Returning home after a hectic day and facing the prospect of spending an hour slaving away behind a hot stove in order to feed a small clan of hungry mouths is often about as appealing as having to undergo root canal. It’s on days like these that the noble intentions of nourishing the bodies of those you care about most with only the best nature’s bounty has to offer go flying right out the window. Inevitably you’ll reach out guiltily for the phone and place your order at the local pizza place. It’s just so much easier, isn’t it? Well, it doesn’t have to be. Being on a first name basis with the pizza delivery guy is probably a sign that a change is in order, and for mom’s on the go there really is no reason to resort to ordering in fast food simply because it’s quick and easy. To get you off the fast food track and back to healthy eating here are three simple, quick and most importantly, healthy recipes to get you started. And the bonus is they’re not only quicker to prepare at home than ordering a pizza but every mouthful is guaranteed to be that much more nutritious and appealing.
In less than 15 minutes you can whip up a healthy, flavor-packed dish that wouldn’t be out of place in any Thai restaurant.
Thai Beef Salad and Sausalito Noodles
You will need…
200g Mung Bean Sprouts
Juice and Zest 1 Lime
1 tsp Sugar
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
415g Tin Tomatoes with Vegetables
800g Rump Steak
4 tbsp Chopped Coriander
Crisp Salad Leaves
4 tbsp Fish Sauce
300g Egg Noodles
Brown Brothers Red Tarrango
2 tbsp Chilli Minced
2 Radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 Cucumber, sliced
Throwing it all together couldn’t be simpler. Simply season the steak with black pepper, pan fry or bbq for 5-7 minutes, turning once. Remove, cool and slice thinly. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together. Mix together the beef with salad vegetables. Arrange onto serving plates and drizzle with dressing.
Cook the noodles in plenty of boiling water until al dente (tender to the bite.) Drain and place into large serving bowls. Place the tomatoes and chilli into a blender, add 2 Tbsps of Thai Fish Sauce, blend until rich, then toss through the noodles. Serve alongside the beef salad.
Lastly, the dressing:
Mix the zest and juice of the lime with Fish Sauce, 1 red chilli, 1 tsp sugar, 1 clove garlic and 4 tbsp of chopped coriander, and voila you’re done. Serve, eat and enjoy.
Now if you’re not big on spice then not to worry. Why not throw together some sumptuous Lamb, Mango and Parsnip Burgers?
You don’t have to be a master chef to put great tasting, lively and bold flavors on a plate in less time than it takes the delivery guy to make it to your front door.
You’re going to need the following fresh ingredients which can easily be found at your nearest grocery store or even online.
1/2 c Diced Mango, 1 Tbsp for Mayo
4 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce
1 tsp Chopped Parsley
1 tbsp Sage, chopped
2 tbsp Mayonnaise
1 Small Red Onion, chopped
1 tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped
1kg Ground Lamb
4 Vine Ripened Tomatoes
2 Parsnips, peeled, diced and poached until tender
To create your culinary masterpiece, the likes of which even Gordon Ramsay wouldn’t turn his nose at, mix together the ground lamb, sage, basil, onion, mango and garlic.
Dice the cooked parsnip and mix into the lamb.
Form into 6 burgers and panfry, grill or BBQ for 4-5 minutes each side.
Slice and toast the focaccia and place onto serving plates.
Mix all the mayo ingredients together, spoon a little mayo onto each focaccia.
Top with a burger, scatter the salad leaves and sliced tomatoes around the burger and serve.
If you’re looking for something vegetarian that doesn’t require 40 minutes of baking in the oven, then you simply can’t go wrong with a Grilled Eggplant and Portobello Sandwich. The best part is that it takes all of 25 minutes to prepare.
1 small clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
2 large or 3 medium Portobello mushroom caps, gills removed
Canola or olive oil cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread, lightly grilled or toasted
2 cups arugula, or spinach, stemmed and chopped if large
1 large tomato, sliced
To put your mouthwatering sandwich together just follow these four, simple steps:
- Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Mash garlic into a paste on a cutting board with the back of a spoon. Combine with mayonnaise and lemon juice in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Coat both sides of eggplant rounds and mushroom caps with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables, turning once, until tender and browned on both sides: 2 to 3 minutes per side for eggplant, 3 to 4 minutes for mushrooms. When cool enough to handle, slice the mushrooms.
- Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons of the garlic mayonnaise on each piece of bread. Layer the eggplant, mushrooms, arugula (or spinach) and tomato slices onto 4 slices of bread and top with the remaining bread.
There you have it. Three delectable alternatives to wolfing down a greasy, fatty, artery-clogging pizza that will have your pizza guy’s name fade from memory and leave your conscience guilt-free.
A great idea to keep the fast food wolf from the door is to compile a list of great, quick and easy meals and vegetarian recipes to refer to in those times when time becomes the enemy.