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3 Healthy and Tasty Dinner Recipes (That Won’t Take Hours!)


By Samantha Gemmell

When you’re eating healthy food, it can seem like cooking takes forever. But there are ways to eat well without being a Masterchef in the kitchen for 3 hours every night.
As a nutritionist and health writer, my schedule can be unpredictable at the best of times. Some days I have the luxury to prepare what I want. Other times, I have time, but no energy to do anything elaborate. And other times, it’s about throwing together the quickest and easiest option!
So I thought I’d share three of my favourite dinner recipes. The best news is, all of them are meals that you can reheat. So if there are leftovers, you can save them for lunch the next day. I’m a big fan of cooking once, and eating 2-3 times!

Pesto Chicken Thighs & Chips
Makes 3-4 serves
Approx cooking time: 45 minutes
This is a family favourite for when I have a little bit of time to put into cooking, but not very much brainpower!
1kg of chicken thighs, de-boned
1 jar of pesto
3-4 large potatoes or 1 large sweet potato
Coconut oil or olive oil spray
Chop potatoes into chips that are about 1cm wide. Spray with oil, and season with some salt, herbs and spices of choice. Put in the oven for around 40 minutes on 200 degrees C. After 20 minutes, you may want to turn the chips over so they cook evenly.
Add chicken thighs to a pan, and cook one side for about 10 minutes. Turn the thighs, and then cover the cooked side with pesto. Cook thighs for another 10 minutes or until cooked through.
Serve with fresh or cooked veggies of choice. We’ll have a fresh salad in the summer, or some broccolini and carrot in the colder months.
Store leftovers in a glass or Pyrex container in the fridge or freezer for an easy lunch option.

Quick & Easy Stirfry
Makes 3-4 serves
Approx cooking time: 15 minutes
Stirfry is always a backup option when you need to have a meal cooked in 15 minutes flat. The good thing is, it’s easy to get plenty of veg into a stirfry!
500g diced meat of choice
1 bag stirfry vegetables, or 3-4 cups of your vegetables of choice
1-2 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1-2 tsp minced garlic
1 bag brown rice noodles
Heat some oil in a pan or wok, then added meat and brown. Add soy sauce and minced garlic, and toss to coat the meat.
Add vegetables and mix well. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Cook the brown rice noodles as per packet instructions. After straining, add to pan and mix well.
Serve immediately.
Store leftovers in a glass or Pyrex container in the fridge or freezer for an easy lunch option.

Simple Spag Bol
Makes 3-4 serves
Approx cooking time: 30 minutes
This is my favourite lazy dinner when I’m home in time to cook, but want minimal effort. Once the sauce is thrown together, I can pretty much ignore it until it’s time to serve.
500g mince beef
1 cup chopped veg of choice – eg zucchini, mushrooms, carrot
1 tsp dried Italian herbs
1-2 tsp minced garlic
¼ bottle of pure tomato passata
1 box of high-fibre pasta (I like San Remo’s Pulse Pasta)

Brown mince in some oil. Add veggies, herbs and passata. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Bring some water to the boil, and cook pasta to desired texture. Strain the pasta once cooked.
Mix garlic into the sauce, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Mix the pasta through the sauce and serve.
Store leftovers in a glass or Pyrex container in the fridge or freezer for an easy lunch option.

Samantha Gemmell is a qualified nutritionist, health writer and speaker. Her passion lies in the power of food and the belief that there is no one perfect diet for everyone. Although she wears many hats within her industry, her end goal remains the same: making health simple, actionable and evidence-based. Samantha is regularly featured as an expert in publications including MSN Health, Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine, Wellspring Magazine and The Cusp.


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