A work week’s worth of delish 15 minute dinners and you can thank us later | HerCanberra

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A work week’s worth of delish 15 minute dinners and you can thank us later

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Warning: This post does not include any Jamie Oliver recipes.

Just a handful of quick, easy, throw-together meals that you can make for yourself or your family in actually 15 minutes or less.

You will require basic cooking skills and I’ll assume that you’ve shopped according to the attached shopping list and have a nicely stocked kitchen with basic fridge/pantry staples.

The most requested thing from my clients at their first appointment is this:

“I need easy, healthy solutions for my food. I’m busy and I don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen creating food masterpieces.”

We’re as busy as we’ve ever been, there’s no argument there—even after a lockdown, things seem to be racing back to norman. But this busyness has meant that many of us are putting our health and wellbeing at risk with poor eating habits, characterised by convenience food and sporadic eating patterns.

We skip meals, we overeat, we eat too many sweets or munch away on too many savouries. We don’t eat enough vegetables and we throw away the fruit we meant to eat last week.

If your lifestyle is leading to health problems, it is worth taking stock of the situation and making the necessary changes. After all, you only live once, you want to get the best out of your body, not the worst. If you’re too busy to eat well, then you’re too busy. It needs to change.

In saying that, there’s no need to create intricate, gourmet meals each night and food certainly doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated to be healthy.

Here is a simple weekday meal plan that can feed your family of four, healthy, tasty food in 15 minutes or less.



Combine 1 cup wholewheat couscous with 1 and 1/4 cups boiling water,1/2 tsp chicken stock powder and 1 tsp dried mixed herbs. Set aside. Once the water has been absorbed, fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, over high heat, add 1/2 tbsp of oil in a non-stick pan and cook 4x 150g lean beef steaks, turning every 20 seconds, for 3-4 minutes or until done to your liking. Once cooked, set aside and cover with foil and allow to rest.

Combine 2 cups of baby spinach, 1 carrot roughly grated, 1 capsicum thinly chopped, 1 cucumber diced and 1 tomato diced in a bowl. Add 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Toss to evenly coat the vegetables in the dressing.

Serve each plate with a large portion of salad, 1 cup of herbed couscous and a piece of steak.



Put 1 cup basmati rice on to cook according to its packet directions.

Meanwhile, heat 1/2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add 4x 120g salmon steaks skin side down. Cook until the skin becomes crispy and golden. Turn over and cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until done to your liking. Remove from heat and set aside.

While the salmon is cooking make the dressing by combining 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp minced ginger and the juice from 1 lime.

Chop the ends off 2-3 baby bok choy and roughly chop 1 large bunch of Chinese broccoli. Place them in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow it to sit for two minutes and then drain.

Serve each plate with 1 cup rice, 1/2 plate of greens and 1 salmon steak. Drizzle the whole dish with the soy and lime dressing.



Heat 1/2 tbsp peanut oil in a wok over high heat. Add 600g diced chicken breast (skinless). Cook until just golden. Remove from the wok and set aside.

Heat 1/2 tbsp peanut oil in a wok over high heat. Add 1 finely chopped chilli, 3 cloves of crushed garlic and 1 red onion quartered. Toss for 1 minute. Add 1 red capsicum, 1 yellow capsicum and 1 carrot, all sliced into sticks. Toss for 2 minutes.

Add 1 cup of sugar snap peas. Toss for a further 2 minutes. Add the chicken back into the pan and toss it all together with 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp Chinese rice wine and 1 tsp sesame seeds.

Serve into four bowls.



Cook 200g high fibre or wholemeal pasta according to the packet directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Gently sauté 1 finely sliced red chilli, 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic and 1 small finely chopped red onion for 2 minutes.

Add 2 punnets of ripe cherry tomatoes. Slightly increase the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the tomatoes start to soften. Season with salt and pepper.

Add 2 cups baby spinach leaves, 80g crumbled feta cheese and 1 diced avocado. Stir for a further 1-2 minutes or until the spinach wilts. Turn off the heat. Add the cooked pasta to the frying pan and toss to coat. Drizzle with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Serve into 4 bowls.



Heat a BBQ grill on high. Chargrill four chicken thigh fillets (skinless) for about 3-4 minutes each side. Remove from the heat, cover with foil and set aside.

Meanwhile divide 4 cups of baby rocket over 4 serving plates. Top each plate with 4-5 strips of roast capsicum (from a jar, drained).

To make the yoghurt dressing combine 180g natural greek yoghurt, the juice of 1 lemon and 2 tsp wholegrain mustard.

Slice the thigh fillets and arrange on top of the rocket. Drizzle with the yogurt dressing and serve.

To download a printable version of these recipes, a meal plan for your fridge and a complete shopping list, please click here.

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