16 Jun 2014
Summer serving suggestions from Diet Chef!
We’ve had feedback from a few of you, asking if there is any way to make some of the Diet Chef meals a little bit more “summer-friendly”!
So, we asked our awesome Development Chef, Alan Mathieson (pictured to the left, busy at work in our development kitchen), to come up with some ‘summer serving suggestions’ for us.
Obviously, what you can and can’t add to your meals will depend a bit on how many ‘extra calories’ you have to use, but here are some taste bud-tastic ideas you could consider.
Rise and shine – breakfast time!
For a more summery Diet Chef breakfast, why not try creating your own Bircher muesli, using our porridge oats?
Bircher muesli / porridge is quite trendy at the moment – it’s basically porridge oats soaked in apple juice and mixed with fruit yoghurt or plain yoghurt, then chilled in the fridge overnight.
Serve with fresh fruit on top, and drizzle some honey over it, or add another dollop of yoghurt, for a creamy, cool, delicious and filling breakfast!
What’s for lunch?
Our bulgar wheat and couscous pots were designed to provide a quick, easy meal for people on the go!
However, my idea was also to create a versatile dish that could be used for a range of cold lunch salads. Your imagination is the limit with the pots, really!
Just make the pot up as per the instructions, then transfer into a sealed container and chill until cold.
Add fresh, chopped herbs, roasted or cooked vegetables, peppers, tomatoes, feta cheese and olives – whatever floats your boat!
Then add a splash of oil and lemon or lime juice, and serve with crisp salad leaves, or on its own.
TIP: Most vegetables are low in calories and great for bulking products out. Fresh herbs are also fantastic as natural seasoning, for added flavour.
TIP: Be careful when adding oils to any dish though, as they are very high in calories – it’s always safest to stick to a tiny amount!
You can easily create cold salads with the pasta pots, as well.
However, you will need to make sure you add more water, and as soon as the pasta has absorbed it, remove and chill – otherwise, the pasta will over-cook and go very thick.
Once the pasta has cooled down, add your favourite fresh vegetables and herbs to it and serve on top of some crisp salad leaves for a tasty, light summer meal.
Shake things up…
Make a Diet Chef shake as per the instructions; then blend with crushed ice, fresh berries or banana, a sprinkle of oats and a little bit of fresh yoghurt or honey.
This will make a fantastic, filling smoothie – perfect for a light summer lunch, and you will get a good two glasses out of it, after everything has been added!
Hot and cold dinner combos work a treat during the warmer months of the year!
All our dinners can be served with chilled couscous, bulgar wheat, quinoa salads or a simple salad with crisp leaves and variety of chopped vegetables. Add fresh herbs and a splash of oil and citrus fruit juice, to jazz it up!
A cool vegetable accompaniment…mmm!
Some vegetables work really well cold, such as carrots, broccoli, peas and mangetout.
Boil your choice of vegetables till nearly cooked, then remove and place in ice-cold water. Thoroughly drain and serve with sesame seeds, soya sauce and a splash of sesame oil. But remember; don’t get too trigger happy with the oil – keep it to a minimum!
Add some fresh coriander, lime juice and spring onions for extra flavour!
Alan’s top tip…
If you visit a supermarket, have a look at the salad and side dishes section – these products are developed by chefs using all their skills and experience.
Most of these ready-made salads will be high in calories, as they will more than likely contain lots of butter and oil to add flavour.
However, hopefully the combination of ingredients will inspire you to recreate a healthier version at home, without the salt, sugar and fat, and try something new!
Now, all you have to do is sit down, relay and enjoy you summery meal!
Did you enjoy this blog? Please feel free to share it with you family and friends on social media!
Also, why not tell us what your favourite serving suggestion / side dish is?
If you want to see more of Alan and his healthy recipes and food tips, check out the recipe videos on our YouTube page.