Keep these 10 foods on hand, and you will always be able to make a quick, healthy dinner

It’s 7pm and your fridge is as empty as your stomach.

You haven’t been grocery shopping since last week. 

Your hangry and with little inspiration. 

Logically, you have two options:

1.You can panic at what is about to be the steep downward trajectory of your blood sugar levels and get takeaway. (Guilty).

2.Or, you can open up your pantry and the dregs of your refrigerator and turn nothing into something. Onion? A can of salmon? A tin of tomatoes? Pasta? Challenge accepted. 

Should you need a little inspiration, Georgia from GH Nutrition has put together 10 foods that will take you from takeout to homemade in under 10 minutes.  Winner winner chicken dinner.   


When dinner needs to be on the table five minutes ago and your looking for something to fill you up, whip out the can opener and open up a can of beans.  Whether it be kidney beans, cannellini beans, chickpeas or lentils, this little pantry staple can be used to create many versatile, protein packed dishes.  Add a can of chopped tomatoes and spices and top with a poached or fried egg for a comforting baked bean dish. 


There is a reason it is a staple dinner amongst resourceful Italians.  Simple is always better, so serve with a dash of olive oil and parmesan.  

Tinned salmon 

Canned fish is an affordable way to incorporate healthy fish into your diet.  Make it into fish cakes with fresh herbs and spices, mix it in with pasta, pile it on a green salad or bake it in a frittata or quiche, canned salmon turns what was a simple dinner into a nourishing meal. 

Anchovies or sardines

In his song Juicy, rapper Notorious B.I.G reminisces about when he used to have to eat sardines for dinner.  Well Mr B.I.G, just because you’ve made it to the big time and don’t have to eat fish from a tin anymore, I don’t think you realised just how good you had it with those inexpensive, nutrition powerhouses of the sea.  My recommendation: mash with red onion and season with lemon and pepper and serve on toast.  Delicious any time of the day. 


There are countless ways to enjoy onions.  Baked, grilled, roasted, sautéed or eaten raw, adding onion to your dish ensures that it is packing a punch in the flavour department. 


The cornerstone of cuisines around the world.  Gentle in flavour with its sweet casings and soft cloves, roasted garlic heads are a delicious accompaniment to a simple roast chicken.  Also, who can deny the smell of sautéed garlic.  Throw in a some onion and you have an aroma that pleasantly awakens the senses. 


The secret ingredient to making pasta taste even better.  (Apart from parmesan, of course).  When life gives you lemons, specifically in the means of what to make for dinner tonight, squeeze them over spaghetti. 


No kitchen should be without a good supply of the fresh, multi-purpose herb that is parsley.  Used as a garnish or in marinades, the fresh taste of parsley compliments any dish.  My favourite – atop a bowl of pasta with lemon, tuna and a generous sprinkle of parmesan and parsley. 

Tin of tomatoes

Add pasta, garlic, onion and tuna or beans and you have a delicious 10-minute pasta recipe.  Or, add it with the eggs and you have your own Moroccan egg dish.


Put an egg on it.  Adding fried, poached or scrambled eggs can nearly turn anything into a healthy, balanced meal.  Plus, this humble ingredient gets bonus points as it stores well in the fridge for a long period of time. 


  • WHAT’S IN SEASON: FRUIT | IN SEASON Apples, pears, mandarins, navel oranges, limes, pomegranates, feijoa, persimmons and quinces. BERRIES QLD strawberries improving this week. Blueberries eating well but look for prices to rise after frosts in Coffs. CITRUS Daisy, Satsuma, Imperial mandarins in season. Tangelos have started. Regular and organic navel oranges. Limes great value. FIGS Last week(s) for figs for a while. RHUBARB Great bunches and great value. ROCKMELONS Scarce. VEGETABLES | TRUFFLES Season has started. IN SEASON Baby leeks, celeriac, silverbeet, kale, baby turnips and wombok. GOOD VALUE Lebanese cucumber. ASPARAGUS Imported only. AVOCADOES Improving. BEANS Peas great value and eating this week. GARLIC Tassie red garlic and regular Aussie in season. ZUCCHINI Local zucchini still available but affected by cooler weather. FLOWERS Tulips, poppies, jonquils and early cheer in season.