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lighter meal ideas

Whether it’s for speed and ease, or because you fancy something a little lighter, I find that a comforting bowl of soup or a fragrant salad packs all the flavour and satisfaction of a larger meal. Be it summer or winter, soups are one of my go-to meals and they are perhaps one of the best ways to celebrate foods in season, be that a hydrating one in the summer – see my Cucumber Gazpacho or Green Soup, or a hearty winter soup – Mushroom, Thyme &  Walnut or Kale, Bean & Pistachio. Salads, too, offer brilliant seasonal variety and certainly shouldn’t be reserved for summer – Warm Jerusalem Artichoke Salad or Spiced Chickpea, Kale & Squash Salad.

light meals 

Salmon Soba Noodle Salad by Amelia Freer
Salmon Soba Noodle Salad

This is a versatile and robust salad that you can make using any protein and vegetables that you have. Soba noodles are…

Egg Muffins, Amelia Freer
Egg ‘Muffins’

They are fluffy and light and a lovely way to feed a busy breakfast bunch AND they are great hot, warm or cold.  Play around…

Winter Buddha Bowl by Amelia Freer
Winter Buddha Bowl

Buddha bowls are a really simple way to prepare a meal that is balanced, vibrant, healthy and diverse with plenty of…

Turmeric Socca with Cucumber, Pepper & Tahini Salad
Turmeric Socca with Cucumber, Pepper & Tahini Salad

Turmeric is a powerful herb considered to have antiviral, antibacterial, antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory…

Amelia Freer's Spicy Green Shakshuka
Green Shakshuka

The ubiquitous brunch staple of red shakshuka gets a sensational spicy green make over here, with some of my favourite…

Amelia Freer's Spicy roasted tomato and lentil soup
Spicy Roasted Tomato & Lentil Soup

Hands down, this is one of my favourite soups and I’ve been making it for years, as many of my clients will attest to as it…

Amelia Freer's Healing Carrot, Turmeric and Coriander Soup
Carrot & Turmeric Soup

get quite passionate about this soup. I remember when I first made it, I felt excited by just how powerful the ingredients…

Amelia Freer's Spicy Thai Chicken Broth
Spicy Thai Chicken Broth

This broth provides an exquisite array of colour with a deliciously spicy kick, alongside a hefty dose of essential…

Kale & Mushroom Muffins
Kale & Mushroom Muffins

These are really simple to whizz up and make a great brunch to serve to friends and guests. Mushrooms provide fibre which is…

Amelia Freer's 12 Favourite Things on Toast
12 Favourite Things on Toast

Here are a few ideas of delicious and nutritious toppings for toast that can be enjoyed for a leisurely breakfast, speedy…

Beetroot, Rosemary and Walnut Soda Bread
Beetroot, Rosemary and Walnut Soda Bread

This is a different way to use beetroot and I think it’s pretty lovely to see a pink loaf of bread. Beetroots offer vitamins…

This nutrient dense vegetable broth is a beautiful way to start the day,
Green ‘Wake me up’ Broth

This broth can be enjoyed it at any time of day for a natural energy burst. Asparagus contains vitamins, minerals and fibre…

Asian Salmon Burgers by Amelia Freer
Asian Salmon Burgers

These salmon burgers are zingy and tangy with Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which help to maintain our health and…

Crisp Apple & Fennel Salad with Turmeric Dressing
Crisp Apple & Fennel Winter Salad with Turmeric Dressing

Salads aren't just for summer! As the seasons change, I continue trying to find ways to include them in my diet. This salad…

Amelia Freer's Celeriac Rostis
Celeriac Rösti

During the winter months root vegetables are the stars of the show. Usually I mash celeriac or have it in soups but once I…

Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini & Miso Dipping Sauce
Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini & Miso Dipping Sauce

Cauliflower contains a variety of nutrients including fibre, and vitamin C - which helps support our immune system. It is…

Sprout Slaw
Fragrant Sprout Slaw

Sprouts are in season from September all the way through until February but so many of us only eat them at Christmas.

Beetroot & Squash Salad with a Hazelnut Dressing
Beetroot & Squash Salad and Hazelnut Dressing

I love the vibrant colours in this hearty autumn salad, which packs a hefty nutritional punch too. The dressing tops it off…

Zingy Turkey Pâté
Zingy Turkey Pâté

Making pots of healthy pâté to dip crudités into, to spoon generously onto little gem lettuce boats, or to top hearty…

Crunchy Vegetable ‘Tabbouleh’ with Coconut Cream & Herb Dressing
Crunchy Vegetable ‘Tabbouleh’ with Coconut Cream & Herb Dressing

This is a lovely starter to serve at a dinner party but I also eat this alone. The creaminess of the coconut cream with the…

Asian Crayfish Lettuce Cups
Crayfish Lettuce Cups with Asian Dressing

We are very lucky in the UK as an island to have easy access to fresh shell fish which is not only delicious but is also…

Tuna on Sprialized Courgetti
Tuna on Sprialized Courgetti

This simple salad makes a tasty and nutritious lunch. This recipe works just as well with smoked mackerel, poached salmon or…

Prawn, Sesame & Ginger ‘Gyoza’ in Cabbage Wrapper
Prawn, Sesame & Ginger ‘Gyoza’ in Cabbage Wrapper

I love Japanese steamed gyoza, and discovered that cabbage leaves make the perfect easy wrappers.

