It’s no secret, that like the rest of the world, I am very time poor. My day consists of dropping my son off at child care, training, working full time, picking my son up, studying and trying to start a business. That doesn’t leave much time for cooking meals, sometimes I literally only have about 15mins to get dinner on the table. However, being passionate about health and fitness, I still want to eat a nutritious meal and ensure my son has a healthy diet. So here are a few tips and meal ideas I have found come in handy when you are time poor. They are also good if you find yourself cooking for 1 as they are either small portions or can be frozen.
So simple, tasty and healthy and yet so underused… I always keep a packet of wholegrain wraps in my freezer, to be used for breakfasts, lunches or dinners. (On a side note, use a butter knife to separate the frozen wraps to ensure you don’t break them). If I’m using a wrap for dinner I add:
- Cooked chicken breast (you could use left over bbq chicken, roast chicken or any leftover meat.) If your vegetarian you could use boiled eggs, tofu or veggie burgers.
- Salad (tomato, spinach, carrot, beans, avocado, onion, capsicum, whatever you like)
- Peanut sauce (optional, just a slight drizzle)
You can toast the wrap if you like, eat it cold, or what I do is heat the meat and then have the veggies cold. If your making a breakfast wrap, you could add scrambled eggs, avocado and a rash of bacon. Wraps are super versatile, travel well, easy to freeze and keep fresh and can be packed with delicious veggies. Best part of all, they only take minutes to assemble and are a great way of using up those leftovers.
I think stir fry’s have become far too complicated, with so many sauces and additives. I am a fan of the plain and simple stir fry, taking minimal effort and time. I use up whatever veggies I have in the fridge, left over meat, tofu or just a chicken breast and sometimes noodles or plain rice. Super easy:
- Cook the meat/tofu first in a wok
- Take out meat and add veggies
- Once veggies have softened, add meat back in and add sauce and noodles
- Combine, done!
This is a great recipe to freeze and have for lunches, you can add lots of different veggies and try endless combinations.
I recently wrote a post with my favourite slow cooker recipes, which are super easy! All I do is combine the meat and vegetables in a slow cooker in the morning and eat it when I come home from work. The best thing about a slow cooker is that you can use the cheapest meats available, such as blade steak and gravy beef. These cuts are perfect as the excess fat keeps them from drying out, leaving a perfectly tender piece of meat. 10 mins before I am ready to eat, I add peas, spinach and beans the to the pot so they don’t over cook. Delicious!
Fish is very underused and I think that’s because people find it to fiddly. But the truth is, you don’t have to do anything fancy to fish. In fact, my favourite fish dish is using the plain, frozen salmon fillets and simply baking them in the over. I know fresh is better, but lets face it, sometimes it just doesn’t happen and the fish goes off before we get a chance to eat it. So I keep frozen salmon in the freezer for me and crumbed fish for Odin. When I come home late, I pop the fish in the oven, with some thinly sliced potato and a side of steamed greens. Dinner done…
This one is a real crown pleaser and by that I mean toddler pleaser…. Its one of the few meals my son actually eats. Super easy. Boil some rice, while that’s happening, grab a wok and add some diced bacon and brown, then add some diced veggies such as carrots, peas and shallots. Once softened, make space and crack 2 eggs in the middle and scramble. Combine everything and add the rice and whatever sauces you like. Usually I just add soy. Delicious, easy to freeze and good for lunches.
Hopefully this has given you a few ideas for your weekly dinners. Think simple, quick, delicious and tasty.