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HomeHealthsThe scrumptious recipes to help you lose weight and feel good

The scrumptious recipes to help you lose weight and feel good


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Whether served in a spicy curry, a fragrant stir-fry or as part of a colourful salad, more and more of us are enjoying vegetables, herbs and pulses as alternatives to a mainly meat-based diet. And there’s no time like summer for exploring new flavours.

‘Fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables such as asparagus, peas, tomatoes and berries are one of the pleasures of summer,’ says Jess O’Shea, a nutritionist at WeightWatchers.

‘Not only are they delicious and packed with healthy minerals, vitamins and other nutrients, but veggies and most fruits are either ZeroPoint foods with WeightWatchers or have very low PersonalPoint values because of their incredible benefits for your health. They’re valuable allies if you’re aiming to lose weight and get fitter.’

There’s a huge body of scientific research to show the enormous health benefits of eating a wide variety of plant-based foods. They’re brimming with natural compounds known as phytochemicals, which give them their colour and flavour, and have been shown to help boost your immune system as well as reduce your risk of some diseases.

Non-starchy vegetables in particular — from green beans to tomatoes, peppers and spinach — have been identified as being so rich in health-boosting properties that they are listed as ZeroPoint foods for all plans on WW’s PersonalPoints programme.

Not only that, but you can actually claim extra PersonalPoints for your daily budget just by eating veggies!

You’ll add an extra Point for each handful of different non-starchy vegetables that you eat, no matter what other ZeroPoint food categories you’ve also chosen.

So by adding a small salad and a serving of broccoli to your lunch and a handful of cherry tomatoes to your dinner at night, you’ll gain three extra PersonalPoints for your budget to spend however you want — it really is as easy as that.

‘Vegetables and fruit are a fantastic natural source of fibre, which is great for your gut health and also helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer — another bonus,’ says Jess O’Shea.

‘There’s a huge range of plant-based recipes to enjoy at WW — from light and sustaining to filling and comforting. So there’s every reason to add more veggies to your diet — and even to base many of your meals around them. Try to enjoy as many different varieties as you can, as this has been shown to be particularly beneficial to health.’

Now summer is here, this is super simple, as you can see from the delectable recipes we’re sharing today as we continue our exclusive series with WW, to help you lose up to half a stone by the start of the school holidays. It will help you enjoy whatever activities you have planned for the summer months by becoming fitter, healthier and with a more positive outlook on life.

To help you get off to a flying start, WW is offering two months’ free membership to Daily Mail readers — see the back page of this pullout for details.

Are you tempted by the thought of a lunch or dinner of savoury mushrooms, gently roasted with garlic, shallots, rosemary, thyme and red peppers?

Or perhaps you’d prefer a scrumptious bowl of quick cauliflower fried rice or Cajun-style tofu with corn salsa and a crispy salad? All of these delicious dishes — the recipes are shared here — have zero or very few PersonalPoints and they can be on the table within 45 minutes or even less.

So what are you waiting for? Just pick the dish that appeals to you most and give it a try . . . there’s a whole new repertoire of fuss-free and delicious vegetable-based dishes just waiting for you.

 Cajun-style tofu with corn salsa & crispy salad 

Prep 15 mins l Cook 25 mins  


Serves 4

  • 396g pack firm tofu
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 ½ tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp garlic granules
  • ½tsp cayenne pepper
  • Calorie-controlled cooking spray
  • 2 corn cobs
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 red chilli, finely diced
  • Small handful of coriander, finely chopped
  • 170g mixed salad leaves

Wrap the tofu in kitchen paper and put on a plate. Put another plate on top and weigh it down using a full tin of food. Leave for 30 minutes to drain, pour off the liquid and cut into 12 slices.

Combine the thyme, paprikas, oregano, garlic granules and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Dust the tofu slices in the spices, cover and set aside.

Mist a large griddle pan with cooking spray and put over a medium-high heat. Add the corn cobs and fry for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally until they are evenly charred.

Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Use a sharp knife to slice the corn kernels off the cobs. Leave to cool completely, then toss with the cherry tomatoes, spring onions, chilli and coriander. Set aside.

Reheat the griddle pan and mist again with cooking spray. Add the tofu and cook on both sides for 3 minutes. Arrange the salad leaves on plates and top with the corn salsa and tofu before serving.


