Am I getting enough of the nutrients I need while eating healthy – is the question I ask myself often. There are instances when even the healthiest eater falls short of certain essential nutrients. Meals must be healthy, full of nutrition and of course easy to prepare- are the three things I keep in mind when preparing meals at home. As you know I have been drinking juices for two meals a day (two large glasses in each meal) and eat an early dinner around 6.30 pm-ish after I come home from work. When you’re in a full-time blood-sucking corporate job and trying to stick to a healthy eating plan, dinner needs to be fuss free, easy to prepare and healthy. But there’s no need to skimp on delicious! I know I save money and time with healthy but not expensive and easy-to-cook weeknight dinner that my partner and I love, such as this budget-friendly Seed & Grain loaf and Broccoli soup dinner.
Broccoli is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein, so the nutrition and healthy factors are taken care of. Confesstion time: I hate the smell of broccoli and how it tastes in my mouth but I still eat it because I do not eat meat (only chicken, rarely), so I have to have my share of proteins through these tiny trees;) It’s easy to seperate the good carbs from the bad ones. The benefit of eating a piece of wholemeal bread or spoonful of brown rice are plenty even when you are trying to shed some body fat. This seed & grain wholemeal loaf includes the nutrient-rich germ (the inner layer) which is packed with minerals, vitamins B and E and phytochemicals (plant compounds with possible health benefits), the energy-providing middle layer and the fibre-rich bran layer. Now that the nutritional facts of these two weeknight dinner dishes are known, lets see how easy and quick they are to prepare. Baking this nourishing seed and grain loaf in just thirty minutes, perfect with this broccoli soup that takes another 15 minutes to prepare. Your healthy, tasty and quick weeknight dinner ready just in 45 minutes.
Lets Cook & Bake Now
Seed & Grain Loaf
Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 30-35 minutes
500g mixed grain flour
1 tbsp each sesame and poppy seeds, plus extra for topping
1 sachet fast-action yeast
1 tsp salt
300ml hand-hot water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp clear honey
Tip the flour, seeds, yeast and salt into a large bowl. Mix the water, oil and honey in a jug, then pour into the dry mix, stirring all the time to make a soft dough. It it feels sticky, sprinkle in a little more flour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, until the dough no longer feels sticky, sprinkling with a little more flour as you need it.
Oil a 1.2 litre loaf tin and put dough in the tin, pressing it in evenly. Cover with a tea towel and leave a rise for 1 hour, until it springs back when you touch to press deep.
Make eight stashes accross the top of the loaf, brush with water and sprinkle alternately with poppy and sesame seeds, Bake for 30-35 minutes until the loaf is risen and brown. Tip it out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool.
You can choose whatever flour you like for this loaf- wholemeal, granary, white. I used wholemeal because I wanted to keep the healthy quotient intact. Instead of the seeds, you could throw in some chopped nuts and raisins, or even some cubes of cheese and chopped dry olives.
This simple soup is on the table in less than half an hour.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
250ml/8¾fl oz chicken or vegetable stock (more if necessary)
200g/7oz broccoli florets
salt and freshly ground black pepper
drizzle cream, to serve
Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes.
Pour the chicken or vegetable stock into the pan and add the broccoli florets.
Bring to the boil and reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10-12 minutes, until the broccoli is tender.
Season to taste, then transfer to a liquidizer or blender. Blend until smooth.
Ladle the soup into serving bowls and drizzle with cream to serve.