Healthy meals to give you a good start to the year

Joe Sexton fitness and diet episode has been getting thousands of hits on his healthy cooking videos.
Joe Sexton fitness and diet episode has been getting thousands of hits on his healthy cooking videos.

A fitness expert is hoping to help people kick-start the new year with a healthier diet.

Joe Sexton, a personal trainer from Laygate, South Shields, understands how people can find it hard to stick to their resolutions of eating healthy foods.

The 26-year-old said: “A lot of people start the new year eating healthily – they go to the shops and buy salad, meat and fish, but a lot of healthy food can be bland, and a few days in, people are bored already.

“People will start seeing their mates eating chocolate or posting a picture of a pizza on Facebook and it’s going to look 10 times nicer than what they’re eating.

“Unhealthy food tastes good and they’ll be sick of eating the bland healthy stuff.

“The important thing is making sure that healthy food tastes great and doesn’t feel like a chore.”

Joe Sexton's One Pan Lean Meatballs.

Joe Sexton's One Pan Lean Meatballs.

Dad-of-one Joe is a healthy cooking fanatic and has racked up thousands of views online for his recipe videos.

He’s working on becoming an expert in the field and hopes one day to have his own cooking show.

Joe posts his Fat Loss Feast recipes on YouTube and his School of Weight Loss Facebook page.

He said: “It can end up feeling like you’re forcing yourself to eat healthy food and it’ll be like a chore, 
and nobody wants to do a chore they don’t enjoy every day.

A lot of people start the new year eating healthy but they go to the shops and buy salad, meat and fish, but a lot of healthy food can be bland, and a few days in, people are bored already.

Joe Sexton

“Eating healthy food doesn’t have to be like that, you should find recipes that you’re excited to try and that you really want to eat, especially if the whole family can eat it.”

One-pan lean meatballs

Ingredients

500g of lean mince

Joe Sexton fitness and diet episode has been getting thousands of hits on his healthy cooking videos.

Joe Sexton fitness and diet episode has been getting thousands of hits on his healthy cooking videos.

Chilli flakes

2 cloves of garlic

1 large jar of passata

Splash of balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp honey

Dried oregano

Dried basil

1 ball of buffalo mozzarella

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 180C

2 Mix mince, dried oregano, salt and pepper in a bowl then shape into about 10 mini-meatballs.

3 Dry fry the meatballs for a few minutes on each side and 
then put them on a plate to one side.

4 Using the fat that’s come off the meatballs, gently cook the crushed garlic and chilli flakes. After a minute, add a splash of balsamic and cook for a further minute before mixing in the honey and passata. Continue to cook in the sauce for five minutes.

5 If you have a frying pan you can put in the oven, add the meatballs to the sauce, evenly space the mozzarella around the pan, sprinkle a little basil on top and cook in the oven for around 12-15 minutes. If your pan is not suitable for the oven, transfer to a baking dish.

6 Serve with some stir fry veg and enjoy.