Quick meal ideas for busy parents

With most parents working from home, coming up with new ideas of what to cook every night can be a bit of a headache. 

We had a chat with Lizandri Swanich dieticians to help us come up with ideas for quick meals that take less than 20 minutes to prepare. We also picked up some ideas for meals that we think your kids would love. Not only are these meals quick to make, but they are also simple and affordable.  

Fish finger wraps/ Tacos

Most kids love fish fingers, which is why you won’t go wrong with this meal, and it takes such little effort to make it as well, only 15 minutes to cook and prepare. 

Ingredients

Fresh tortilla wraps or flatbread 

Lettuce or cabbage 

Mayonnaise 

Avocado (optional)

Tomatoes 

Method

For a healthier version instead of frying the fish finger, bake the fish fingers for five minutes until they are crisp and golden brown. 

Spread a little bit of mayonnaise on your tortilla or flatbread, add lettuce and avocado, then add your fish fingers and fold it. 

Source: Sea Harvest 

Tuna sandwich with melted cheese 

Preparation time: 10 minutes 

Ingredients

Brown Bread or whole wheat bread, whichever is affordable for you. 

A can of Tuna 

Mayonnaise 

Cheese 

Salt & pepper for seasoning 

Method

Put your tuna into a bowl, add a tablespoon of mayonnaise, add salt & pepper for taste. 

Take your mixture and spread on your bread, sprinkle cheese on top. Put your bread on an oven pan and grill for 2 minutes or until the cheese has melted. 

Dinner ideas 

Cauliflower Fried rice 

INGREDIENTS (Four servings): 

1 head of cauliflower 

2 TBSP vegetable oil

 ½ onion, finely diced 

1 tsp crushed garlic ½ cup each: 

chopped carrots & frozen peas OR 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

Salt & pepper to taste

2 TBSP low sodium soy sauce

1-2 tsp sesame oil 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 4-5 sliced spring onions 

Method

Remove the cauliflower florets from the core. Coarsely grate the florets OR add to a food processor and pulse until it resembles grains of rice or couscous. Do it in batches so as not to overload the food processor. Don’t over-process, as the cauliflower may become mushy. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan or wok over medium heat. 

Saute the onions until translucent, then add the garlic and fry for another minute. Add the vegetables to the pan and stir-fry until tender. 

Add the cauliflower “rice”, soy sauce, sesame oil, and season with salt and pepper. 

Cook for a further 5 minutes until the cauliflower is just tender. Make a well in the centre and turn the heat down. 

Add the beaten eggs. Stir gently but continuously until the eggs are fully cooked. Mix in the spring onion just before serving. 

Recipe by Jessica Kidgell, Registered Dietitian at Lizandri Swanich Dietitians

EASY LENTIL BOLOGNESE

INGREDIENTS:

2 tsp vegetable oil, e.g. canola oil

1 onion, finely diced

1 tsp crushed garlic

2 baby marrows, finely grated

1 tsp dried herbs (eg.parsley/basil/rosemary)

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 sachet tomato paste

1 tin lentils, drained & rinsed

250g frozen mixed vegetables

Salt & pepper to taste

250g wholewheat pasta, cooked

Fresh basil to serve

Low-fat mozzarella, grated

Method

Sauté the onion, garlic, baby marrow and herbs in the oil on medium heat until the vegetables

have softened.

Add the remaining ingredients (except the pasta, fresh basil and mozzarella). Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, and leave to cook covered for approximately 10 minutes. If the bolognese starts to dry out, add about 1⁄2 cup water and stir in.

Serve hot with the cooked pasta, and garnish with fresh basil and grated low-fat mozzarella.

PREP TIME: 15 MINS 

DIFFICULTY: EASY

NOTES:

You can substitute the pasta with steamed butternut noodles or zoodles.

Serve with a side of mixed salad or steamed vegetables of choice.

Recipes by Jessica Kidgell, Registered Dietitian at Lizandri Swanich Dietitians

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