Healthy recipes

Do you want to cook healthy food from scratch but are worried that you're not a gourmet chef? Fear not, creating nutritious, tasty meals at home needn't be a terrifying prospect.


Research shows that people who cook at home eat fewer calories and generally have a better quality diet than people who regularly eat takeaways or ready meals.

Families eating together are more likely to eat smaller portions and consume fewer calories, less fat, less salt and less sugar.

We've teamed up with one of our Heart of Derbyshire adult education tutors to put together five healthy, quick and simple recipes for you to try.

Whether you fancy a quick snack, filling curry or a light lunch, you'll find some tempting ideas here.

Get inspired with our short video clips and then give them a go yourself by downloading the full recipes:

If you still think it's too difficult to cook from scratch here's some tips on how to get started:

  • Do an inventory. Check your cupboards and see what ingredients are in there. This will give you an idea of staple foods that you have or may need to buy. Good store cupboard essentials include: dry pasta, herbs, flour, black pepper, rice, soy sauce, tinned tomatoes, stock cubes, vegetable or olive oil.

  • Plan meals in advance. Write a list of ingredient to focus your mind when you're shopping. Our simple seven day meal planner is attached to this page.

  • Look in the freezer aisle for pre-prepared vegetables. These are as high in nutrients as fresh and can make preparing a meal much quicker.

  • Keep it simple. Some of the best meals are made with few ingredients. Think of a jacket potato with beans - this might not be a gourmet meal, but it's good value and nutritious.

  • Healthy food doesn't have to be expensive. Try looking for food in season − these are often the fruits and vegetables on deals at the supermarket. Try your local market if you have one, fruit and veg can often be cheaper here too.

  • Look out for recipe cards in supermarkets and magazines for inspiration.

  • Make the freezer your friend. Freezing leftovers straight away (if advisable and safe to do so) means you avoid waste and are making your own ready meals.

  • Visit Love Food Hate Waste (opens in a new window) for more tips on how to reduce food waste and how to safely store your leftovers.

If you're still not feeling confident then why not try a free Heart of Derbyshire cookery class.

They offer advice on creating healthy, cheap and simple meals from scratch as well as giving information on nutrition, balanced diets and more.

Contact your local adult education centre or visit Heart of Derbyshire.

Related documents

The following documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)