In this article I want to teach you how to prepare a low-calorie but satiating weekly menu, specifically a fresh menu that will be ideal for the summer months .
Depending on the time of year in which we find ourselves, our eating and culinary habits change. In summer, we tend not to spend much time at home, whether it’s because we’re at the beach, on vacation or strolling along a promenade.
The change of routine together with the high temperatures affects us in the time we dedicate to cooking and in the choices of the preparations that we make in our day to day. In general, we tend to opt for preparations and foods that hydrate us, refresh us, are lighter, easier and faster to prepare. For this reason, today we share this weekly menu with summer overtones and low in calories , so it will be ideal if you want to lose weight in a healthy way and without being hungry or anxious. In fact, I do not recommend resorting to weekly menus that may help you lose weight but make you hungry and therefore anxious .
When making this menu I have thought of 4 points that for me are essential to have a low-calorie summer menu.
- Use vegetables from the summer season: they will be fresher, tastier and better preserve their nutritional properties (aromas, taste, flavor, vitamin and mineral content…). In addition, they will be more economical and sustainable from an environmental point of view.
- Fresh and light preparations: gazpacho, salads, citrus sauces, etc. At the time of year in which we find ourselves in Spain, we rarely feel like eating a stew or a soup, but rather the opposite.
That is why I have taken into account that the recipes on the menu are fresh preparations . Besides, this time of year is good to increase the consumption of raw vegetables and fruits , something that in the winter time it is more difficult for us to introduce into our daily diet.
- With low-calorie sauces and vinaigrettes : there is no denying that sauces and vinaigrettes add flavor and are the finishing touch of a good salad. The sauce and vinaigrette recipes that are on the menu have been designed to provide us with a lot of flavor and freshness and can be part of any weight loss or slimming guideline .
- Sufficient amount of vegetables: when it comes to losing weight, vegetables will be our allies. They will provide us with vitamins, minerals and fiber, which will keep us well nourished and satiated throughout the day . All the recipes will give us approximately 200g of vegetables per serving.
Batch cooking of the weekly low-calorie summer menu
This weekly low-calorie summer menu has something special, and it is that I have prepared it thinking of making a small batch cooking (a planning of several preparations that can be cooked in a couple of hours) easy and simple, and thus not having no excuse when it comes to taking the tupper to the beach.
A total of 6 batch cooking recipes will be made, we will take advantage of one day of the week to make several ready-made or semi-cooked preparations, which we will be using throughout the week, which are the ones that you can find in the video that I share in this same article .
- Integral pasta: 2 times/week (Monday lunch and Wednesday dinner).
- Green bean: 1v/week (Monday lunch)
- Hake with onion and peas: 2 times a week (Tuesday dinner and Thursday lunch).
- Sauteed zucchini, onion, curry and soy sauce: 2v/week. (Wednesday lunch sautéed with beans and Friday dinner to accompany the omelette) The sautéed zucchini, onion, curry and soy sauce will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days without any problem. In this case, since it is set for dinner on Friday, being the fifth day, this stir-fry would be frozen and it would be taken out of the freezer in the morning and left in the fridge, so that it would be defrosted at dinner time. Therefore, if you do the batch cooking on Sunday, when you cook it, separate a part for Friday and freeze it.
- Salad base 1: fresh spinach, cherry tomato and spring onion (Tuesday lunch and Wednesday dinner).
- Sea bream macerated with lime, ginger and soy sauce: 1v/week (Monday dinner).
- Gazpacho: 2v/week (Monday dinner and Thursday dinner).
Ingredients of this low-calorie menu
Below I share with you a list of ingredients of the preparations of this ideal batch cooking for weight loss diets . Remember that you don’t have to have the exact same ingredients that I use. If you have similar ingredients it will suffice.
Hake with onion and peas (1 person):
1-2 slices or loins of hake, clean and without bones
1 medium onion
½ glass of dry white wine or vegetable broth or fish broth
Sautéed beans with zucchini, onion, curry and soy sauce (1 person):
½ medium zucchini
1 small onion
1 small pot of pinto beans
Lentil, spring onion, Cherry tomato and melon salad (1 person):
1 small jar of lentils
¼ spring onion
5-6 cherry tomatoes
2-3 handfuls of fresh spinach
½ thin melon slice
Lemon mint and pepper dressing (1 person):
2 mint leaves
Sea bream macerated with lemon, soy sauce and ginger (1 person):
1-2 clean sea bream fillets
1.5 cm grated ginger
Gazpacho or cold tomato juice (1 person):
300g ripe pear tomato or a mixture of several tomatoes
¼ green pepper
1/8 spring onion
Elaboration process of this low-calorie batchcooking
When it comes to batch cooking, the key is to take advantage of all the cooking times to get recipes ahead of time. So first of all we will make those recipes that do not need supervision (such as boiling pasta and rice), then we will cut the vegetables and then we will continue with the longer preparations. While these are cooking, we will take the opportunity to prepare the bases for salads, gazpachos… and other easy and quick recipes to prepare.
