I’m sure many of you who work full-time understand this already but after a busy day at work it’s difficult to find the motivation to cook a healthy meal.
Since starting my internship in Melbourne last week, I’ve realised the way to tackle this problem is to be organised. The more prepared I am at the start of the week, the easier it is to eat healthily during the week. As there are no excuses not to eat healthy when I have all the ingredients in the fridge!
Green curry paste
I bought this curry paste from Coles in the Asian section. It’s a healthy yet convenient way to add instant flavour to your meal.
I understand traditional curries require hours of cooking however this is an easy recipe that requires limited cooking time and is full of flavour!
Full of greens
What is great about this curry is that you can use whatever vegetables you have – feel free to add some chicken if you want too!
Quick, healthy curry
This curry can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for two days – or great for lunch the next day!
Green chickpea vegetable curry
- 1 TBSP coconut oil
- 2 TBSP green curry paste
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- 1 TBSP ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 bunch shallots, washed and sliced
- 1x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 bunch pak choy, washed and sliced
- 1 cup green beans, washed and sliced
- 1x 400g can coconut milk
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- In a large frypan over medium heat melt coconut oil.
- Add green curry paste, garlic, ginger and shallots and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.
- Add chickpeas and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
- Add pak choy, green beans and coconut milk, then simmer for a further 5-7 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, and serve with cooked quinoa. Enjoy!
How do you add flavour to your meals?
When entertaining guests I love choosing a theme for the food as it forces me to try new dishes. Last Saturday night I decided on a Moroccan food theme as the flavours are earthy and warming which were perfect for a rainy winter night.
Traditionally, tagines are cooked in the oven however I was more than satisfied with cooking it on the stove. I still kept the term tagine as it refers to the blend of sweet and savoury flavours, which this dish has.
It’s important to brown the lamb in batches before slow cooking as it lends the dish a great depth of flavour.
Slow cooking lamb is well worth the time as it tenderises the meat resulting in it falling apart and melting in your mouth.
To me, pumpkin and parsnip signify winter as they are earthy vegetables and are the perfect addition to this tagine.
Decorated to serve
The tagine will keep in the fridge for one day in a sealed container.
Lamb, pumpkin and date tagine
- 1 kg lamb, diced
- 1 TBSP macadamia oil
- 1 brown onion, peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 TBSP cumin
- 1 TBSP fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 cups beef stock
- 500g pumpkin, peeled and diced into 2cm cubes
- 3 parsnips, peeled and diced
- 1 cup dates, pitted and sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, washed and roughly chopped
- Serve with turmeric quinoa
- Heat oil in large casserole dish and cook lamb in batches, until brown. Transfer to a plate.
- Add onion to the pan and cook for 5 minutes or until brown. Add garlic, cumin, ginger and paprika, cooking until fragrant.
- Stir in beef stock and add lamb to the pan. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add pumpkin, parsnip and dates, and cook for a further 1 hour.
- Sprinkle with coriander and serve with quinoa. Enjoy!
If you follow me on Instagram (@emmalaurenfood) or Facebook then you have probably already seen the spread I made for dinner.
Here is a snapshot of the main meal and all the recipes are on their way!
Pumpkin soup is one of my all-time favourites. Eating it always brings back fond memories of cooler nights and crusty bread.
This aromatic, spice-infused version definitely takes your taste buds on a ride. The zesty lime against the heat from the chili just seems to work so well.
Soup base all processed
The fresh lemongrass makes this base quite stringy. If you do use fresh lemongrass make sure you pick out the excess pieces so your soup isn’t stringy – however I am not guaranteeing this will definitely work.
If this is too tedious or you don’t want stringy pieces in your soup, just use lemongrass paste which can usually be found in the Asian aisle at the supermarket.
Pumpkin coated in fragrant spices
By coating the pumpkin in the spices, this ensures that the flavours will be well and truly infused.
Creamy smooth soup
This soup tastes great either smooth or chunky, it is entirely up to personal preference.
