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5 healthy dinners you can cook in 30 minutes

How do you get through the week with healthy but filling meals that make you feel good and good about yourself? With these 5 quick and healthy dishes.

1. Spicy lemongrass tomato broth with pipis


This summer pipi meal makes the most of tomatoes.

INGREDIENTS

80ml vegetable oil, 1/3 cup
4 finely sliced eschalots
1 lemongrass stalk, halved and bruised 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 leaves of kaffir lime
5cm piece (25g) thinly sliced ginger 5cm piece (25g) finely grated galangal
1/2 bunch coriander, finely chopped stems, finely chopped leaves
1 coarsely chopped long red chili, plus enough to serve
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sambal oelek
500g finely chopped ripe tomatoes
Grape tomatoes, 200 g
1kg pipis in the saucepan, purged Lime wedges to serve

METHOD

  1. In a wok, heat the oil over high heat. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until eschalot, garlic, lemongrass, lime leaves, ginger, galangal, coriander stems, and chilli are caramelized and fragrant. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until the fish sauce, sambal oelek, and tomatoes are softened and juicy. Cook for 6-7 minutes, or until the pipis have opened, covered with a lid. Any pipis that haven’t been opened should be discarded. Serve with more chilli, coriander leaves, and lime wedges on top.

2. Salmon with sticky sweet chili sauce and green tea noodles


Green tea noodles add a splash of colour to this quick weeknight meal.

INGREDIENTS

Peanut oil, 1/2 cup (125ml)
1 tablespoon ginger, coarsely chopped
3 thinly sliced long green shallots 1 finely grated lemongrass stalk (white portion only)
1 1/2 tbsp honey, runny
2 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
Soybean oil, 80g chilli paste
Pin-boned 600g entire skinless salmon fillet
240g dried green tea noodles packet
lime juice, 1/3 cup (80ml)
caster sugar, 2 1/2 tsp
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp chili flakes, plus extra to serve
To serve, toast sesame seeds and micro shiso leaves.

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius. In a small saucepan, heat the peanut oil over low heat. Ginger, a long green shallot, lemongrass, and a pinch of salt are added to the pan. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring periodically, until the long green shallot is extremely soft but not coloured. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

2. Combine the honey, olive oil, and chili paste in a separate bowl. To blend, stir everything together. Place fish on a baking tray lined with baking paper—Season salmon with salt and pepper after rubbing honey mixture over it. For medium, roast for 12-15 minutes. Set aside for 5 minutes to rest, loosely covered with foil.

3. Follow the package directions for cooking the noodles. Drain and rinse with warm water briefly.

4. Whisk the shallot oil, lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, and chilli flakes in a separate bowl. Toss the noodles with three-quarters of the shallot oil in a large mixing basin, seasoning to taste. Arrange on a serving plate and top with flaked salmon. Sprinkle with chilli flakes, toasted sesame seeds, shiso leaves, and drizzle with leftover shallot oil. Serve refrigerated or at room temperature.


3. Gochujang udon noodles with sesame meat


This beef and udon meal will make your evening, so say goodbye to 2-minute noodles.

INGREDIENTS

400-gram skirt steak
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Udon noodles (400g)
50 g butter, unsalted, chopped
150g sliced mixed Asian mushrooms
a quarter cup of gochujang (Korean fermented chili paste)
1 tablespoon of tomato sauce
120g spinach leaves, baby
1 bunch blanched broccolini, sliced in half on the diagonal
To serve, chop nori and toast sesame seeds

METHOD

  1. Season the skirt steak with salt flakes and sprinkle with sesame oil on a large oven tray. Allow 30 minutes for the steak to come to room temperature, or until the chill from the fridge has dissipated.

2. Cook the udon noodles as directed on the package, reserving 1 cup (250ml) of the noodle water.

3. Preheat a barbecue or chargrill pan over high heat, lightly greased. Grill the steak for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the desired doneness is achieved. Remove from the fire and set aside for 10-12 minutes, loosely covered with foil.

4. In a large nonstick frypan, melt half the butter over medium-high heat. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the mushroom is browned. Remove the item and place it away. Add the gochujang and tomato sauce to the pan and heat for 1-2 minutes, constantly stirring, until the gochujang is faintly caramelized. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the liquid, is slightly reduced, after adding the noodle water.

5. Stir in the noodles, spinach, and remaining butter until the spinach is wilted and the noodles are thoroughly coated in the sauce.

6. Layer sliced steak, broccolini, mushroom, and nori on top of noodles on serving plates. To help, top with sesame seeds.

4. Silverbeet fatteh with chickpeas and sumac yoghurt

For a change of pace, use roast cauliflower, eggplant, or roast pumpkin for the silverbeet. Start this recipe one day ahead of time.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups dried chickpeas (400 g) soaked overnight
3 hefty chunks 4 big triangles sliced from Lebanese bread
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (60ml), plus a little different to drizzle
silverbeet, half-bunch, stalks removed
1 cup each flat-leaf parsley leaves and mint leaves, roughly chopped
Toasted pine nuts, 1/2 cup (80g)
200g flakes high-quality smoked trout or salmon
DRESSING FOR YOGHURT (MAKES APPROX. 295G)
1 cup natural yogurt (280g)
1 tbsp. za’atar, with a bit of extra for sprinkling
2 smashed garlic cloves 2 1/2 teaspoon sumac
1/2 lemon’s juice
DRESSING WITH POMEGRANATE (MAKES APPROX. 125ML)
pomegranate molasses, 2 tbsp
1 lemon’s juice
a quarter cup (60ml) olive oil (extra virgin)

METHOD

  1. In a medium saucepan, cover chickpeas with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium and cook for 40-45 minutes, or until the meat is tender. Keep yourself warm.

2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place Lebanese bread on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then top with additional za’atar. Preheat oven to 350°F and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, za’atar, garlic, sumac, and lemon for the yogurt dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then stir to blend.

4. To make the pomegranate dressing, combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine.

5. Heat a chargrill pan or a grill to high heat. Drizzle more oil over silverbeet, season, and chargrill for 4-5 minutes, or until wilted and seared. Roughly chop and combine with chickpeas and herbs in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle over the pomegranate dressing and toss to incorporate.

6. Toss the pita on a serving platter with the yogurt dressing, then top with the silverbeet salad. To serve, top with pine nuts and smoked fish.

5. This tomato vodka rigatoni will brighten your day.

With this classic spaghetti sauce, you can make the most of your cupboard supplies.

INGREDIENTS

Extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup (60ml)
1 finely chopped onion
4 finely sliced garlic cloves
a quarter cup (210g) paste made from tomatoes
a half-cup (125ml) vodka
a quarter cup (60ml) cream that has thickened
a half-cup (40g) 400g rigatoni, finely grated parmesan, cooked according to package directions, 1/4 cup (60ml) boiling water set aside

METHOD

  1. In a large nonstick frypan, heat the oil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes, or until onion and garlic are softened. Stir in the tomato paste for 2 minutes, or until it has faintly caramelized.

2. Cook for 4-5 minutes after adding the vodka. Bring the cream, parmesan, and 1/4 cup (60ml) reserved cooking water to a simmer. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve soon after stirring in the rigatoni to coat it with the sauce.

Conclusion


These meals aren’t simply quick; they’ll help you win anyone’s heart. Check out the rest of the recipes for even more fantastic ideas.

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