5 shortcuts for quick and easy weeknight meals

Ideal weeknight meals should tick three boxes – quick and easy, healthy, and something the whole family will eat. Here’s how to achieve the trifecta.

When you’ve had a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is spend ages in the kitchen cooking a meal – so dialling Uber Eats can be very tempting.

But with these few simple tricks and shortcuts from dietitian Dr Naras Lapsys, you can get on the table quicker than it takes to have a meal delivered.

Get organised on the weekend

To get dinner on the table fast, there’s no getting around the fact that there’s a little organisation required.

Dr Lapsys recommends buying groceries for the week and stocking up your fridge or freezer with vegetables and proteins such as red meat, fish, chicken or tofu.

This will enable you to whip up a meal quickly, as you’ve always got the ingredients ready to go.

Stock your pantry with staples

Dr Lapsys says once you’ve got your perishable goods sorted, everything else will come back down to what makes your meal tasty.

Think herbs and spices and other accompaniments such as quinoa or brown rice.

Microwaveable rice is particularly quick and easy and can be a great shortcut when you need dinner on the table fast.

Bookmark recipes

Having quick go-to recipes on hand enables you to have a meal dished up quickly when you’re feeling stuck for inspiration.

Dr Lapsys suggests searching for recipes with a time frame in mind, and also whatever ingredients you have at your disposal.

“As long as you’ve got the base ingredients, you could literally walk into a kitchen not knowing what you’re going to do and have something nice in 20 or 30 minutes just from having done a quick Google search,” he says.

Do some meal prep

The less you have to do after you get home at night, the better.

Dr Lapsys says it can help to marinate some protein or chop ingredients in advance, or have a salad mix ready to go.

Having these things prepared will shave time off how long you need to spend in the kitchen at the end of the day.

Have a failsafe healthy meal

For those days where you’re time-poor or too tired, it pays to have a go-to healthy meal that you know will tick all the nutritional boxes but doesn’t require much thought.

“Stir fries and salads are probably two of the quickest and easiest healthy meals you can have,” Dr Lapsys says.

He says the great thing about both is they are easily adaptable to whatever eating plan you may be on, whether keto or vegetarian, and both meals allow you to mix and match carbs, proteins and vegetables, making for a quick and nutritious meal.

More quick and easy recipes:

Written by Tania Gomez