If you’re on a weight loss journey, you’ll probably want to cut back on takeaways and convenience food. You’ll notice that everywhere you turn for weight loss advice will suggest the same thing: you’ve gotta cook. What if you’ve got no idea where to start? You need some recipes for beginners. 

Cooking is just a case of reading a recipe and following what it says. If you can read, you can cook. There’s no need for fancy ingredients or experimentation. In fact, dishes are better when you make them with basic ingredients and simple methods. You don’t need to be Heston Blumenthal to whip up delicious and healthy meals at home.

Here are 7 recipes to get you started, and there’s not a soubise, remoulade or mirepoix in sight (yes we did literally just Google ‘fancy cooking terms’, we’re not exactly Michelin starred here either).

Recipes for Beginners: spaghetti bolognese

1. Spaghetti bolognese

Bolognese is a feature in our meal plans almost every week because it’s so easy to make and apart from the mince, makes use of storecupboard ingredients which we’ve almost always got in. It also helps that it’s is pretty difficult to mess up so it’s perfect for kitchen novices. Mince, tomatoes, spaghetti and a twist of Parmesan on top and you’re done. Mmmmm.

chilli

2. Chilli

Since you’re going to buy mince anyway, use what’s left over from making a bolognese to make chilli. It’s delicious, goes with many things (rice, tortilla wraps, baked potatoes) and is a good excuse to consume lots of sour cream and guacamole. Or y’know, however much you can shoehorn into your calorie goal. 

chips

3. Chips

Who said you can’t still eat chips while on a diet? Don’t look at us, we’re firm believers that you can enjoy chips drenched in ketchup and salt every now and then and still lose weight. Instead of getting them from the chippy where they’re deep fried, make them at home in the oven for a healthier alternative that’s just as delicious. 

roast chicken

4. Roast chicken

There’s something very impressive about a whole roast chicken and nothing suggests you know your way around a kitchen more than crispy skin and juicy meat. It looks more difficult than it is because you can’t go far wrong if you follow the cooking times and keep it simple – lemon and garlic are all you need.

curry

5. Curry

There are so many curry recipes and you can get carried away with adding loads of different spices and cooking it for days and while that’s delicious, and something you should definitely try if you’re a curry lover, sometimes you just need it to be quick, simple and leave very little in the way of washing up. This biriyani ticks all the boxes and as a bonus, you could use up any leftover roast chicken.

Pork stir fry - Recipes for Beginners

6. Stir fry

A stir fry is possibly the quickest dish you can rustle up. Once you’ve chopped and assembled all of your ingredients it’s literally ready in a matter of minutes. Alright, so it’s difficult to beat an MSG-laden tray of chow mein from your local Chinese, but for something that will take five minutes of your time and can make use of any sorry-looking veg you’ve got lingering in the fridge, it’s not bad at all.

7. Soup

Soup can be boring, or it can be the perfect lunch option. This roasted butternut squash soup is our favourite soup recipe and is often a lunchtime fixture here at MVF HQ because it’s easy to make, packed full of veggies and will feed you for the entire week from just one kitchen session. 

What are your favourite easy recipes? Let us know in the forum