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3 quick and easy recipes using minimal ingredients

Reece Carter

These recipes are simple, healthy and delicious

A young woman standing in the kitchen on her phone as she prepares food
A young woman standing in the kitchen on her phone as she prepares food

Although most supermarkets are better able to keep up with demand than they were when COVID-19 first broke out, shortages and restrictions are still possible. On top of that, many of us are experiencing financial constraints due to the pandemic’s impact on the economy.

If you’ve got limited access to the supermarket – or the ingredients you want aren’t available – feeding the family can be a challenge.

To help, we asked Reece Carter, nutritionist and author of The Garden Apothecary: The Happy Gut cookbook, to provide three recipes you can rustle up using minimal ingredients.

Breakfast: Basic Bircher

“This can be batch-made so it’s ready and waiting in the fridge,” says Reece.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups rolled oats

  • 2 apples

  • 1 cup apple or orange juice

  • 1 cup Greek yoghurt

  • Pinch of cinnamon

  • Toppings of your choice

How to do it:

  1. 1

    Combine two cups of rolled oats with two grated apples, one cup of apple or orange juice, one cup of Greek yoghurt and a little cinnamon in a container. Mix well, cover and leave in the fridge overnight.

  2. 2

    In the morning, take a quarter of the mix and pop it in a bowl. Top with a little extra yoghurt plus whatever you’ve got on hand, such as flaked almonds, walnuts, sultanas, dried coconut, fresh or frozen berries, pepitas, sunflower seeds or chia seeds.

Lunch: Two-minute tuna salad

“This one is great because it really can be thrown together with almost anything you’ve got in the cupboard and the fridge — as long as you’ve got tuna, that is,” Reece says. “It uses beans and pulses, which are packed full of gut-healthy fibre, and a healthy gut means stronger immunity and better mood.”

What you’ll need:

  • Tin of tuna

  • Tin of beans (any kind)

  • 1 red onion or spring onion

  • Herbs

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Balsamic vinegar

  • Pepper

  • Vegetables of your choice

  • Olives (optional)

How to do it:

  1. 1

    Drain and rinse a tin of cannellini beans, kidney beans, chickpeas or whatever you’ve got. Throw these into a bowl with a tin of tuna (drained) as well as whatever fresh herbs you have in the fridge or garden — flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped basil or dill all work well.

  2. 2

    Add some thinly sliced red onion or spring onion, and then whatever vegetables you’ve got on hand. Red capsicum works well, or a handful of olives.

  3. 3

    Top it with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, some balsamic vinegar and plenty of cracked black pepper.

A couple prepare breakfast together

Dinner: Slow-cooked goodness

“As long as you have liquid stock and tomato paste in the pantry, the rest really is up to you,” Reece says. “And the best part is that once you’ve made a batch, it can sit in the fridge or freezer, ready to be reheated for future meals.”

What you’ll need:

  • 500g meat

  • 1 brown onion

  • Olive oil

  • 2 cups liquid stock

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • Approx. 2 cups vegetables of your choice

  • Dried herbs of your choice

  • Salt and pepper

  • Handful parsley

How to do it:

  1. 1

    Using a heavy-based cast iron pot or a heavy pot that is safe to use on the stovetop, brown your choice of meat with a little olive oil for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove meat from the pot and place to one side.

  2. 2

    Lower the heat and cook a thinly sliced brown onion until soft and translucent for about 2 minutes. Return the meat to the pot with the onions, then add 2 cups of liquid stock and a tablespoon of tomato paste. Combine well and then add whatever veggies and dried herbs you’ve got available (carrots work well, as do tinned ingredients like chickpeas – my herbs of choice would be a little dried thyme and a bay leaf or two).

  3. 3

    Cover and bring to a simmer, then leave to cook for 1-1.5 hours until everything is cooked through. Keep an eye on it and add a splash more stock if needed. To serve, top with a little sea salt, some fresh parsley and plenty of cracked black pepper.

Reece Carter

Reece Carter is a qualified nutritionist with years of experience in clinical practice. Reece is a passionate champion for sensible, whole-food nutrition and is the author of two books: The Garden Apothecary and The Happy Gut. When he isn’t cooking healthy meals, Reece can be found in the herb and veggie garden, trying to rescue his tomato plants from his two-year-old retriever, Hagrid.