At the heart of the WeightWatchers approach to healthy eating is the PersonalPoints system, rooted in cutting-edge nutritional science and clinically proven to help you lose up to 2 lb a week.

When you join WW, you’ll take an online assessment, then receive a unique programme created by the WW app. Every food and drink has a PersonalPoints value — one easy-to-understand number that helps you assess its health value.

Foods high in calories, sugar and saturated fats, which are worse for health, have higher PersonalPoints values, while those higher in protein, fibre and unsaturated fats have lower values. Some foods, with numerous health benefits, have been classified as ZeroPoint foods, ie, they have a Points value of 0. You can choose your own ZeroPoint foods — they’ll form the basis of your meals and snacks.

You’ll be given a daily PersonalPoints budget to spend however you like — everyone’s budget is different and is calculated after taking into account a number of factors including your sex, age, activity levels and which ZeroPoint foods you choose. You can also add Points to your daily budget by drinking 1.75 litres of water a day, eating non-starchy vegetables and for any activity you do such as walking (all calculated by the WW app).

The Points value of each WW recipe will vary depending on your personalised plan, so the range we’ve given in this pullout is a guide. Once you’re a member, the WW App will work out the right Points total for you.

Savoury stuffed mushrooms

Prep 20 mins l Cook 25 mins


Serves 8

  • 16 large mushrooms, stems removed
  • Calorie-controlled cooking spray
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 100g mixed mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 180c/ fan 160c/gas 4. Place the large mushrooms on a foil-lined baking tray, mist with cooking spray and season. Roast for 15 minutes, then pat dry.

Coat a pan with cooking spray and set over a medium-high heat. Add the shallots and chopped mushrooms and fry for 10 minutes, stirring until softened. Add the garlic, herbs and red pepper, then stir and cook for 1 minute. Season to taste. Divide the sautéed vegetable mixture between the large mushrooms and serve, garnished with thyme.

One-pot curry-spiced rice

Prep 5 mins l Cook 30 mins


Serves 4

  • Calorie-controlled cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp tikka masala curry paste
  • 280g brown basmati rice, rinsed under cold running water
  • 350g cauliflower florets
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 650ml vegetable stock, made with 1 stock cube
  • Small handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped, to serve
  • Lime wedges, to serve

Mist a large nonstick pan with cooking spray and fry the curry paste over a medium heat for 1 minute. Add the rice, cauliflower and chickpeas, then stir to combine. Pour in the hot vegetable stock, stir well, then bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes, until the liquid is completely absorbed and the cauliflower and rice are tender. Divide the rice between bowls, scatter over the coriander and serve with the lime wedges on the side.

The ZeroPoint foods you can choose from 

Everyone’s food tastes and eating habits are different, which is why WeightWatchers’ PersonalPoints programme has been specially designed so you can select your own ZeroPoint food categories. These form the basis of your meals and are your go-to foods for snacks.

WW’s online assessment will help you identify which foods you might like — but it’s totally up to you to choose. You can select from the following: avocados; beans, peas and lentils; chicken and turkey breast; eggs; fish and shellfish; fruits; oats; wholewheat pasta; corn and popcorn; potatoes and sweet potatoes; brown rice and quinoa; tofu and tempeh; non-starchy vegetables; yoghurt and cottage cheese (dairy and non-dairy).

The ZeroPoint foods you choose will influence how many PersonalPoints you have in your daily budget.


Spanish omelette

Prep 15 mins l Cook 50 mins


Serves 4

  • 400g waxy potatoes, cut into 3mm slices
  • Calorie-controlled cooking spray
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 9 eggs, beaten
  • Small handful fresh flat-leaf parsley



  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 100g rocket
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cucumber, cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler

Put the potatoes in a pan and pour over boiling water until just covered. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 15 minutes or until just tender, then drain and set aside.

Preheat the grill to medium. Mist a 23cm nonstick ovenproof frying pan with cooking spray and fry the onions for 6-8 minutes until soft, then add the red pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.

Mist the pan again with cooking spray and add the potatoes to the onions and pepper. Season to taste, then pour in the eggs and cook over a medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes or until most of the egg has set – check you can lift up the bottom of the omelette with a spatula. Transfer the pan to the grill and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the top of the omelette has set.

Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice together in a small jug, then toss with the rocket, tomatoes and cucumber in a serving bowl.

