Who can relate to THAT life? 😅👆🏽
Whilst a handful of people do have more time on their hands during this global pandemic, a lot of others have become increasingly busy. I know a few Mum's who are currently balancing home-schooling their children, keeping up with the housework PLUS work full/part-time.
It’s no surprise that when it comes to our eating and nutrition, we look for food that fit under the EASY, QUICK and where possible, HEALTHY umbrella. I’ve offered three recipes below that tick these boxes (tried and tested by yours truly - and I’m by no means a professional! Just a girl who likes simple cooking). In my household, we tend to naturally gravitate towards recipes like these and because I get bored very easily with salads, I do my best to incorporate veggies in different ways. I’ve also included the recipe sources, so you can browse for other ideas!
CREAMY BEEF AND SHELLS
Super simple to make, hearty and delicious (perfect for the cooler nights we have had lately)! I changed some things in this recipe to make it more friendly for our digestion but feel free to use cream/sour cream if that’s what you prefer. It looks like a long list, but it’s mainly herbs and spices which add flavour to the dish. This was Husband approved and was a good hit of essential macro-nutrients - protein, fats and carbs.
- 220 g pasta shells (Use any that you like! Can also be pulse pasta)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 500 g minced beef
- 1 brown onion (diced)
- 5 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp plain/all purpose flour
- 1 cup beef stock
- 425 g jar of Pasta sauce (try to get one with least amount of ingredients)
- ½ can coconut cream
- 1 ½ cups cheese (your choice)
- Cook pasta according to package instructions in a large pot of boiling salted water and drain well.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add minced beef and cook until browned. Set aside.
- To the same pan, add diced onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook until fragrant (roughly 1 minute).
- Whisk in flour until lightly browned (roughly 1 minute).
- Gradually add in beef stock and stir to combine. Add pasta sauce and stir in Italian seasoning, dried parsley, oregano and paprika.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 6-8 minutes.
- Stir in cooked pasta, add back beef.
- Stir in the coconut cream until heated through. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
- Stir in the cheese until melted. Serve and enjoy!
Change it up!
- Vegan option: swap meat for crumbled tofu or lentils.
- Add different veggies to increase fibre and micro-nutrients! I.e. grated zucchini, carrots, broccoli or just throw in a handful of spinach leaves.
This recipe says to marinate for 30 minutes but ain’t-nobody-got-time-for-that so we’re skipping it and just adding the spices straight in. I love Mexican dishes because they’re super versatile. Check out the Change it up! notes down the bottom for some ideas to make it your own. This one’s a crowd pleaser!
Ingredients - Spice mixture
- ¼ cup avocado oil (or coconut/olive oil)
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tsp chilli powder or flakes
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- Salt & pepper to taste
Ingredients - Vegetables
- 1 tbsp avocado oil (or coconut/olive oil)
- 1 large red onion, sliced
- 3 capsicums, any colour, cut into strips
- 220 g mushrooms, sliced
- 1 zucchini, cut into matchsticks
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- In a small bowl, combine the oil, lime juice, chilli powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
- Place the onions, capsicums, garlic in a shallow dish. Pour spice mixture over the vegetables and stir until the vegetables are evenly covered.
- Do the same with the mushrooms and zucchini in a separate dish.
- Heat the oil in a pan to medium-high heat. Add the onion and capsicum to the pan and cook, stirring often, for about 6 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and zucchini and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the tortillas in a skillet until warmed through.
- See below for some serving suggestions!
- Add vegetables to the tortilla. Topping ideas: sliced avocado, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, cashew cheese, cheddar cheese. Options are endless, get creative!
Change it up!
- Add some different sources of protein such as white fish, chicken, shredded pork, sliced beef or crumbled tofu or tempeh.
- If you’re after more shortcuts, feel free to use pre-mixed Mexican/Cajun spices.
- Add in different veggies! Such as spinach and rocket, tomatoes, sauteed kale, corn. When I made this recipe, I added a can of mixed beans in the spices and heated it up in the pan before adding it to the tortillas.
MOROCCAN BEEF WITH COUSCOUS
Source: Coles Magazine Oct. 2019
As much as I love good ol’ steamed veggies on the side, I also like to switch it up from time to time. The couscous was so easy to make for this recipe, paired really well with the rocket and both were a great, light side dish for the beef!
- 300 g Beef Rump Steaks (or protein of your choice)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp Moroccan seasoning
- 1 ¼ (250 g) wholemeal couscous (you can also change to quinoa for gluten-free version)
- ¼ cup (40 g) chopped pitted fresh dates
- ¼ cup (40 g) chopped dried apricots
- 1 ¼ cups (310 ml) boiling water
- ¼ cup (35 g) slivered almonds, toasted
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Small packet of Baby rocket leaves
- OPTIONAL: 1 cup mint leaves
- Heat a char-grill on medium-high. Rub steaks with half the oil and sprinkle with the Moroccan seasoning. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, place couscous in a heat proof bowl (if using quinoa, check packet for cooking instructions). Add the dates and apricots, stir to combine. Stir in the boiling water. Cover and set aside for 4-5 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Use a fork to separate the grains.
- Add the almonds, lemon juice and remaining oil to the couscous mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
- Thickly slice steaks. Divide couscous mixture evenly among serving plates with rocket and mint (optional). Top with steak.
Change it up!
- Use any protein you like - i.e. salmon, chicken, tempeh, etc.
- Add stock to your couscous (or other grains) instead of plain boiling water for extra flavour. I used an all-natural beef stock and it was delicious.
I hope these gave you some inspiration for some dinner meals this coming week! Be sure to double the ingredients if you need some tasty leftovers for lunch the next day.
Xx Coach J