JOE Wicks' Veggie Lean In 15 has arrived. We put three recipes to the test...

Fitness coach Joe Wicks and his Lean In 15 cookery books are, undoubtedly, a phenomenon.

Creator of the 90 Day Plan, Wicks, aka The Body Coach, is known for his curly locks, popular HIIT Instagram videos, and generally encouraging people to change their bodies and lifestyles without going hungry.

Normally a protein-charged, chicken breast fiend, the 32-year-old - who hails from Epsom, Surrey, and also became a dad last summer when he and his partner, Rosie Jones, welcomed their baby daughter Indie - has now ventured into the world of vegetarianism.

Veggie Lean In 15 is the latest instalment in Wicks' hit series - and we thought we'd put it to the test, to see how his plant-based recipes would suit the taste buds of a committed vegetarian, a self-confessed carnivore, and a veggie-curious, low-consumption meat-eating flexitarian.

Here's what happened...

The vegetarian

Claire Spreadbury tested: Avo and berry breakfast pot

"I've been a vegetarian for over a decade and am a fan of Joe Wicks' meal and fitness plans, so was pleased to see him release a veggie cookbook. Having flicked through some of his previous books, there wasn't much in them if you're not a meat or fish-eater.

"His avo and berry breakfast pot looked nice and straightforward, perfect for prepping and taking into the office, and I've always been intrigued by using avocado in dishes that aren't savoury. I recently tried a vegan chocolate mousse with avocado, which didn't exactly go down a storm after the family's Sunday roast, so I didn't hold very high hopes for this breakfast.

"On the plus side, though, it looked super-simple. Bunging half an avocado in a blender with some frozen berries, a banana and two dollops of natural yogurt is my kind of easy cooking - if you can even call it that. I blitzed it up the night before and toasted some oats and seeds ready for the morning, when you bung it altogether with a drizzle of honey and a spoonful of almond butter.

The results, I'm delighted to say, are delicious.

"Maybe it's because there's only half an avo in the recipe, but it's totally undetectable. It tastes like a fruity smoothie, bulked out with oats to fill you up, and the almond butter - which I almost didn't bother with - is really lovely, and gives you an extra protein boost.

"The portion is absolutely massive - easily shareable, or you could put it in a massive bottle, sup on it all morning and only need a tiny lunch, so it's great for anyone looking for a healthy, grab-and-go brekkie. And even better, it takes about 10 minutes tops to make. Think I'll be making this more often."

The flexitarian

Ella Walker tested: Peri-peri halloumi burgers

"As a flexitarian, I do eat meat, but not very often, and usually only when eating out, plus, as a general rule, I don't buy beef to cook with. So, if I'm going to eat a beef pattie, I'd rather go to an actually burger joint (Honest Burger, Five Guys, McDonald's, etc) and order a proper one.

"Wicks' halloumi version sounded so swift, I relented on my 'no at-home burgers' rule. And swift they were; once you've toasted your bun (I went for fancy brioche ones), sliced up a tomato and snapped the leaves off a cos lettuce, you're practically done. The added gherkins in mine were my idea.

"After that, all that's left to do is dunk a block of halloumi (carved into 1cm thick slices) in a few tablespoons of shop-bought peri-peri sauce.

"I then made the error of throwing my marinated halloumi slices on a hot griddle rather than in a non-stick pan as specified, so they ended up a little crispier than anticipated. Don't make my mistake - a good portion of my 15-minute total cooking time was spent trying to free oozy bits of cheese from the pan's grooves. Wicks knows best. Once extricated though, it was pretty delicious.

"We drenched the buns in a peri-peri/mayo mix, so if you're not into spiciness, you may struggle, but for a quick mid-week meal, it was spectacularly speedy, cheap and filling. And all that salad made it fresh and crunchy too."

The carnivore

Jenny Stallard tested: My Lovely Lasagne

"I've never cooked a Joe Wicks recipe in my life, but I love pasta, so this seemed right up my street. My usual lasagne would heavily feature mince and tomatoes, so this pesto version seemed unusual at first.

"As a veggie dish, I was a little confused as to why it required vegetarian hard cheese but used milk - isn't cheese made from milk? - but then realised it was to avoid rennet, an enzyme used in the cheese-making process, and often taken from calves' stomachs. Luckily, there are veggie options available.