Scatter the parsley over the cooled omelette, then slice into wedges and serve with the salad.

Air-fryer falafel salad bowl 

Prep 25 mins l Cook 20 mins


Serves 4

  • 60g white pitta bread, torn into small chunks
  • Calorie-controlled cooking spray
  • 120g salad leaves
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 200g cucumber, chopped
  • Lemon wedges, to serve


  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 15g fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped, plus extra to garnish
  • 15g fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 45g cornflour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds


  • 50g tahini
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tsp agave syrup

Preheat an air fryer to 180c. Put the pitta pieces into a bowl, mist with cooking spray, season and toss to coat. Arrange the pieces in the air fryer basket in a single layer and cook for 6-7 minutes until crisp. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Wipe clean the air fryer basket and reheat to 180c.

To make the falafels, put the chickpeas, onion, herbs, garlic and spices into a food processor, and season well. Pulse to a rough paste. Sprinkle in 40g of the cornflour plus the baking powder and pulse until well combined.

Dampen your hands with water, then form the falafel mixture into 16 balls. Add the remaining cornflour if it is too wet. Spread the sesame seeds over a plate and roll the balls in the seeds – they don’t need to be completely covered. Mist the air-fryer basket with cooking spray. Arrange the falafels in the basket and mist with more cooking spray, then cook for 12 minutes until golden and slightly crisp — you may need to do this in batches.

To make the salad dressing, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, agave syrup and 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Add a splash more water if the dressing is too thick. Season to taste.

Divide the salad leaves, red onion, tomatoes and cucumber between serving bowls. Top with the falafels and pitta chips, then drizzle over the dressing, garnish with the extra parsley and serve with the lemon wedges.

Quick cauliflower fried rice

Prep 10 mins l Cook 5 mins


Serves 4

  • Calorie-controlled cooking spray
  • 140g cabbage, sliced
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped 
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 300g sugar snap peas, halved diagonally
  • 5 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 450g cauliflower rice
  • 3 tbsp reduced salt soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar

Mist a large frying pan with cooking spray. Place over a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the cabbage, carrot, ginger and garlic. Stir-fry for two minutes.

Add the sugar snap peas, spring onions and cauliflower rice.

Stir-fry until tender, for about three to five minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the soy sauce and rice vinegar.

Serve warm.

Jewelled citrus salad with lime & mint

Prep 15 mins 


Serves 6

  • 2 ruby grapefruit
  • 2 large oranges
  • 2 clementines or satsumas
  • 12 physalis berries
  • Seeds of ½ pomegranate
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar

Peel the grapefruit, oranges and clementines, removing as much of the white pith as you can. For the grapefruit and oranges, you may find it easier to use a knife to slice the top and bottom off, then cut away the rest of the peel. Slice the fruit crossways, removing any seeds.

Arrange the slices of fruit on a platter. Reserve four of the physalis berries, then remove the others from their papery pods, cut the berries into halves and scatter them over the other fruit. Sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds.

Using a pestle and mortar, crush the lime zest, mint leaves and caster sugar together until you have a rough paste. Add one or two tablespoons of water, mixing until you have a drizzling consistency. Garnish the fruit salad with the reserved physalis berries and serve with the lime and mint dressing.

Rainbow pops

Prep 15 mins + freezing


Serves 4

  • 70g raspberries
  • 70g blueberries
  • 40g banana
  • 40g 0% fat natural Greek yoghurt 
  • 70g mango, peeled and chopped
  • 70g kiwi, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice

Blitz the raspberries and 1 teaspoon of cold water in a blender until smooth. Divide the purée between four 100ml lolly moulds, making your first layer. Put in the freezer for 10 minutes. Rinse the blender, add the blueberries and 1 teaspoon cold water and blitz until smooth. Divide between the moulds and return to the freezer for 10 minutes. Clean the blender, then blitz together the banana and yoghurt until smooth. 

Use it to make another stripe in the lolly moulds and return to the freezer for 10 minutes. Rinse the blender, add the mango and 1 tablespoon cold water and whiz until smooth. Use it to make a new stripe in the moulds, then freeze for 10 minutes. Clean the blender and blitz together the kiwi and lime juice. Add to the moulds and push a lolly stick into each, leaving enough poking out to hold. Freeze for 4 hours, or until solid.

