By Lauren Hannaford, NAB RunWest Nutrition partner
I think one of the most regular questions my husband Simon and I ask each other is, “what do you feel like for dinner?”
I’m not sure why it always seems like such a difficult question to answer. Maybe it’s because we always feel like we want to go out for dinner because we love the idea of sitting in a restaurant eating a nice meal and having a glass of wine. Of course that’s not practical on so many levels especially if you are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The best way to control what you eat is to make it yourself. Our go to meal at home would always be some sort of stir fry. It’s simple, it’s quick and it’s full of fresh ingredients. Stir Fry I find it’s best to cook a stir fry in a non-stick wok but any type of fry pan works just fine.
You can throw any type of veggies you like in a stir fry. I always add some chopped onion, a little bit of garlic, a dash of soy sauce and some fresh chilli. I stay away from the pre packaged sauces in the supermarket. They tend to have quite a bit of sugar in them and aren’t that good for you. Plus there is no better flavour than ‘freshness’. (I may have just made that term up. Ha!) These days it’s hard to go past buying the brown rice in the packet that you just heat up for 90 seconds. Once again the amount of rice should be the size of your fist which is the same size as the protein you are cooking with.
CHOOSE 1 of these proteins: Chicken, beef, lamb, fish, seafood, tofu
CHOOSE 3 or 4 veggies: Broccoli, zucchini, carrot, bok choy, corn, capsicum, cauliflower, green beans, peas, snow peas. Mix it up as you go and try different options to see what you prefer. It’s good to continue to find different variations so you don’t get bored of the same meal all the time.
Probably one of the easiest meals to cook. You literally just throw the chicken in the oven on a tray at a temperature around 180 degrees and leave it until it’s cooked. It usually takes around an hour but check the directions to give you a better idea depending on the size of the chicken.
I always cook some steamed veggies with it like broccoli, carrots and zucchini. You can bake a couple of pieces of sweet potato in the oven as well if you feel like it. (YES PLEASE!!)
I usually find the roast chicken and veggies is enough with this meal and I’m sorry to say this but it is best to remove the skin before you eat it. Just have little bit of the skin because it is so delicious but try not to eat too much. (Too much is never enough!) Haha, no but seriously be conscious not to have too much.
Depending on how many mouths you are feeding you can always use the left over chicken for salads, stir fry and open sandwiches. You should definitely be able to get a few meals out of it. Also…… You can always create the same meal with roast lamb, roast beef and fish (cover fish in foil) as well for variation. It’s exactly the same principal as put it in the oven and wait for it to cook. So simple and so delicious.
Pasta is always a favourite for people and families. (ME too!) You just have to be careful with the amount of pasta that you eat. We always end up cooking way too much pasta and keep going back for more helpings. Who’s with me on this?!?
One cup of cooked pasta is roughly the right amount per serve, per person. Once again stay away from pasta sauces. Some of them may taste really good but they are full of sugar. Make sure that you only make sauces that are tomato based. No creamed based pasta sauce.
Here is a simple pasta sauce recipe:
1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan *Hannaford Olive Oil if you can get your hands on some
1 chopped onion
2 cloves of crushed garlic
Add lemon juice & fresh parsley
1 can of crushed tomatoes or crushed fresh tomatoes (Definitely go for the fresh if you can) Add salt and pepper to taste
Add lean mince, chicken or pork if you want to add a protein to it but stay away from the temptation of garlic bread. The pasta itself is enough carbohydrate for one meal.
Who’s hungry now?!?
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