries, coconut oil, strawberries, dates, almond butter and quinoa – are full of nutrition yet still deliver on that delicious taste.