Confession: Ben has a bit of an obsession with cookbooks. At last count we had over 120, and that was about 2 and a half years ago. I’d estimate that we now have at least 180, if not over 200 – oops! Luckily we do use them, a lot actually. We make a different meal every single night and very rarely repeat recipes, and the majority of the time, these recipes come from one of our (many!) recipe books.
Every birthday and Christmas means we’ll get new recipe books for each other – okay, I admit that I do really quite like them too! But at Christmas this year, I got a couple of the ones I knew Ben wanted but was a bit stuck as I wanted to get him another but wasn’t sure which. The Lean in 15 books kept popping up as bestsellers, but I kept dismissing them because they looked like health and diet books rather than the usual recipe book we like.
In the end, I didn’t buy one for Christmas, but we did watch a programme which extolled the virtues of Lean in 15, and we’d kickstarted the year trying to be more healthy, so we decided to buy the first book – The Shift Plan – and see what it was all about. You’ve probably come across “The Body Coach” Joe Wicks on Instagram, or at least heard of him – check him out here, but make sure you’re not wearing headphones on the videos – you might get deafened!
It turns out that these books actually fit really well with our cooking ethos of really good tasting food that’s not too expensive and is quick to make. Working full time jobs, arriving home after 6pm everyday and having other commitments outside work some nights means we want quick, tasty food. We’d also started trying to eat healthier in the new year, and these of course promise that too.
In the end, we loved the recipes from The Shift Plan so much that we bought the other two books: The Sustain Plan and The Shape Plan. Each book has a slightly different focus, as you can tell from their names, but they all include low to no carb recipes (or higher carb ones for post-workout) that can mostly be ready in 15 minutes and some short 15 minute long workout plans.
We’re not using the workouts very much (if at all!), mostly for me because I’ve been given a programme by our personal trainer at work that I’m using right now. But we’ve used the recipes A LOT. So I decided to share a few recipes we’ve made from the books already as we’ve enjoyed them all a lot – these are just a few because I haven’t managed to photograph them all before eating, whoops!
Cheat’s Chicken Caesar Salad – Lean in 15: The Sustain Plan
Chicken Caesar Salad is a fave in our house and we really enjoyed this cheat’s version of it. To be honest, it’s not all that cheaty but swaps in eggs for more protein. We didn’t have any (in date…) pine nuts, so those should be there, but this was super tasty and one we’ll definitely do again. The dressing needed a slug of white wine vinegar, but everything else was well balanced and veggie-packed!
Quick Tortilla Pizza – Lean in 15: The Sustain Plan
This is one of the recipes with carbs and was pretty good! I’ve always liked the idea of using a (wholewheat) tortilla instead of a pizza base, and this made this a really quick and easy meal. We mixed up our toppings a little bit – I didn’t have the egg and added a bit of mozzarella to up the healthy fat and protein (and flavour!).
Chicken & Parmesan Melts – Lean in 15: The Sustain Plan
This was SO GOOD!! Who would have thought melted cheese on chicken would be healthy?! Okay, we added a piece of bacon each because we had these left in the fridge, but that’s not going to kill us ;D I loved the tomato sauce on this topped with cheese, and the avocado with it makes gives it a lovely healthy fat (that I love eating!) – a personal fave!
Greens, Eggs & Ham – Lean in 15: The Shape Plan
We bought a ham a while ago and so this recipe fit really well with cooking it at the weekend to have for Monday night tea, meaning it was really quick to make when we got home from work. The veggie mix of spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes was really yummy, and we chucked a handful of sweet potato wedges on each because Ben had bought a new oven tray that promised to make them crispy that he wanted to test (spoiler: it worked!).
Prawn & Beansprout Omelette – Lean in 15: The Shift Plan
What I love about the Lean in 15 recipes is that you’re filling up on protein and healthy fats rather than carbs, and this is a perfect example of this – lots of egg, prawn and veggies, healthy and tasty! We’ve actually managed to massively cut down on the amount of carbs we eat easily because of recipes like this one and not feel hungry. In fact, now when we do eat carbs, we get full way too quickly!
Joe’s Chicken Pie – Lean in 15: The Shift Plan
This one is actually one of the few recipes that takes longer than 15 minutes, but was good for a Friday evening when we had more time to cook! We added carrots for an extra veg, and again, it was really good! It was creamy and tasted like it should be unhealthy, but apparently it’s not!
Have you tried any Lean in 15 recipes? What do you think of them?