Back in December I shared the brand new plan from Weight Watchers, Simple Start, an introductory plan which helps you pick the right foods before you begin the task of pointing and weighing foods for the ProPoints plan. Simple Start is a super easy plan to follow, a great introduction into ProPoints and you can find out more in my post introducing Simple Start. Simple Start has proven to be both hugely popular and successful with Weight Watchers members new and old, a healthy-eating plan comprised of simple, nutritious and yet absolutely delicious recipes using fresh, natural ingredients. It's the perfect way to ease members into their new lifestyle change and journey - and let's be honest, no matter what size we are, it's a journey everyone finds tough, so the simplicity of Simple Start, for me, is fantastic.
I was recently asked to take part in a new Weight Watchers campaign, called #StepintoSummer, and as someone who can never turn down a challenge, I couldn't resist. The #StepintoSummer campaign will run for five weeks with five challenges, one for each week. The idea of the campaign is to encourage ourselves and each other to try something new, to go about our lifestyle changes a touch differently with set of easy to follow challenges each week. Each week I will be sharing a new challenge with you all, which I personally will be completing as well as hopefully having a few of you lovelies take part with me! Each week when I share the new challenge, I'll also be sharing delicious recipes and my own experiences of both Weight Watchers and the challenges set. As well as weekly challenges, the #StepintoSummer campaign will include prizes to be won each week, with super simple ways to enter. But more about this weeks competition and prize later!
Challenge one of the #StepintoSummer campaign is to eat at least one portion of fruit or vegetables with every meal. Sounds easy right? It is! It's already recommended by health authorities that we eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and this is probably the healthiest thing I personally do; I love fruit and veg, I'm always bulking out meals with vegetables and snacking on fruit. Fruit is easy to snack on throughout the day, but fruit can also be added to meals to bulk out your foods. I love adding blueberries and other fruits to porridge, or having fruit on the side of breakfast. Lunches are easy to bulk out with fruit and veg; again you could have fruit on the side of your lunch, but you can also bulk out lunches with salads or by adding lots of yummy veg to your meals. I've never had a meal that couldn't be bulked out with fruit and vegetables; the possibilities are endless! A super easy challenge for the first week of the #StepintoSummer campaign - will you be taking up the challenge and having at least one portion of fruit and vegetables with each meal?
Easy ways to add fruit and vegetables to your meals
Breakfast; You can add fruit to practically any bowl-breakfast; porridge is great topped with berries, as is muesli and granola. Tomatoes (technically a fruit!) and mushrooms are an easy way to bulk out a breakfast. Asparagus is great with eggs, as is spinach. Loved banana sandwiches as a kid? Why not try banana on toast. Banana pancakes are another great way to get fruit into your breakfast (check out The Black Pearl Blog banana pancakes recipe here) You could have a fruit bowl or fruit salad as or with your breakfast, or simply have fruit on the side!
Lunch; Having a sandwich? Add some salad and vegetables in there! Omelettes are a great way to bulk out a meal with vegetables. You could snack on vegetables like cucumber, carrots and celery with tasty Simple Start recipe dips, or finish your lunch with a fruit salad. Fruit kebabs are a great light lunch and pineapple is especially tasty this way. Homemade soups are one of the absolute easiest ways to bulk out a meal with vegetables, or you could roast some vegetables to add to your meal.
Dinner; Stir fry's and curries are a simple way of adding vegetables to meals, in fact vegetables can help make any meal perfect. Add a side salad or cooked vegetables to your meal (I like to have at least 1/3 of my plate at dinner time to be veg!) Roast vegetables in bulk and portion, popping them in the freezer to get out when you need them. Adding spinach to curries bulks them out, as well as being a superfood that's really good for us.
The possibilities really are endless! Here's a delicious and super-easy recipe to help you on your way...
Weight Watchers Simple Start Hero Recipe
Prawn and Courgette Curry (serves 4, 8ppts per portion)
Preparation time; 10 minutes, cooking time; 20 minutes
Calorie controlled cooking spray
1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 small courgettes, cut into batons
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
200g can chopped tomatoes
400g raw peeled prawns
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1/2 lemon, juice only
240g dry brown basmati rice
Pop your brown basmati rice on the hob to boil. Brown basmati rice generally takes around 20 minutes to cook, so starting your rice off first will ensure it's ready by the time your prawn and courgette curry is done.
Heat a non-stick frying pan or wok over a high heat and spray with calorie controlled cooking spray. Add the garlic, ginger and green chilli and cook briefly before adding the courgettes. Stir fry for a minute before adding the turmeric, cumin, cayenne pepper (optional) and chopped tomatoes. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes before adding the prawns.
Increase the heat to reduce the sauce and cook the prawns. When the sauce has thickened, and the prawns have turned pink, add the coriander and lemon juice. Season to taste and serve immediately with brown basmati rice.
My partner and I had this last night, and it was surprisingly delicious. I love vegetables, I love seafood, I love curry! But I've never made a prawn curry before and yet I found it so tasty, I'm having it for lunch today too! As the recipe makes four portions, instead of halving the recipe for just my partner and I, I decided to make the full four portion batch and both of us are indulging again today. Today I will be changing up the recipe slightly, and added spinach to bulk out my meal with even more vegetables! You can eat the curry as is; that's how I ate it last night and it was so flavourful that added extra's weren't necessary (I didn't even add salt, and I always have salt!) I also slightly adjusted the recipe last night, choosing to add coriander at the start of cooking as well as the end (I really love coriander) as well as finely slicing the courgette as well as making batons with them. I did this because I usually bulk out meals with lots of different vegetables, so I'm used to different textures and wanted to try the courgette two ways - plus, I think it looked nice too! At just 8ppts a portion this is an absolute hero recipe, it's incredibly filling, tastes delicious and indulgent. Will you be trying Prawn and Courgette Curry?
Interested in joining Weight Watchers yourself? You can find out more on the Weight Watchers website as well as checking out the latest sign-up membership offers available. You can also find Weight Watchers on Twitter and Facebook, as well as YouTube.
Win a fruit power juicer!
Each week the fabulous Weight Watchers team will be giving away a prize. For our first week, the prize is a fruit power juicer - the perfect addition to any home to help ensure you're getting all those important portions of fruit and vegetables! Fancy winning a power fruit juicer? Entering is super simple!
Simply upload a photo of you taking part in the challenge (such as one of your meals with fruit and vegetables) to Twitter using the #StepintoSummer hashtag, for your chance to win!
Post your challenge photo on the Weight Watchers Facebook wall using the hashtag #StepintoSummer for your chance to win!
Challenge one: Accepted! Keep up to date with my week on challenge one by following me on Twitter and Instagram, where I will share meal ideas, tips and tricks as well as recipes. Be sure to let me know if you decided to take part in the challenge - and if you need a little extra encouragement, I'm just a tweet away!
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*This post is part of the #StepintoSummer campaign for Weight Watchers UK. Food was provided by Weight Watchers UK for me to complete the recipe above. All thoughts and views are my own. For more information, please see my disclaimer.