Dinner's last week - Week starting 29 February 2016

This week finally saw me get back on track with the February health kick - lucky given there was only one day to go!

Given how hot and humid it's been, it was mainly about eating easy, healthy, simple meals.

I still haven't got back into the swing of proper menu planning. So the week was mainly about trying to use up things in my fridge that were in danger of being thrown out. Hence the abundance of butter lettuce & red cabbage! I was also on a mission to eat vs throw out the kale I had bought with so many intentions about daily green juices ...

Weekly Stats

  • Total number of serves of vegetables - 18
  • % of desired intake-  51%
  • Number of different types of fruit, vegetables, nuts and grains eaten - 10

Some thoughts about my meals last this week

  • San choi bao is definitely worth trying.  It's very versatile, delicious, healthy, light and quick. It really is the perfect summer time meal and perfect for the hot, steamy weather we have been happening. I also learnt that I could tailor it to however I pleased. So whilst I think it is great to use a traditional recipe and create a authentic, delicious meal - it is versatile enough to treat like a 'wrap' in order to create simpler, quicker meals for week nights.
  • It's really hard to use up a whole red cabbage before it goes off
  • All in all I was really pleased with the week - I managed to make pretty good choices most nights and come up with simple, healthy, quick meals to make!


Salmon with steamed vegetables and a side salad

This really is my all-time favourite go-to meal if I want simple, quick, healthy.

Two Pans | 4 serves vegetables | 20minutes

I had a job interview on Tuesday, so wanted something super healthy that would set me up for a good day the next day. Hence my 'go to' meal when I'm looking for something quick, simple and healthy. I've included a picture of the dishes - there are so few. It really takes no time to prepare, has little washing up and is ready in 15 - 20 minutes from start to finish. Less if you like your salmon cooked medium.


Lettuce cups with sliced beef, red capsicum and avocado

Lettuce cups could definitely become one of my go-to meals. This is a super quick version of last Sunday's recipe.  Not only super quick and nutritious, there is very little washing up - just one pan, a chopping board, spatula and plate!

One Pan | 3 serves vegetables | 15 minutes

I really enjoyed last week's lettuce cups, but wasn't that wrapt in the marinade, and wanted an even quicker version, plus I couldn't really see what the rice vermicelli bought to the party.  (I will have to experiment with the type or brand of noodles.)

This week I simply sauted finely sliced steak, capsicum and spring onion in a little bit of soy sauce, then squeezed lime over the lettuce cups before eating. Delicious!


Lettuce cups with pulled pork, red cabbage and red capsicum

Freezer Meal | For this meal I used the pulled pork I (STILL!) had in the freezer and added finely sliced vegetables and drizzled them with coconut balsamic.

One Pan | 3 serves vegetables | less than 15 minutes

Still trying to keep this real - (no matter how embarassing it is ..)  and show that no matter what is happening around you, it is still worth trying to make a healthy meal for the evening and it can be done just using whatever is to hand. Though why oh why I thought it was easier to keep tripping over the vaccum cleaner vs take 5 minutes to put away I don't know!

Tonight I was on a mission to make sure all the lettuce was used, and to keep plodding through the red cabbage.

I didn't want the soy sauce flavour again so I used coconut balsamic to add flavour and moisture to the meat and vegetables.

Light, delicious, easy, quick and nutritious.

Tonight I was saved by the freezer. I still had some pulled pork in the freezer. At the beginning of the year I was really lamenting how much pork fillet I overcooked for my party and wondering how I will ever get through it. Now it has become an absolute saviour when I want a quick, healthy, filling meal.

I know some people aren't keen on freezing meals. But keeping basics such as some cooked protein in the freezer that can be used in many different ways, is a great backstop when you either can't be bothered cooking, or don't have fresh ingredients to hand.


Warm salad with pulled pork fillet with greens

So quick because of the pre-cooked pulled pork and hugely healthy.

One Pan | 4 serves vegetables | 15 minutes

Even I decided it was probably time to give the lettuce cups a rest. But I still had the pork to use up, not to mention the never ending supply of red cabbage. This was a really easy meal to pull together and great because it had 4 serves vegetables. However it was probably my least favourite.  For some reason I abandoned a lifelong aversion to grated and put it in my salad - never again!


Warm Salad with poached chicken, kale and red cabbage

Finally some different colours! And chicken vs pork. And the reason I keep buying red cabbage - it makes everything look so pretty and tasty.

Two pans | 3 serves vegetables | 15 minutes

Hurray - the lettuce is finished! 

However, I succumbed to the red cabbage and kale at today's farmers market. It all looked so fresh - so the cycle starts again ...

Tonight I didn't have any meat or anything substantial on hand, so I actually had to zap down to the shops and buy some chicken. So with an unplanned trip to the shops and a desire not to be eating at midnight, I needed something very quick and simple. So much so that I simply poached the chicken, shredded it and used it as a base for making a warm salad.

Instead of adding dressing, I topped it with avocado.


Warm salad with poached chicken, kale and corn, topped with grated parmesan

Yum- it is incredible how the grated parmsan turned this meal from 'ho hum' into almost a comfort food style dish. And I just love the way the fresh corn really makes it 'pop'.

One pan | 2 serves vegetables | 15 minutes

All that kale - so many good intentions!

This week I really was on a roll with simple, healthy, quick meals. Tonight thought I was a bit bereft of ideas and somewhat uninspired. What saved me was remembering I had parmesan cheese in the fridge!

It didn't quite fit with my plan to cut out dairy in March - but boy did it make the prospect of another warm salad and more kale more interesting.  It's amazing how a little bit of shaved parmesan can transform a meal.  In the end it turned into another simple, delicious meal.

Sunday - cheese and biscuits!

OOPS! - another one of those nights where I got caught up having cheese and biscuits with my neighbours and all of a sudden it is 9pm .... Definitely not good for my eating habits and a reminder that I really need to have something in the freezer that can be simply re-heated. But it's been so hot, that it's been way to hot to be inside and way to beautiful not to be outside.