The humble jacket potato can provide a nutritionally balanced meal when paired with the right fillings. Simply bake in the oven for around an hour, or zap in the microwave until soft (around 5 minutes). Serve with a salad or roasted vegetables to ensure you’re hitting your 5-a-day. Here are my top 10 healthy jacket potato ideas to get you started…
1. Beans and cheese
This classic jacket potato filling will provide you with fibre, plant-based protein and a host of vitamins. Just warm a tin of baked beans on the stove (look out for the low sugar, low salt varieties in the shops), pile onto your potato and top with a grating of cheddar cheese.
2. Cheese and onion
Dice a white onion, scoop out the potato flesh from the skin, mix in the diced onion, grated cheddar cheese and black pepper. Pile back into the skin, add a final grating of cheese and grill for 5 minutes until lightly browned.
3. Tuna and sweetcorn
A super speedy potato filling! Empty a tin of tuna and a tin of sweetcorn into a bowl. Add a tablespoon of mayonnaise, salad cream or crème fraiche and mix thoroughly, then pile onto your jacket potato.
4. Chilli con carne
Fry beef mince with onions, a tin of chopped tomatoes, kidney beans, red peppers, chilli powder, cumin and paprika and simmer for around 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Serve on your jacket potato and top with a drizzle of yoghurt and slices of avocado. You could also swap the beef for mixed beans for a vegetarian alternative.
5. Chicken curry and mint yoghurt
Simple fry diced chicken until browned, add slices onions, fresh chilli, garlic and curry powder. Add a tin each of chopped tomatoes and coconut milk and simmer for 30 minutes until thickened. Meanwhile, finely slice mint leaves and stir into Greek yoghurt. Pile the curry onto your jacket potato and top with a spoonful of mint yoghurt.
6. Sweet potato, spicy roasted chickpeas and lemon yoghurt
Sweet potatoes make a nutritious alternative to your usual white potato and can be prepared in the same way. For the topping, mix the zest and juice of a lemon into Greek yoghurt. Meanwhile, empty a tin each of chickpeas and tinned tomatoes into a roasting tin, along with chilli powder, cumin, smoked paprika, dried thyme and salt, and roast in the oven for around 20 minutes. Serve on your sweet potato and top with a spoonful of lemon yoghurt.
7. Chicken and spinach pesto
This is a great way to add extra nutrients into your meal! Blend a large handful of spinach with a jar of green pesto until smooth. Meanwhile, cook diced chicken in a pan until browned. Add in the spinach pesto and cook until piping hot. Serve on your potato and top with a grating of parmesan or cheddar.
8. ‘Sausage and mash’
A twist on an old favourite. Scoop out the flesh from the jacket potato and mash with a drizzle of olive oil or small knob of butter. Meanwhile, grill your sausages and make an onion gravy by thinly slicing a red onion and softening in a pan until sticky. Add a stock cube or gravy granules and water until at desired consistency. Serve the potato flesh back in the skin, top with the sausages and pour over the onion gravy. Swap the side salad for peas or green beans.
9. Smoked mackerel and spring onion
Peel the skin from a smoked mackerel fillet and flake into a bowl. Add sliced spring onion, crème fraiche or Greek yoghurt and a generous grind of black pepper. Mix until combined, then serve on top of your jacket potato.
10. ‘Pizza’ potato
All the flavours of a pizza but more nutritious! Simple make a vegetable ratatouille by cooking slices onions, peppers and mushrooms in a tin of chopped tomatoes until softened. Pile onto your jacket potato, top with sliced chorizo and mozzarella, and pop under the grill for 5 minutes until melted.
There you have it, 10 simple ideas to top your jacket potato for a healthy, balanced meal. Once you’ve mastered these, why not have a go at getting creative and inventing your own topping ideas? Don’t forget to upload photos of your creations on Instragram and tag me @you.trition
Toast is a staple breakfast food for many of us, but the usual white bread and toppings of butter or jam aren’t especially nutritious and will most likely leave you feeling hungry and dissatisfied. So instead, swap for wholegrain bread varieties and choose toppings containing a source of protein, good quality fats and a serving of fruit or vegetables for a boost of essential vitamins and minerals. Here are my top 10 healthy toast topper ideas to get you started…
1. Cinnamon French toast and berries
Simple whisk up an egg with a dash of cinnamon, soak your bread in the mix and fry on each side until golden. Serve with a handful of mixed berries and a dollop of Greek yoghurt or crème fraiche.
