After getting home from a long day at work, often cooking is the last thing on the list of things we want to do. Despite our best intentions of enjoying a healthy dinner, takeaway starts to seem like a quicker and easier option. Unfortunately take-away also comes with a side of extra calories, fat and sodium and lack in fibre and quality protein (the stuff that helps keep you full!). So, out the window our goals go. But a quick and healthy dinner is just a matter of knowing what simple meals you can cook up and always have the basics on hand.
Below are my top tips and tricks on how to whip up a healthy dinner in under 20 minutes, which is quicker than having to drive out to pick up take-away!
- Always keep egg’s on hand. Eggs are simple and quick to cook, so whether it’s a poached egg topped on steamed or lightly pan-fried greens, or a frittata loaded with vegetables – you can count on it being quick, warming and healthy.
- Opt for the fry-pan or steam to save time in the oven. Cook up all your flavoursome greens (e.g. asparagus, beans, broccolini, Asian greens and brussel sprouts) in the pan with a good swig of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a squeeze of lemon juice – ta-da! 10 minutes later, vegetables are served!
- Use the BBQ – and ladies this means you to. BBQ’ing is not hard (I can tell you first hand, hey maybe even a how-to video could be coming your way…) and it means no clean-up! You can cook a steak, skewers, seafood and even vegetables (e.g. zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes) on the BBQ in the matter on 10-15 minutes.
- Keep quick-prepared items on hand such as microwave rice and frozen vegetables. Not having to get the pot out to boil rice literally saves so much time, and takes a 45-minute-to-cook fried rice down to 15-minutes. Ahhh the joys of new technology.
- Keep it simple. Dinner hasn’t got to be a chef-prepared meal every night. Sometimes it’s the simple stuff that satisfies the most. When deciding on what to cook, simply opt for a lean protein (e.g. poached chicken, BBQ steak with fat trimmed, chicken skewers, tinned salmon/tuna), a good heaping of vegetables (e.g. throw together a green salad, pan-fry some veg or even BBQ some veg) and a quality carbohydrate (e.g. microwave brown or basmati rice, quinoa, multigrain bread).
Take-away can get the best of us, but don’t blame “not having the time” next time. While take-away can be enjoyed occasionally, eating a quick healthy meal at home will not only leave you feeling better but it won’t go ruining your health goals either.