The 3 Weeknight Dinner Recipes Jesinta Franklin Swears By
Jesinta Franklin’s charming personality, ever-evolving career, and impressive fitness regime has been inspiring women around the country since she became a household name back in 2010, when she won the Miss Universe Australia title. And nowadays we can't get enough of her intense workout and food prep videos that make regular appearances on her Instagram and Snapchat accounts. I mean, who wouldn’t doesn’t dream of having a toned physique and illuminous skin?
So when the TV presenter and model released her very own book, which is brimming with her favourite go-to recipes, and her actual workout plan, we couldn’t add it to cart quickly enough. Scroll on for three weeknight dinner recipes Franklin can’t live without.
“This has been a dinner staple of mine since I moved out of home. I always take the leftovers to work for lunch.”
2 chicken breast fillets, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon coconut oil
4 spring onions
½ long red chilli, deseeded handful snow peas, trimmed
½ head broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
Handful green beans, halved
¼ red cabbage, thinly sliced
Handful baby spinach leaves
Fresh basil leaves, for serving
Cooked quinoa, for serving
1 long red chilli, seeds included
3 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons tamari
1. Place all the marinade ingredients and the sliced chicken in a bowl. Marinate while preparing your veggies.
2. In a wok or large frying pan over medium heat, add the coconut oil, spring onions and fresh chilli. Sauté until the spring onions are cooked through.
3. Remove the chicken from the marinade and reserve marinade. Add the chicken to the wok and cook halfway through then add the vegetables—this ensures the chicken is tender and not overcooked.
4. Add the reserved marinade and cook until the vegetables are just tender and the chicken is cooked through.
5. Toss some fresh basil leaves through the stir-fry and serve with cooked quinoa.
Turmeric Poached Chicken with Brown Rice or Quinoa
½ cup brown rice or quinoa
2 medium skinless chicken breast fillets
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
2cm piece fresh turmeric, peeled and finely grated
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns pinch of pink sea salt
½ small fresh red chilli (optional)
Steamed bok choy, for serving (optional)
1. Place the brown rice in a small saucepan with 2–2½ cups water. Bring to a simmer over low to medium heat and cover. Leave gently bubbling for 35 minutes. All the water should be absorbed and the rice should be perfectly al dente. Check on it occasionally to make sure it isn’t absorbing the water too quickly. If using quinoa, wash the grain thoroughly and drain, then cook according to the packet instructions.
2. While the rice or the quinoa is cooking, place the chicken fillets in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, bay leaves, peppercorns and sea salt. Pour enough cold water over the ingredients to cover the fillets by about 2cm.
3. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the liquid to a boil then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. You may like to skim any froth that forms as it simmers. The chicken should be cooked after about 10–14 minutes—check by removing one fillet and slicing into the middle to see if it is cooked through.
4. When cooked, remove the chicken from the broth. Slice the poached chicken thinly and serve with the cooked quinoa or rice and optional steamed greens.
Pad Thai with Kelp Noodles
“When I was in Thailand with Getaway we filmed a segment for the show at a cooking school. I learnt how to make many of my favourite Thai dishes and this pad Thai is one of them. I’ve altered the recipe a little bit and use kelp noodles to suit my way of eating.”
1 tablespoon coconut oil
100g chicken breast fillet or tofu, cut into cubes
3 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons pickled radish, chopped
10 uncooked prawns, peeled
2 medium eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons dried shrimp
4 teaspoons honey
1–2 teaspoons lime juice (to taste, try 1 teaspoon and add by halves if you want more)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2–3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, finely ground
1 long red chilli, finely chopped (if you love it spicy, add two)
1 cup bean sprouts
454g packet kelp noodles fresh coriander leaves, to garnish
1. Heat the coconut oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the chicken or tofu and stir-fry until cooked. Remove and place on paper towel to drain.
2. To the same wok, add the spring onions, pickled radish and prawns, and stir-fry until prawns turn pink and are cooked.
3. Add the eggs and cook for a few seconds. Then add the dried shrimp and the chicken or tofu, and cook for about 45 seconds. Add the honey, lime juice, fish sauce, roasted peanuts and chilli, and stir-fry for a good minute.
4. Add the bean sprouts and kelp noodles and mix to combine. Cook until the kelp noodles are a little bit soft. Garnish with fresh coriander before serving.
Tip: Most traditional their recipes use sugar, but I prefer honey for a delicious flavour.
Shop Franklin’s inspiring new book, Live a Beautiful Life below.