Simple, Healthy Meal Ideas (By A Non-Chef) To Cure Your Lockdown Blues

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has fallen victim to the Uber Eats spiral at some point. It’s normal! We all get caught up in the hustle sometimes and put the healthier – and let’s face it, cheaper – alternative on the back burner.


This lockdown, I told myself I will not let myself fall into the trap and instead I will use the extra time on my hands to create some healthy and simple alternatives to my favourite cuisines. Over the past few weeks of lockdown, I have tested and created multiple recipes anybody can recreate at home – and I must say, many of these meals have become a new go-to.


Each day is inspired by a different cuisine to fulfill your takeout cravings for both lunch and dinner.

Don’t be scared to test them out; if I can cook them, then so can you!


Pasta

Monday – Mexican


Breakfast – Berrylicous Protein Smoothie


  • 150ml of almond milk

Tip: I like to do 100ml almond milk mixed with 50 - 100ml of water

  • 1 scoop of your favourite vanilla protein powder – my fav is Rule1

  • 100g of frozen mixed berries

  • ½ frozen banana (frozen makes it creamier)

  • 10g of chia seeds for some healthy fats


Blend together to your desired texture, and voila!



Lunch – Fish Tacos



Fish Tacos


My quick and Easy method to cooking barra:

  • Pat the fish completely dry

  • Salt and massage both sides

  • Lightly oil a pan (low heat)

  • Cook skin side down first until crispy

  • Flip the fish and cover for 1-2 minutes (or until cooked through)

  • Remove fish from pan.


Compiling the Taco:


  • Mix coleslaw and dressing together

  • Place slaw mix and barramundi on tortillas

  • Fold as desired

  • Simple, light, and delish!

  • Tip: you can even add some avocado or Light Bega cheese for more flavour


Dinner – Taco Bowl


  • 150-200g of your choice of protein (I use lean turkey mince, but lean beef mince or a bean mix works well too)

  • ½ packet old El Paso Taco Spice Mix

  • Iceberg lettuce

  • 2 tomatoes – diced

  • ¼ red onion – diced

  • 30g Light Bega cheese

  • 30g Old El Paso Thick ‘N’ Chunky Salsa

  • Optional: ½ avocado mixed with 1 lemon


  • Lightly spray a fry pan (low heat) with your choice of oil (I use olive or avocado)

  • Cook mince at a low-medium heat, mixing in Taco Spice Mix & half of your diced onion at halfway

  • While your protein is cooking, this is your time to assemble the bowl – multitasking baby!

  • I fill around 1/3 of the bowl with chopped iceberg lettuce

  • Add 2 diced tomatoes & the remaining onion

  • At this point your protein should be cooked through (remember to always check by cutting through a piece)

  • Place protein on top of your bowl

  • Top with your cheese and salsa (and your avo as well, if you choose to use it)


Tuesday – Asian


Breakfast – PB Choc Proats AKA Peanut Butter & Chocolate Protein Oats



Peanut Butter and Chocolate Protein Oats

  • 40g oats (use rolled oats if you’re making overnight oats, but if you’re making them fresh and warm in the morning then quick oats works)

  • 10g chia seeds

  • Cover oats and chia seeds with water

  • Microwave for 60-80 seconds

  • Add 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder – again, my fave is Rule1

Tip: here is where you need to trust me: stir stir stir so the protein will blend through! If it gets too powdery or dry, add a dash of water and continue mixing. If you add too much water, it will turn into soup.

  • Once all powder has been stirred through, it should look like normal oats – but chocolatey!


Top With:



Lunch – Fried Rice


  • 200g chicken breast mince

  • 50g long grain or basmati rice (Microwave packets are great to save time)

  • 100g frozen cauliflower rice

  • 100g frozen peas, corn & capsicum

  • 30g red onion

  • 30g shortcut bacon (Primo brand is great)

  • 20ml coconut aminos

  • 15ml soy sauce

  • Optional: 15g fried shallot, minced garlic, chilli Flakes

Method:

  • Pan fry (medium heat) your onion until soft, then add your diced bacon.

  • Add your chicken mince and cook until it’s brown

  • Option: to add garlic and chilli flakes (I love the zing it gives)

  • Add frozen veggies and cauliflower rice until defrosted and cooked through

  • Microwave rice as packet directs and add it to the pan along with your sauce and aminos

  • Turn the heat to low and just let it sit with lid on for a few minutes

  • Serve up! Add optional shallots on top!


I absolutely love this meal when doing meal prep for the week! It’s super quick and easy.


Dinner – Satay Chicken


  • 200g chicken breast fillet

  • 150g capsicum (red, green or mix)

  • 150g carrots

  • 150g broccoli

  • 200g cauliflower rice or 100g White Rice (Jasmine or Basmati work best)


Chicken Seasoning (measurements to taste)


  • Cumin

  • Turmeric

  • Garam masala

  • Fresh garlic

  • Onion powder


My Peanut-BETTA Sauce



Let’s Get Cookin’!


  • Bring water to a boil to steam your vegetables (capsicum, carrots, broccoli) .

  • Let them steam on a low heat while you commence the chicken elements.

  • Heat fry pan to a low-medium heat, spray with your choice of oil.

  • Season chicken by massaging into the breast.

  • Once pan is hot cook chicken on a low heat until completely white on the inside (I often place a lid on the pan for 2 minutes to ensure chicken is cooked through – remember to cut through a thick piece to double check).

  • While your chicken is cooking this is when I would be mixing my Peanut-BETTA sauce ingredients in a bowl – set aside once mixed.

