30 minute meals – time saver that are heavy on nutrition

3 satisfying meals that pack in nutrition

Nutrient-dense foods are those that have low calorific value and contain good fats, lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in plenty. Meeting the ever-increasing nutrient demands for your child’s rapidly growing and developing body can be a huge challenge, particularly when you simultaneously need to achieve approval of food choices from him/her. So, it’s vital to make smart moves in order to make the most from the available options. It goes without saying that such diets will call for a lot of planning, ideating, food label reading and innovations from your end.

Here are some quick-to-cook, authentic recipes of high nutrient foods, right from a nutritionist’s menu book.

  • Paneer Parathas (makes 6)

    Ingredients:

    • Whole wheat flour - 1 cup
    • Oil - 1 tbsp
    • Paneer (grated) - 1 cup
    • Onions (finely chopped) - 1/4 cup
    • Capsicum (finely chopped) - 1/4 cup
    • Coriander (finely chopped) - 2tbsp
    • Green chilli (finely chopped) - 1 small
    • Cheese (grated) - 1/2 cup (optional)
    • Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
    • Salt - to taste
    • Spices (chilli powder, turmeric powder, dry mango powder) - as preferred

    Method:

    • Combine wheat flour, 1 tsp oil, and salt to make the dough. Keep aside.
    • Mix the remaining ingredients to form a thick stuffing.
    • Place portions of the stuffing into the rolled dough and seal tightly.
    • Roll the dough and stuffing together.
    • Apply ghee on either side and toss on a griddle repeatedly until cooked.
    • Serve hot. It can be served with vegetable raita.

    Power up: The dough can be made using curd or buttermilk in place of water to load up on calcium and protein. Adding til or sesame seeds to the dough will not only add to the nutrition profile but also help in giving a slight crunch here and there. Other finely grated vegetables such as carrots, beetroots, and cabbage in small quantities can also help add more vitamins, minerals, and fibre.

  • Jowar-paneer-vegetable pizza (makes 2)

    Ingredients:

    For the base

    • Paneer (grated) - 1 cup
    • Jowar flour - ½ cup
    • Salt - to taste
    • Mixed herbs

    For the topping

    • Tomatoes - 6 large
    • Onions (chopped) - 1/2 cup
    • Garlic (finely chopped) - 1tsp
    • Olive oil - 1 tbsp
    • Sugar -1/2 tsp
    • Salt - to taste
    • Herb mix - as preferred
    • Vegetables (Boiled corn, sautéed capsicum, carrots, tomatoes, olives) - for the topping
    • Cheese (grated) - for the topping

    Method:

    For the base

    • Mix all the ingredients and knead well to make soft dough.
    • Divide the dough into two portions.
    • Oil a tawa, take one portion of the dough and pat down on the tawa to make a thin roti like base.

    For the topping

    • Peel and grind tomatoes.
    • In a pan, heat oil, and add garlic followed by onions. Cook until they turn golden brown.
    • Add salt, sugar and other desired spices.
    • Add the pureed tomato.
    • Spread this topping all over the pizza base.
    • Spread out all the vegetables over the topping.
    • Add grated cheese.
    • Keep the tawa on a low flame, and cover and cook until the base is crisp and the cheese has melted.

    Power up: While grinding tomatoes for the pizza topping, use the opportunity to grind in a lot more vegetables which your child usually refuses. You can easily mask them in the topping. Load up on the veggies and go low on cheese as much as possible. Try adding a variety of vegetables. You can include spinach and baby corn for instance to this recipe.

  • Vegetable besan cheela (makes 4 to 6 servings)

    Ingredients:

    • Bengal gram flour (besan) - 1¼ cup
    • Spinach leaves (finely chopped) - 1/2 cup
    • Dill leaves (boiled) - 2 tsp
    • Coriander leaves (finely chopped) - 1 tbsp
    • Tomato (finely chopped) - 1 small
    • Carrot (grated) - 1 small
    • Chilli powder - 1 pinch
    • Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
    • Salt - to taste
    • Hing (asafoetida) - 1 pinch
    • Oil - for cooking

    Method:

    • Combine the flour, turmeric powder, chilli powder, hing, salt and approximately 3/4 cup water in a bowl and whisk well.
    • Add the chopped vegetables and mix well.
    • Ladle the batter onto a hot tawa and spread it in a circle to make small dosas.
    • Spread oil evenly and cook on a medium flame until the cheela is golden brown and crisp.
    • Serve hot with chutney.

    Power up: You can add any vegetable of your child’s choice to the batter. Chutney being an important accompaniment, it can range from tomato, groundnut to coconut or mint chutney.

Keep all of these simple meal ideas in mind while you prepare your grocery list. Also, do not forget to add variety and a touch of creativity to the dishes you serve. Take every meal as an opportunity to serve more nutrition. If it’s a pizza, go with a whole wheat crust and load up on the vegetables, even if it means grinding them all and camouflaging them with the topping. Good luck with your meal planning!

To learn more about growth and possibilities for your child visit www.nangrow.in