Moroccan roast vegetables. Picture: Chris Collingridge.
Moroccan roast vegetables. Picture: Chris Collingridge.

Your 2021 healthy dinner meal plan: 5 recipes to try

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Jan 16, 2021

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After a year of endless home-cooking and baking, many of us have exhausted our go-to dinner recipes. Luckily, there is no shortage of simple, flavourful recipes that make it easy to pack nutritious ingredients into delicious dinners.

Whether we are enjoying the meal by ourselves or cooking for the family who need to fuel up, are in the mood for something meaty or are craving something plant-based, here are some of our dinner favourites.

Moroccan roast vegetables. Picture: Chris Collingridge.

Moroccan roast vegetables

Ingredients

1 red pepper, cubed

1 yellow pepper, cubed

1 green pepper, cubed

2 red onions, peeled and cut into wedges

1 large brinjal, cubed

4 baby marrows, sliced

250g butternut, cubed

125g baby tomatoes, halved

1 red onion, cut in wedges

80ml olive oil

30ml Moroccan spice

Salt and pepper

60ml chopped parsley

Method

Prepare all the vegetables and place in a bowl.

Add the olive oil, spice, salt and pepper.

Toss well to coat, and place on a baking tray.

Roast in a preheated oven at 180°C for 40 minutes, stirring halfway.

When all the vegetables are tender, remove and serve sprinkled with parsley.

Red lentil, chickpea, and chilli soup

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

10ml cumin seeds

5ml coriander seeds

3ml mustard seeds

large pinch of chilli flakes

30ml olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

250ml red lentils

1 litre vegetable stock

400g can of chopped tomatoes

10ml tomato paste

400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

125ml chopped fresh coriander

Method

Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry cumin, coriander, and mustard seeds, and chilli flakes for 1 minute or until they start to jump around the pan and release their aromas.

Add the oil and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils, stock, tomatoes and paste, then bring to the boil.

Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils have softened.

Blend the soup in a processor or with a stick blender until it is a rough purée.

Return to the pan and add the chickpeas. Heat gently, season well and stir in the coriander.

Serve immediately.

Recipe by Angela Day.

Mushroom with chickpeas curry

Ingredients

One onion, finely sliced

1 tsp olive oil

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1tsp ground cumin or curry powder

250g white button mushrooms, quartered

1 can chopped tomatoes or 3 fresh tomatoes, finely chopped

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 tsp honey (optional)

A handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Method

Fry the onion in the oil until softened. Add the spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the mushrooms, cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas and honey. Season and simmer for at least 7 to 8 minutes, or until the curry has thickened.

Best served warm.

Recipe by The South African Mushroom Farmers' Association.

Low-carb spinach and artichoke lasagne

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients

4 large brinjals

Olive oil

For the tomato sauce

15ml olive oil

10ml chopped garlic

2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes

15ml tomato paste

10ml castor sugar

Salt and pepper

60ml chopped basil

For the artichoke sauce

30ml olive oil

2 onions, chopped

15ml chopped garlic

500g cleaned, chopped spinach

2 x 400g tins artichoke hearts, chopped

500g crème fraîche

60ml grated Parmesan cheese

Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper

60ml chopped dill

300g mozzarella cheese

250ml extra Parmesan cheese

Method

Cut the brinjals into 7mm-thick slices. Brush with olive oil and place on a large oven tray.

Cook under a preheated grill for 2 to 3 minutes a side until lightly golden. Remove and set aside.

Tomato sauce: Heat the oil in a pot and fry the garlic over medium heat.

Add the remaining ingredients and simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes until slightly thickened.

Remove and cool slightly before puréeing with a stick blender.

Artichoke sauce: Heat the olive oil in a pot and fry the onions and garlic over medium heat until the onions are soft.

Add the spinach and cook over high heat, until the spinach is limp and the liquid has evaporated.

Add the artichokes and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Stir in the crème fraîche, Parmesan, lemon rind, and juice, and season well. Stir in the dill.

In a 28 x 35cm ovenproof dish, spread half the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with a third of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with a layer of brinjals.

Spread over half the artichoke sauce. Top with remaining tomato sauce, another third mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. Top with another layer of brinjals and the remaining artichoke sauce.

Sprinkle over the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 180°C for 25 to 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Remove and leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Spinach and feta quiche

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

For the pastry

300g flour

Salt and pepper to season

150g Mooi River butter

1 egg

30ml iced water

For the filling

4 eggs

250ml Clover fresh cream

150g packet of spinach, blanched and chopped

2 rounds of Clover feta cheese, crumbled

500ml grated Clover cheddar cheese

Method

Pastry: Put the flour, seasoning and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and iced water, and pulse until it forms a ball. Remove and roll out into a circle large enough to fit a deep 18cm quiche pan. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Filling: Beat the eggs and cream together. Add the spinach, feta and cheddar. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Bake the pastry blind in an oven preheated to 180°C for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden. Pour the prepared filling in and bake for about 30 minutes or until set.

Note: You can use a shallow 24cm quiche pan instead of the 18cm deep pan.

Recipe by Angela Day.

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