Working Folks, Too Tired to Cook? These Dinner Ideas Are for You
Find it difficult to put together a meal when you get back home after a gruelling day at work?
Here are some easy, breezy ideas that will make cooking a breeze and get your health and wallet back in the pink.
No more ordering in, guys! Make these by rotation every night. They’ll take only 20 minutes tops.
• Grilled Fish with Mushroom Mush
Grilled foods are always a great bet for those on the go. They’re quick, easy to do, light on fat and heavy on nutrition.
Marinate 2 fillets of fish in the morning when you leave for work in lemon juice, salt, pepper, and some mashed garlic.
Sprinkle on some red chilli flakes if you like.
Just before eating, grill the fish.
Brush minimally with olive oil. It should take about 5-7 minutes on each side. (You can make this with chicken too).
You could also eat it with quick to make mushrooms.
Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil.
Drop in a garlic clove and sauté till the oil is aromatic.
Add 100g roughly chopped mushrooms and cook till the moisture evaporates (about 10 minutes).
Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and oregano or any other herb you prefer.
• Spinach Salad and Potato Chaat
- Tear up 2 cupfuls spinach. Wash well. Set aside to drain.
- Combine with 1 orange, cut in segments and deseeded, a few cubes of apple and some pine-nuts (chilgoza).
- Mix together juice of 2 lemons with 2 tsp sugar.
- Pour most of the dressing over the spinach.
- Toss well. Lay in a plate.
- Lay the fish on the bed of spinach and pour over the remaining lemon dressing.
Pair it with a Chilled Potato Chaat:
- Mix 2 boiled, diced potatoes with 2 tbsp crushed chivda or papad, a tbsp of imli sauce, a tbsp yoghurt, a handful of sprouts (any), and a few slices of cucumber.
- Add a few strips of cottage cheese.
- Make in the morning and leave in the refrigerator to chill all day.
• Broccoli Casserole
- Cut a head of broccoli into bite-sized florets and blanch until just tender-crisp.
- Tumble into a casserole dish and add 2 tbsp of cream cheese.
- Season with black pepper and add a bit of freshly grated cheese.
- Bake in a medium-hot oven until golden on top.
Pair it with crackers and hummus and fresh lettuce and cucumber salad simply dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.
• Oil Free Biryani and Raita
- Slice your onions, mix into plain yoghurt with ginger-garlic paste, and marinate chicken.
- Layer with rice mixed with more seasoned yoghurt and 2 large halved potatoes, add hot chicken stock (boiled with whole garam masalas) or vegetable stock cube mixed with water and pressure-cook.
- Fluff up and serve.
This is best paired with a a freshly beaten mint raita.
• Masor Tenga (fish) with Rice
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok, add mustard seeds, green chillies, chopped tomatoes and stir (till the tomatoes turn into a pulpy paste).
- Add water, salt and turmeric and boil the gravy.
- Now slide in fried fish (preferably rohu fried in mustard oil) and let it boil further over a low flame for a few minutes.
- Sprinkle chopped coriander and lemon juice.
Eat with boiled rice.
• Bajre ki Khichri
- Heat ghee in a pressure cooker, add cumin seeds and asafoetida, add turmeric, ginger and green chillies.
- Then add 1/2 cup bajra and 1/4th moong dal, salt to taste and fry for a couple minutes.
- Close the pressure cooker lid and cook for about 15-20 minutes.
Goes well with plain curd.
• Salmon Sandwich
- Combine boneless salmon, chopped cucumber, few tbsp of yogurt, and 1 tbsp of lemon juice in small bowl.
- Spread thin layer of butter on cut sides of sandwich buns and line with lettuce.
- Fill with salmon mixture.
- Make it in the morning and leave in the fridge to chill, and waiting for you when you get back home.
Pair it with the sprouts and roots salad.
- Place sprouts, 1 boiled and diced potato, 1 shredded carrot, 1 small sliced onion, a small bunch of fresh coriander leaves, half diced radish, 2 chilies sliced, in a bowl.
- Add to 1 cup hung yoghurt or greek yoghurt, add salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix well and dig in.
Some of the recipes are from my book Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People.
(Kavita is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa).)
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