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 

Spinach and Beetroot Wraps

These beautifully colourful wraps make a welcome savoury alternative to sweet pancakes at breakfast, or as a delicious…

Warm Roasted Salad with a Walnut & Red Wine Vinegar Dressing

Warm roasted salads like this one are an absolute staple in my autumn and winter kitchen.

Buddha Bowl with Miso Tahini Dressing

Buddha bowls combine a selection of delicious different bits and pieces, which, ideally vary in colour, taste and……

Roasted Red Pepper & Lentil Soup

A delicious, warming soup packed full of nutritious vegetables

Salsa Verde & Butternut Squash Soup

I think a really herby salsa verde is perhaps one of the most elevating condiments we can make, turning the simplest soup,…

Warm Festive Salad with an Orange Vinaigrette

The festive season can mean a lot of heavy meals. Delicious as they might be, I think we all have days or occasions when we…

Spiced Roasted Nuts

These are a lovely and quick snack to serve with a glass of ice-cold fizz. A roaring fire and great company go well with…

Veggie Nuggets

These nutritious nuggets don’t last very long at all in my house. Willow adores dipping them into a yogurt dip or homemade…

Herby Green Omelette

This is a super-fast breakfast, filled with fresh herby greens.

Egg Breakfast Salad

New ways of enjoying eggs are always welcome at breakfast – I hope you like this salad version as much as I do.

Amelia’s Favourite Breakfast

This is my favourite option, and one that I must have at least 5 days a week. It’s nutritious, filling and sets me up for…

Sweet Potato Toasts with Scrambled Tofu

Yes, sweet potato toast really does work! Naturally gluten-free and delicious toast with minimal effort.

Courgette and Sweetcorn Fritters with a Yoghurt & Herb Dip

Fritters are a brilliant way of using up odds and ends, gluts of vegetables, or reimagining leftovers. They also freeze well…

Pickled Red Onion

This recipe for tangy red onions adds colourful pep to simple salads, sandwiches, wraps and more.

Golden Tahini Dressing

This is a beautifully creamy, quick and versatile sauce that I drizzle over simple salads, fish, chicken, roasted vegetables…

Breakfast pizza

Pizza – for breakfast!?’ Yes! And it’s not all that strange when you consider the ingredients

Steamed Greens

This doesn’t quite feel like a recipe, but it’s one of my favourite ways to enjoy greens.

Roasted Pumpkin Houmous

If pumpkin is out of season, this recipe will work just as well with butternut squash.

Store-cupboard Pasta

This recipe is a really handy one to have up your sleeve for moments when you’re ravenous and need a quick meal on the…

Store-cupboard Salad

A really handy meal idea for moments when it feels like the fridge is almost empty and you’ve not yet had a chance to…

Heritage Tomato Salad

To make this salad as delicious as it can possibly be, it’s important to use the ripest tomatoes you can find.

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…

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…

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…

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…

Smörgåsbord Platter

This festive Smörgåsbord Platter has to be the most exquisite way to serve a crowd a feast of colour, flavour and goodness,…

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…

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…

Smoked Salmon & Buckwheat Toast Canapé
Smoked Salmon & Buckwheat Toast Canapé

These are very popular appetisers and look fabulous with their contrasting colours. This is a bit of a Christmas morning…

Root Vegetable Crisps with Herb Salt
Homemade Root Vegetable Crisps, Herb Salt

These homemade root vegetable crisps are easy to make and cost the fraction of the price of commercial alternatives.…

Warm Spring Vegetable Medley by Amelia Freer
Warm Spring Medley

This is a real celebration of spring veg. The ingredient list here could easily read ‘any green spring vegetables that your…

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…

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…

Broad Bin Dip with crudite
Broad Bean Dip with Crunchy Veg

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

Homemade Sauerkraut
Homemade Sauerkraut

To make sauerkraut, cabbage is fermented by bacteria to give it a delicious sour taste. Sauerkraut contains fibre, vitamins…

English Summer Garden Salad
Garden Summer Salad

A beautiful salad is the epitome of summer when we are blessed with an abundance of resplendent seasonal produce.

