Summer’s here and on these long warm days the last thing most of us feel like doing is cooking up a hot dinner for the family. But the good news is that your hotplate and oven can take a vacation because you can bring a nutritious, satisfying meal to the table without having to cook a thing! And as a bonus, you can go from the start of prep to the plate in less than 20 minutes!
Here are our five favourite throw together quick dinner ideas:
Wrap it up
A wrap can make a super-satisfying meal, and if you want to cut down on the carbs, just use lettuce instead of pita bread or tortillas. Grab a cooked chicken from the supermarket, let it cool down, and then shred the meat. In a large bowl mix together ½ cup of Greek yoghurt with the juice and zest from one lemon, 1 tsp of Dijon mustard, a couple of tablespoons of chopped dill and some salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the chicken then throw in a cup of quartered grapes, ½ cup of chopped nuts and a few sliced spring onions. Mix together, put some wraps on the table and voila! Dinner awaits.
Grab a plough...man
Quick and easy dinners don’t come much simpler than this – and it’s an impressive spread that’s sure to please any night of the week. Just put out a platter of sliced cheese, some ham from the deli counter, sliced pickled onions, chopped nuts and cherry tomatoes. Serve with your favourite relish and a loaf of crusty French bread. That ploughman’s platter should take you less than 10 minutes to throw together and the family will love you for it.
Lots of Thai but no Tuk Tuk
One of our favourite quick family meals is a fresh and zesty Thai beef salad! By using deli-bought sliced roast beef you can create a delicious dinner in a flash. In a large bowl add a bag of salad greens, some sliced cucumber, your deli roast beef and a cup or so of very roughly chopped coriander or mint (or a mix of both). Toss with a dressing made from 3 tbsp of lime juice and the zest of 1 lime, 3 tbsp of fish sauce and 1 tbsp of sugar (stir well until the sugar completely dissolves before dressing the salad).
Don’t come the raw prawn with me
No raw prawns here - just buy the cooked variety and you can make classic prawn rolls for the family in just a few minutes. Simply toss the peeled prawns together with a dressing made from ½ cup whole-egg mayonnaise, 1 clove of garlic, 1 tbsp or so each of lemon juice, Dijon mustard and chopped chives, and a few drops of Tabasco or Sriracha sauce. Season with salt and pepper, then pile onto soft white bread rolls and serve. Nothing tastes better as a super-causal, super-tasty summer dinner.
It’s a Poke but not in the eye
Everyone seems to be talking about Poke (pronounced po-kay) bowls this summer and it’s because they not only look and taste great - they’re also good for you, and can be ready in next to no time. Essentially a Hawaiian chopped salad, a poke bowl does contain cold cooked rice but if you don’t have any leftover in the fridge just grab some of the pre-cooked variety from the supermarket.
You can either make up the bowls yourself or just lay everything out on the table so the family can have what they like most – think cubed avocado, cucumber and mango, shredded carrots, edamame, pickled ginger, chopped coriander and whatever else you enjoy. The star attraction on the table or in the bowl should be cubed raw tuna or salmon, which is mixed with a soy dressing made from ¼ cup soy sauce, 2 cloves of garlic and 2 tbs each of rice vinegar, sesame oil and olive oil. Super fast and delicious!
We’ve saved you time – what will you do with it?
No matter how you spend the time you’ve saved by bringing those super quick meals to the table, make sure you spend some of it on you! Summer’s a great time of year to start planning your mid winter break, so why not kick back with your trusty laptop or tablet and take a look at what’s on offer. We can even help you pay for it – just check out our flexible mini-loans to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, we can usually get a payment into your bank account within 24 hours - so you can book that getaway without stressing over how you’re going to afford it!