Fast food and being healthy don’t usually go hand in hand, but when you’re whipping up your own dinners it’s possible to combine the two. Take a look at my food hacks for making classic dishes healthier and quicker, or preparing in advance to get you ahead on the night.
Wok it up
One of the quickest meals you can make has to be a stir fry. I like to pack in loads of vegetables so it’s really good for you – whatever I have in the fridge but usually carrots, peppers and greens at the very least. If you have a big wok you can cook your meat, veg and sauce together too and save on washing up.
One thing I don’t mind taking a bit of extra time over though is the sauce, as lots of the ready-prepared packets have loads of sugar and salt in them. You can prep this tasty stir fry sauce recipe in advance and leave it in the fridge overnight if you know you’ll be pushed for time on the evening itself. Or you could easily rustle up my Mexican Spiced butternut squash stir fry if you have a little more time!
OK, so chips aren’t the first thing you think of when considering healthy options, but oven baked chips cooked from the freezer are so handy and tasty I had to include them. McCain chips come in 5% fat straight or crinkle cut options, making them the the obvious choice. The magic of oven chips is that the prep work is done for you, so all you have to decide is what to have them with. A nice lean steak and some veg always go down a treat.
Make sauce ahead
A family favourite for a speedy dinner in our house is pasta and sauce. While you can cook pasta in 10 minutes, the sauce needs a bit more love and attention. I always make a big batch and put it in the freezer, which saves money and means you only have to cook once for multiple meals. Plus, with a pasta sauce you can hide all sorts of vegetables in there, which add to the flavour, thicken the sauce, and blend away to become invisible to inquisitive little eyes. Take some inspiration from Annabel Karmel recipe and add or swap whatever veg you like.
A light and tasty fishcake alternative
It’s sometimes hard to find something that the kids will eat but is also full of flavours us grown-ups like. These salmon burgers are a good middle ground and are super healthy, as well as not being too stodgy as they don’t have potato in them. (You could serve them with the chips above without being too full). I plan on making a batch for me and hubby with the maximum red Thai paste in, and a small batch for the kids that isn’t so spicy.
Chilli on the double
You’ll like this turkey chilli recipe if you’re not a fan of red meat or just fancy a hearty chilli but don’t have the time to cook it for hours. Using turkey instead of beef mince it’s lower in fat and black beans are used instead of kidney beans for their high levels of dietary fibre, as well as some sweetcorn that the kids will love. The best part for me though is that it can be ready and on the table in 20 minutes.
Do you fancy trying any of these recipes, or have any of your own quick and healthy ideas that are too good not to share?
Disclosure: Collaborative guest post