Thursday, 11 June 2020

My favourite healthy evening meals (pt. 1)

Cooking has never really been an interest of mine. I've always considered it to be tiresome, long and - honestly - pretty boring. However, during lockdown it's like someone has flicked a switch in me and I'm suddenly obsessed with cooking. I don't mean the type of cooking where you take the frozen food and throw it in the oven, rather fresh, homemade meals from scratch. I've found myself a new-found Pinterest addict, constantly looking for new recipes that I can try.

It's been a long 12 weeks but cooking has really helped to give me some structure and routine within my days, as well as a new hobby! Here are 5 of my favourite evening meals that I've cooked over the last three months. I hope you enjoy!

M e a l - 1

240g dry aborio risotto rice
400g frozen prawns
2 vegetable stock cubes (in 400ml boiling water)
10 green beans (cut in half)
10 asparagus (cut into pieces)
60g frozen peas
125ml dry white wine
100-150g onions
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
60g unsalted butter
1 lemongrass stalk (chopped)
1 tbsp oregano
2 lemons
Parmesan to serve

1. Boil the asparagus in water for 10 minutes
2. Melt the butter for 10-30 seconds in the microwave
2. Add the aborio rice to a large frying pan/wok and slowly stir in the vegetable stock (1 cup to start with) and continue to stir on medium heat
3. Add in the green beans, peas, garlic cloves, onion, oregano and lemongrass
4. Continue to add in the rest of the vegetable stock (1 cup at a time)
5. Add in the butter and the dry white wine
6. Add in the frozen prawns and asparagus
7. Continue to stir until the prawns are cooked and the rice has soaked up all of the wine/stock
8. Once served, cut lemon in half and squeeze fresh lemon juice onto the risotto (approx 1/2 lemon per serving)

Approximately 5 minutes preparation
Approximately 30 minutes cooking time

Serves 4
Approx. 450 cals per serving

M e a l - 2

3 chicken breasts (cut into small chunks)
1/2 red pepper (cut into small chunks)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
50g unsalted butter
1.5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
90g honey
1 tbsp cornflour

1. Melt the butter for 10-30 seconds in the microwave
2. Add chicken chunks into a large frying pan/wok
3. Once the chicken is browned, add in the red peppers and garlic
4. In a bowl, add the apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and honey and mix until combined
5. Add in the sticky sauce and melted butter to the pan
6. Mix until the chicken and peppers are coated
7. Add the cornflour to thicken the sauce (you can add an additional 1tbsp if you want the sauce really thick)
8. Serve with your choice of rice

Approximately 5 minutes preparation
Approximately 10 minutes cooking time

Serves 3
Approximately 267 cals per serving (without rice)

M e a l - 3

3 steaks of your choice (or chicken if preferred)
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic (chopped very small)
1 tbsp cornflour

1. Cut the meat into small diced cubes and cut up the garlic.
2. Add the honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, teriyaki sauce, vinegar, cornflour and garlic into a bowl and mix together until the ingredients are combined.
3. Add your diced meat to the pan and cook on either sides until browned.
4. Pour over the sauce and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes.
5. Add an additional 1 tbsp of cornflour if the sauce is not your preferred thickness.

Serve on skewers with mixed vegetables.

Approximately 5 minutes preparation
Approximately 10 minutes cooking time

Serves 3
Calories can vary

M e a l - 4

3 chicken breasts (chopped into diced chunks)
2 red chillis (chopped)
5 kaffir lime leaves
1 lemongrass stalk
4 shallots (peeled and chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped finely)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tbsp paprika
1 yellow pepper sliced
1 red pepper sliced
80g mangetout (sliced in half)
1 tbsp fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp honey
400ml tin reduced fat coconut milk
Optional: 1 tbsp cornflour

1. Place the chillis, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika and ground coriander in a food processer and blend until it is in a paste.
2. Add the chicken to a large pan and cook until browned on both sides.
3. Add the sauce to the chicken and also add the fish sauce, lime and honey.
4. Add the mangetout and peppers to the pan.
5. Add the coconut milk and ensure the paste becomes creamy.
6. If you wish to have a thicker sauce, add 1 tbsp cornflour.
7. Serve with rice.

Approximately 20 minutes preparation
Approximately 20 minutes cooking

Serves 3-4
Approximately 267 cals per serving (without rice)
*Calories based on 4 servings

I base my recipe on one I found on Kitchen Sanctuary.

M e a l - 5

1 small pack chilled prawns
2 cabbage leaves
1/2 red pepper
1/2 yellow pepper
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1/2 white onion
1 carrot (grated)
2 spring onions
50g egg noodles
1 tsp crushed chillies
1 tbsp easy ginger
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Skinny Food Sweet Chilli Sauce

1. Place the noodles into a saucepan of boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes on full heat.
2. Prepare vegetables, onions and garlic and add to a frying pan/wok with your prawns. Cook for 3-5 minutes on full heat.
3. Mix the ginger, soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce until combined and add to the pan
4. Place the noodles into a culinder and drain of all water.
5. Serve your dish.

Approximately 5 minutes preparation
Approximately 5-10 minutes cooking

Serves 1
Approximately 320 cals per serving


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