You can still eat well in the busy time before, and after, Christmas with Niki Bezzant’s tasty 10-minute dinners.
Fry onion and garlic with smoked paprika and a pinch of rosemary. Add a little stock or water, ready-cooked risotto rice, green beans and some flaked smoked fish or cooked prawns and mussels. Stir to combine and simmer for 5–10 minutes until warmed through.
Combine canned or fresh corn kernels with egg, flour, chopped coriander and green onions, and a dash of sweet chilli sauce. Spoon into a frying pan and make fritters. Serve with lean bacon or leftover Christmas ham and a green salad.
Steak with chickpea purée
Whiz a can of drained chickpeas in the blender with a clove of garlic, a dash of olive oil and some fresh parsley. Serve with a fillet steak cooked to your liking, a large salad, and tangy chutney.
Quick prawn curry
Toss peeled prawns in a pan with tandoori paste. Add light coconut cream, grated ginger and kaffir lime leaves. Simmer for 5 minutes. Toss in a generous handful of baby spinach. Serve with rice or chappati.
Tuna and bread salad
Chop tomatoes, avocado and red onion into chunks. Toast grainy bread and chop into squares. Combine in a bowl with salad leaves, drained tuna, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss well and season with chilli flakes or black pepper.
Smoked chicken stack
Dice smoked chicken, green capsicum, tomatoes and chillies. Combine with light sour cream and mix well. Layer between tortillas in a baking dish. Top with grated cheese and grill until the cheese is melted and golden. Slice into triangles and serve.
Deluxe poached eggs
Steam a bunch of asparagus and poach an egg or two. Serve on grainy toast, drizzled with a mustard vinaigrette. Top with shaved parmesan.
Spiced salmon with lemon couscous
Add lemon zest to couscous and cover with boiling water to cook. Coat salmon fillets with cajun spice mix and pan fry for 3–5 minutes on each side. Toss cherry tomatoes and rocket through the couscous and top with salmon.
Tangy tomato and olive pasta
Cook small pasta shapes, like macaroni. Chop tomatoes and combine with lemon juice, black olives, torn basil and olive oil. Add cooked prawns if you like. Toss the sauce through hot pasta and season with black pepper. Top with grated parmesan.