COVID-19 pandemic caused by new coronavirus
COVID-19 pandemic caused by new coronavirus

COVID-19 cooking: Dinners with only three ingredients

With the shelves still bare, we asked expert nutritionist CHRISSY FREER to quickly whip up some dinner ideas that only need three ingredients. Yes, you read that right - just three ingredients. And the Taste.com.au contributor rose to the challenge in style. All the recipes serve four people.

 

Chrissy Freer Nutritionist and author of Super Legumes cookbook
Chrissy Freer Nutritionist and author of Super Legumes cookbook

 

Pasta with lentils and tomato

Cook 250g dried pasta in a saucepan of boiling water until just tender. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add a 400g can brown lentils (or other legumes), rinsed and drained, and heat for 1-2 minutes. Add a 400g jar tomato pasta sauce and simmer until heated through. Toss lentil mixture through the hot pasta.

Tip: Serve sprinkled with parmesan or chopped fresh herbs.

Ricotta and spinach quesadilla

Spread 125g (1/2 cup) fresh ricotta over 4 wholegrain tortillas. Divide 80g baby spinach among tortillas and fold in half to enclose. Toast in a sandwich press or cook in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until golden.

Tip: Drizzle over hot chilli sauce to serve.

Chicken bake with sweet potato and peppers

Cut 600g peeled sweet potato into wedges and place on a large baking dish lined with baking paper. Drizzle over 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil and bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, brown 4 small chicken breasts in a frying pan. Cut 2 capsicums into thin wedges then add to pan with chicken. Bake in a 200C/180C fan forced oven for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are golden and tender.

Tip: Sprinkle the chicken with spices, such as smoked paprika, ground cumin or dried oregano leaves, before baking.

Barley and mushrooms

Cook 220g (1 cup) pearl barley in a saucepan of boiling water until tender. Drain. Meanwhile, saute 500g sliced mixed mushrooms in 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil until golden. Add barley and toss to combine. Serve topped with crumbled feta.

Tip: Add crushed garlic and dried oregano leaves with the mushrooms.

Sausage tray bake with pumpkin and spinach

Cut 800g unpeeled kent pumpkin into wedges. Place in a large baking dish and drizzle over oil. Bake in a 200C/180C fan forced oven for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, brown 8 lean sausages in a frying pan. Add to the dish and bake for 10-15 minutes or until sausages are cooked through and pumpkin is golden and tender. Stir through 100g baby spinach until wilted.

Tip: Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over the bake before serving.

Chilli salmon with broccolini

Place 4 x 125g salmon fillets (can use thawed frozen) in a large baking dish lined with baking paper. Brush salmon fillets with 1-2 tbs sweet chilli sauce. Bake in a 200C/180C fan forced oven for 12 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Serve with steamed broccolini.

Easy fried rice with egg

Lightly whisk 4 eggs in a bowl. Heat a large wok or non-stick frying pan over high heat and spray with oil. Add 290g (2 cups) frozen mixed vegetables and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until just cooked through. Add 405g (3 cups) cooked brown rice and stir-fry until hot. Move vegetables and rice to 1 side of the wok and add egg mixture to other side. Stir-fry eggs until just cooked then fold egg through rice mixture.

Tip: Drizzle over soy sauce, chilli or oyster sauce to serve.

Spinach and feta frittata

Heat 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add 250g baby spinach and cook, stirring, until just wilted. Add 6-8 lightly whisked eggs to pan and evenly distribute spinach. Top with 75g crumbled feta. Reduce heat to very low and cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until eggs are almost set. Transfer to a hot grill or oven and cook until frittata is golden and puffed. Serve.

Tomato, zucchini and feta pizzas

Spread 1/3 cup no-added-salt tomato paste or tomato pasta sauce over 4 small wholemeal pita bread. Top with 2 small thinly sliced zucchini and sprinkle with 80g crumbled feta. Bake in a 210C/190C fan forced oven for 10 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Vegie noodles

Heat a large wok or non-stick frying pan over high heat and spray with oil. Add a large bag of fresh or frozen stir-fry vegetables and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until almost tender. Prepare a 400g packet shelf-fresh hokkien noodles following packet directions and add to wok and 2 tbs salt-reduced soy sauce. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes or until hot.

