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Eat well: Two Nourishing 15-Minute Meals

Kate Freeman

healthy-food“Can you please show me how to cook healthy food for my family that doesn’t take forever?”

Why, I’m so glad you asked, I’d be happy to! Read on!

Convenience food has revolutionised the way we use our kitchens and prepare food. It’s also revolutionised our waistlines which are now, on average, larger than ideal. Grabbing a quick, easy meal is not usually synonymous with healthy eating and many people feel overwhelmed or out of their depth when it comes to preparing a healthy meal for their family.

Healthy cooking is not supposed to be complicated. That’s a mindset you’ve got to change. All you have to do is learn a few little tricks in the kitchen to help you whip up tasty, flavoursome food thats nourishing at the same time.

Those tricks are:

1. Get all the parts of your meal cooking simultaneously and bring them together at the end. For example put rice on to boil and while that cooks away get some meat ready to cook. While the meat is cooking chop up your vegetables… It takes a little practice, but trust me, you’ll get good at it if you persevere.

2. Use fresh foods to flavour fresh foods. Vegetables taste even better when flavoured with other vegetables like garlic, ginger, onion, chilli, lime, lemon, herbs, etc. Start practicing using these flavoursome foods instead of pre-made sauces, marinades and dressings.

3. Write a meal plan. Healthy food is generally fresh food which has a short shelf life. You need to be organised so you’ve got all your ingredients ready in your fridge to cook with at the end of the day. Meal planning will make a huge difference to how successful you’ll be at long term healthy eating.

4. Regularly practice. Cooking is a skill. Even if you have no ambitions of being a TV chef, achieving long-term healthy eating habits will require some cooking basics, so you can whip up a meal quickly, easily and without having to think too much. Set a goal of trying a new recipe, with a new food or cooking technique once per week.

Below are two recipes that are based on the principles above. They use fresh, simple whole foods and they are packed full of flavour. You don’t need fancy cooking skills, just the basics and I promise you can actually cook them in 15 minutes!

So without further ado I present to you two nourishing 15-minute meals that are, without a doubt, my families two favourites. Come to think of it, I have actually made and eaten both of them this week! Enjoy!

Salmon and Asian Greens and Rice

A flavoursome, yet simple dish that’s bursting with nutrition. You can make it in 15 minutes, which is fabulous for busy weeknight.

Ingredients – serves 4

  • 400-500g salmon fillets
  • 200g basmati or brown rice
  • 1 bunch bok choy, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch chinese broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch pak choy, roughly chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

Salmon

Method

  • Bring a medium saucepan of water up to the boil and cook the rice according to the packet directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat a non-stick pan over low-medium heat. Add the salmon fillets, skin side down, and cook, over low heat, for 3-4 minutes. Flip over and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, add the asian greens, garlic, chilli, ginger, peanut oil and soy sauce into a large mixing bowl. Using your hands toss all the ingredients together until fully coated with oil and flavour. Saute in a hot pan.

Vegetarian Tomato Pasta

It’s tasty, zesty, full of fresh ingredients and packed full of nutrition. The only processed ingredients are pasta and feta, that’s it!


Ingredients – serves 4
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 spanish (red) onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large or small red chilli (the smaller the chilli the hotter it will be), deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 punnets of cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped in half
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • The juice of one lemon
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 200g low fat feta, diced
  • 200g (uncooked) high fibre pasta, cooked according to packet directions
  • 2 handfuls of fresh baby rocket
  • salt and pepper to season

Vegetarian Tomato Pasta

Method
  • Cook the pasta according to the packet directions, drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1tbsp of the olive oil in a non-stick pan. Add the onion, chilli and garlic and sauté until the onion is soft. Add the tomatoes and cook over medium heat until they become soft and lose their shape. Add the pine nuts and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the feta, avocado and lemon juice. Stir to combine until the basil is just wilted. Stir in the cooked pasta, leftover olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
  • Top with rocket and serve. Enjoy!
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Kate Freeman

Kate Freeman is a Registered Nutritionist and the founder and managing director of The Healthy Eating Hub. Kate’s healthy eating philosophy is all about whole, fresh foods, being realistic about life and creating long term healthy eating habits. She doesn’t believe in detoxes, fad diets or quick fixes. Once you’ve finished working with Kate, you’ll be empowered to feed yourself well for the rest of you life! More about the Author

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