Lack of time and exhaustion often means healthy eating takes a back seat. These fantastic healthy time saver recipes will have you covered for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
It’s not just time us parents are lacking - it’s often energy and enthusiasm for cooking as well, and when the little ’uns are clinging onto your ankles and craving your attention, doing anything other than sticking a few things on a baking tray is too much.
All too often, our healthy food plans go out the window and we end up reaching for the frozen oven food or popping to Maccy-D’s.
Of course there's nothing wrong with that occasionally, but when you find yourself feeling tired more often than not, it can easily become the norm instead of a one-off.
Having a range of uncomplicated, quick-to-prep, but nutritious recipes in your toolkit means you don’t have to sacrifice your family’s nutrition when you’ve got no enthusiasm for cooking.
Check out these three fantastic time saver recipes which take no longer than 30 minutes to cook and will have you covered for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
They can all be frozen too, so even if you're reaching for the freezer food, you can rest assured, it's still packed with nutrients.
On-The-Go Breakfast Muffins
These are ridiculously easy to cook and make a fantastic healthy breakfast, lunch or snack. They’re really handy if you’ve got a busy morning as well - just make them the night before and you’ll have breakfast to-go.
All you do is fry up the ingredients you want to use (I went for bacon, red onion, red pepper and spinach), then whisk up some eggs (I used 5, which made 6 muffins) with a handful of finely grated cheddar cheese.
Pour the meat & veg into the egg mixture and combine, then divide it into cupcake moulds. Leave about 5mm space at the top as they will rise like soufflés in the oven.
Bake at 180ºC for about 15 mins until cooked through (a knife should come out clean). Eat warm straightaway or have them cold later in the day with salad. They also make a great packed lunch for the kids to take to school or nursery.
Try experimenting with different fillings such as asparagus, mushrooms or leftover roast chicken! They’re all gorgeous and go down a storm with the kids.
Turkey and Vegetable Nuggets with a Garlic & Greek Yoghurt Dipping Sauce
These only take about 30 mins to make fresh but they also freeze brilliantly, so make a big batch on a day when you do have a little more time on your hands, eat some and freeze the rest.
Then you’ve got a really easy meal at your finger tips for those busier days. All you need to do is defrost them, stick them in the oven on a baking tray for 30 mins and just make the sauce and any side veggies fresh.
500g minced turkey
2 carrots (don’t bother peeling them - just wash and grate them)
1/2 a red pepper
1/2 a red onion
Large handful spinach leaves
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
Oil for cooking
For the dipping sauce:
3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of half a lemon
Finely chopped parsley or mint
2/3 cup (150ml) full fat Greek yoghurt
Roughly chop up all the veg and blitz it in a food processor until it’s finely chopped.
Add the turkey and herbs & spices, then blitz again until it’s well combined.
Form the mixture into nugget shapes then pan fry in oil for 2-3 mins on each side.
Mix all the ingredients for the dipping sauce.
You can try loads of different veggie combinations for this - courgette/zucchini works well, although you’ll need to squeeze out the water once you’ve grated it. You can also bake these in the oven instead of frying them if you want to be extra healthy!
Almond & Dill Crumbed Fish Traybake
This nutritious dinner requires very little skill or concentration, as you just stick most of the ingredients into a baking tray! It's delicious even without the almond crumb, so if you're really holding your eyes open with matchsticks, just do the simpler version.
Asparagus or green beans
Skin-on fish fillets of your choice - salmon or trout work really well
1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic
A small handful of dill or parsley
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
Put the potatoes in a pan of boiling water and simmer for 5 mins.
Drain and place in a baking tray, drizzle with oil, season and put in the oven for 10 mins.
Meanwhile, whizz up the garlic and herbs in a food processor, then add in 1/2 cup / 50g ground almonds and a drizzle of olive oil and blitz again.
Press the crumb onto the top of your fish fillets then add them to the baking tray alongside the potatoes and return to the oven for 10 mins.
Add the asparagus to the baking tray, drizzle with a little more oil and return to the oven for a final 10 mins.
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