February 18, 2020

3 Simple Recipes to Kick Start the New Year

Regardless if your New Year's resolution is to eat better or not, we could all do with some simple and healthy meal ideas after the holidays.

3 Simple Recipes to Kick Start the New Year

Perhaps you're preparing for flatting life, and need a bit of inspiration for meal ideas without the luxury of your parent's well-stocked kitchen. Or maybe you just need an easy, and delicious meal to get you back into the swing of things.

Trust me when I say healthy food can in fact be tasty, straightforward to make and affordable! One of my top tips for eating well on a student budget is to bulk out your meals with vegetables (frozen is great) and legumes (like lentils and beans). These foods are high in fibre, which keeps you fuller for longer, and plant proteins are cheaper to buy than meat.

The following recipes are all examples of how you can pack more veggies into your meals while keeping the grocery costs low!

Easy Vegetable Frittata

Perfect for a hearty make-ahead breakfast, or light lunch or dinner. And it only costs $1.25 per serve!

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 large eggs
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
1/2 capsicum, thinly sliced
1 potato, diced
1 large carrot, grated
1 C corn kernels (frozen is fine)
1/4 C milk
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp mustard
Vegetable oil
Salt (approx. 1/2 tsp)
Pepper and chilli flakes to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Cook potato in the microwave for 5-6 minutes on high, and cook the corn kernels if using frozen.
  3. Heat a drizzle of oil in a pan, and cook the onion and capsicum until soft. Then mix in the carrot, corn and potatoes.
  4. Beat eggs with milk, flour, mustard, salt, pepper and chilli flakes.
  5. If your pan is oven-safe (such as cast-iron), pour the egg mixture over top of the vegetables. Otherwise, brush a baking dish generously with oil and transfer the veggies and egg into the dish.
  6. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the egg is just set and golden brown.

Store in the fridge for up to 4 days, and serve chilled, heated or at room temp. I wouldn't recommend freezing as the texture of the egg changes.

Healthy Kūmara and Brown Lentil Curry

I like to call this the "empty-the-fridge" curry, because you can literally put whatever veggies you have and it will taste great!

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

1 can brown lentils, drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 can light coconut milk
1 large kumara, peeled and diced
1 medium carrot, sliced
1/4 head of small cauliflower, florets and stalks
1/2 large brown onion, sliced
1 heaped tbsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp fennel seeds
Salt (approx. 1/2 tsp)
Pepper and chilli powder to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the diced kumara in a microwave safe bowl, and heat on high for 5 minutes; this will shorten the cooking time later.
  2. Heat a generous drizzle of oil in a large pan, and fry off the onion and spices.
  3. Add all the vegetables, then pour over the diced tomato and coconut milk. Season, taste and adjust accordingly; you may want to use more spices depending on how strong you want it.
  4. Simmer on low/medium for 10-15 minutes with the lid on to allow the vegetables to soften.
  5. Stir lentils into the pan, and simmer without the lid on medium to reduce the sauce. If you like a really thick sauce, mix a spoonful of cornstarch with cold water and add to the pan.

Serve with a handful of cashews, fresh coriander if you have some, Greek yogurt and rice or flatbreads.

Carrot Cake Muffins

A sweet snack that freezes well, contains veges and doesn't taste overly healthy? It's a 10/10 from me.

Ingredients (makes 12 muffins)

1 1/2 C wholemeal flour
1/2 C rolled oats
1/2 C brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 C raisins (soak for 5 minutes in hot water)
1/2 C chopped walnuts (toasted)
2 C carrots, grated (approx. 2 medium carrots)
1 egg
1/2 C oil
2/3 C milk of choice
1 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: sesame seeds to sprinkle on top

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a large bowl.
  3. Fold in raisins, walnuts and carrots to the flour mixture.
  4. Whisk together egg, oil, milk and vanilla; fold into dry mixture until everything is well combined.
  5. Divide the batter between 12 muffin tins; either grease well or use paper liners. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if using.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out relatively clean (a few crumbs is fine as you want the muffins to be moist).

Store in an airtight container, or freeze. To defrost, just microwave for 1 minute!


Hope everyone is having a great start to 2020! If you want more healthy recipe inspo, check out my other posts and my instagram @balanceyourplate.