  • At this point your chicken should be cooked & your vegetables should be steamed.

  • Add the cooked vegetables to the chicken pan and mix.

  • Pour Peanut-Betta sauce into the pan and cover with a lid for 5 minutes (still on low heat) to let it thicken.

  • Microwave your cauliflower rice or jasmine/basmati rice as directed on the packet.

  • Serve chicken & vegetables on top of the rice.


Wednesday – Mediterranean


Breakfast – Pesto and Tomato Eggs on Toast



Eggs On Toast

Method:

  • Toast your choice of bread. Once toasted, spread 10g of Pesto to each slice.

  • Cook baby spinach until wilted (I always love adding a squeeze of fresh lemon to the pan).

  • Serve the baby spinach on top of the 2 slices of pesto toast.

  • Cook eggs your favourite way! Get creative – fried, poached, scrambled, anything!

  • While your eggs are cooking, slice your tomato and place it on top of the baby spinach.

  • Once eggs are cooked, serve them on top of your toast.

  • Drizzle balsamic glaze over both slices and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Super delicious!


Lunch – Greek Salad + Steak!


  • 1 beef eye fillet steak (approx. 170-190g)

  • 200g cucumber

  • 100g cherry tomatoes

  • 30g avocado

  • 25g pitted kalamata olives

  • 25g feta

  • Balsamic vinegar

  • White wine vinegar


The way you cook your steak is a personal preference; I personally am a medium-rare type of gal, but if you prefer your steak cremated, feel free to sizzle it up for as long as you wish!


  • Heat pan to a medium heat (slowly progress from low to avoid burning your pan)

  • Spray with your choice of oil OR butter is delicious as well.

  • While the pan is heating, massage a generous amount of salt and pepper to both sides of your steak and let it sit.

  • Once the pan is hot, place the steak on (if you don’t hear the sizzle, it wasn’t hot enough).

  • Turn heat down to low-medium.

  • Tip: how do you know when to flip the meat? My trick is whenever you see some blood start to leak from the meat, it’s time to flip.

  • After 2 minutes on the second side, cover with a lid for 30 seconds.

  • Once you remove from the pan and slice through the meat, you should see a perfectly cooked medium-rare steak.


Compiling the Salad:


  • Sliced and halved cucumber for the base

  • Quartered cherry tomatoes

  • Sliced avocado

  • Pitted olives cut in halves

  • Dress with both vinegars and mix

  • Top with crumbled feta

  • Finish with sliced steak on top!


My favourite thing about Greek Salad and Steak? It is so quick to make, and it keeps you full!


Dinner – Gyros / Wrap


  • 2 pita pockets

  • 100g lamb shoulder or 2 x lamb souvlaki

  • 1 tomato (approx. 100g)

  • 1 cucumber (approx. 100g)

  • ¼ red onion

  • 30g feta

  • 25g olives

  • Tzatziki (I use a homemade tzatziki from my local grocer, although you can make it yourself. You just need yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, garlic, lemon, herbs and salt – there are plenty of easy to follow recipes online!)

Method:

  • I fry the lamb souvlaki on a pan (medium heat) OR on a grill/BBQ.

  • Whilst they are cooking, compile the pita.

  • Lightly toast the pita pockets until slightly golden (you want to be able to fold them).

  • Chop up all your veggies.

  • Spread the tzatziki along the pita, add your souvlaki and veggies, then top with crumbled feta.


Again, we LOVE Mediterranean – simple and delicious!


Thursday – Italian


Breakfast – Bagel


Method:

  • Toast bagel halves until they are golden.

  • While they’re toasting, dress your salmon with freshly squeezed lemon juice.

  • Spread cream cheese evenly over the bagel.

  • Add your salmon on top.

  • Garnish with chives.


Lunch – Pepperoni Pizza



Pepperoni Pizza

  • 1 x pita, wrap or pizza base – choose based on your preference or goals!

  • 50g mutti passata

  • 30g pepperoni

  • 20g basil pesto (I use Leggo’s)

  • 30g Light Bega Cheese

  • Optional: 5g fresh basil

Method:

  • Preheat fan forced oven to 200 degrees celsius.

  • Line a baking tray with baking paper.

  • Make your pizza! Place it in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

  • I love finishing it off with the optional fresh basil!


Dinner – Organic Soy Pasta



Organic Soy Pasta

Method:

  • Boil water then cook fettuccine until al dente (the box has the exact booking directions; my tip: cook it until it sticks to the wall when you throw it. An Italian taught me that, so I just roll with it).

  • Drain fettuccini and keep aside until needed (I mix through a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking together).

  • Cook your choice of protein as you wish and then set aside (only season with salt and pepper).

  • Warm up pan on low heat.

  • Microwave zoodles as directed on the packaging.

  • Add Passata to the low-heat pan.

  • Once cooked add the zoodles to the Passatta.

  • Season with green basil and fresh garlic to taste (approx. 10 basil leaves and 4 garlic cloves).

  • Mix through baby spinach and fettuccine.

  • Cover with a lid on a low heat until spinach has wilted.

  • Turn off the cooktop and let pasta sit for 5 minutes.

  • Serve with your choice of protein and parmesan on top!


Friday – Fast Food/McDonald’s


Breakfast – Bacon and Egg Muffin


Method:

  • Keep it simple. Fry the egg, sizzle up the bacon and toast the muffin.

  • Place all the ingredients on and there you have it, you’re very own McMuffin.

  • Top tip: and the egg or bacon on top of the slice of cheese as the heat will slightly melt it.

Lunch – Snack Pack