Stir fry is easy enough already, but to make it even easier, just pick up a ready-chopped mix of vegetables. Toss the veg into a large pan with some oil (a dash of sesame/garlic oil if you have it) and add a little soy sauce. Cook the noodles in boiling water and drain when soft. Combine the veg and the noodles and voila – less than 20 minutes and you have a decent Monday night meal.
Pitta pizzas have quickly become one of my favourites. I prefer using white pittas, for the closest resemblance to an actual pizza, but wholemeal works just as well! Smother one side of the pitta in passata or tomato puree and then add your toppings. I tend to go for some slices of mozzarella and sliced cherry tomatoes or load them up with spinach, red onions and whatever other veg I have lying around. My boyfriend has put cooked meat pieces on his in the past and they worked really well. Once you’re happy with your toppings, add seasoning and whack into the oven until the cheese melts (usually about 15 minutes). Serve with a side salad, or sweet potato fries. Tada! Delicious fake pizzas.
My speciality! I eat so many jacket potatoes that I’ve perfected my own ‘MJ tecnique’ (no-one calls it that but me). Preheat the oven to 200/220. Grab one potato per person and pierce with a knife a few times. Then microwave the potato(es) for 5-10 minutes depending on the size. Next, remove the potatoes and use some oil spray (or rub regular oil) on the potato and add salt on top – this makes them come out all nice and crunchy. I’m a massive fan of the crunchy skin so I wrap my potatoes up in foil, but leave the top open so the heat can properly get to work on the skin at the top, but the inside is still nice and fluffy. Then I whack the potato(es) in the oven for roughly 30 minutes (closer to 45 minutes for a big one) and work on the trimmings. I like to have beans, cheese, and salad. But really, everything goes with JPs. Tuna, mayo, sweetcorn, soured cream, chives, chilli, ham, blue cheese – anything! Set aside an hour for the whole thing, prep & cooking time. No sweat.
This meal is basically fajitas without the wraps – feel free to add the wrap back in! This one is so easy it barely needs an explanation. First, heat some oil and garlic in a pan and add chopped onions. Then add frozen Quorn pieces (or meat) and cook for a few minutes. Add fajita seasoning (cayenne pepper, paprika, chilli, cumin) and then add passata or a sauce of your choice. Let that cook until the Quorn pieces are soft and juicy. Slice bell peppers, lettuce leaves, spinach and add to a bowl. Put a 2min rice pack in the microwave. Put the cooked rice in the bowl with the salad, add Quorn on top and grate a little cheese over. There ya go, super easy deconstructed fajita meal which will give you your 5-a-day and also keep you full for ages.
Jamie’s paneer curry is my Friday choice: it’s quick and delicious. Serve with naan and microwave rice, and poppadoms with mango chutney if you’re feeling fancy. All you need is: spinach, rogan josh paste, paneer, an onion, white wine vinegar (optional) and cashews. I never use cashews because it seems like an unnecessary step – but feel free! If you’d like the full instructions, I would recommend purchasing Jamie’s 5 Ingredients cookbook since all the recipes are pretty fab.
A Greek salad is one of my all-time favourite summer meals, so I tend to drag it into a year-round staple. All you need is some leaves, feta, olives, tomatoes, cucumber and a bit of balsamic drizzle. Make as much as you need (overestimate your needs and make lunch for Sunday too!) and then dig in. If you’re thinking this isn’t enough for you then toast some pittas and dip them in balsamic vinegar/oil or add some other things into the salad.
Cut up the veg you have lying around (sweet potatoes, mini potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, red onion etc.) and chuck them onto a foiled baking tray. Then drizzle over oil and balsamic vinegar and dot garlic cloves amongst the veg. Whilst the veggies are cooking, slice halloumi and use a grill or a frying pan to cook the slices: flipping them until they are golden-brown on each side. I usually microwave some rice and then mix everything together in a big bowl. Add some sweet chilli sauce if you have it, and dig in!
There you go! Seven very quick, very easy meals for when you’re having a busy week (or if you’re a super lazy cook like I am).
Drop me a comment or a message if you have any suggestions for equally easy meals. Or, if you have cookbook recommendations – hit me up! I love to browse new recipes.