5 Meals, 5 Nights, No Waste - Delicious Meals To See You From Monday-Friday
By Joanne Gould Posted on 7 Sep 2018
You had high hopes last week. You would wake up fresh on Sunday, whizz through all of your life admin and then finally do the big food shop you’ve been meaning to do, maybe pass through a market, pick up a few fresh vegetables from your local grocer. The thought was there, you tried. But now it’s Monday, and you’re still recovering from Sunday’s monster hangover and faced with the weekly dilemma, food shop on a Monday night or order a takeaway? Also known as, stick to your healthy eating goals or live your best life?
It’s the thought of wandering ravenously round the aisles, starving and picking up at least 10 things we know will end up at the back of the fridge that typically pushes us towards Dominos. But this week, we have a plan, and it comes in the form of a no-waste shopping list with five unbelievable recipes that will leave our stomachs full and our bins empty…
250g lamb mince
2 rainbow trout fillets
1 pack of sausages or chipolatas
1 tub of ricotta
4-5 red chillies
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
1 red onion
Small pack tenderstem or purple sprouting broccoli
600g new potatoes
1 small pack green beans
Half a cucumber
2 brioche buns
150g red lentils
Cinnamon stick / Cassia bark
Red wine vinegar
Monday – Spinach Daal & Yellow Rice, 30 mins
Don’t be put off by all the spices you’ll need: this is a super simple daal recipe that once you’ve mastered you’ll want to eat every meatless Monday. Also accidentally vegan.
Rinse the daal until the water runs clear, then place in a large saucepan with 250ml cold water, a cinnamon stick and a few curry leaves. Bring to the boil then immediately turn down the heat to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally then leave to sit.
Whilst the daal coos, heat a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan and add ½ teaspoon of turmeric, a pinch of salt and half a mug of rice (approx. 150g). Stir for a few minutes until the colour is well dispersed and each grain is coated with the oil. Now add a mugful of cold water, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat when the water is fully absorbed and leave to sit covered for a further five minutes.
Make the tarka by heating four tablespoons of oil (vegetable or coconut oil are best) in a frying pan. Add a teaspoon each of cumin, garam masala, turmeric and ground coriander with a clove of crushed garlic, about an inch of finely chopped ginger and 2 chopped red chillies. Fry until fragrant taking care not to burn the garlic. Remove the cinnamon stick and curry leaves from the cooked daal, pour in the tarka with two big handfuls of spinach, and serve.
NOTE: If you’ve got any veggies hanging around that need using up, chop and fry with more garlic to top the daal with. Mushrooms, kale, carrots and green beans all work really well. A dollop of mint or cucumber yoghurt also goes nicely, and feel free to grab some chapatis or poppadoms to accompany. You can also double this up and freeze individual portions for a cold day or speedy lunch.
Tuesday – Neapolitan Chipolata Traybake. 35-40 minutes
A family friendly dinner that is light on prep and big on classic Italian flavours. Multiply it up to serve more people, or make more and keep in the fridge for a easy lunch the next day.
Place five sausages / eight chipolatas, a large handful of cherry tomatoes, half a roughly sliced red onion, six stems of chopped tenderstem broccoli and 300g of halved new potatoes into a large ovenproof dish. Add four whole, peeled garlic cloves, a teaspoon of fennel seeds and one finely chopped red chilli. Drizzle over a generous amount of olive oil and place in a pre-heated oven for 35 minutes at 190C. Stir a handful of spinach through whilst still hot and dollop over half the pot of ricotta in sporadic spoonfuls. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper and serve.
NOTE: This works just as nicely with veggie sausages and is also great for kids with less – or no – chilli
Wednesday – Trout Nicoise, 20-30 minutes
A change from the usual tuna version, this trout nicoise is light, zingy and full of flavour but the protein and slow release carbohydrates will keep you satisfied. A good one to take to work for lunch too, just keep the dressing separate until its time to eat.
Top and tail a large handful of green beans, boil for five minutes then plunge into icy water for a minute, drain and place in the serving bowl.
Add a handful of olives, a handful of spinach and a handful of halved cherry tomatoes to the bowl.
Make a dressing by whisking two teaspoons of balsamic vinegar, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a crushed garlic clove and plenty of salt and pepper with a serious glug of good olive oil. Check the seasoning and set aside.
Boil three eggs for six minutes, plunge into icy water until cool enough to handle. Peel.
Halve your remaining potatoes (about 300g) and cook for about 12 minutes until tender, then add to the bowl.
Grill the trout fillets for about two minutes each side under a high heat, gently flake the fillets and add to the bowl. Halve the eggs and add to the bowl, pour the dressing over it all and serve with a wedge of lemon.
Thursday – Sausage Carbonara, 20 minutes
Carbonara always feels like a treat, and the addition of sausage instead of the usual pancetta or guanciale makes a budget-friendly yet comforting swap. No cream required!
Use the sausage(s) left over from Tuesday. Squeeze out the sausage meat from the skins and roll into about 10 small balls. Fry off in a pan with plenty of butter and olive oil until well browned. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions (around 9 minutes) in well salted water – it should taste like light sea water. When the pasta is almost cooked, whisk together three eggs, 30g of grated parmesan and a few good grinds of black pepper in a bowl and set aside. When the pasta is perfectly al dente, ladle it into the butter and sausage pan, agitating it throughout and with the heat turned off, pour over the eggs and fold in very gently so as not to make scrambled eggs. If the mixture seems too stiff you can add a splash of the pasta water until the consistency is to your liking. Serve with a spinach salad, or some steamed broccoli and lots more parmesan.
Friday – Minty Lamb Burgers, Greekish Salad, 30 mins
Why buy burgers when they’re so simple to make? These lamb patties are ridiculously easy and make a welcome change from beef.
Mix the lamb mince with a teaspoon of ground cumin, a tablespoon of tomato puree and two teaspoons of paprika. Form into two equal sized patties and refrigerate whilst you make the salad. Chop the remaining salad items you have: hopefully a handful of tomatoes, the cucumber half, half a red onion and put in a bowl with any leftover spinach and olives. Pour over two tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of red wine vinegar and sprinkle liberally with dried oregano then mix well.
Cook the burgers in a large non-stick frying pan for about six minutes each side over a medium heat until they are nicely browned on the outside and just slightly pink inside. Chop a handful of mint and mix with the remaining ricotta. Assemble the burger and a dollop of ricotta together in a bun and serve with the salad.
NOTE: If you can only buy your lamb mince in 500g packs, make four patties and freeze two before cooking for another day – or make your burger a double!
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