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…

Summary Potato Salad
Summery Potato Salad

Cooking, then cooling potatoes increases the ‘resistant starch’ in them. This is a type of fibre that the beneficial…

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…

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…

Chickpea & Aubergine Salad
Chickpea & Aubergine Salad

Chickpeas are a starchy carbohydrate, but they also contain protein. They are a brilliant substitute for meat, as…

Spiced Chickpea, Kale & Squash (or Pumpkin) Salad
Spiced Chickpea, Kale & Squash (or Pumpkin) Salad

This is a hearty salad, packed with flavour and goodness - it takes a little time to prepare but is a meal in itself, and is…

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…

Warming Chicken & Pumpkin Soup by Amelia Freer
Warming Chicken & Pumpkin Soup

This is a treasured recipe – I’ve been making it for many years and it still remains a favourite. Chicken soup has been used…

Kale & Bean Soup with Pistachio & Lemon Pisto by Amelia Freer
Kale & Bean Soup with Pistachio & Lemon Pistou

This is a clean and simple kale soup that holds its own alone but comes alive with a tangy fresh pistachio and lemon pistou…

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.

Yellow Courgette, Herb & Feta Salad by Amelia Freer
Yellow Courgette, Herb & Feta Salad

This is a super-quick dish (but no less impressive or tasty), bursting with flavour and goodness. You can, of course,…

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…

Jerusalem Artichoke, Chestnut & Celeriac Puree
Jerusalem Artichoke, Chestnut & Celeriac Puree

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

Warm Jerusalem Artichoke Salad
Warm Jerusalem Artichoke Salad

This warm salad is both filling and delicious. Jerusalem artichoke is a little like a potato but more nutty, earthy and…

Wild Rice Purple Salad
Wild Rice Purple Salad

This is a stunning winter grain salad with nutty wild rice. If the bitter radicchio or chicory are hard to find, red cabbage…

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…

Lentil, Beetroot & Hazelnut Salad with Ginger Dressing by Amelia Freer
Lentil, Beetroot & Hazelnut Salad with Ginger Dressing

Nourish your body with this hearty salad complete with a warming ginger dressing. Lentils provide protein, essential…

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…

Avocado Papaya Salsa by Amelia Freer
Avocado Papaya Salsa

This zingy, zesty salsa contains a variety of essential vitamins and antioxidants, as well as fibre to help support our…

Lettuce Boats & Picnic Pots by Amelia Freer
Lettuce Boats & Picnic Pots

These are delightful little pots for picnics and lunch boxes: potted crab, crayfish tails, and light smoked mackerel ‘pâté’…

Simple Ratatouille by Amelia Freer
Simple Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a great Sunday (or any other day!) ‘cook-up’ dish to prepare in advance for the week, as it always tastes…

Asian Chicken Pot Noodle
Asian Chicken Pot Noodle

This is a fun way to make a healthier version of the pot noodle. It’s a quick, portable lunch - so long as you can get…

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…

Vegetable Soufflé with Parsley, Sage & Rosemary by Amelia Freer
Vegetable Soufflé with Parsley, Sage & Rosemary

Don’t be put off by the name ‘soufflé’ as this is just my simplified version and much easier to make. These are great to…

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.

Avocado and Broad Beans on Toast

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

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…

Summery Lemon & Herb Warm Chicken Salad
Summery Lemon & Herb Warm Chicken Salad

This salad is a lovely light lunch or evening meal, but equally tasty, nutritious and filling. Peas and runner beans contain…

Chicken Nuggets with Mango & Avocado Salsa by Amelia Freer
Chicken Nuggets with Mango & Avocado Salsa

Here’s a recipe for the whole family – it’s a healthier (and dare I say, tastier!) version of chicken nuggets.

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…

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…

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…


Although the weather isn’t always kind to us in Britain, an easy way to evoke the sunnier climes of southern France is…

Poached Thai Salmon & Pak Choi
Poached Thai Salmon & Pak Choi

This is a failsafe, light (but satisfying) meal. Poached salmon is not only tender and delicious, but also contains the…

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…

Butternut ‘Squashetti’ with Sage & Pine Nuts
Butternut ‘Squashetti’ with Sage & Pine Nuts

This is a classic Italian flavour pairing of butternut squash, sage and pine nuts and it’s a dream. Squash contains many…

Turkey Meatball Tacos, by Amelia Freer (gluten Free)
Turkey Meatball Tacos

Turkey works wonderfully well in these meatballs, which lend themselves perfectly to sharing: lay all the parts out and…

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…

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…

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,…

Spring Garden Salad with Watercress & Hazelnut Pesto
Gluten Free Spring Tart

This salad is a super celebrations of spring and the fresh green bounty of salad vegetables that the season brings. It lends…

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…

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…

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…

Crunchy Harissa Chickpea by Amelia Freer
Crunchy Harissa Chickpeas

In my pre-nutritionist days I was a crisp addict – they were a hard habit to break.  These baked chickpeas are a perfect…

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…