Not sure what to cook tonight? Lee Holmes shares her three favourite recipes

written by Lee Holmes

Not sure what to cook tonight? Lee Holmes shares her 3 favourite recipes

Credit: Jennifer Pallian

Eating dinner around the table with loved ones should be a time of gathering, joy, comfort and healthy food. But, sometimes, this isn’t the case at all. Not sure what to cook?

Thinking about what to make for dinner to please everyone can be hard work, especially after a long day. Deciding what to make can take longer than the cooking process itself. Know what I mean?

I want to show you how easy it can be to create delicious homemade meals that you and the family will love. I want to debunk those myths that homecooked food must be tiring and take a whole team of chefs. That’s just not true.

Eating at home makes it easy for you to decide what you want to fuel your body with and puts you in the driver’s seat of what you’re cooking and consuming.

Not only is cooking at home much cheaper than buying food outside, it can also mean you’re consuming a lot fewer calories, saturated fats, sugars and hidden nasties that fast foods and restaurant foods contain. Eating at home makes it easy for you to decide what you want to fuel your body with and puts you in the driver’s seat of what you’re cooking and consuming.

Cooking has given me a greater appreciation and knowledge of food. Food can heal you, warm you up and give you an energy boost. I love cooking because it lets me get creative, unwind and change gears after a day of work. I don’t think too much when I cook — I like to just feel what is right (and sneakily try it with a tasting spoon …).

Cooking at home can help build healthy habits and let you supercharge your life. It’s a great way to educate kids on food: the good, the bad and the ugly! Teaching the young ones how to cook is essential to instilling healthy habits and can even improve your familial bond.

I’m sharing three of my favourite easy dinner recipes with you from my latest book Fast Your Way to Wellness, so you can get a taste of how easy and delicious home cooking can be.

Now, the only question is, chicken or fish?

Mint and Ginger Prawns with Coleslaw

Serves 2

202 calories per serve (846kJ)

Ingredients

Method

  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 180g (¼ small) cabbage, finely shredded
  • 180g (¼ small) red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 kale leaves, stalks removed, roughly chopped or torn
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 150g (10 medium) peeled & deveined raw prawns, tails left intact
  • Mint leaves, to serve

  • Dressing
  • 1 tsp finely grated lime zest
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tsp wheat-free tamari
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint
  1. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small jar, seal and shake well.
  2. Combine carrot, cabbages, kale and spring onion in a serving bowl.
  3. Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the prawns and cook for 1–2 mins on each side, until cooked through.
  4. Put the prawns on top of the vegetables, pour over the dressing and serve topped with the mint leaves.

One-Pan Roasted Fish and Vegetables

Serves: 4

249 calories per serve (1043kJ)

Ingredients

Method

  • 4 × 120g thick white fish fillets (such as barramundi or cod)
  • Juice 1 lemon
  • Celtic sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • A few rosemary sprigs
  • A few thyme sprigs
  • 2 brown onions, cut into wedges (optional)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 zucchini, thickly sliced lengthways
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into large dice
  • 2 red capsicums, cut into wedges
  • 2 large orange or yellow capsicums, cut into large wedges
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • Thin lemon wedges, to serve (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Put the fish fillets in a shallow dish and pour over the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, then top the fillets with the rosemary and thyme sprigs. Cover and set aside at room temperature while you cook the vegies.
  3. Put the vegetables in a roasting tin, season with salt and pepper, then drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle with the herbs and spices. Bake for 25–30 mins, turning halfway through.
  4. Rest the fish fillets on top of the vegetables and cook for a further 12–15 mins, until the fish is cooked through.
  5. Serve the fillets on top of the vegetables with lemon wedges (if using).

Rosemary and Thyme Chicken Stew

Serves: 4

267 calories per serve (1118kJ)

Ingredients

Method

  • 145g (2 large) carrots, halved lengthways & sliced
  • 4 small red onions (optional), peeled & quartered
  • 2 leeks, white part only, sliced
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 370g (about 2) skinless chicken thighs, halved
  • 625mL (2½ cups) chicken stock
  • 400g tinned diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few thyme sprigs
  • A few rosemary sprigs
  • Drizzle apple-cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar-free wholegrain mustard
  • Celtic sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Put the carrots, onions (if using), leeks, lemons and garlic in a large roasting tin. Rest the chicken thighs on top of the vegetables, then pour in the stock and tomatoes and top with the herbs. Drizzle in the apple-cider vinegar, then bake for 35–40 mins, until the vegetables and chicken are cooked through.
  3. Remove the chicken and vegetables from the pan and keep warm. Discard the bay leaf (and the lemon quarters if you prefer) and transfer the juices to a saucepan. Bring the juices to the boil, then add the mustard and boil for 5 mins, or until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables, then serve.


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Lee Holmes

Lee Holmes is a nutritionist, yoga and meditation teacher, wholefoods chef, Lifestyle Food Channel’s Healthy Eating Expert, blogger and author of the best-selling books Supercharged Food: Eat Your Way to Health, Supercharged Food: Eat Yourself Beautiful, Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian, Heal your Gut, Eat Right for Your Shape and Supercharged Food for Kids.

Lee’s food philosophy is all about S.O.L.E. food: sustainable, organic, local and ethical. Her main goal is to alter the perception that cooking fresh, wholesome, nutrient-rich meals is difficult, complicated and time-consuming. From posting recipes, her passion to share her autoimmune disease story and help others has snowballed and the blog has recently taken home the overall prize at the Bupa Health Influencer Awards as well as the best blog in the Healthy Eating category. She also runs a four-week online Heal Your Gut program.