Eating well often calls for organization, especially during the week when we’re time strapped and need something on the dinner table quickly. Here are some great recipes and a weekly meal plan to take the stress out of wondering what to cook.
MONDAY: Chilli Con Carne
Lean beef and beans are a great source of protein. Whenever the body is growing, repairing or replacing tissue, protein is involved. Veggies such as carrot, capsicum and tomato add antioxidants to help nourish and boost your immune system. Avocado contains the antioxidant vitamin E and it’s also a good mono-unsaturated fat that’s acts as an anti-inflammatory which is perfect after a good training session in the gym. A touch of chilli can help spike your metabolic rate and stimulate digestion.
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 large grated carrot
- 2 sticks sliced celery
- 250 g lean mince (beef, chicken, game meat are all great)
- 1 red capsicum, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 400 g tomato puree
- 400 g cooked red kidney or adzuki beans
- 125 g cherry tomato, halved
- 100 g baby spinach leaves
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1 bunch coriander, chopped
- 1 lime Chopped
- red chilli to taste
Sauté the onion, carrot and celery for 3 minutes until softened. Add the spices and mince and cook through for 5 minutes until the mince is browned. Add the capsicum, tomato paste, tomato puree and beans. Pour over 2 cups of water. Simmer over a low – medium heat for 30 minutes until thick. Season with ground pepper and a little salt add cherry tomato. Fold in spinach and coriander just before serving. Spoon into bowls, top with chilli to taste, avocado and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy by itself or with a side of steamed green vegetables, brown rice or quinoa.
TUESDAY: Kale, Spinach & Feta Pie
Kale is part of the cabbage family and this wonderful vegetable is a good source of all three antioxidants: beta-carotene and vitamins C and E. It is also rich in naturally occurring glucosinolates, which help in the fight against cancer. Eggs are high in protein and contain all the essential amino acids needed for growth and repair. Including quality protein sources into your meals every day supports weight loss + healthy metabolism, maintains a healthy immune system, curbs appetite and helps to sustain lean muscle.
- 2 leeks, washed finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bunch kale or Cavolo Nero, washed trimmed and finely shredded
- 200 g baby spinach leaves
- Black pepper – a generous pinch
- 80 g quality feta cheese
- 6 organic eggs
- 1 lemon
- 1 bunch parsley. chopped
- small handful pine-nuts
Preheat oven to 180 C. Sauté leeks in a large heavy based pot until softened. Add shredded kale and cook through for 5 minutes until soft and wilted. Add baby spinach leaves…you may need to add this in 2 lots and cook through until just wilted. Season with black pepper and add the zest of 1 lemon and 1 bunch freshly chopped parsley. Spoon the kale + spinach mixture into a 22 cm pie dish. Break eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly until combined. Pour the eggs over the greens and gently incorporate through the mix of green goodness. Crumble over the feta cheese and sprinkle over with a few pine-nuts. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until firm to touch and golden. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy.
WEDNESDAY: Salmon Burgers
The salmon burger is a favourite. Mainly because they are simple to prepare and can accompany a quick salad or steamed or roasted vegetables very quickly after work. What’s great about them: Salmon is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory to the body and critical for good health. Omega 3′s are essential fats that must be obtained from our diet. Omega-3s support the body’s health in every way and are vital in the fight against diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Omega 3′s also help to lower cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure, nourish the immune system and reduce symptoms of arthritis and depression. Another great thing about these burgers is that it’s a great source of quality protein that can help build and repair the body, nourish your immune system as well as sustain lean muscle.
- 500 g fresh raw skinless and boneless salmon fillet, chopped
- 1 small bunch chopped parsley
- 2 spring onions (scallions), sliced
- zest and juice from 1 lemon
- good grind of pepper and a little sea salt
- 1 organic egg
50 g ( 1/2 cup) almond meal to coat (optional)
Combine the salmon, spring onion, parsley, lemon zest, juice, egg and a little salt and pepper into a food processor. Process until just combined. Remove and shape into 8 burgers. Coat them lightly in almond meal if using and rest in the fridge for 15 minutes to help them firm up. Cook the burgers in a pan over a low – medium heat with a splash of olive oil until crisp, golden and cooked through. Serve with your choice of steamed greens, roasted sweet potato or leafy greens. Makes 8 burgers. Serves 4 NOTES: These burgers keep for 2 – 3 days in the fridge after cooking. They are also delicious thrown into your lunch time salad for an added protein hit.
