Healthy weekly meal plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner


Try this simple weekly meal plan to stay healthy in the New Year

We know full well that taking on extreme diets or restrictive food rules is a surefire way to be absolutely miserable in the year ahead.

In our pursuit of better health and weight loss, we’ll often find ourselves feeling hungry, irritable, and rubbish, whether we manage to stick to a crash diet or not.

A far more sustainable approach to health comes in the form of this weekly meal plan, that’s not about excluding foods or going hungry, but about eating delicious dinners that do you good.

This particular plan comes from Second Nature, a 12-week programme that aims to focus on health first, with weight loss more of a side effect than an at-all-costs goal.

All the meals are tasty, easy to make, and nourishing – and following the plan takes all the faff out of deciding what to have for dinner. Let’s get into it.

Healthy weekly meal plan for two

SUNDAY BEFORE STARTING:

Prepare baked beans
Prepare mini omelettes

MONDAY

Breakfast: Homemade baked beans

Far tastier than the ones you get from a tin (Picture: Second Nature)

Ingredients (makes four servings):

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely diced or minced
1 handful fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
500ml vegetable or chicken stock
125g tomato paste
2 x 400g tins white beans (haricot, butter beans, or cannellini), rinsed and drained

Method:

Heat the oil in a non-stick saucepan, over medium heat.
Fry the onion and garlic for 5mins, or until soft and slightly browned.
Add the thyme, mustard, stock, tomato paste, and beans. Season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 30mins, or until the liquid has reduced by half. The sauce should be fairly thick.

Lunch: Mini omelettes

Make a batch to save yourself time in the mornings (Picture: Second Nature)

Ingredients (makes four servings):

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 large tomato, diced
2-3 handfuls spinach, roughly chopped
1 tbsp sundried tomatoes, finely sliced (optional)
8 medium or large eggs
125ml milk
½ tsp ground paprika
½ tsp chilli powder
60g Cheddar cheese, grated

Method:

Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan.
Heat 1 tsp of the oil in a frying pan, over medium heat. Fry the onion, pepper, and tomato for 8mins, or until soft.
Add the spinach, mix well, and cook for 2mins. Remove from the heat and add the sundried tomatoes (if using).
Break the eggs into a large bowl. Add the milk, paprika, chilli, salt, and pepper. Mix well with a fork or whisk.
Lightly oil a 12 cup muffin tin, with the other tsp of oil. Divide the vegetables evenly between the 12 cups. Carefully fill the cups with the egg mix and top with grated cheese.
Bake for 15-20mins, until the omelettes are just cooked through and slightly browned on the top.

Dinner: Chilli con carne

Pure comfort food (Picture: Second Nature)

Ingredients (makes four servings):

1 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced or minced
500g beef mince (or Quorn)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 ½ tsp hot smoked paprika
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp dried oregano
3 medium carrots
2 large red peppers
1 x 400g tin kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
150ml beef or veg stock
100ml red wine
1 lime, ½ juiced, ½ sliced
4 tbsp sour cream (optional)
1 avocado, diced
1 romaine lettuce head, finely sliced
80g uncooked brown rice

Method:

Heat the oil in a large casserole dish, over medium heat.
Fry the onion and garlic, until softened.
Add the mince and break it apart with a wooden spoon, cook until browned all over. Mix in all the spices and stir for 1-2mins.
Add the carrots, peppers, beans, and tomato paste, and stir for 2-3mins or until slightly softened and covered in spices.
Pour in the chopped tomatoes, beef stock, wine, and lime juice. Cover with a lid, leaving a small gap so liquid can evaporate slightly. Cook for 20mins, until the liquid has reduced and the sauce is thick.
Serve with chopped avocado, romaine lettuce and sour cream. Serve with 1 portion of brown rice (20g uncooked/50g cooked per person).

TUESDAY

Breakfast: Peanut butter jam oats

A delicious way to start the day (Picture: Second Nature)

Ingredients (serves two):

80g rolled oats
500ml milk
4 tsp chia seeds or milled flaxseed
120g frozen berries
120ml water
2 tbsp peanut butter

Method:

Mix the rolled oats, milk, and 1 tsp of the chia seeds or milled flaxseed in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 4-5mins, or until the desired consistency is achieved.
Meanwhile, make the berry jam in another pot. Stir in the frozen berries and the remaining 1 tsp of chia seeds or milled flaxseed with the 60ml water. Simmer for 4-5mins, or until lightly stewed.
Transfer the oats into a serving bowl and add a splash of milk if required, to get the desired consistency.
Top the oats with the berry jam and 1 tbsp of peanut butter.

