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Meals Under 20 Minutes

by Joyce Haddad - June 28, 2016

Lunch recipe

Protein-boost salad

Time needed: 10 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 2 cups coucous

  • 2x 400g 4 bean mix

  • 2 eggs, boiled, peeled

  • 4 cups lettuce, shredded

  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped

  • 1 cup shredded carrot

  • 2 sprigs spring onion, chopped

Dressing:

  • 3 Tb balsamic vinegar

  • 3 Tb extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Cook couscous following the instructions on the pack. Put aside to cool.

  2. In a large bowl, add all ingredients together and mix well.

  3. Once the couscous has cooled, add it to the vegetables and mix well.

  4. Add balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and mix well.

Worried you’re not meeting your 5 serves of veggies each day? – Well worry no more! This salad will help you get well under way to eating the recommended 5 veggies daily. With the addition of couscous and beans, this salad is packed with quality protein for muscle health and growth. Protein doesn’t have to just come from animal sources – plant sources are so abundant in protein, that even body builders can meet their protein requirements (with careful nutrition supervision) from plant foods! You may ask: “But plant sources don’t have ‘complete protein’ like animal products” – well I’m glad you said that, as fortunately, with the help of new research, that is now a myth! The liver has the ability to store amino acids (or ‘small protein’) which allows the body to build on these amino acids over time and allow the body to absorb and use ‘complete proteins’. Gotta love our liver, right? Enjoy this salad for lunch or as a snack, and I’m very sure your body will thank you for it.

Dinner recipe

Chicken and sweet potato penne 

Quick and healthy meal ideas approved by Globe Medical's resident dietitianTime needed: 15-20 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 1 carrot, finely diced

  • 2 sticks celery, finely diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 400g diced chicken

  • 250g penne wholemeal pasta

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 400g can of diced tomatoes

  • ¼ cup water

  • 1 tsp each of salt, oregano and pepper.

  • 3 medium sweet potato, washed and chopped into small cubes

  • 200g low-fat ricotta cheese

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 cup skim milk

  • 200g baby spinach, to serve

Method

1. Cook pasta in accordance to packet instructions, and drain.

2. While the pasta cooks, pour oil in a large pan and place over medium heat. Cook onion, carrot and celery, stirring occasionally, until they soften.

3. Add garlic and cook, stirring for another minute more.

4. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes or until browned.

5. Add tomato paste, can of tomatoes, ¼ cup water and salt/herbs to the chicken. Stir occasionally for 10 minutes.

6. While tomato and chicken are cooking, place sweet potato in a large microwave proof dish with 2 tablespoons water. Cover and microwave for 4–5 minutes on high, or until just tender. Drain.

7. Remove the chicken and tomato mixture from heat, and set aside.

8. Whisk ricotta, egg and milk in a large bowl until smooth.

9. Pour the chicken mixture with the ricotta, egg and milk into the pot of pasta and stir over medium heat for 5-10 minutes.

10. When thick and creamy, remove from heat and serve with fresh spinach.

11. This recipe freezes really well. So you can divide this meal into 4 portions, allowing you to have ready-to-go meals for 4 different occasions!

Not only is this recipe so easy to prepare, but it is using seasonal produce, and is also the perfect way to get a balanced meal, using nearly all the food groups (vegetables, grains, meat and dairy). This meal will help you achieve your recommended daily intake of fibre, and other vitamins and minerals for the day. This meal also includes immune-boosting vitamins and antioxidants, especially helpful during the cold and flu season. Vitamins A, C, and E are especially helpful for fighting colds and flus, as they have the power to assist antioxidants in scavenging free radicals (the bad guys) from our body cells, and help prevent or reduce the damage caused by oxidation. More research is also telling us that vitamins and antioxidants are much more effective for our health when consumed from natural, whole foods, rather than when they are isolated from a food and presented in tablet/supplement form. So, I think these facts are more than enough to get you in the kitchen and preparing this nutrient-rich and virus-fighting meal! Enjoy! 


Author

Joyce Haddad

Joyce Haddad is a Qualified Dietitian/Nutritionist and Master Personal Trainer with a passion for health and wellbeing. Her aim as a health professional is to help the public make informed and REALISTIC nutritional choices and ensure everyone has a healthy relationship with their body and with food.