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Recipes for Three 20-Minute Meals

Recipes for Three 20-Minute Meals

Three recipes for weeknight dinners that can each be made in 20 minutes

Cod, Green Bean, and Cherry Tomato Parcels

Baked in a parcel, this delicate fish retains all of its moisture while taking on plenty of flavor from the other ingredients. Serve with tender new, salad potatoes, which will soak up all of the cooking juices when crushed with the back of your fork.

Serves 4

cod green bean and cherry tomato parcel
From ‘Healthy Speedy Suppers’ by Katriona MacGregor © Nourish Books 2016, photography by Heathcliff O’Malley.


  • 7oz French beans
  • 4 cod fillets (each approximately 4-5 oz.)
  • 4 small bunches of cherry tomatoes (each with approximately 5-6 tomatoes)
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp. pine nuts
  • 16 basil leaves
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • Sea salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Cut four pieces of baking parchment large enough to form a parcel for each piece of cod.
  3. Place the green beans in equal piles in the middle of each piece of paper.
  4. Lay the cod fillets on top of each pile, followed by a bunch of cherry tomatoes. Drizzle each with a little olive oil, followed by a squeeze of lemon juice, and a few pine nuts. Tear each basil leaf in half before placing them on top. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Partially seal the parcels by twisting the edges of the paper together at both ends so that when you add the white wine it won’t leak out. Pour the wine into the parcels, then finish sealing the edges and top of the parcels and place them on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes until the fish is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. When you’re ready to serve, lift the whole parcels onto the plates, open the edges and dive in.


Beef Stir-Fry with Green Peppers

Taking a minute or two to make your own stir-fry sauce is really worth it. Not only will the result be fresher and tastier than anything you squeeze out of a packet, you can play around with the ingredients and adjust the seasonings to suit your own tastes. To this quite basic recipe, you could also add black-eyed beans, mangetout/snow peas, mushrooms, or pak choi/bok choy in place of, or as well as, the vegetables listed. Don’t worry if you don’t have a wok, just use a large frying pan; the key is to cook quickly over a high heat without the ingredients being crowded.

Serves 4 

beef stir-fry with green peppers
From ‘Healthy Speedy Suppers’ by Katriona MacGregor © Nourish Books 2016, photography by Andrew Crowley.


  • 1 heaped tsp. cornflour/cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. mirin (rice wine)
  • Canola oil, for cooking
  • 1 bunch of spring onions/scallions, sliced
  • 2 green peppers, deseeded and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1lb 9oz rump steak, sliced into strips
  • 2/3 cup stock
  • 5 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp. sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted, to serve (optional)
  • Steamed rice or noodles, to serve


  1. Place the cornflour/cornstarch in a small bowl and stir in the soy sauce and mirin until you have a smooth paste.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp. of oil over a high heat and, when very hot, add the spring onions/scallions, peppers, and garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender and slightly golden at the edges, but still have a bit of bite. Tip out of the pan and leave to one side.
  3. Add a little more oil to the pan and, when hot, add the beef. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring all of the time until the meat is cooked and has taken on some color.
  4. Take the pan off the heat and add the cornflour/cornstarch mixture, followed by the stock, oyster sauce, and sweet chili sauce. Return to the heat and bring to a simmer for 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add a little more stock if the sauce is too thick. Return the vegetables to the pan and stir to heat everything through.
  5. Serve with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds, if you like, and some steamed rice or noodles.

Sweetcorn Pancakes with Avocado Salsa

Bright and colorful, this fresh recipe makes a delicious light supper. It’s a good weekend brunch dish, too, which you could serve topped with a poached egg for each person.

Serves 4 

sweetcorn pancakes
From ‘Healthy Speedy Suppers’ by Katriona MacGregor © Nourish Books 2016, photography by Andrew Crowley.


  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup plain/all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ cup crème fraîche
  • 1 cup canned sweetcorn
  • 1 bunch of coriander/cilantro, chopped
  • A small bunch of spring onions/scallions,
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil, for frying
  • Sea salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Lime wedges, to serve

For the Salsa

  • 4 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 red chili, deseeded and 
  • finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

NOTE: If you’re following gluten-free diet, simply replace the flour with a gluten-free blend, which will work just as well.


  1. Start off by making the pancake batter. Place the eggs, flour, baking powder, crème fraîche, and two-thirds of the sweetcorn in a blender. Blend for approximately 30 seconds until smooth. Tip the batter into a bowl and then stir in the remaining sweetcorn, half of the coriander/cilantro, the spring onions/scallions, and a pinch of salt. Leave to one side while you make the salsa.
  2. To make the salsa, combine the tomatoes, onion, avocado, chili, and garlic in a bowl. Add the lime juice, olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Stir well and then add most of the remaining chopped coriander/cilantro. (If you have any extra sweetcorn left you can add this to the salsa, too.)
  3. To cook the pancakes, heat 1 tbsp. canola oil in a frying pan and when sizzling, drop in 2–3 large tablespoons of batter at a time, letting each spread out to form small round pancakes. Cook for approximately 2 minutes, then flip over to cook for a further 2 minutes, until nicely golden brown. Keep the pancakes warm while you cook the rest of the batter.
  4. Once all of the pancakes are cooked, top with the salsa and the remaining coriander/cilantro. Serve with wedges of lime to squeeze over.


Healthy Speedy Suppers

Extracted from Healthy Speedy Suppers by Katriona MacGregor © Katriona MacGregor 2016 published by Nourish Books, London, Hardback, $24.95


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