Lunch: Leftover chilli con carne with brown rice

Dinner: Creamy salmon

A filling fish dish (Picture: Second Nature)

Ingredients (makes four servings):

2 tbsp olive oil
4 salmon fillets, skinless and boneless
2 garlic cloves, finely diced or minced
250g asparagus spears
250g frozen peas
300ml vegetable stock
300ml single cream
1 large handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 small handful fresh dill, roughly chopped (optional)

Method:

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a non-stick saucepan, over medium heat.
Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper, then fry for 5-8mins, flipping once to brown the top, or cooked to your preference.
Set the cooked salmon fillets aside, and using the same saucepan, heat the other 1 tbsp of oil, over a medium heat.
Add the garlic and fry for 1min, or until softened.
Add the asparagus, and peas, and stir for 3mins, or until lightly softened. Be careful not to let the garlic burn.
Add the stock, salt and pepper, and reduce the heat to simmer for 8-10mins.
Stir in the cream, parsley, and dill, and stir for a further 2mins.
Add the salmon fillets back into the creamy sauce, turn the heat off and serve.

WEDNESDAY

Breakfast: Leftover mini omelettes

Lunch: Leftover creamy salmon with a slice of sourdough toast

Dinner: Lamb massaman curry

Nutty and nourishing (Picture: Second Nature)

Ingredients (makes four servings):

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
500g lamb, diced
300g butternut squash, diced into 2-3cm cubes
3 tbsp massaman curry paste
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 x 400g tin coconut milk
200g green beans, diced into 3cm chunks
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
200g cooked brown rice
2 tbsp salted peanuts
1 large handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
80g uncooked brown rice (4 portions)

Method:

Heat the oil in a large casserole dish or wok, over high heat.
Fry the onion until just softened. Add the lamb and brown all over.
Add the butternut squash, curry paste, peanut butter, soy sauce and coconut milk. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low-medium and cover with a lid to cook for 8-10mins.
Add the green beans, red pepper, yellow pepper and a dash of water.
Cook for a further 5-8mins or until the desired vegetable texture is reached (we don’t like them too soft).
Serve with 50g cooked brown rice per person, sprinkle with peanuts and coriander.

THURSDAY

Breakfast: Leftover baked beans + poached eggs and asparagus or spinach

Lunch: Leftover lamb pitta massaman curry (no rice)

Dinner: Coconut dahl

A tasty veggie option (Picture: Second Nature)

Ingredients (makes four servings):

2 tbsp coconut or extra virgin extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely diced or minced
2cm fresh ginger, grated
2 1/2 tsp ground garam masala
1 tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
200g red lentils or split peas
400ml vegetable stock
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
1 large handful baby spinach
1 handful fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Method:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, over medium heat. Fry the onion, garlic, and ginger, until softened.
Stir in the spices and fry until lightly browned.
Stir in the lentils or split peas, and a pinch of black pepper.
Add the coconut milk and vegetable stock, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20-25mins. If using split peas, add an extra 125ml water and cook for a further 15-20mins. The lentils or split peas should be soft and cooked through.
Add in the spinach leaves and stir the dahl.
Serve with coriander.

FRIDAY

Breakfast: Toasted muesli

Make in bulk and serve however you like (Picture: Second Nature)

Ingredients (makes ten servings):

200g rolled oats
45g desiccated or flaked coconut
45g pumpkin seeds
150g raw nuts, roughly chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
85g butter or coconut oil, melted
1 egg white (optional)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan.
Combine the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix lightly.
Whisk the egg white (if using) in a separate bowl until it reaches soft peaks; it should start to look white and creamy. This can take 5-7mins with a fork or 3mins with a hand-held whisk.
Add the melted butter/oil and foamy egg white (if using) to the dry ingredients and mix well. Spread the mixture onto a lined baking tray evenly.
Bake for 30-35mins, or until golden. Check the baking at around 15mins for colour, and mix lightly. Adjust the heat if necessary.
Turn the oven off and leave the muesli in the oven with the door slightly ajar until it cools.
Once cool, store in an airtight jar or container, and consume within one week. Serve 4 tbsp of muesli with 200g yoghurt and berries per person.

