When it comes to food and meal planning, it’s easy to forget that dishes don’t have to be complicated to be nourishing and, importantly, delicious.
We all want to enjoy the warmer weather rather than spend hours in the kitchen and there are some great dishes that don’t take too long to prepare that will keep your energy up this season.
This National Simplicity Day, Nutritionist Suzie Sawyer shares five simple, but nutritious dishes to help you enjoy summer even more!
Summer salmon with spicy noodles
Salmon is an oily fish, loaded with the essential omega-3 fats. They’re essential because the body can’t make them but also because they’re needed for the health of the hormones, joints, eyes, brain, and heart.
Simply mix up some miso sauce (great for gut health), balsamic vinegar and paprika, spread over the salmon and grill for around six minutes. Meanwhile, stir fry some chopped ginger and garlic, and quickly cook the noodles in boiling water. The drained noodles can then be tossed in the garlic and ginger with some sweet chilli sauce and served with the salmon. Add some steamed broccoli and you’ve got a perfect meal in around 10 minute
Tasty mushroom pasta
You can use crème fraiche in this recipe as a protein source or oat crème fraiche as a vegan option. Always try to use wholemeal pasta because its nutrient content is far higher than white pasta, especially when it comes to the energising B-vitamins.
Fry some onions and garlic, which are loaded with fibre and antioxidants, with mushrooms (a good source of vitamin D). Once soft, then add either form of crème fraiche with some fresh baby spinach and cook until wilted (about one minute). Spinach is a rich source of iron and folate, essential for DNA repair.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta, combine it all together and you’ve got a delicious meal in around 15 minutes.
Quick beetroot salad
Summer is of course synonymous with salads. However, it’s always worth bearing in mind that salad vegetables tend to naturally have lots of water and are not as nutrient dense as vegetables. Therefore, try to add some ‘heavy weights’ into the mix! Enter beetroot!
Beetroot delivers so many amazing health benefits especially for the liver and brain health too, down to its betaine content. You can mix and match with this salad but add cooked chopped beetroot to some rocket, with sliced pear, soft goat’s cheese, and a dressing of your choice. Anything with an olive oil base is going to be great for heart and joint health too. Even better, this dish will only take around 10 minutes to prepare from start to finish.
Posh beans on toast
Certainly not the normal ‘beans on toast’ you’d expect, this one contains plenty more nutrients. Use ready-podded broad beans (ones that are free from the tough outer coating) and which are easily bought frozen. These are then cooked with some green beans. The beans can then be tossed with some pesto and added to toasted ciabatta, spread with either cream cheese or almond nut cream butter (either are great). Finish off with some lightly dressed rocket leaves.
This dish really is a nourishing and super quick summer meal. Beans are a great protein source, are packed with fibre and immune-boosting vitamin C. However, some slices of prosciutto add even more flavour and protein.
Quinoa and pomegranate salad
This dish is actually much more than a salad, providing plenty of protein and much more besides. I talked about beetroot being a heavy weight vegetable; this dish really brings in the full cavalry!
Quinoa is not actually a grain, but a seed and therefore doesn’t upset those of you how may have issues with gluten. Plus, it’s very high in fibre and protein and quick to boil up with a stock cube. It takes the same time as rice. However, when you add plenty of pomegranate seeds, it steps up a level. Pomegranate is great for heart health but also feeds the beneficial gut bacteria.
Simply add these with some chopped coriander, lemon juice, raisins and chopped red onion to the quinoa. Onions also work as a prebiotic fibre, providing great benefits to gut health.
After that, it’s up to you! Feta, pine nuts, goat’s cheese and walnuts will all provide excellent additions.
Summer cooking has never been so easy and nutritious – enjoy!
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