I cook maybe 4-5 times a week, so am always on the look out for healthy recipes I can use, which aren't mind bogglingly complicated to do. I normally have a pretty short timeframe to cook in due to b/f's work schedule. I'm sure loads of you will have other reasons for why you don't have lots of time to cook.
Likewise, whilst we are no way living in abject poverty, I can't afford to spend loads of money on food - especially since we tend to eat out at the weekends, etc.
My preference is to cook meals which are healthy, but not to an extreme gwyneth paltrow level of wheatgerm and kale chips. I don't enjoy super fatty foods to be honest. So I thought perhaps we could share some recipe ideas?
Here are my two favourite "go to" recipes - let me know yours!!! Sorry for long post. I actually had at least two other go to recipes, but decided that the post was already way too long to justify putting them here!
TUNA BURGERS (so fast)
265g full, 185g drained can of tuna in water or brine (not in oil)
two level dessert spoons of light mayonnaise
one heaped tablespoon of grained mustard
one tablespoon of paprika (or more if you fucking love paprika)
Bread crumbs (this will depend on taste, but the more you add the easier the burgers will hold their shape. I normally add about one third of the tuna in breadcrumbs).
I bought our bread crumbs in a big bag from our local japanese food shop. Try asian shops for bags with good value for money.
Either one large can of spinach, or one medium sized bag of fresh spinach.
2 cloves crushed garlic
one small tub of light creme fraiche, or light greek yoghurt.
One can sweetcorn (in water, not in sugar water).
Add all the ingredients for the tuna burgers into a bowl, and - with clean hands - mush together well. When well mushed, form the tuna mix into patty shapes with your hands, making sure you compress them well so they hold their shape. You should be able to make four largish patties, or four normal patties and one small one. Put on a plate, and into the fridge.
Meanwhile, put the spinach into a dry frying pan (if using canned) to get rid of some of the excess moisture. Keep it on the pan and stirring until most of the water is gone. If using fresh spinach, wilt it in a saucepan. Add the crushed garlic when spinach is wilted//drier, and stir. Leave on a very low heat.
Put some olive oil (one tea spoon should be enough for most non stick pans) into a separate frying pan and heat. When hot, turn down the heat, then take the patties out of the fridge, and put then into the pan. You will need to be careful turning them, but they will only take a couple of minutes each side. Meanwhile add the creme fraiche/yoghurt to the spinach and stir until well heated.
Serve, preferably with the sweet corn on the side. For a fuller meal, you can also serve with wholegrain rice.
I did this yesterday and it took me 15 minutes from start to finish. It wasn't what I had planned to cook, so basically made it with random stuff we already had.
This probably takes the longest, and requires the most effort, but is very easy to do. The best thing is that you can cook shitloads at once, and store the majority of it in portion sized containers in the freezer. It's saved my arse a number of times.
For the quantities - just use however much you want. Love carrots? Use loads of carrots. Hate sweet potato? Use normal baby potatoes. Fucking love parsnip? Use half sweet potato, half parsnips. You need onions though - sorry onion haters. Basically try and get at least a few colours in there. It means you're getting a range of nutrients. I advise to use all of whatever vegetables you buy though, and make in bulk. Otherwise you are never going to use that one spare carrot. Or those two spare onions. If you're me.
An assortment of chopped vegetables - I use:
* 5-6 Carrots
* 1 whole Courgette (or "zuccini" for US people)
* 1-2 whole peeled and chopped sweet potatoes
* Four onions
* A can of chick peas.
* Good quality curry powder (mine was super cheap, but the best I've ever used. It should be more yellow than orange, and if you can see the grains inside - rather than it being a uniform powder - then you're onto a winner.
* Two cloves crushed garlic
* Three vegetable or chicken stock cubes
* Three or four table spoons of white plain flour.
* Whole grain rice (to serve)
* Low fat greek yoghurt (to serve)
Firstly, wash, peel and chop all the vegetables. Do it however you want. Want to have star shaped carrots? why not. Fancy mini gingerbread men potatoes? I admire your commitment. You will need to boil the chopped sweet potato (or normal potato) until pretty much completely cooked, so go ahead of whack them in a saucepan of hot water now and leave to cook. The other vegetables save the onion, like the carrots, courgette, parsnip...whatever, you can steam. If you don't have a steamer, ask one for your next birthday as they are fucking amazing. In the meantime you can pop down to your local asian supermarket and buy stackable bamboo steamers that you use on top of saucepans.
Steam the veg until cooked. Around about 15-20 minutes for the carrots, 10 mins for the courgette and 20 mins for the parsnip.
Meanwhile, start to fry the chopped onions in a big big frying pan with a dash of olive oil on medium heat, stir them almost constantly to prevent burning. After about 10-15 minutes, they should be done.
Add the flour a tea spoon at a time to the fried onion over a low heat. Stir in very well after each teaspoon. This makes the curry sauce a bit thicker later on.
Check to see if your potatoes/veg are done, if so, remove from heat and drain any water. Put the kettle on, and make up a batch of stock using all your stock cubes at once (i.e. you need quite a lot).
Add some curry powder to your onions and stir well. Add the other vegetables into the frying pan with the onions, also add the chickpeas, and add more curry powder. Add the crushed garlic. Let it rest on a low heat for a few minutes to let the flavour absorb. Add the stock until the vegetables are just about covered, and leave on a low heat.
You are basically done. It needs to cook for another 20 minutes or half an hour if you can be bothered to wait that long. Keep checking to see if you want to add more curry powder (smell it - if it smells strong enough, you're okay. If not, add more a bit at a time), or if you need to add more of the stock (again, a little at a time).
I usually use the remaining cooking time to make the rice, and to wash up the dishes that I used in the preparation, so it's easier post dinner.
Once ready, serve with a dollop of greek yoghurt, and the rice.
TIP: Plate up your food, then immediately put the rest of the curry into the freezable container(s) and leave on the side. Otherwise you'll probably end up eating way more than you normally would since there is so much!