Step 1: We advance menu cooking
First we will boil the water from the pasta and the green beans. Meanwhile, we will cut the green beans to taste, and we will start to cut the vegetables of the following preparations (hake with onion and peas).
Step 2: First preparation of our weight loss meal planning
Once the vegetables are cut, we will add the pasta and the beans to the water. And we will begin to prepare the hake with onion and peas.
- Cut the onions.
- Add olive oil in a saucepan.
- Brown the onion.
- Add the hake and peas. Let cook 5 minutes.
- Add the white wine. Let cook 10 minutes over low-medium heat.
Take into account the number of people and the number of days that you will eat it throughout the week. For example, if we are 4 people at home and we want to prepare “Hake with onion and peas” for 2 days, we would cook 8 slices of hake (4 slices per day), 2 medium onions (1 per day) and enough peas for the 4 two days.
When it comes to freezing or storing in the fridge, first of all we have to do is lower the temperature. In the industry there are machines designed for this purpose (blast chillers) that what they do is lower the temperature of the food quickly. At home, as we do not have this type of machinery, we have to be more careful. And how will we do it:
- Separate the preparation into tupperware. The smaller the portion, the faster the food will cool.
- To avoid cross-contamination with other foods or substances, we will cover it and leave the containers in the coolest area of the kitchen.
- Once the temperature drops, store in the fridge immediately. We will try to leave the food at room temperature for as short a time as possible and under no circumstances will the food be out of the refrigerator for a period longer than 1.5 hours – 2 hours.
Since it is very hot in summer, to speed up the process, I recommend putting the tupperware in a bain-marie with cold water and ice. Go stirring the tupper so that it cools evenly.
Step 3: We prepare the vegetables with beans to cover two preparations from our menu
Once we have the pasta, the beans and the hake with peas done, we are going to prepare the rest of the preparations. First we will make the sautéed courgette, onion, curry and soy sauce, and meanwhile we will prepare the gazpacho.
- Cut the zucchini and onion. We will use this stir-fry for two days. The first day (Wednesday lunch) we will sauté it with beans, and the rest we will freeze, for Friday dinner, which will be our contribution of vegetables.
- Add olive oil in a pan and cook the vegetables
- Meanwhile, we will take the opportunity to make the gazpacho. Cut all the ingredients. Place them in the blender jar. Crush and store in a glass bottle in the fridge. You can add the oil and vinegar at this time or at the time of serving.
- When the vegetables are soft, add the soy sauce and curry to taste. Let cook about 8 minutes over low-medium heat. Until some of the soy sauce evaporates.
- Separate a part, which will be the one that we will freeze or keep in the fridge for a maximum of 3-4 days.
- Leave the rest in the pan and add the beans, previously drained. Saute it all together for a few minutes so that it takes on flavor and place in a tupperware.
Step 4: Marinated sea bream and salads in this low-calorie batch cooking
Finally, we will prepare, macerated sea bream with lime, ginger and soy sauce and we will leave preparation of the pasta salad with green beans and the lentil salad for last.
- Place the cleaned sea bream loins in a tupperware. The spine must be completely flat and with enough space.
- Add the lime juice, soy sauce and grated ginger. The sea bream has to be covered by the juice.
- Store in the fridge until cooking time (Monday night).
- Next, we will prepare the lentil salad, in a tupperware place the spinach, the cherry tomato cut in half, the julienned onion, the melon or any fruit rich in vitamin C and the previously rinsed and drained lentils. Store in the fridge without seasoning.
- Dressing, in a small airtight jar, add the juice of 1-2 lemons, some chopped mint leaves, salt and pepper. Dress the salad at the time of consumption.
In order to improve the absorption of iron in this salad, we have added a dressing based on lemon juice and a seasonal fruit rich in vitamin C, the melon. In the event that you do not consume melon or you do not like lemon juice-based dressing, there are many other fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C. Next, I will indicate fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C that you can include and adapt them to your tastes and those of the whole family .
Note on foods rich in Vitamin C
- Fruits (from more to less amount of vitamin C per 100 g): guava, blackcurrant, kiwi, papaya, lychee, strawberry, orange, lemon, grapefruit, lime, melon, redcurrant, mango, tangerine, peach, raspberry . Also in juice.
- Vegetables: bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, watercress, kale, red cabbage, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, turnip tops, Swiss chard, sweet potato, sweet potato, tomato.
- We will finish by assembling the wholemeal pasta salad with green beans, roasted pepper, natural tuna and fresh cheese.
In case you are more than one at home, think about adapting the menu to the rest of the family. Avoid eating differently from the rest of the family, that will allow you to maintain this habit throughout your life . Both this batch cooking menu and any other menu must always be adapted to the tastes of the house and your routines. Don’t be afraid to swap one vegetable for another, one fish for another, or even one carbohydrate for another. It is normal that we do not like all the ingredients or recipes.
The idea is that with this menu it serves as a base and that you encourage yourself to prepare your batch cooking menu at home, thinking of all the guests, their routines, habits and, very importantly, their tastes.
If you make the menu thinking about the tastes at home or changing those ingredients that you do not like at home, you will see how it will be much easier for you to make the change and maintain a healthy diet throughout your life .