We all want to get healthy for the summer, but we also want to save our money for all our travels, gigs and festivals in the next few months, and not spend it on pricey salads or expensive avocado inspired meals, as yummy as they may be. Here are a few healthy summer meals that will let you do both!
Refreshing Breakfast Smoothie
While fresh blueberries and raspberries can be expensive, use frozen fruit or greens for a super easy and healthy breakfast you can take with you to uni or work. Bananas and frozen strawberries are a great alternative to fresh berries and adding oats or protein powder can make this filling as well as healthy. Blend one banana, a handful of spinach, a cup of yoghurt, a quarter of a cup of oats and some strawberries together, and you have a smoothie full of vitamins that won’t break the budget.
Sugar-Free Banana Pancakes
These delicious sugar-free pancakes are a great cheat if you’re trying to kick those sugar cravings and are a great way to use up browning bananas. Mix together one cup of flour, a quarter teaspoon of salt, an egg, one cup of milk, two tablespoons of oil and two ripe mashed bananas, and fry the batter on an oiled pan. If you want to use less oil, use a spray oil, which only contains a few calories. This recipe can be refrigerated or frozen, and you can add some Nutella or maple syrup on days you’re feeling cheeky. One of the great healthy summer meals to start the day!
Tasty Tuna Wrap
All you need is tortilla, tinned tuna, sliced cucumber, tomato, pepper and some light mayo, with squeezed lime and you have a great light meal, that will take you under ten minutes to make. You can even skip out the tortilla for lettuce if you want to go a bit lighter on the carbs.
Egg and Salad Pizza
Now this might not compare to the mighty Chicago pizza or a great Neapolitan, but for a healthy version, it’s not half bad. Bake your tortilla under 180 degrees for three minutes with a little oil, and when that’s done add tomatoes and peppers, and crack an egg into the middle and return to the oven for ten minutes. When that’s done, sprinkle with rocket and pepper, and you have your healthy pizza!
Quick Baked Cod and Asparagus
While not all fish is cheap to buy, cod won’t break the bank and is such a buttery and versatile fish. Bake your cod in foil for 15-20 minutes at 190 degrees under a dressing of washed asparagus, minced garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste, and you have a fancy summer meal that’s great for a date night on a budget.
Light Grilled Chicken and Bean Salad
Full of protein and flavour, this grilled chicken salad is a perfect accompaniment at any barbecue this summer. Use left over chicken from a leftover roast, or casserole and make a great next day salad. All you need is grilled chicken pieces in bite size pieces, washed spinach leaves, canned and drained kidney beans and chopped red onion. Toss these ingredients together with a pinch of salt and pepper and a teaspoon of olive oil, and you have a yummy, super easy summer meal.
Quick Crustless Quiche
This is another great one to take to class with you, in your lunch or Bento box. It’s basically a bigger omelette, but perfectly appropriate to eat in public, and eggs are one of the cheapest sources of positive protein. Mix two eggs with half a cup of milk, a cup of chopped mushrooms, a chopped red onion, pinches of salt and pepper and a bit of cheddar on the top if you’re feeling a bit naughty. Sub in the veg for maybe broccoli or spinach and mix up the flavours to your fancy!
Baked Sweet Potato Fries and Humous
Mmm. Chips. But healthy chips, and oh-so-simple to make. Slice your sweet potato into chip-shape pieces mixed with some oil, salt, pepper and paprika and slide into the oven for 20 minutes under 180 degrees. Remove when they’re crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and serve with humous for a meal that’s super comforting, but still not super calorific.
Veggie Fried Rice
Fried rice is a great way to get in your daily veggies and use up old ones. Add any of your favourite veg to make this healthy, budget-friendly meal. Cook chopped onion, sliced carrots, broccoli, ginger and garlic, and add two lightly scrambled eggs with vegetable oil, and season to taste. Tip in two cups of cooked brown rice and a teaspoon of fish sauce (optional). So easy to make for yourself or for a group, making this one of the healthy summer meals to take to a picnic.
Spicy Chickpea Curry
Tinned foods tend to be budget-friendly and can actually make a great meal. This is also a great meal for a veggie guest, or even a meal for when you want to treat yourself to something spicy and simple to make. Fry a chopped onion with chopped garlic and ginger and add chopped chilli when that has browned. Add your tinned chickpeas and a can of tinned tomatoes, as well as washed spinach leaves and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a lentil soup or eat with couscous or quinoa.
Try some of these healthy summer meals and feel light on your toes but heavy in your pocket! It’s a winning combo.
Did you enjoy our list of healthy summer meals? Let us know in the comments section below!
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UCL student and bonafide brown girl. Sometimes writing, mostly dreaming, always hungry.