Kate's Week 2 Challenge Check-In

Kate's Cook-a-long! Low Calorie Bolognese

Lujain's guide to eating a balanced diet on a budget

With the latest cost of living crisis looming, it can be tempting to opt for cheaper, unhealthy alternatives like that bag of frozen nuggets In your freezer. Not to mention juggling your busy lives with finding the time to create balanced recipes every day. But never fear! I am here to help.

Here are a few of my favourite budget friendly recipes, which take minimal effort, low in calories and can easily be meal prepped.

Mix and match these recipes with your exante meal replacements...enjoy!

BREAKFAST: Overnight oats

This breakfast recipe is super simple, but easily one of my favourites.

You’ll need:

· Oats (any oats you can find will do; I love the exante cherry & chia oat pouches!)

· Milk of your choice (Top tip: to save money on milk, choose long life/UHT milk to last you longer)

· Cinnamon powder: A small sprinkle goes a long way

· Optional: Honey

· Fruit of choice, I like using cherries with my oats for an extra boost

How you’ll do it:

1. Add 30g of your oats to a container or jar

2. Pour 50ml of milk and stir (feel free to add more milk if you prefer a runnier texture).

3. Sprinkle some cinnamon powder and honey, giving the oats a final stir

4. Top with bananas and put in the fridge overnight to enjoy the next morning.

Top tip – prepare 2 or 3 jars so you’ve got breakfast planned for multiple days – it's a win, win!

LUNCH: Shepard's Pie

This budget friendly no-fuss shepherd's pie is a great crowd-pleaser and only 500 calories per portion.

You’ll need:

· 1 large onion, chopped

· 3 Medium carrots, chopped

· 2 tbsp tomato puree

· 1 tin of garden peas

· 1 tin of button mushrooms

· 500ml stock (beef, preferably but you could also use vegetable stock)

· 900g of potatoes

· 3 Tbsp milk

· 1 tbsp Worcester sauce

· Low calorie oil spray

· 0.5 Tbsp butter

· 500g mince or veggie alternative

How to make:

1. Spray the pan with low calorie oil spray. Add the chopped onion, peas and carrots for a few minutes until soft.

2. Drain and add a can of mushrooms for 1-2 minutes before adding the mince. Cook until browned

3. Add 1 tbsp Worcester sauce and tomato puree, stirring for a few minutes and add in the beef stock, leaving to simmer for 30 mins.

4. Peel, chop and boil the potatoes until soft. Mash in the pan, adding in 0.5tbsp of butter and a splash of milk. Season to taste.

5. Place the mince mixture in an ovenproof dish, topping with the mashed potatoes. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Top tip: this recipe serves 3-4 people and can be frozen for up to 3 months! Simply slice the pie when cooled and place in containers to freeze.


A delicious dinner option for when you’re saving the pennies! Made from mostly store cupboard essentials...

You’ll need:

· 60g Brown lentils

· 1 Onion

· ½ pack Rice of choice

· 2 tbsp Cumin powder

· Spray Oil

For the side:

· 3 Tomatoes

· ½ cucumber

· 1 clove of garlic

· 1 tbsp olive oil

· Juice of 1 lemon

· Salt to taste

To Make:

1. Start by washing and draining the lentils and rice

2. In a pan, spray the low calorie oil spray and add the onions until they become soft and translucent

3. Once soft, add the lentils, cumin and salt to taste. Stir for 1 minute and cover with 400ml water

4. Bring the lentils to a simmer for about 30-40mins, or until lentils are soft, covering with a lid

4. Once lentils are softened, add the rice and mix lightly, bring to a simmer for 30-40 mins or until rice is cooked through and all the water is absorbed.

4. For the side salad, chop tomatoes and garlic and add to a bowl. Mix together lemon juice, salt and olive oil to make the dressing.

4. Serve while hot and enjoy.

I hope you enjoy this week’s recipes! Do give them a try and don’t forget to tag @exantediet when you do!