Today's partly sunny, cloudy, drizzly weather inspired me to cook up something that was part sunny (cooked), part raw (rainy), and totally delicious. Here's a sweet and spicy spaghetti sauce that can be made with the most basic ingredients. Top with chopped basil and crumbled goat's chevre for a really indulgent treat!
I've done a survey of friends and family, and have found that of all meals, people find DINNER is the hardest to "eat healthy".
Fruit or smoothies for breakfast are easy enough, and if you're living in a city there are fast and healthy homemade and takeaway options a-plenty for lunch.
But DINNER... let's face it! After a full day of work, kids, driving, gym, exercise, email, computers, family, shopping centres and iphones, sometimes, you just can't be bothered.
Come evening, for MANY of us, whatever is the easiest thing in front of you gets eaten.
So let's make sure that what you have in front of you is as healthy, tasty and convenient as possible! Here are my top fastest, near-zero prep dinners that help me out when I've got no mojo left!
1. Chemical-free Frozen Cuisine. Although processed frozen meals are not ideal, you can get wholefood and/or organic frozen stews, casseroles and soups from the freezer section of health food shops and even from supermarkets! The Pitango brand organic soups, curries and risottos, are high quality packaged wholefood and tasty. Ready to go, you can bung these on the stove, do something else for 5 minutes (with intermittent stirrings) and return to a warm, hearty dinner. You can get these from the fridge section of Coles, Woolworths and some delis.
2. Sunday afternoon delight. For the slightly less lazy among us, making large batches of homemade soup, curry or stew on a Sunday to freeze and eat over the next week saves money and time later on. You can make your not-quite-gourmet 3 litre batch of lentil soup more exciting by adding flavoursome extras – olive tapenades, guacamoles, baba ganoush, vegetable-based packaged dips, bruschetta sundried tomato mix, olives, capers, sea salt and pepper, and fresh herbs or even squeeze tube herbs, chilli and garlic.
3. Fast dinner ideas when I haven't done the Sunday arvo cookup thing. It doesn't have to be a formal one-plate, sit down meal - just as long as there is some healthy food at dinner and it's yummy!
* Tinned tuna/salmon with steamed packaged veggies (chopped fresh is always better, of course) and corn chips
* Organic goats cheese rolled in cabbage, silverbeet or spinach leaves with whole-grain mustard and sprouts, and a slice of toasted essene sprouted bread with butter
* Punnets of cherry tomatoes, snow peas, other easy access veggies to eat as finger food with your cheesy handrolls, fast soups etc
* Blended salads - everything you'd put in a salad without all the chopping, just blend and go. This is especially nice with avocado, fresh tomato and miso!
* If you feel like a sweet snack before dinner, try fruit, nut butters with banana, or blended green or fruit smoothies (banana and almond butter is very yummy)
On days where you really can't bring yourself to the kitchen, remember there ARE healthy take out options - if you're ultra keen, talk to me about healthy Japanese, Thai, Mexican and other takeout and restaurant options. As a foodie and lover of exotic food I'd be happy to talk your ears off!
Know that these options are a temporary solution and that we all go through fab phases and BLAH phases. In a perfect world, we'd mindfully sit down to a homemade, organic dinner and big raw veggie salad every night! But for now, just do what you can.
As you know, looking after yourself will give you extra energy and resilience to get through any rough patch you are experiencing at the moment. If you can get your nutrition sorted enough, you're supporting yourself from the inside out.
And then everything else becomes easier.
Let me know if you have any other ideas for low-effort healthy wholefood dinners, I'd love to hear your suggestions!
Look after yourself,
Delicious, flavoursome comfort food that's packed full of veggies!
Serves 2 as a main, or 4 as a side dish.
What to do
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Separate garlic cloves leaving the skins on.
Wash and cut potatoes into wedges. Wash carrots (peel if you want, we don’t – there is too much goodness in the skin!) and cut into pieces the same size as the cut potatoes.
Peel onions and cut into wedges leaving the core intact to keep it together during cooking.
Place all ingredients into a baking tray and add oil, paprika, nutmeg, salt, white pepper and mix softly.
Hint – Sit the potatoes on their skins during baking to stop them from sticking. It gives them more colour.
Roast vegetables for 30 mins or until cooked depending on what size your vegetables are cut.
Meanwhile, remove stalks from your kale (they’re a bit tough) and cut or break into large pieces. Chop parsley and dill roughly.
Once veg is cooked mix everything together gently while still warm and add the lemon juice.
* Celery salt is made by drying celery leaves in the oven at 100 degrees C for about 20 mins then crushing with natural rock salt or himalayan salt in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. It’s an amazing and natural seasoning for anything. My favourite application is using the salt sprinkled on sprouted essence toast smeared with avocado… heaven!
Cook with love, chew your food fully and experience the wonderful tastes and grounding properties of the root vegetables.