When your finances are spread thin over public transport and bills, and your hospo job is paying you minimum wage, it’s difficult to find both the time and money to make something healthy. But cooking yourself something healthy is one of the best ways to keep your mental health in check; there’s something therapeutic about chopping some veggies and tossing the pan like you’re Gordon Ramsay.
So, ditch the Mi Goreng with fried egg and your fourth UberEats order this Mental Health Week: we’ve compiled a couple of easy recipes that take under an hour to make and are going to make you feel light and ready to seize the day.
We can’t count the number of nights where we’ve cleaned out the pesto jar and made a massive pot of pasta. It’s easy, tasty, and bulky, and this Kitchn recipe elevates the pesto to healthier heights with the crunch of almonds and sweet edamame. Plus, it’s not like you’ll be struggling to find lemons and spaghetti at the supermarket.
Contrary to popular belief, you can get full from a salad, especially one as veggie-packed as this Middle Eastern-inspired salad. We know that salads always pop up in conversations about healthy eating, but it’s because they’re genuinely quick and cheap to make. According to Refinery29’s estimates, this salad costs around $5.37 USD (that’s about $7.95 AUD) — that’s barely a dent in your bank balance.
If you’re ever worried about making meals taste good with so few ingredients, Asian food will never let you down. Chuck in some garlic, ginger, and sesame oil (all pantry staples), and your food will instantly be aromatic and flavourful. The best thing about this stir fry from Damn Delicious? It only takes 20 minutes to make.
Something for the vegans out there: take advantage of the weather while it’s still a bit cold and cook yourself this hearty meal that’ll warm you from the inside and last you for the week. Potatoes, onions, and beans are some of the cheapest veggies at the supermarket too, and don’t be scared by the arrowroot powder — you can easily replace it with cornstarch.
Healthy food doesn’t just have to be savoury; it can be sweet too! Baking is usually a long and complex process, but these chocolate chip cookies allegedly take just nine minutes, meaning you won’t have to stare through the oven glass for too long. If you somehow don’t eat all the cookies on the day, they’re great to take as snacks to work or school as well.