We’re at home a lot at the moment but this doesn’t always mean we have spare time for cooking extravagant meals.
If you’re balancing home working and schooling, or busy as an essential worker or healthcare hero, your days are most likely more complex due to the additional work load and even precautionary measures your work has put in place.
Therefore, this week, we’re looking at quick, easy to prepare meals that are also nutritious and delicious!
Lucy and Sara-Jayne have collated a few family favourites; easy dinner recipes to keep everyone happy and healthy.
Photo credit: BBC Good Food
Lucy’s Kale and Anchovy Pasta
I have a longstanding love affair with anchovies, just one small tin can add a real punch of flavour to any meal whether that’s a in sauce, salad or my favourite – on pizza. This is a super quick recipe and only takes as long to make as the pasta does to cook. I have made this so many times, it is one of my families staple meals. I use whichever pasta I have available and have also substituted the fresh chilli for dried which works just as well as I don’t often buy fresh chilli. This recipe is by Barney Desmazery on BBC Good Food.
- 250g penne or other tubular pasta
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red chilli, finely sliced (seeds in or out)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 anchovies, finely chopped
- 200g young kale, finely shredded
- Juice ½ lemon
- 50g parmesan, half shaved, half finely grated
- Boil the pasta. While it’s cooking, heat half the oil in a saucepan, then sizzle the chilli, garlic and anchovies. Add the kale, then gently fry until tender, adding a drop of water if needed.
- Drain the pasta, reserving a few tbsp water, then toss the pasta and water through the kale, adding the rest of the olive oil, lemon juice and grated Parmesan. Serve scattered with the Parmesan shavings.
Photo credit: BBC Good Food
Sara-Jayne’s Veggie Fajitas
I absolutely love fajitas; they are so quick and easy to rustle up and absolutely delicious. Perfect for a busy weeknight. This flavourful, satisfying meal is packed with plant-based protein and ready in just 15 minutes. If you want a meat or fish option, simply add sliced chicken, fish or fry a quick steak to suit your preference. Don’t forget to top with lots of grated cheese! This recipe is from BBC Good Food by Lulu Grimes.
- 400g can black beans, drained
- small bunch coriander, finely chopped
- 4 large or 8-12 small flour tortillas
- 1 avocado, sliced, or 1 small tub guacamole
- 2 tbsp soured cream
For the fajita mix:
- 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 lime, juiced
- To make the fajita mix, take two or three strips from each colour of pepper and finely chop them. Set aside. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the remaining pepper strips and the onion until soft and starting to brown at the edges. Cool slightly and mix in the chopped raw peppers. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min, then add the spices and stir. Cook for a couple of mins more until the spices become aromatic, then add half the lime juice and season. Transfer to a dish, leaving any juices behind, and keep warm.
- Tip the black beans into the same pan, then add the remaining lime juice and plenty of seasoning. Stir the beans around the pan to warm them through and help them absorb any flavours of the fajita mix, then stir through the coriander.
- Warm the tortillas in a microwave or in a low oven, then wrap them so they don’t dry out. Serve the tortillas with the fajita mix, beans, avocado and soured cream for everyone to help themselves.
Photo credit: Jo Wicks
Lucy’s Chorizo and Eggs
This is a recipe from ‘Lean in 15 - The Shift Plan’ by Joe Wicks. I love his cookbooks, all the recipes are wonderful, easy to follow and take next to no time. Chorizo is another ingredient that can add so much flavour to a meal, when cooked it releases a beautiful flavoursome oil. Roasted potatoes and chicken are both delicious but adding in chorizo brings it to a whole new level. When making this recipe I have substituted parmesan for feta which is equally delightful. This recipe serves one but it is easy to increase and make a larger serving.
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 75g chorizo (the cured type, not the soft cooking chorizo)
- Pinch of chilli flakes
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp finely grated parmesan
- Sprinkling of chopped parsley, if you’re feeling fancy
- Heat the oil in a small frying pan. Add the chorizo, chilli flakes and spring onions and fry for about 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Pour the tomatoes and bring to the boil, then simmer for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium low and use the back of a spoon to fashion two dips in the tomatoes as best you can.
- Crack an egg in to each dip, sprinkle the parmesan over the eggs and place a lid on top. If you don’t have a lid for your pan, a big dinner plate or a sheet of foil should work.
- Simmer for about 5-6 minutes or until the whites are cooked, but the yolks are still runny.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve
Photo credit: BBC Good Food
Sara-Jayne’s One-Pot Potato and Mushroom Curry
It doesn’t get more delicious than a homemade curry. This tasty, spicy vegetarian dish is one of my go-to meals for my working week as it’s packed full of flavour, is full of wholesome ingredients and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare! You can make it family friendly by adjusting the spice with how much curry paste you add. Paired perfectly with steamed rice and naan bread for a comforting dish perfect for a cosy mid-week pick me up. If you love curry, give this easy recipe a try and I’m sure you’ll love it!
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1 large potato, chopped into small chunks
- 1 aubergine, trimmed and chopped into chunks
- 250g button mushrooms
- 2-4 tbsp curry paste (depending on how hot you like it)
- 150ml vegetable stock
- 400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
- chopped coriander, to serve
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and potato. Cover, then cook over a low heat for 5 mins until the potatoes start to soften. Throw in the aubergine and mushrooms, then cook for a few more mins.
- Stir in the curry paste, pour over the stock and coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins or until the potato is tender. Stir through the coriander and serve with rice or naan bread.
We’d love to hear what your favourite quick meals are and if you try any of the ones we mentioned, feel free to share with us on email firstname.lastname@example.org, and on social @stevalcandles.