2. Poached egg and spinach
In a pan, wilt a large handful of spinach in a little butter or olive oil and season. Serve on your toast with a perfectly poached egg. Click here to watch our easy step-by-step video to achieve that lovely runny yolk!
3. Creamy garlic mushrooms
Fry some sliced mushrooms in a drizzle of oil until lightly browned (around 5 minutes), add sliced garlic and cook for a further minute, before stirring through a tablespoon of cream cheese – for an even speedier version, swap for a garlic and herb cream cheese.
4. Goats cheese and roasted fig
This toast topper makes an indulgent weekend brunch. Slice your figs into 1cm thick slices and arrange onto a slice of toast. Top with slices of goat’s cheese and a sprinkle of fresh rosemary. Pop under the grill for 5 minutes or so until the cheese has melted, and the figs become sticky and sweet – delicious!
5. Smashed peas
Cook a serving of frozen peas as per the packet instructions and drain the excess water. Mash them with diced garlic, chilli, salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Pile onto your toast and eat. You could also try adding a sprinkle of mixed seeds for extra protein and fat.
6. Beetroot, feta and mint
Vacuum packed beetroot works perfectly for this speedy toast topper. Simply cut into 1cm thick slices and arrange on your toast. Crumble on feta cheese, sprinkle with fresh mint, black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
7. Peanut butter and banana
A toast classic! Spread your toast with a generous serving of peanut butter (look out for the 100% nuts versions to avoid added sugars) and top with a sliced banana. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon for a finishing touch.
8. Scrambled tofu and roasted cherry tomatoes
Tofu makes a nutritious alternative to eggs for those choosing to reduce animal products in their diet, or who simply want to try something new! Crumble firm tofu into a pan with salt, pepper and a touch of turmeric (for colour) and fry until warmed through. Meanwhile, drizzle a handful of cherry tomatoes with olive oil and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve both on a slice of wholegrain toast with a sprinkle of paprika.
9. Hummus, toasted seeds and pink pickled onions
This one will take a little prep the day before but it is worth it! Slice a red onion into thin strips and soak in a simple pickling liqueur made of white vinegar and sugar – leave overnight. The next morning, toast pumpkin seeds in a pan until browned. Spread a generous serving of hummus onto your toast and top with the toasted seeds and pickled onions.
10. Mackerel and Salsa
Make an easy salsa by dicing cherry tomatoes, red onion and coriander into small chunks, and mix together with a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of salt. Top your toast with the salsa and either tinned or smoked mackerel – if you have extra time on your hands, try grilling fresh mackerel instead.
There you have it, 10 simple ideas to top your toast for a healthy, balanced meal – any time of the day. Once you’ve mastered these, why not have a go at getting creative and inventing your own topping ideas? Don’t forget to upload photos of your creations on Instagram and share them with me by tagging me in them @you.trition
I have a Nutritionist faux pas to admit - I'm not a fan of salads. Well let me rephrase that. I'm not a fan of traditional salads, which I think give salads a bad rap. You know the ones I'm talking about, you see them in most shops in plastic pots - a large pile of iceberg lettuce, some raw peppers and cherry tomatoes, chicken and maybe some pasta, with a sad sachet of vinaigrette on the side - no wonder people think eating healthy is boring!
But I'm here to show you that eat healthy most certainly doesn't have to be boring, and shouldn't be. This salad combines nutrient-dense ingredients with a zingy dressing and a variety of textures. No more boring salads for you.
Why you'll love this recipe:
1/2 head of broccoli
1 chicken breast
A large handful of spinach
1 tbsp mixed seeds
Sprinkle of mature cheddar cheese
1 garlic clove
1 lime (juice and zest)
Salt and pepper
How to make it:
1. Break of the broccoli florets and place onto a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, season and roast for around 20 minutes (until tender)
2. Meanwhile, toast your mixed seeds and pan-fry slices of courgette under tender
3. For the dressing, mix a tablespoon of olive oil with the zest and juice of the lime, crushed or finely chopped garlic and seasoning
4. Now you are ready to assemble; simply mix the broccoli, spinach, seeds, courgette, cheese and dressing in a bowl and serve!
You can adjust the quantities of olive oil/lime in the dressing to suit your tastes. It's also fun to play around with vegetables depending on the time of year - see what's about and get creative.
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