Healthy eating can be tough, especially when you are busy, working long hours and get home late, tired and starving! I know that feeling!

When I work with people to help them change their diet from a processed to a healthy one, I want them to understand that cooking amazing and healthy meals doesn’t have to take a long time.

Often time can be the main objection to preparing fresh food – most of us don’t have much time for this. However, if our minds and bodies are to function effectively and we want to prevent sickness, we all need fresh wholesome meals, especially those that can be rustled up in a hurry. I am delighted to share with you 3 of my go-to recipes that will be on the table in the same time it takes to turn on the oven and heat up a ready meal!

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I chose these amazing and healthy recipes for the following reasons:

1. their speed of preparation and cooking.

2. the ingredients can be stored in your larder or fridge for a few days or if you are working all day and the chicken or salmon is in the freezer, you can leave them out to defrost on the morning before you leave the house.

3. they are ‘clean’ with no processed sauces and all of the ingredients are fresh, apart from the tinned coconut milk, although choose an organic variety, preservative free.

4. they are tasty, filling, colorful and full of nutrition

5. they can be cooked either in advance or for dinner and a portion saved for next days’s lunch, great when you are in a hurry and need to run out the door.

6. they can be adapted to suit the ingredients you have at any one time.

7. the grains are low GL and will help maintain blood sugar levels.

Cauliflower and chickpea curry

This meal contains vital antioxidants in the garlic, curry powder and vegetables and phytoestrogens in the chickpeas. Fibre is provided in the vegetables and brown rice.

You can double this recipe and freeze the reminder, or store in the fridge for 3 days

Ingredients

– 1 tsp coconut oil or olive oil
– 2 cloves of garlic crushed
– 1 onion diced
– 2 tsp curry powder
– 150ml water
– 150ml coconut milk
– 2 tsp kallo stock cube
– 2tbsp tomato puree
– 200g chickpeas
– 1/2 small cauliflower, broken into small florets
– 2 small carrots, finely chopped
– 100g fine green beans
– handful of coriander
– 120g dry weight of brown rice

Steps

– Heat the water and when boiling add the brown rice

– Heat the oil in a pan or wok and add the onion cook for 2 minutes.

– Add the curry powder, vegetables, stock and coconut milk, cooking them until the vegetables are al dente.

– Add the tomato puree and chickpeas, simmering for a minute

– Add the coriander and serve with brown rice

Note: you can add any vegetable for variety: broccoli, courgettes or peppers all work well in this recipe.

Salmon teryikai with quinoa tabbouleh

Salmon is full of omega 3 essential fatty acids for healthy skin, heart and brain. Quinoa is a complete protein particularly good for vegetarians/vegans and a useful substitute for gluten grains. Tamari is wheat free.

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Ingredients

– 2 fillets of salmon

For the marinade:

– 1 tbsp tamari sauce
– 1 tsp honey
– 1 tbsp tomato sauce (passata or paste)

Quinoa Tabbouleh:

– 370g quinoa
– 1 clove garlic, crushed
– 1 small red onion, chopped
– 1 tsp fresh red chilli, chopped
– handful chopped parsley
– 25g fresh mint
– handful of green lettuce, spinach or rocket
– 1 tbsp pine nuts

Dressing:

– 120 ml lemon juice, 60ml olive oil, sea salt, pepper
– Make the marinade: mix the tamari, honey, tomato sauce and cover the salmon fillets and leave for a few minutes.
– Heat water in a saucepan and when boiling add the quinoa, simmer for approximately 5 minutes.
– Meanwhile coat the bottom of an ovenproof dish with olive oil and place in the oven to cook, approximately 10-15 minutes
– In a bowl, gather the salad ingredients, chop the garlic and make up the salad dressing. Assemble on a 2 plates and cover the salad with the dressing.
– When the salmon is cooked, take out of the oven and place on top of the tabbouleh

Chicken stir fry with crispy vegetables and soba noodles

This dish has a good selection of ‘quick cook’ vegetables retaining vital nutrients and fibre, immune boosting shitake mushrooms and ginger and garlic.

For the marinade:

– 1 tbsp tamari sauce
– 1 tbs chinese rice wine
– 1/2 tbsp chinese black vinegar

For the main ingredients:

– 2 chicken breasts or 185g firm tofu, cut into small cubes
– 1 clove garlic, crushed
– 2 tsp finely grated ginger
– 1/2 red chilli
– 75g baby corn, halved lengthways
– 75g shitake mushrooms, halved
– 75g sugar snap peas, strings removed
– 3 spring onions, cut into 4 cm lengths
– 3 leaves bok choy, trimmed, cut into 3 equal lengths
– 140g soba noodles

Steps

– Combine the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken or tofu and turn to coat in the marinade.

– In the meantime, boil the water and place the noodles in the water, simmering for 4 minutes, drain well and add a little oil to keep separate.

– Heat a little oil in the wok and add the chicken or tofu (reserving the marinade) and cook until lightly golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.

– Heat the remaining oil (and a few drops of water to keep the heat low) add the ginger and chilli and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add sugar snap peas, baby corn and spring onion and cook for another minute, then add the bok choy and reserved marinade. Toss together to combine and heat through.

– Place the noodles in bowls and top with the vegetables

Final 2 tips to help you with amazing healthy and speedy healthy dinner recipes:

– Plan to get the ingredients at the weekend so you are stocked up for the week
– Cook the quinoa and rice in advance so you have a batch in the fridge ready to add to the protein

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