Easy, healthy meals for dinner parties

You know what mum always said: “Eat your greens!” It may be easier said than done, especially if you keep cooking the same old recipes. Try these new twists on healthy vegies the next time you’re cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

Swampy green soup

Swampy green soup

Six different green vegies, each packed with nutrients and minerals, feature in this delicious soup, which is best served with toasted Turkish bread.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams of broccoli, chopped
  • 30 grams of spinach, chopped
  • 150 grams of peas
  • 1 capsicum, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 500 millilitres of chicken stock (substitute vegetable stock for a vegetarian recipe)
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of dried sage
  • 150 grams of ham (optional)
  • 4 slices of mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Place all green vegetables in a blender or food processor and whiz until smooth.
  2. Pour puree into a large pot and stir in chicken broth and olive oil.
  3. Heat soup over medium-high heat.
  4. Stir in garlic powder, sage and ham.
  5. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10–15 minutes.
  6. Divide mozzarella cheese into four bowls. Pour the hot soup over the mozzarella cheese and serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Walnut chicken and avocado salad

Chicken, avocado and pistachios pack this main meal with plenty of vitamins and nutrients — and it’s refreshing and tasty to boot.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • 125 grams of walnuts
  • 250 grams of baby spinach leaves
  • 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 red capsicum, julienned
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for topping
  • Olive oil and balsamic salad dressing, to taste

Directions:

  1. Place walnuts in a food processor or blender and pulse until finely diced.
  2. Sprinkle half of the diced walnuts onto a large plate and mix with flour, garlic powder and salt and pepper.
  3. Warm oil in a frypan over a medium-high heat.
  4. Press chicken breast strips into the walnut mix, adding more diced nuts to the plate as needed.
  5. Reduce frypan heat to medium and place each coated chicken strip in the frypan. Cook for 3–5 minutes on each side, until golden brown and the chicken is no longer pink inside.
  6. On four separate plates, place equal amounts of spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes, avocado and red capiscum. Place chicken strips on top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, finishing with a splash of salad dressing.

Creamy Italian spiral salad

This super-fast, super-simple main meal is bursting with the goodness of broccoli, peas, capsicum and olives, and it keeps in the fridge for several days after making.

Serves 4–6

Ingredients:

  • 750 grams of multicoloured spiral pasta
  • 1 bunch of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 4 red onions, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 green capsicum, diced
  • 1 cup of peas
  • 100 grams of shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup of olives, drained
  • 1 bottle of creamy Italian salad dressing

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, then drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the vegetables with the cooked pasta, Parmesan cheese and olives.
  3. Add the dressing and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 2–3 hours or until chilled.

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