Undoubtedly, no one wants to spend all day in the kitchen on a hot summer’s day; they want to be outside in the garden with their children and soaking up the sun rays. However, just because we want to be outdoors and spend less time in the kitchen, that doesn’t mean that we want to neglect our taste buds.
Therefore, we need to find some recipes that are quick yet delicious, that the whole family will enjoy. It can be difficult thinking of new tasty, recipes that are suitable for the entire family, so to help, we spoke to two food bloggers who shared their favourite quick and healthy recipes. Check them out below:
Susan from Nutrition Coach
Summer Vegetable Stuffed Peppers – Serves 4:
This is the perfect summer dish. It’s easy to prepare, there is no pan watching or stirring and it looks so colourful and cheery. Best of all it uses a glut of summer vegetables like courgettes, peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes. The range of vegetables creates a ‘rainbow’ of colour which will not only have the family smiling but will fill them with immune boosting antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre – setting them up for an energy packed summers day.
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 – 30 minutes
- 4 peppers – sliced in half and seeds removed
- 1- 2 large Courgettes – 200g cut into small cubes
- 1 – 2 Garlic cloves finely sliced
- 1 fresh chilli finely sliced or ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 – 2 tsp capers – finely chopped
- 4 tomatoes –chopped
- Olive oil and balsamic vinegar – approx. 1 tbsp of each
- Ground black pepper
- Mint and parsley – a large handful, chopped
- Pre heat the oven 190oC/170oC Fan/gas 5
- Place the halved peppers in a baking dish. Fill with the courgette, tomato, chilli, garlic and capers. Season with black pepper and add a splash of balsamic and oil into each half. Bake in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes or until soft.
- Remove from the oven and add the chopped herbs. Return to the oven for a further 5 minutes
Serve with a bean salad – serves 4:
- 1 can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans
- 1 can of drained and rinsed chickpeas
- ¾ of a cucumber cut into chunks
- 6 tomatoes cut into chunks
- 3 tbls olive oil, 1 tbls balsamic vinegar, splash of lemon juice
- salt and ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp each of fresh chopped mint and parsley
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Check the seasoning and adjust. Serve with the stuffed peppers
Rachel from TeawithRachael.co.uk
Creamy chicken casserole – serves 4-6:
The beauty of this dish is it’s quick, easy and flexible. You can cook the dish all in the same pot and, the recipe is very adaptable, so you mostly use ingredients that you find in your fridge and store cupboard. It’s also light enough to provide a satisfying summer meal, but hearty enough to be enjoyed all year round.
Note: The recipe can also be adapted to suit different dietary requirements: dairy substitutes such as coconut cream or cheese, lactose-free cream cheese or cream, soy cream, or oat milk work equally well, and you can use a soy protein meat substitute and vegetable stock instead of chicken/turkey for vegetarians.
- Cooked chicken or turkey
- 1 large tablespoon low-fat cream cheese
- 2 large tablespoons reduced fat crème fraiche /natural yoghurt/cream/coconut /soy cream (whatever you have available)
- Chicken stock/vegetable stock/gravy granules (whatever you have in the cupboard)
- 2 cloves garlic (Asafoetida is a good alternative to garlic)
- One large, mild onion/2 small onions (red, white or spring)
- A selection of vegetables you have in your cupboard – leeks, carrots, sweetcorn, peas, cabbage, any root vegetables or squash (You can also use frozen vegetables)
- A glug of white wine
- Any fresh or dried herbs – rosemary and thyme work well.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chop the onion and garlic and fry gently in a little olive oil.
- Add your selection of vegetables and chicken then cook gradually, stirring for a few minutes, until it is all warmed through.
- Add the stock, wine, cream cheese/ crème fraiche/yoghurt and stir thoroughly.
- Reduce the heat, add the herbs, salt and pepper (if needed) and simmer.
- If the sauce needs thickening, add a little cornflour or a tablespoon of chicken/vegetable gravy granules and stir thoroughly.
- Serve with boiled, roast or mashed potatoes, brown rice or even pasta – the beauty of this casserole is that it goes with everything and can be adapted multiple ways!
Chicken casserole with a creamy tomato sauce:
Prepare the casserole as above, but instead of using stock, add a carton/half a bottle of pasta sauce, or a tin of chopped tomatoes, a blob of tomato puree, and use red wine instead of white wine. This is more of a hearty dish and can be enjoyed all year round.
It’s even easier if you have a slow cooker, especially if you’re short of time and cooking for a large family.
If you have a slow cooker, both recipes are also great to throw in the slow cooker and leave to cook throughout the day or overnight. This is also great if you’re using uncooled meat to start with, and frozen vegetables, as these will all take longer to cook than leftovers/pre-cooked ingredients.