General Health

Feed Your Family Under A Fiver With ITV’s Dr Ranj

Feed your family for under a fiver and save both your wallet and your waistline with these delicious recipes from ITV’s Dr Ranj Singh

Mexican style eggs

This is a lovely weekend brunch recipe that is packed full of punchy Mexican flavours with loads of nutrient-rich ingredients. Ditch the chilli if you are cooking for kids, and adjust the cooking time depending on whether you like eggs runny or more well done. Use any feta that is leftover in a frittata.

Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil • 1 red onion, finely chopped • 1 red pepper, sliced • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 2 tsp smoked paprika • 2 × 400g tins chopped tomatoes • Pinch of chilli flakes (optional) • 4 eggs • 1 avocado, sliced • 75g feta, crumbled • 30g fresh coriander, chopped • Black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large casserole pan (one that has a lid) over a medium heat. Add the onion and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and paprika and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly to ensure it doesn’t burn.

2. Add the tinned tomatoes, chilli flakes (if using) and season with black pepper. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Make 4 slight dips in the sauce using the back of a spoon and crack an egg into each dip – it’s easier to crack the eggs into a mug or small bowl first, then pour them in gently. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5-10 minutes until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny (cook for another 5 minutes if you prefer the yolks cooked through).

4. Remove the pan from the heat, place the avocado slices on top then scatter with the feta and coriander before serving.

Easy homemade pizza

Everyone loves pizza, and being able to eat it when you are trying to lose weight feels like a real treat. This base is really quick and easy to make and doesn’t require any proving time. Top these with loads of veggies to keep them low-calorie.

Serves 4

300g plain flour • 1 tsp baking powder • 300g natural yoghurt • 400g tomato passata • 1 garlic clove, crushed • Toppings of your choice, e.g. sliced mushrooms, courgette ribbons, pesto, cherry tomatoes, ham • 2 × 125g balls mozzarella • 1 tbsp olive oil • Black pepper

1. Heat the oven to 220˚C/425˚F/Gas 7 and line four baking trays with baking parchment.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder and yoghurt together in a bowl until you have a dough. Divide into four and roll out each piece on a floured worktop into a thin, round pizza base, about 20cm in diameter.

3. Meanwhile, place the passata and crushed garlic in a small pan over a medium heat and season well with black pepper. Bring to a light simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Set aside.

4. Place the pizza bases on the prepared baking trays and bake in the oven for 3 minutes until they start to puff up slightly.

5. Remove the bases from the oven, flip them over then spread the passata mixture evenly over each one. Top the pizzas with your favourite toppings, tear the mozzarella and scatter over the top, drizzle with olive oil and return them to the oven for 15 minutes, until golden brown.

6. Serve the pizzas with a green salad.

Gooey dark chocolate pots

It’s not a good idea to eat these regularly when you’re trying to lose weight, but everyone needs a chocolatey treat every now and again, and these are less calorific than most. Knowing that you have these up your sleeve to enjoy on a special occasion will mean you’re less likely to fall off the diet wagon. These freeze really well, too. Increase the cooking time to 16 minutes and you can cook them straight from the freezer.

Serves 6

100g unsalted butter • 150g dark chocolate, broken into pieces • 4 eggs • 75g caster sugar • 50g self-raising flour • 15g cocoa powder

1. Preheat the oven to 220˚C/425˚F/Gas 7.

2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a small pan over a low heat, stirring to ensure it doesn’t catch. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.

3. Meanwhile, combine the eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Pour in the cooled chocolate and butter mixture and stir gently until just combined.

4. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and fold through carefully until combined.

5. Spoon the mixture into six ramekins and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until cooked on the outside but still soft and gooey in the middle.

Dr Ranj’s tip: Ditch the veg drawer

Your veg drawer is often at the bottom of the fridge and it is very easy to lose track of what’s in there. Move your veg to an eye-level shelf – you’ll eat more and waste less

Recipes extracted from Save Money Lose Weight by Dr Ranj Singh (£14.99, Bantam Press

Health & Wellbeing