According to UK government guidelines, men should not exceed 2500kcal per day, and women should not exceed 2000kcal per day.
To lose weight, we should create a calorie deficit each day. This means that we eat fewer calories than we burn off.
If you’re looking to east fewer calories each day, these three delicious dinners under 500 kcal each from our in-house Nutritionist Emily Rollason will help you towards your goal.
Vegan bean chilli
Calories per serving: 317kcal
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 chopped red onion
- 400g mixed peppers deseeded and sliced
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chipotle chilli powder
- 2 tsp hot chilli powder
- 1 sliced red chilli (deseeded if desired) – you can add more if you like a spicier chilli
- A sprinkling of chilli flakes (optional)
- 1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
- 400g can of kidney beans in chilli sauce
- 400g can mixed beans in chilli sauce if you can find them, drained if not
- 400g can chopped tomato
- Two squares of good quality dark chocolate, grated
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the sliced chilli onions and peppers and cook for eight minutes until softened. Tip in the spices and cook for two minutes.
Tip in the beans and tomatoes, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins or until the chilli is thickened, add the grated chocolate just before taking off the heat. Season and serve with whatever accompaniment you prefer!
Sweet potato, spinach and chickpea curry
Calories per serving: 418kcal
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 diced onion
- 1 fresh red chilli
- 6 garlic cloves
- thumb-sized piece ginger
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1.5 tbsp garam masala
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained
- 400g frozen diced sweet potato
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 50g creamed coconut
- 20g fresh coriander, chopped, plus extra to garnish
- 80g spinach
To make the paste, heat a tsp of the 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan on a medium heat, add 1 diced onion and 1 tsp fresh chilli, and cook until softened.
In a food processor, combine garlic cloves, a thumb-sized piece of ginger and the remaining oil. Then add the ground coriander, ground cumin, garam masala, 2 tbsp tomato purée, ½ tsp salt and the fried onion. Blend to a smooth paste – add a drop of water or more oil, if needed.
Cook the paste in a medium saucepan for 2 mins over a medium-high heat, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick.
Tip in the 400g can of drained chickpeas and a 400g can chopped tomatoes, 400g of diced frozen sweet potato and simmer for 5 mins until reduced down.
Add 50g creamed coconut with a little water, cook for 5 mins more, then add 20g chopped coriander and 80g spinach, and cook until wilted.
Wild mushroom risotto
Calories per serving: 439kcal
- 50g dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 vegetable stock pot
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 diced white onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 100g chestnut mushrooms
- 150g mixed wild mushrooms
- 300g arborio rice
- 20g butter
- 50g vegetarian hard cheese
- A few sprigs of rosemary
- A handful of parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
Add the porcini mushrooms and some of the sprigs of rosemary to a bowl, pour 1200ml of boiling water over and allow to soak for around 20 minutes. Then drain the mushrooms, putting them on some kitchen roll for the liquid to soak out, put the rosemary to one side and keep the liquid, add the stock pot to the liquid to dissolve.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add the onions and garlic and fry for around five minutes, or until the onions are softened.
Remove the leaves from around 2-3 sprigs of the rosemary, roughly chop them and add to the pan. Add all the mushrooms and continue to cook for a further ten minutes, or until the fresh mushrooms have softened.
Add the arborio rice into the pan and pour around a quarter of the mushroom liquid into the mixture, keep simmering and stirring to ensure the rice does not stick the pan, until the rice has absorbed the water.
Repeat the last step until the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked. Then remove from the heat, stir in the butter and the vegetarian hard cheese, top with chopped parsley and enjoy!
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Last updated: 2 April 2020
Emily Rollason is a qualified Nutritional Therapist, achieving a Diploma from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition.
Emily has worked for Holland & Barrett for six years and has experience working on a one-to-one basis with clients with a variety of health concerns such as endometriosis, adenomyosis and aiding those looking to support certain dietary requirements, such as a vegan or vegetarian diet. Emily has a long history of working with customers to guide them on what products are best suited to help them with their ailments. Her particular interests in nutrition and wellness focus around digestive health, female health and allergies/intolerances.