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Delicious meals that won't take over 30 minutes to prepare

It's the December holidays and while nobody really wants to cook, take-out is not always the best option. You don't want to spend all your money on food these holidays and be left with a bad case of 'Janu-worry'.

Try these easy recipes that wont take you in excess of 30 minutes. Breakfast, lunch and supper is sorted! 


Image: Matt van Lill © Sunday Times

Golden Pumpkin Flapjacks

Serves 8


1 portion basic pancake batter

250ml (1 cup) mashed cooked pumpkin

30ml (2 tbsp) brown sugar

Pinch of grated nutmeg

Pinch of ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground mixed spice

15ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil, for frying

Cinnamon sugar and honey, to serve


Mix the mashed pumpkin, brown sugar and spices into the pancake batter. Heat oil in a non-stick pan on the stove, drop in a tablespoon of batter and fry until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip and fry the other side until golden. Set aside to keep warm and repeat for remaining batter. Serve with cinnamon, sugar and honey.


Quick Spinach & Feta Pie

Serves 12 small pies

Image: Supplied


About 700g frozen creamed spinach, defrosted

200g feta cheese, cubed

Pinch of ground nutmeg

60ml (4 tbsp) Parmesan cheese, grated

2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten

6 spring onions, finely sliced

8 sheets phyllo pastry

125ml (½ cup) butter, melted


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Mix together the spinach, feta, nutmeg, Parmesan, eggs and onions and spoon the mixture into a 2-litre greased ovenproof dish or the openings of a large muffin pan. Brush each phyllo sheet with melted butter and crumple up like paper on top of the spinach mixture until the filling is completely covered. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Makes 1 large or about 12 small pies.


Sticky Chicken Stir-Fry

Serves 4

Image: Olena Danileiko/ 123RF


10ml (2 tsp) cornflour

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

5ml (1tsp) ground ginger

2.5ml (½ tsp) paprika

3 chicken breast fillets, cut into strips

45ml (3 tbsp) oil

1 large red pepper, seeded and sliced

Handful mange tout, finely sliced

6 spring onions, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish

30ml (2 tbsp) soy sauce

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

30ml (2 tbsp) runny honey

30ml (2 tbsp) sweet chilli sauce

30ml (2 tbsp) boiling water

2 blocks of 2-minute noodles, cooked


Combine the cornflour, seasoning, ginger and paprika and rub all over the chicken. Preheat the oil in a wok or pan and stir-fry the chicken till golden. Remove from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, stir-fry the red pepper, peas and spring onions for 4 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan with the soy sauce, lemon zest and juice, honey, chilli sauce and water. Add the noodles, toss to mix and stir-fry until heated through. Serve garnished with extra spring onion.

Golden Pumpkin Flapjacks: Callie Maritz and Mari- Louis Guy / Sunday Times

Quick Spinach & Feta Pie/ Sticky Chicken Stir fry: Hillary Biller/ Sunday Times

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