"We doubled the ingredients so it'd serve two, and there was plenty to go around. Dairy debates aside, this was fun to make: First of all, you fry off asparagus, garlic and frozen beans, nice and easy. Then mix pesto and mascarpone, and layer with the lasagne, then top with grated cheese and a milk/mascarpone mix, and bake.

"I'd worried it'd be dry, but it was quite the opposite - in fact, I would be tempted to dial down the pesto to reduce oiliness. Baking the lasagne takes more than the famous '15 minutes' Wicks trades on, of course. But 35 minutes in the oven and this was raring to go.

"The verdict? It was very creamy and satisfying - I didn't miss mince at all - and felt way more indulgent than the calorie count implies. It really worked well for a post-workout Monday night supper. I'd definitely make it again, but probably using regular pasta - I found the lasagne a bit 'faffy' to layer, but if you made this as a fusilli pasta bake, it'd be quicker and you'd still get basically the same taste."


For a healthy start to the day.

This quick brekkie can be made ahead, says The Body Coach, Joe Wicks: "You can blitz the fruit and yoghurt the night before and keep it in the fridge."


(Serves 1)

1/2 avocado, flesh scooped out

1 small banana, roughly chopped

2 handfuls of mixed frozen berries

2tbsp natural yoghurt

1 1/2tbsp rolled oats

1 1/2tbsp mixed seeds

1tbsp almond butter

Drizzle of honey


1. Place the avocado, banana, frozen berries and natural yoghurt in a blender and blitz with a splash of water until smooth. Tip into a bowl or pot to take to work.

2. In a dry frying pan over a medium heat, toast the oats and seeds until the seeds start to pop. Take off the heat.

3. When you're ready to eat, top the avocado berry pot with the toasted oats and seeds, almond butter and a drizzle of honey.


A meat-free pasta feast.

The Body Coach does note that this may take you longer than 15 minutes to whip together (well, it is a lasagne), but it should be worth it.

Give it a go...


(Serves 1)

1tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic

100g asparagus, each cut into three pieces

100g frozen peas

100g frozen broad beans

100g pesto

Zest of 1 lemon

150g mascarpone

50g vegetarian hard cheese, finely grated

Salt and pepper

6 lasagne sheets

4tbsp milk

Green salad, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 180oC (fan 160oC, gas mark 4). Grab yourself a smallish ovenproof dish.

2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Crush in the garlic clove and tip in the asparagus. Cook for two minutes, then stir in the frozen peas and broad beans. Cook for another minute until the peas and broad beans have thawed.

3. Take the pan off the heat and chuck the greens into a bowl. Mix through the pesto, lemon zest, 100g mascarpone, half the grated cheese and some salt and pepper.

4. Spoon a third of the mix into the ovenproof dish, then top with two sheets of lasagne. Repeat the process until all the filling and pasta are used up. For the final layer, mix the remaining mascarpone with the milk. Pour this over the top of the pasta sheets and sprinkle over the remaining hard cheese.

5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the pasta has no resistance when you prick it with a fork. Leave to rest for five minutes before diving in. Serve with a green salad.


A super speedy mid-week dinner.

A fiery, cheesy, salad-stuffed burger? You won't miss a Maccy D's in the least, with this 'fast food' recipe from The Body Coach. And it couldn't be easier to chuck together...


(Serves 1)

3tbsp peri-peri sauce

100g halloumi, cut into four slices

1tbsp mayo

1 baby gem lettuce

1 medium tomato

Burger bun


1. Pour two tablespoons of the peri-peri sauce into a shallow bowl. Add the halloumi slices to the bowl and turn them so that both sides are covered in the sauce. Leave to marinate for a few minutes.

2. While your cheese is marinating, stir the remaining peri-peri into the mayo. Separate the lettuce leaves and slice the tomato into rounds.

3. Warm a dry non-stick frying pan over a high heat. When it is hot, chuck in the halloumi slices. Dry-fry for two minutes on each side, spooning any of the leftover marinade over the cheese as it cooks so that it becomes sticky and crisp. Take off the heat.

4. Toast your burger bun, then spread the base with the spicy mayo. Stack in the halloumi, lettuce and tomato.

Veggie Lean In 15: 15-minute Veggie Meals With Workouts by Joe Wicks is published by Bluebird, priced £16.99. Available now.