Indian Coconut Cabbage by Amelia Freer
Indian Coconut Cabbage

This is the perfect example of how using spices can really bring vegetables alive. It is delicious alongside some lean meat…

Oysters 3-Ways by Amelia Freer
Oysters 3-Ways

Oysters come into season from September onwards and are not only nutritious but are also good for the environment. Oyster…

Hake in a bag with zucchini ribbons
Simple Hake in a Bag with Zucchini Ribbons

Brilliantly fresh and full of colourful goodness, this is a no-fuss, super easy dish – best of all, there’s barely any…

Vegetable Pakoras
Vegetable Pakoras

These vegetable pakoras are my lighter take on the Indian favourite. They are delicious and so easy, although I confess a…

Mushroom, thyme and walnut soup by Amelia Freer
Mushroom & Thyme Soup

Soups always provide comfort year round but particularly in Autumn and Winter when we feel the cold. Mushrooms fortunately…

Brunch Vegetable Fritters
Brunch Vegetable Fritters

I absolutely love fritters and think they can work for any time of day but they do make the ideal quick, lazy…

Amelia Freer's Green Curry Turkey Soup
Green Turkey Curry Soup

This is the ideal post-Christmas dish, using up lots of leftovers, and a great warming soup for serving after long, bracing…

Amelia Freer's Chilled Summer Asparagus Gazpacho
Asparagus Gaspacho

Chilled gazpacho of any kind is such a joy on a hot day. The core ingredients change as the season progresses as gazpacho is…

Amelia Freer's Vegan & Dairy Free Kale & Almond Pesto
Kale & Almond Pesto

Pesto is something I always have in the fridge because it’s so simple to make and livens up so many meals, even as a mere…

Broad Bin Dip
Broad Bean Dip with Crunchy Veg

Broad beans are still one of those wonderful vegetables that are absolutely at their best when in season.

Avocado, Broad Bean & Radish Seed on Toast
Avocado, Broad Bean & Radish Seed on Toast

This is quick to put together and brilliantly filling and colourful. Broad beans contain plant-based protein, fibre, and…

Summer Vegetabel Frittata, Amelia Freer
Summer Vegetable Frittata

I think every fridge should have some frittata slices in it. Possibly the easiest and swiftest meal to make, it stores well…

Beetroot and parsnip fritters
Beetroot & Parsnip Fritters

Beetroot and Parsnips are abundant during the winter months and are two of my favourite root vegetables.  Naturally both are…

Egg on Toast, Broad Beans with Herbs & Feta
Egg on Toast, Broad Beans with Herbs & Feta

Broad beans are from the legume family, so are a great source of vitamins and minerals, plus they pack a good protein punch.…

Hangover Sandwich, Amelia Freer
The Hangover Sandwich

It would be unrealistic not to enjoy the odd overindulgence. We’ve all suffered from the morning after effects of too much…

Amelia Freer's Green Soup & Cashew Cream
Green Soup & Cashew Cream

This simple soup is a celebration of all things green. Green leafy vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals and fibre…

Gluten-Free Asparagus & Crab Cakes by Amelia Freer
Asparagus & Crab Tarts

A gluten-free diet doesn’t have to mean no pastry, although if you are not gluten free this can be made using normal…

Amelia Freer's Jerusalem Artichoke, Sage & Hazelnut Soup - Autumn Soup
Jerusalem Artichoke & Hazelnut Soup

The rich, sweet and nutty joys of Jerusalem artichoke partner wonderfully with chestnut and celeriac for this puree – it’s…

Amelia Freer's Cucumber and herb chilled gazpacho summer soup
Cucumber & Herb Gazpacho

This is a velvety, iced, super refreshing gazpacho soup containing lots of antioxidants, vitamins and goodness from the…

Amelia Freer's Mackerel & Rhubarb Salad
Mackerel & Rhubarb Salad

Mackerel is one of my favourite fish – rich in healthy fats. This is an excellent fish to introduce into your diet if you…

Poached Chicken, Crunchy Vegetables & Herb Dressing by Amelia Freer
Poached Chicken, Crunchy Vegetables & Herb Dressing

This dish celebrates delicious summer vegetables, all of which are in season together during July and August so this is an…

Ribbon Zucchini Salad with Rocket, Feta & Hazelnuts
Ribbon Zucchini Salad with Rocket, Feta & Hazelnuts

Both rocket and zucchini are in season throughout June to October so this exquisite summer salad can really be enjoyed all…

Summer Salad
Quintessential Summer Salad

As wish all vegetables, this salad delivered a hearty dose of vitamins and minerals including some iron. It is harder for us…

Crab Cakes with homemade mayo (gluten-free) by Amelia Freer
Crab Cakes

Crab, like most shellfish, contains protein and is also an important source of zinc. These crab cakes are my light,…

soup for the soul
Soup for the Soul

My plant-based version of the classic chicken and lemon soup. Here, chickpeas provide the protein and give a deliciously…

One-Tray Winter Roasted Salad
One-Tray Roasted Winter Salad

Roasted salads are a total game-changer for me. However sceptical you may be – just give it a go. The textures soften and…

Autumn Salad with Artichokes and Beetroot
Autumn Salad

This multi-coloured and vibrant, warm roasted salad is a real celebration of autumn, my favourite month. The recipe is very…