No more hiding away in oversized baggy clothes 

Katie Walter, 27, who works for a mobile phone network, lost 1st 6lb, reduced her risk of prediabetes and improved her self-confidence after joining WW. Katie, who lives in Thatcham, Berkshire, with her boyfriend Ben Wickens, 30, who works for an energy company, went from 12st 4lb to 10st 12lb, dropping from a dress size 16 to a size 12. She is 5ft 1in. 

She says: My WAKE-UP call was a weekend in Vienna with some girlfriends. We had a lovely time but the trip was ruined when I saw the photos afterwards. I hated how I looked — my face was so round you could hardly see my eyes and I was hiding in baggy, oversized coats, hoping no one would see me. I lacked any self-confidence, was often argumentative and just felt sad a lot of the time. I

’d always been the chubby one in class and had yo-yo dieted most of my adult life — I’d lost weight but then I’d give up and put it all back on again, and more. But this time I was determined and desperate to change. Around the same time, I’d had a health check at a gym and they flagged up that I carry a lot of weight around my tummy — my waist size then was 40in. 

This kind of fat is linked to developing type 2 diabetes, which runs in my family, so that was an alarm bell for me. But most of all I was sick of feeling miserable. I joined WW in December 2019. I was immediately struck by the way WW helps you to form new habits and strike a balance in life. I love eating out with friends and with Ben and with the WW plan I can still do that by planning all my meals so I stay within my Points Budget. 

The app was a brilliant help because it gives Points values for a range of different restaurant meals, so nothing was left to­ ­guesswork. The weight dropped off — I’d lost at least a stone within six months. I really took to the new PersonalPoints programme. 

Ben is a keen runner and likes to eat carbs, so I’ve chosen potatoes and pasta as my ZeroPoint foods, which means we can easily enjoy the same meals in the evening. The programme also reinforces healthy habits such as drinking enough water. Being properly hydrated  has really improved my skin — clearing up the few hormonal blemishes that I had before — and makes me feel more alert. I’d like to lose another stone in the future, but I am happy with what I’ve achieved so far and I love the recipes. 

Healthy meals that won’t cost the earth 

You’re keen to embrace healthier eating but, with the rising cost of living, you could be forgiven for wondering if this will also take its toll on your wallet. ‘But the good news is that healthy eating really doesn’t have to cost the earth, particularly if you’re cooking from scratch,’ says WeightWatchers’ nutritionist Jess O’Shea. 

‘WW’s recipes involve buying a few, good-quality, nutritious ingredients that will keep you feeling satisfied for longer. You’ll be spending less on expensive ready meals, takeaways and impulse purchases, too. ‘If you plan meals in advance and batch cook (freezing extra portions for later) it will be easier to keep track of your PersonalPoints and budget. You will only be buying the ingredients you need, also reducing food waste.’ 

Fresh fruit and veg can easily be replaced with frozen or tinned in some recipes — not only is it just as nutritious, but it’s usually cheaper and can be kept for longer. ‘To ensure you stay within your PersonalPoints Budget and make choices that will benefit your overall health, it’s best to avoid fruit in syrup, and choose vegetables that are cooked in spring water,’ explains Jess O’Shea. 

If you do buy fresh veg, try looking out for ‘wonky’ items, which taste good but can be cheaper. And make sure you store them properly — nothing ruins a salad quicker than soggy spinach or shrivelled tomatoes. A few vegetables, such as potatoes, should be stored in a cool, dry place. 

Most can be kept in the fridge, where the optimum temperature is about 4.5c (any lower and you risk freezing them). To prevent veggies from drying out and getting soft, you should keep them in a humid environment by placing them in a plastic bag in the salad drawer. 

You don’t have to buy expensive cuts of meat — if you’ve got a slow cooker at home, you can use cheaper ones. Try braising steak (cutting off the fat before cooking) to make a casserole. 

Avoiding convenience meals also helps; you could buy a whole chicken, cook it, cut the meat off the bone, then make a broth with the carcass — it will go much further than a chicken breast pack. 

If you join WW, you’ll find the app is also packed with other budget-friendly advice and healthy family meals — including recipes for four for under a fiver. Shop-bought snacks are also expensive. Limit how many you buy or, better still, bake your own instead. It costs less and is healthier and more fun. Simply use the WW app for inspiration, get the kids involved and start experimenting. 


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