5 Super Speedy Dinners That Are Good For You Too

Trying to figure out what to make for dinner can feel like solving a complex puzzle.

Does it fit the budget? Will it taste good? Are the ingredients good for you and your family?

If the answer to all three questions is ‘yes’, then you know you’re onto a winner.

But dinner favourites can soon grow old when your taste buds begin to crave something new on the table. And then you need to start the puzzle all over again.

You can only search for so many quinoa recipes before you start to feel like you’re going crazy! Especially when you’re short on time or have an old piece of broccoli quickly going brown in your refrigerator.

But the best cooks know that a well-stocked pantry and a fridge full of veggies can put them 15 minutes away from their next hit meal.

Luckily, they publish their recipes so we that we can stop scratching our heads and start cooking up a storm!

Here are 5 of the best quick and healthy dinner ideas for the next time you want to solve the “what’s for dinner?” puzzle.

1. Mushroom Omelette with Silverbeet

Who said you couldn’t have breakfast for dinner? A veggie omelette is quick, delicious and healthy. The eggs pack a protein punch—great for regenerating your muscles if you work out in the evenings—and the veggies help bring you and your family across the 5-a-day finish line.

Don’t have mushrooms or silverbeet? The great thing about this recipe is that you can use almost any vegetable you have lying at the bottom of your crisper drawer. This is really handy if you find that your unused fresh produce is going off.

Spinach, capsicum, red onion, cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs all work fantastically here, but don’t be afraid to experiment with whatever you have.

This is an awesome veggie omelette recipe from Pete Evans, suitable for paleo, gluten-free and low-carb eaters. Ready to try it? See here for the full recipe.

Hot tip: Top with a shaving of parmesan for a delicious bite, or add a sprinkling of herb salt or smoked paprika for extra flavour.

2. Ramen in a Jar

An instant pot of noodles can be a real crowd-pleaser. Salty, comforting and quick in the microwave, they’re a 2-minute dinner lover’s dream. But in the nutrition stakes? Safe to say, most brands of instant noodles are severely lacking.

Luckily, you can now make your own. Swedish vegan blogger Jenny Mustard has designed a flavourful, rainbow-filled instant noodle dish that not only tastes great but only takes a hot minute to cook.

The best thing about this recipe is its simplicity. All you need to do is prepare in advance by par-cooking some ramen noodles, prepping the fresh veggies and condiments and popping them in a jar together.

Keep it in the fridge, and when you’re ready for dinner, simply add hot water! For the full recipe see here.

Hot tip: Got kids? Get them involved in filling their own jars with their favourite veggies. This recipe almost feels like a fun craft activity.

3. Panzanella Salad

The old-fashioned Aussie way of dealing with stale bread is fairly limited. You could make a high-calorie bread and butter pudding or toast old crusts into croutons and drench them in cans of tomato soup. Many of us probably just feed them to the birds or throw them out!

But the Italians? They have great ideas on how to use their old bread! If you’ve got a loaf of sourdough that’s drying out fast, why not make a Panzanella salad? This Mediterranean classic from Jamie Oliver magically transforms basic ingredients into a vegetarian feast.

Click here for the full recipe.

Hot tip: In this recipe, quality is everything. Flavourless refined olive oil and bland vinegar just won’t do. Invest in high-quality oils and vinegars for your pantry, and every simple meal you create will taste like luxury.

4. Honey Soy Salmon and Cauliflower Rice

Honey, soy sauce, fresh salmon and a head of cauliflower. Simple ingredients, sure, but also a fast-track route to fast food heaven. Throw in some frozen veggies like carrot, peas, and corn into the cauliflower rice for extra nutrition points.

Simply grate the head of cauliflower into a pan to create rice-like granules and stir on low heat in an garlicky olive oil base.  While you’re doing that, the salmon (marinated in advance) can be baked in the oven for super smart efficiency.

A quick and tasty low-calorie meal, this recipe only takes 15 minutes to whip up and is sure to delight family and friends alike.

Click here for the full recipe.

5. Spaghetti with Spicy Tuna Ragout

When it comes to fast, healthy food, pasta can be a great starting point. Over the years, our growing fear of carbs and gluten may have turned us away from the classic pantry staple, but alternative options do exist.

An old zucchini can be spiralized into ‘zoodles’, and different pasta flours like chickpea, edamame and konjac are increasingly available. If you have no problem with grain-based pasta, why not try a whole wheat variety this time?

Whatever kind of spaghetti you decide to use for this zingy ten-minute recipe, dress it up with a delicious sauce of extra virgin olive oil, tomato, chili and tuna for a healthy boost of good fats, protein and omega 3s.

Ready for dinner? Get the full recipe here.

Hot tip: Tuna doesn’t pair well with all the veggies in the gourmet universe, but it does love a few. Try tossing a bit of capsicum, spinach, olives or peas into the mix for extra deliciousness.

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