Lunch: Leftover coconut dahl

Dinner: Chicken fajita bake

No need for tortillas (Picture: Second Nature)

Ingredients (makes four servings):

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
600g chicken breast or thigh, finely sliced
2 large onions, sliced
3 red peppers, sliced
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper
80g cheddar cheese, grated
1 handful fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
60ml sour cream
2 little gem lettuce heads
1 lime, cut into wedges

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan.
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan, over medium heat. Cook the chicken, and set aside.
Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil to the same pan, fry the onion and peppers for 6-8mins, until lightly coloured and soft.
Return the chicken to the pan, add the spices, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well.
If your pan is oven-proof, sprinkle the cheese on top and place in the oven. Otherwise, transfer the chicken mixture to an oven-proof dish, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 10mins.
Serve in lettuce leaves with sour cream, coriander and lime wedges.

SATURDAY

Breakfast: Blueberry oat pancakes

A weekend treat (Picture: Second Nature)

Ingredients (makes four servings):

2 bananas
3 medium eggs
70g rolled oats
1 tbsp butter
50-100g blueberries

Method:

If you have a blender, blend the bananas, eggs, oats, and ½ tsp of salt until smooth. If not, use a fork to roughly mash the bananas. Add the eggs, oats, and salt. Stir to combine until smooth.
Heat ⅓ tbsp of the butter in a frying pan, over medium heat. It should melt quickly but make sure it doesn’t brown.
Pour the batter into the pan to desired size (approx. 10-12cm), roughly 1cm thick for each pancake. Scatter the blueberries on top.
When bubbles start forming on the top, flip with a spatula.
Reduce heat slightly and cook until both sides are golden brown. Repeat until all batter is used up.
Top with yoghurt or cottage cheese and sprinkle with nuts.

Lunch: Leftover chicken fajita bake

Dinner: Sweetcorn fritters + poached eggs and spinach

This dinner feels fancy, but is minimal faff (Picture: Second Nature)

Ingredients for fritters (makes four servings):

80g fine porridge oats
½ tsp ground paprika
½ tsp dried thyme (optional)
2 x 198g tins corn, rinsed and drained
5 medium eggs
80g Cheddar cheese, grated
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method:

Add all the ingredients except the oil to a large bowl and mix well. Store in the fridge for 15mins or overnight if you have time, until sticky.
Add 1/2 tsp of the oil to a large frying pan, over medium heat.
Fry four of the fritters at a time for 2-3mins each side.
Eat hot or cold, and store leftovers in the fridge. Enjoy 2-3 fritters per person with poached eggs and wilted spinach.

Dessert: Banana bread

Yep, dessert is included (Picture: Second Nature)

Ingredients (serves eight):

3 medium overripe bananas
2 eggs
80g butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g almond flour (ground almonds)
80g porridge oats
Pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
60g pecans, chopped
1 banana, sliced lengthways (optional topping)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Add the bananas to a bowl and mash with a fork.
Add the eggs, cooled melted butter, and vanilla and stir well.
Add the almond flour, oats, pinch of salt, baking powder, stir well.
Add the pecans and stir lightly.
Transfer to a loaf baking tin (or any shape you like) and place the banana on top (if using), inside facing up.
Bake for 40mins or until golden on top.

SUNDAY

Breakfast: Leftover sweetcorn fritters

Lunch: Warm lamb salad

Better than a kebab, we reckon (Picture: Second Nature)

Ingredients (makes four servings):

200g plain natural or Greek yoghurt
½ lemon, zested and juiced
1 garlic clove, finely diced or minced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
400g lamb fillet or leg steaks
4 handfuls (100g) baby spinach and/or salad leaves
½ red onion, finely sliced
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red pepper, deseeded and finely sliced

Method:

Combine the Greek yoghurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and garlic in a bowl.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, over medium-high heat. Season the lamb with salt and pepper, and cook to your liking (or 3mins each side). Cover with foil and set aside.
Mix the spinach, red onion, tomatoes, and red pepper in a large bowl. Dress with half the yoghurt dressing.
Slice the lamb diagonally into pieces and add to the salad, along with any juice from the pan.
Serve with extra dressing on the side.

Dinner: Chana masala

Packed with chickpeas to keep you fuller for longer (Picture: Second Nature)

Ingredients (serves four):

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 carrots, diced
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground or fresh ginger
1 x 400g tin plum/chopped tomatoes
1 x 400mltin coconut milk
2 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
200ml veg stock
1 tsp garam masala
250g spinach
1 handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Yoghurt (optional garnish)

Method:

Heat olive oil in a large pan and add onion and carrots. Cook for about 10mins, or until softened.
Add garlic, turmeric and ground coriander and ginger then stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 mins, then pour in the tin of tomatoes, coconut milk, chickpeas and vegetable stock.
Bring to the boil and simmer for about 25mins or until the sauce has thickened.
Add garam masala once the sauce has thickened, followed by the spinach and cook for a further 5 mins.
Top with coriander and yoghurt (optional).

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