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3 Easy Dinners For Hard Nights

If it’s a Hard Day’s Night kind of night at your place, don’t settle for preservative laden 2-minute noodles or a boring salad – try these 3 exciting, delicious and simple recipes instead.

We’ve collated some of our favourite quick and easy meals to lighten up a heavy day – plus, they’re made from affordable ingredients to make. And if you’ve seen the recent news which puts our current rate of inflation at an almost 3-decade high and the cost of groceries up by 10%, tightening the purse strings might not be such a bad idea.

Eating affordable food doesn’t have to come at the cost of your health. Ultra-processed foods may seem cheaper, but the price to your body is a steep one, and in the long-term, those single-serve buys add up to more than that of nutritious, whole foods. These sugar-laden processed goods are fuelling the obesity epidemic, along with driving high rates of type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The issue comes with the excessive added sugars – and Aussies are getting a lot more than the recommended daily limit of 6 to 9 teaspoons, coming in at a whopping 17 teaspoons. This then skyrockets our risk for a host of diseases, including the above-mentioned type 2 diabetes, which affects over a million Australians, with research showing a direct link between insulin resistance sugary, ultra-processed products. But there is another way – the following foods worth prioritising over more heavily-processed alternatives:  

  • Whole fruits and veggies
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Fermented foods

With the following tasty recipes, we’ll show you how dinner can be both quick AND cheap.

Turmeric Roast Carrot Soup With Egg Topper

This hearty dinner is loaded with antioxidants, protein and iron, not to mention the fragrant flavours of ginger and turmeric. The best part is that it’s so easy to make and you can even make extra to last you multiple days.

Makes: 3 serves

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium carrots, chopped into discs
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 medium red onions, cut into quarters
  • 2 garlic cloves, skin on
  • 3/4-inch knob peeled fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One-half 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Poached egg “floater” (optional; see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons full-fat coconut cream, for serving

Method:

  1. Preheat a convection oven to 400F or 200C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the carrots, sweet potato, onions, and garlic in a large bowl. Add the ginger, turmeric, and oil, season with salt and pepper, and mix until well combined. Spread out evenly over the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the veggies are tender.
  3. Pop the garlic out of their skins and remove to a large bowl. Add the rest of the veggies, then stir in the coconut milk and stock. Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until smooth. If you prefer a thinner soup, add a little water. Start with 2 tablespoons, stirring the water through thoroughly until you reach your desired consistency. If you wish, add in a poached egg “floater” or two.
  4. Ladle half the soup into a bowl for tonight’s dinner and stir in 1 tablespoon of the coconut cream. Store the rest of the soup in an airtight container for tomorrow’s lunch, reserving the remaining 1 tablespoon coconut cream for that meal.

Note: To boost this recipe, add a poached egg “floater”: Break 1 or 2 eggs into a teacup. Once you have pureed your soup, pour it into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Gently tip the egg(s) from the teacup into the soup, turn off the heat immediately, and cover the pan tightly. Leave for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked.

Find the full recipe HERE.

 Green Crunch Chickpea Salad

With the warmer months on the way, loaded salads are a satiating, nutritious and refreshing option to keep you cool and energised. This isn't your usual type of salad; it's a protein, iron and calcium-packed affair fit for the whole family. Straight from our Anti-Anxiety Diet eBook, you’ll have the added benefit of calming ingredients, ideal for winding down after a stressful day.

Makes: 2 serves:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups finely shredded kale
  • 2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
  • 1 medium cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Method:

  1. Place the kale, cabbage, cucumber, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Pour the dressing on the salad, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss well to combine. Set aside to let the flavours develop.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet on a medium heat. Add the chickpeas and pan-fry for 8 to 10 minutes, until crispy.
  4. Add the chickpeas to the salad and toss to combine.
  5. Place half the salad in a bowl for tonight’s dinner and store the rest in an airtight container for tomorrow’s lunch.

Skillet Pilaf With Yoghurt Turmeric

This immune-boosting powerhouse dinner is loaded with aromatic spices, intense flavour and hearty chickpeas. Plus, it’s so quick and easy to make in just one skillet – no need for countless tools and appliances.

Makes: 2 serves

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 leaves of kale, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped 
  • 1 leek, white part finely sliced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1⁄4 cup almond, roughly chopped
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 400g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lemon
  • Turmeric yoghurt:
  • 1 ⁄3 cup full-fat plain yoghurt, or coconut yoghurt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season

Method:

  1. Combine ingredients for the Turmeric Yoghurt in a jar and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil, leek, pepitas, almonds, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, until veggies start to soften. Add in the kale, cumin, coriander and turmeric and cook for a further 1 minute or until fragrant. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if you need.
  2. Add in the chickpeas and green peas and stir through for 2 minutes, or until heated through.
  3. Divide the Skillet Pilaf between a bowl for dinner and a container for lunch tomorrow. Serve with the Turmeric Yoghurt and a generous squeeze of lemon.

Find the full recipe HERE.

Keen for more health and nutrition tips? We’re here to help. Join us for the 8-Week Program where we’ll be quitting sugar and turning our health dreams into a reality. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:

  1. 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
  2. 90+ member-only recipes.
  3. Community forums to share your journey.
  4. Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
  5. Exclusive content from our panel of experts.

So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to JOIN NOW!

 

 

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