Served with a slice of lime
It will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Alternatively you can freezer portions for up to 1 month. Make sure you defrost it in the fridge overnight.
Pumpkin laksa soup
- 2kg pumpkin, peeled and cut into 5cm chunks
- 3 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 chili, deseeded and sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 1 5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 3 sticks of lemongrass, remove outer leaves or use 1 TBSP lemongrass paste
- 1 bunch fresh coriander, washed and roughly chop stalks and keep leaves separate for later
- 1 TBSP cumin
- 1 brown onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 1.25L vegetable stock
- 320mL coconut milk
- 2 limes, freshly juiced
- 1 TBSP coconut oil
- Salt and pepper
- In a food processor/Vitamix, place lime leaves, chili, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, coriander stalks and cumin. Process for 2 minutes then remove any stringy bits that remain in the pulp.
- In a large saucepan, place coconut oil, pulp and onion. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add the pumpkin and coat with the pulp. Then add stock to the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce and simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft.
- Place batches of soup in food processor and process until smooth. Return to pan and add coconut milk. Cook for a further 5 minutes.*
- Add lime juice, salt and pepper. Stir and decorate with coriander leaves. Enjoy!
Note: omit step 4 if you prefer your soup chunky and just add the coconut milk and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Don’t be alarmed by the number of ingredients – most of them are to make the soup base! Once this is done, it’s very straight forward. Honestly, it is so worth it!
As the cooler nights set in, soups are becoming more and more enticing to eat. This asian broth is a light soup and is filled with many nutrients from all the vegetables. It requires little cooking time so it is ideal for any night of the week.
The ginger and chili provide the broth with heat that really warms you up! I love the vegetables a little crunchy as it keeps this broth fresh and full of texture.
This broth will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for 1 day. Great to enjoy for lunch the next day!
- 1 TBSP fresh ginger, grated
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 2 TBSP tamari
- 1 red chili, deseeded and finely sliced
- 100g fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 Chinese cabbage, washed and finely shredded
- 4 sprigs of spring onion, washed and finely sliced
- 200g snow peas, washed and slice thinly
- 200g bean sprouts, washed
- In a large saucepan, place the vegetable stock, tamari, ginger and chili. Bring to boil then add mushrooms and carrots. Simmer, covered, for 2 minutes.
- Add cabbage, onion, snow peas and bean sprouts. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
What is your go-to winter soup?
As nights are getting cooler on the Gold Coast, it provides the perfect reason for me to start making hearty meals such as curries. This curry requires very little cooking time so it makes for a great mid-week meal.
Cooking the pumpkin.
A little tip: the smaller you cut the pumpkin, the quicker it will cook. So if you’re time poor just cut them into 1cm cubes and dinner will be ready in no time!
I personally believe herbs and spices are the best way to add flavour, colour and aroma to your meal. This is especially important if you’re trying to eat clean as your meals will still be very tasty without adding fat, sugar and extra salt to them.
A hearty meal is served!
Chickpea pumpkin coriander curry
- 1 TBSP coconut oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 1 TBSP ginger, finely sliced
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 TBSP cumin
- 2 TBSP ground coriander
- 1 TBSP turmeric
- 500g pumpkin, diced
- 330mL coconut milk
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup spinach leaves, washed
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- 1/2 fresh lime, juiced
- Sambal oelek and coconut yoghurt for serving
- In a large pan, place coconut oil, garlic, ginger and onion over medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add cumin, ground coriander and turmeric and cook for a further 1 minute.
- Stir in pumpkin and coat in spices. Cook for 4 minutes.
- Add in coconut milk and simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes, or until pumpkin is soft.
- Add chickpeas, spinach leaves, fresh coriander and lime juice (this lifts the flavour of the curry). Stir until well combined.
- Once warmed through season with salt and pepper.
- Serve by topping it with sambal and coconut yoghurt. Enjoy!
Note: this can be served over cooked quinoa or brown rice.
What is your go-to mid-week meal?