If iso life has you feeling like you’re spending a helluva lot of time in the kitchen trying to prep meals then you’re not alone. So why not just make it easier by cooking once but eating twice? These recipes by nutritionist Michele Chevalley Hedge are nutritioust, delicious and best of all, can be eaten for dinner and lunch. Because less time cooking is something we all could use right now.
Meatballs with ragu and zoodles
SERVES 4 PREPARATION TIME: 25 MINS COOKING TIME: 35 MINS
1 kg tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano leaves
1/4 bunch basil, leaves picked
4 zucchini, spiralised
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
400 g turkey mince
400 g chicken thigh mince (it’s important you use thigh meat as it stops the meatballs from drying out)
2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons pitted green olives, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tablespoons grated parmesan
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons rice breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced) and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Spread out the tomatoes on the prepared tray and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes or until soft and collapsed. Allow to cool slightly, then purée until smooth.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery and cook for a few minutes or until softened. Stir in the tomato paste and thyme.
Add the stock, oregano, most of the basil (leaving a few leaves to garnish) and the puréed tomato and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, to make the meatballs, combine the turkey and chicken mince, oregano, parsley, olives, garlic and parmesan in a bowl. Add the egg and then the rice breadcrumbs, ensuring everything is evenly mixed.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Roll the mince mixture into golf ball–sized balls and place on the prepared tray. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Place the meatballs in the oven and reduce the temperature to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Bake for 10 minutes or until cooked through.
Meanwhile, briefly blanch the zoodles until tender.
Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar. Stir through the meatballs and season to taste.
Divide the zoodles among four bowls and serve with the meatballs and ragu on top.
CHANGE UP THE PROTEIN: Omit the turkey mince and use 800 g chicken mince, or try a mix of half pork and half beef mince. Lamb is good too. In fact, any mince will do!
FOR CARB-LOVING FAMILY MEMBERS: Serve with pasta.
Chicken and Cauliflower bake with creamy tahini sauce
SERVES 4 PREPARATION TIME: 15 MINS COOKING TIME: 30 MINS
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander (or Moroccan spice mix)
8 chicken thigh fillets, sliced
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
4 handfuls of baby rocket or baby spinach
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
CREAMY TAHINI SAUCE
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup water
splash of extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Combine the olive oil and ground coriander in a bowl.
Remove and reserve half the mixture. Add the chicken to the remaining spiced oil in the bowl and toss to coat well, then set aside to marinate.
Use your hands to coat the cauliflower in the reserved spiced oil. Spread it out on the prepared tray, taking care not to overcrowd it, and roast for 10 minutes. Stir the cauliflower and add the chicken to the tray. Roast for another 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Meanwhile, to make the tahini sauce, place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork or stick blender until smooth and creamy.
Serve the roast chicken and cauliflower on a bed of rocket or spinach, topped with the tahini sauce and parsley.
GO VEGETARIAN: Use almonds or GMO-free firm tofu for protein, roasting just as you would the chicken, reducing the roasting time accordingly.
NIX THE TAHINI: Replace the tahini with a soft goat’s cheese or feta, or plain full fat Greek style yoghurt.
FOR CARB-LOVING FAMILY MEMBERS: Serve with quinoa or brown rice, or add a serve of legumes, such as lentils or chickpeas.
Scrumptious fish cakes
SERVES 4 PREPARATION TIME: 15 MINS COOKING TIME: 15 MINS
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
lime wedges, to serve
sweet chilli sauce (preferably low sugar), to taste
700 g firm white fish fillets (such as flathead, snapper, whiting or dory), skin and bones removed, roughly diced
2 tablespoons coconut cream
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons green curry paste
1 bunch coriander, stems and leaves chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons chopped ginger
2 spring onions, white part
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease eight holes of a standard muffin tin with the olive oil.
To make the fishcakes, place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz to a medium coarse texture.
Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared muffin holes, filling them only three-quarters full. Bake for 15 minutes or until firm and cooked through. Rest on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, mash the avocado flesh and season with salt and pepper.
Serve the fishcakes with the mashed avocado, lime wedges and sweet chilli sauce.
MAKE IT A NEW MEAL: Turn these muffins into meatballs and toss through konjac noodles dressed in sesame oil and lime juice.
FOR CARB-LOVING FAMILY MEMBERS: Make the patties bigger and serve on wholegrain buns as burgers.
Now how to turn dinner into lunch…
(Clockwise from top)
Tahini chicken salad
Make a salad with the roast chicken and cauli above – just add a green leaf of your choice, 1/4 tin drained chickpeas, some diced red capsicum and thinly sliced red onion, then drizzle over the tahini sauce as a dressing.
Serve the fishcakes above with a rocket, tomato and cucumber salad dressed with olive oil and your favourite vinegar.
Meatball salad bowl
Take the turkey meatballs above and transform them into a salad bowl by adding cooked brown rice and fresh greens, and seasoning with olive oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle some flaxseeds on top and you’re ready to go!