In the past couple of years as work pressure and family obligations have become more and more demanding, I have started looking for healthier and quicker meal options. The quest for longer sustainability and less time spent in the kitchen has become a constant amongst urban families. The concept of simple ingredients used in a creative manner to create healthy dishes real fast is also being widely promoted by celebrity chefs in a bid to discourage people from relying on greasy takeaway and unhealthy eating practices.
Over Christmas, I bought Donna Hay’s latest No Time To Cook and started seriously thinking about doing a similar series on the blog. The focus of the series would be to keep things simple and create delicious recipes that would appeal to most people and would be a boon for people on the move who are hard-pressed for time.
This is the first of many posts to come under the moniker NTTC. Seasonal produce is fantastic. It is not only extremely fresh but it also adds a wonderful variety to your plate at every meal. Don’t be afraid to experiment and keep things really simple. Nothing can be more special than simple.
Today I present 5 quick and healthy meal ideas, each in under 10 minutes flat; give or take a few minutes. I have spent the past 2 weeks creating these recipes from pantry staples and fresh produce that arrives in my weekly fruit and veggie basket from a produce pool that I am a member of. Please let me know if you try any of the recipes and how they turn out. If you have recipes of your own that would do justice to NTTC, please feel free to send them over to me or a link to your blog and I will feature them on future posts in the series. You can reach me at sneh.roy at gelskitchen dot com or find me on twitter.
The format to send them would be as follows Recipe Title [serves] /Checklist (a list of equipment and ingredients)/Task (a maximum of 10-12 sentences of informally listed series of actions performed) Meanwhile enjoy these recipes! And keep em coming.
Egg & Lettuce Wholemeal Wrap [Serves 2]
Checklist : Frying Pan/Bowl/Whisk/Spatula/Knife/Microwave/4 eggs/ olive oil/thyme/salt/pepper/lettuce/mayonnaise.
Task : Heat a frying pan. Add a tiny teaspoon of olive oil. Crack 4 eggs in a bowl. Add thyme, salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Whisk. Pour in the frying pan. Cook for a minute before flipping it over to cook the other side for 2 minutes. When cooked through, remove from the pan and cut in half. Warm two wholemeal tortillas in the microwave for 10 seconds. Line each with a large lettuce leaf, a generous squeeze of light mayonnaise and half the omelette. Roll up and slice in half.
Wholegrain Salmon And Cucumber Sandwich [Makes 1]
Checklist : Butter Knife/Knife/wholegrain bread slices/mustard/tartare sauce/smoked salmon/cucumber/lettuce.
Task : Take 2 slices of your favorite wholegrain bread [I have used a soft country grain loaf]. Spread mustard [I used hot English mustard] on one slice and tartare sauce on the other. Place 2 slices of smoked salmon on one slice. Top with 4-6 thin cucumber slices, some lettuce and the other bread slice.
Ham And Olive Pizza [Serves 2]
Checklist : Grill/Oven proof pizza tray/Knife/Spatula/Pizza Cutter/Lebanese bread/pizza sauce/onion/canned pineapple/ham/olives/mozzarella cheese.
Task : Preheat your grill. Set temperature to high. Spread your favorite sauce [I used store bought pizza sauce. You can use tomato/barbecue/chilli sauce] on a large round Lebanese bread which has been placed on a round oven-proof sheet. Top it up with sliced onions, pineapple pieces, shredded ham, stuffed olives and some light mozzarella cheese. Place pizza under the hot grill for 6-7 minutes until the cheese is golden and melted. Cut slices with a pizza cutter and enjoy!
Chicken Breast And Sprout Roll [Makes 1]
Checklist : Knife/dinner roll/chicken breast slices/avocado/alfalfa sprouts/chili sauce.
Task : Slice a wholemeal dinner roll in half. Spread hot chili sauce on one side. Place 2 slices of avocado followed by some alfalfa sprouts. Top up with 2 slices of chicken breasts [ I used chicken shavings crusted with rosemary bought from the deli ]. Arrange the other half of the roll on top.
Yellow Spinach Rice [Serves 1]
Checklist : Frying pan/Wooden spoon/Knife/olive oil/leftover cooked rice/curry leaves/spinach/onion/peas/turmeric powder/chili powder/salt/sugar.
Task : Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add curry leaves, finely chopped onion and peas. Cook for a minute. Add rice, seasoning and spices. Cook for another 2 minutes mixing well. Add a cup of chopped spinach leaves, cook for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Enjoy with yoghurt.