Tip: Serve topped with chopped roasted peanuts or cashews.

Roasted harissa cauliflower with hummus

Combine 2 tsp harissa paste and 2-3 tbs extra virgin olive oil in a bowl. Cut 1 large head cauliflower into 4 thick steaks. Brush harissa mixture over cauliflower and bake, turning once, in a 200C/180C fan forced oven for 30 minutes or until golden and tender. Spread hummus over 4 serving plates. Top each with a cauliflower steak and serve.

Chicken tenderloins with tomato and mozzarella

Heat 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan. Cook 500g chicken tenderloins for 3-4 minutes each side or until almost cooked through. Add a 400g jar tomato and basil pasta sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with grated mozzarella and place under hot grill for 1 minute or until cheese melts.

Tip: Serve with steamed green beans.

 

Pasta with broccolini and parmesan

Cook 250g dried pasta in a saucepan of boiling water until tender. Cut 2 bunches of broccolini into 2cm lengths and cook for last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain, reserving 60ml (1/4 cup) pasta cooking liquid. Add 1-2 tbs extra virgin olive oil and 40g (1/2 cup) finely grated parmesan to pasta mixture and toss to combine, adding enough of the reserved pasta cooking liquid to coat pasta. Season with pepper and serve.

Chickpeas with kale and chilli

Heat 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add 2 x 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Trim and tear leaves of 1 bunch kale and add to pan, tossing, until kale just wilts.

Tip: Add crushed garlic or ground cumin with the chilli flakes.

Brown rice with chilli tuna and broccoli

Cook 185g (1 cup) brown rice until just tender. Drain. Meanwhile, cut 1 large head broccoli into florets and steam until just tender. Toss cooked rice with the broccoli and a 185g can tuna in chilli oil.

Tip: Drizzle over a little soy or chilli sauce to serve.

 

Need a chocolate treat to get through the stress?
Need a chocolate treat to get through the stress?

 

HEALTHY AND CHEAP SWEET TREAT

IF chocolate is your go-to stress buster, but you're feeling guilty about buying it now, try to relax. For a few bucks, you can get a decent block.

Our mates at Body & Soul have done the work and here are their picks on blocks that are better for your wallet and waist (just in case you end up eating more than you planned).

TIP: Always buy a block with high a percentage of cocoa (the higher the percentage, the less sugar - 100g of dark chocolate has about 28g of sugar, while the same quantity of milk or white provides about double that).

Cheapest:

Frey Supreme Extra Dark 85 per cent ($2.50 at Woolworths)

In 100g: 2470kJ (591cal), 10.4g protein, 30.4g sat fat, 12.9g sugar, 10mg sodium

Coles Finest Belgian Dark Chocolate 85 per cent Cocoa ($2.50 at Coles)

In 100g: 2490kJ (596cal), 11.8g protein, 23g sat fat, 15.7g sugar, 10mg sodium

Mid-range:

Moser Roth Finest Dark 85 per cent Cocoa (see price in store at Aldi)

In 100g: 2500kJ (598cal), 11g protein, 30.7g sat fat, 13.8g sugar, 100mg sodium

Lindt Excellence 90 per cent Cocoa Supreme Dark ($4.49 at Harris Farms)

In 100g: 2480kJ (593cal), 10g protein, 30g sat fat, 7g sugar, 12mg sodium

Priciest (but healthiest):

Pico Super Dark (85 per cent) ($6 at Woolworths)

In 100g: 2580kJ (623cal), 10g protein, 32g sat fat, 14g sugar, 10mg sodium

 

 

 

 

Originally published as COVID-19 cooking: Dinners with only three ingredients



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