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  • Writer's pictureKaren

Hearty & Healthy Quick Meals

Updated: Sep 4, 2022

It can be so difficult finding the right recipes. You're focused on eating healthy but have limited time, and (oh!) you also want to keep your waistline in check! Sound familiar?

It's only too easy to default to yet another salad. But what if you're craving something a little more fulfilling? Particularly on a colder day or one of those days when we could really use a hug from our food, a few warmer options can be useful to have.

For me, the best solution is meal preparation and batch cooking. If that's not your thing, then here are some recipes that deliver on taste without stealing too much of your time! In fact, we're talking 45 minutes or less cupboard to table!

One Pan Italian Chicken

Ingredients (4 servings)

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 35 mins

· 1 tbsp olive oil

. 4 skinless chicken breast fillets (600g)

. 4 shallots, diced

. 1 courgette, diced

. 10 asparagus spears, cut in to chunks

. 10 cherry tomatoes halved

. 2 garlic cloves crushed

. 400 g chopped tomatoes

. 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

. 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped

. 2 tbsp fresh oregano chopped

. 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper

. 20 olives mixed

  • Heat the oil in a large pan and then add the chicken. Cook for 6-7 minutes, turning every couple of minutes. Take the chicken out and put to one side.

  • Add to the pan the shallots, courgette, asparagus and cherry tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes.

  • Add the chopped tomatoes, herbs, balsamic and seasoning. Mix well.

  • Put the chicken and vegetables into an oven dish.

  • Mix well so that the chicken is covered.

  • Cook in a preheated oven at 200°C/390°F/Gas 6 for 30-35 minutes, making sure the chicken is cooked through

  • Sprinkle with basil and Parmesan before serving.

Serve with basmati rice, pasta, sweet potato wedges or a green salad.

Works with any vegetables you have in your fridge.

You can make this recipe even simpler by putting all the ingredients into a slow cooker and cooking on high for 3 hours or low for seven hours.


Ingredients (4 servings)

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

· 1 tsp olive oil

· 1 med red pepper, roughly diced

· 2 cups button mushrooms, sliced

· 400g tin of chilli beans

. 400g tin chopped tomatoes

· 8 eggs

· 2tbsp chopped parsley (for garnish)

· 4 slices toasted sourdough, to serve


  • Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan.

  • Cook pepper for 3 minutes on medium heat, add mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes.

  • Add the tomatoes and beans, bring to the boil for 2 minutes and reduce to a simmer.

  • Make 8 wells in the tomato mixture and crack one egg into each.

  • Cover and cook on medium heat for 12-14 minutes or until egg whites are cooked through but yolks are still soft.

  • Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with toasted sourdough.

Spinach & Feta Frittata

Ingredients (4 servings)

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 16 mins

· 1 tsp olive oil · 4 spring onion, sliced · 1 garlic clove, crushed · 250g spinach · 3 tbsp frozen peas, defrosted · 150g feta, cut into small cubes · 12 eggs · 200ml milk (of choice) · ½ tsp salt and pepper · Mixed salad and sourdough bread to serve


  • Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the spring onions, garlic, spinach and peas.

  • Cook for 5 minutes until the spinach as wilted. Pour off the excess water from the spinach and stir in the feta.

  • Mix the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together and pour into the frying pan. Stir for about 1 minute, moving the eggs about until it sets a little on the bottom, but the eggs are still wobbly on top.

  • Place the frying pan into the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes until the eggs have set. Alternatively, place under a medium.

  • Cut into 4 wedges and serve with a mixed salad.

Spanish Cod and Chickpea Stew

Ingredients (4 servings)

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 18 mins

. 100g chorizo, diced

. 1 onion, sliced

. 2 garlic cloves, sliced

. 1 tsp smoked paprika

. 1 tbsp tomato purée

. 250ml vegetable stock

. 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

. 2 roasted red peppers from a jar, sliced

. 500g cod loin

. Chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

. Wholegrain rice or bread to serve

  • In a large non-stick pan, fry the chorizo and onion for 8 minutes or until soft and caramelised.

  • Add the garlic cloves and smoked paprika and cook for 1 minute.

  • Stir in the tomato purée, vegetable stock, chickpeas and roasted red peppers. Cook for 4-5 minutes until thickened.

  • Cut the cod loin into 4cm chunks, then nestle into the sauce. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until cooked through and the fish flakes easily. Sprinkle with chopped fresh flatleaf parsley and serve with crusty bread or rice.

Lentil & Vegetable Hotpot

Perfect for preparing in advance - just keep the spinach and parmesan until you are re-heating.

Ingredients (4 servings)

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 32 mins

· 1 tbsp olive oil · 1 onion, diced · 1 garlic clove, crushed · 1 carrot, peeled and diced · 1 celery stalk, diced · 450g brown lentils · 1 litre of vegetable stock · 1 14oz tin of chopped tomatoes · 1 tsp smoked paprika · 1 tsp mild chilli powder · 1 tsp ground cumin · ½ tsp sea salt · ¼ tsp of black pepper · 150g baby spinach · 2 tbsp parmesan cheese (optional) · Sourdough bread to serve


  • Heat the oil in a saucepan.

  • Add onion, garlic, carrot and celery and stir over a low heat for 6-7 minutes until soft.

  • Add lentils, stock, chopped tomatoes, smoked paprika, chilli powder, cumin, salt, pepper and 500ml water and bring to the boil.

  • Simmer gently for 25 minutes until the lentils are tender.

  • Stir in the spinach and simmer until wilted.

  • Ladle into the 4 bowls and sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top.

  • Serve with warm sourdough bread.

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