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Some of Bridget's favourite recipes + helpful tips

Image courtesy of Eat Drink Paleo

Image courtesy of Eat Drink Paleo

If you’re someone who struggles to think of what to make for dinner, gets sick of having the same meals each week or opts for takeaway to save the whole process of planning, cooking and cleaning up, you’re in the right place! I’ve put this together to help make planning and cooking meals that little bit quicker, less stressful and more enjoyable.

I love cooking, especially for others, and I find that it’s quite a mindful thing to do. Sharing meals with people is one of my favourite things to do as it’s a chance to connect, catch-up and chat about the day. When I lived at home, we would often sit at the kitchen table long after we'd finished our meals just chatting or having a cuppa. It’s something that I still love to do these days with our families and close friends. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed that sitting down to share meals with those we love has become less common, often rushed and less mindful. 

Listed below are some of my favourite recipes at the moment. While I enjoy following recipes, I also have a knack of concocting things so I don’t have specific recipes for those. Colour at every meal is important to me and can be done in simple ways. One day at the market, I overheard a little boy say to his mum that he wanted a ham sandwich for lunch. She said to him that he needed at least 3 colours in it which I thought was such a great thing to learn from a young age. This idea could be a good guide to follow when it comes to your own meal times (the more natural colour the better!). 

 Here are some things to note before you read ahead:

  • I do slow-cooked meals in a heavy cast iron pot on the stove. You could use a slow cooker or partially cook the meal in a heavy-based pot on the stove and then transfer to the oven.

  • I cook, portion and freeze quinoa and rice to save cooking it each time.

  • If you know you’ll be pushed for time later in the day, measure out the spices you’ll need for dinner in the morning. It's not a fun job to do in a rush and there's a fair chance you won't make that meal again!

  • I always add extra veggies to recipes. Zucchinis, peas, carrots, kale- anything that you have on hand and enjoy eating.

  • Use your BBQ if you have one. Crispy skin salmon cooked on the Weber is our usual Monday night dinner and it’s so good! You can also grill vegetables like pumpkin and zucchini on the BBQ and mix them through a salad. This works well in the warmer months when you don’t want the oven on.

  • When I say enough for two nights, I’m referring to feeding two people each time.

  • I intentionally cook extra vegetables and make salads to make meal times quicker and easier.

  • When I roast vegetables, I use everything from pumpkin and sweet potato to broccoli and purple cabbage. I do them all on the same tray and drizzle with olive oil. I often add curry powder or a mixture of herbs and spices like ground cumin, paprika and coriander . You can add anything you like!

*Click on the recipe names below to read the full recipes.

Curry, quinoa and lentil soup (Lindi Cohen, The Nude Nutritionist)

This warming soup is super quick to prepare and cook and still provides protein despite not having meat. You can make a pot for dinner and freeze the rest in meal-sized portions or have it for your lunches. I add veggies such as, diced zucchini, carrot and pumpkin along with some kale, broccoli or baby spinach towards the end. 

Lamb Curry (Irene, Eat Drink Paleo)

This is an Indian style curry and it’s so delicious. The lamb melts in your mouth! Again add extra veggies if you’d like to. I serve it with steamed greens and quinoa, cauliflower rice or occasionally brown rice. You can thicken it with coconut yoghurt or natural yoghurt if you can tolerate dairy. It’s a great one to cook for two nights or to freeze.

Butter Chicken (Pete Evans)

This is such a quick and easy meal. I find the portions a little bit small so you could double it. You can add some diced up greens while it's cooking or serve it with steamed greens and quinoa or rice. 

Warming Ayurvedic Dahl (Katie Graham)

This recipe goes a long way and freezes really well. When I make it, we usually have it on a Tuesday and Thursday night, with similar sides to the Lamb Curry and Butter Chicken. I know a Dahl is a Dahl because of the lentils but you can also make with four chicken thighs instead. At the end of the cooking time, the chicken is so tender it falls apart.

Shepherd’s Pie (Luke Hines)

This pie can be made with cauliflower, sweet potato and pumpkin mash or traditional potato mash. Serve it with greens and/or a side salad.

Bridget’s Mexican Mince

This recipe is so handy to make and then have for a few nights or freeze. It can be used in tacos, burrito bowls, on nachos, stirred through rice or quinoa with some avocado or in baked sweet potatoes.

  • 500g beef mince (add extra beans if you’d prefer a vegetarian option)

  • 1 can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 jar of passata

  • 1 onion, diced 

  • 2 zucchinis, grated or finely diced

  • 1 red or green capsicum, finely diced

  • 1 large carrot, grated or diced

  • 3-4 tomatoes, diced (Roma tomatoes aren’t acidic like others)

  • 2 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano

  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of dried chilli flakes or fresh red chilli

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Sauté onion in olive or coconut oil until slightly browned.

Add spices and cook until aromatic (1-2 mins).

Add mince and cook until just browned. 

Add kidney beans, passata and all vegetables.

Stir well to combine.

Simmer, stirring twice, with a lid on for about 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender and the sauce has condensed.

Other easy meals:

  • Baked sweet potatoes with your choice of toppings such as, Mexican mince, four bean mix or shredded chicken with some salad, herbs and natural yoghurt.

  • Chicken wraps with leftover roast vegetables and salad. While they break easily, I find the Mountain Bread ‘Natural’ wraps made with organic wholemeal flour, wheat flour, filtered water and sea salt a great option.

  • Burrito bowls with quinoa or rice, some organic corn chips, homemade guacamole and salsa, steamed corn and your choice of protein (mince, beans or chicken all work well).

If you’ve got a go-to recipe, I’d love for you to add it in the comments section below so we can give it a try.

Also, if you cook one of these meals, please let me know what you think!

Thanks and happy cooking,

 

P.S. 80% of the time, I call dinner ‘tea’. That’s what we called it my whole childhood! The reason I say dinner here is because it seems to be more common these days and ‘tea’ can often be confused for a cuppa!

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