THURSDAY: Detox vegetable curry
This curry is bursting with flavour, antioxidants and restorative nutrients that have all been specifically combined to help nourish the body, boost metabolism and basically make you feel great ! It’s quite simple to make and you can pretty much use what ever seasonal fresh vegetables you like to eat. What’s great about it: Full of enzyme rich vegetables that aid the cleansing and detoxification process, this healthy curry makes the ultimate healthy meal. The vegetables have minimal cooking times, so they are still bursting with colour, flavour and nutrients. The aromatic flavours of the curry paste will stimulate the circulation and boost metabolism. Curcumin is the active ingredient in Turmeric, responsible for the distinct yellow colouring and the impressive list of health properties. Turmeric has been linked to the prevention of cancer cell growth and management of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, asthma, eczema and inflammatory bowel disease. It is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in manganese, zinc, B group vitamins and iron. Ginger has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It helps to boost immune function and combat cellular damage. Black pepper contains an active ingredient called piperline that is known to enhance digestion and work as an anti-inflammatory. Garlic is also an immune system warrior, protecting the body from infections and illness. Garlic contains allicin, a potent phytonutrient that is great for cardiac health. It has been shown to help lower blood pressure, inhibit blood clotting and promote healthy cholesterol levels.
- 300 ml coconut milk
- 500 ml Pumpkin seed milk
- 100 ml Vegetable stock or water
- 2 – 3 tablespoons good store bought red curry paste
- 450 g assorted seasonal vegetables (carrot, snow peas, asparagus broccoli, cauliflower)
- 4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 3 Kaffir lime leaves, crushed
- 1 lime
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- fresh herbs to garnish (Thai, basil or coriander)
Combine the coconut milk, pumpkin seed milk and vegetable stock in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the curry paste and kaffir lime leaves. Simmer gently for 3 – 5 minutes. Add vegetables and mushrooms and simmer for another 5 minutes until vegetables are just tender. Squeeze in 1 tablespoon of lime juice and season with a little salt and pepper. Ladle curry straight into serving bowls and garnish with Thai basil leaves or coriander.
FRIDAY: Healthy Beef Pie
The lean beef is a great source of complete protein. Whenever the body is growing, repairing or replacing tissue, protein is involved. Protein also helps to nourish and support a healthy immune system. The beef is also a good source of iron that helps to transport oxygen in the blood. Vitamin C increases absorption of iron so have a kiwi fruit or orange for dessert afterwards. Red wine is rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that includes resveratrol which helps protect cell membranes as well as having anti-inflammatory properties.
- 1 kg beef cheeks or chuck trimmed and cut into large chunks
- 4 onions, sliced
- 4 large cloves garlic, smashed
- few sprigs of thyme
- 2 cups good quality red wine
- 1 litre (4 cups) water
- 2 star anis
- 500 g mushrooms – quartered / halved
Preheat the oven to 150 C.
Heat a Large frying pan over medium heat.
Brown the beef on each side for a few minutes.
Place the beef in a heavy-based / cast iron casserole dish.
Deglaze the frying pan by adding 2 cups of red wine then add it to the casserole dish.
Clean your frying pan and sauté the onions over a medium heat until golden brown.
Add the onions to the casserole dish.
Add the mushrooms to the casserole dish.
Add thyme, star anis and water.
Mix everything together.
Cover well with foil so all sides are completely sealed.
Cook for approx 3 – 4 hours or until the beef is tender and sauce has thickened. Check half way through and add a little more water or beef stock if required.
Taste and check, season with a little sea salt and pepper if required.
Thicken if necessary by reducing the stock or by mixing in 1 – 2 teaspoons arrowroot dissolved in a little water.
Healthy Shortcrust Pastry
Spelt and olive oil short crust
Combine 125 g (1 cup) wholemeal spelt flour with 2 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ cup (60 ml) water and a pinch sea salt. Form a soft dough and rest for 30 minutes. Divide into 4 pieces and roll each piece into thin round disks between 2 sheets of grease proof paper. Brush the top of each disk with a beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 20 minutes 180 C. Use as required. The crust can be made days in advance and reheated in a hot oven.
Makes 6 disks
Gluten Free shortcrust
Combine 2 cups (200 g) almond meal ½ cup sesame seeds (reserving some to garnish tops), pinch of sea salt and 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed. Add 1 free range / organic egg and 2 – 3 tbsp water to mix into a soft dough. divide dough into small portions (10) and roll each portion into round disks between 2 sheets of grease proof paper. Brush the top of each disk with a beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 20 minutes in a moderate 180 C oven and cool completely.
Makes 10 disk