5 Meals, 5 Nights, No Waste: From Spiced Venison In 15 Minutes To An Indulgent Prawn Cocktail Jacket Potato

5 Meals, 5 Nights, No Waste: From Spiced Venison In 15 Minutes To An Indulgent Prawn Cocktail Jacket Potato

    By Joanne Gould Posted 12 days ago

    We’ve got some great winter warmers this week, from cheat cheat’s chicken Pho to warm greek salad. Of course, we’re most looking forward to Friday’s chilli chicken nachos, because if our Friday night has to involve anything, it’s nachos…

    Shopping List

    300-400g chicken breasts or diced chicken

    150-200g prawns

    2 venison steaks

    800ml-1 litre chicken stock (the best you can find, or make your own using leftover chicken or turkey carcass)

    100g or so cheddar

    125g goats cheese

    100ml sour cream

    2 jacket potatoes

    400g carrots

    1 large courgette

    1 large aubergine

    1 pear

    2-3 tomatoes


    1 small onion

    2 limes

    1 lemon

    1-2 small little gem lettuces

    300g cooked beetroot (not in vinegar)

    Small piece root ginger


    A few large mixed chillies

    Fresh coriander

    Lemongrass puree

    Star anise

    Coriander seeds

    Ground cumin


    1-2 packs of straight to wok rice noodles

    Tortilla chips


    Fish sauce




    Balsamic vinegar (Belazu is good)

    Olive oil


    Monday – Warm goat’s cheese salad, 40 mins

    It’s hard to stick to salad in winter, but this warm version ticks lots of nutrition boxes, is filling and still seasonally appropriate.

    Preheat the oven to 200C. Roughly chop the carrots, courgette and aubergine into large chunks, drizzle with oil and a teaspoon of ground cumin and roast on a baking sheet for 30 mins, turning halfway.

    Meanwhile, assemble the rest of the salad by arranging half the beetroot, the goats cheese (crumbled) and the pear (finely sliced) over half the lettuce. When the veg is roasted, add half to the salad – you’re saving the other half for Thursday. Chop a handful or two of the pecans and scatter over it all with a generous drizzle of good balsamic vinegar.

    NOTE: Not into goat’s cheese? Any sharp crumbly cheese will do the job so try Lancashire, Wensleydale or White Stilton.

    Tuesday – Cheat’s chicken pho, 15 mins

    Proper Vietnamese pho takes hours to prepare and is quite complicated – this is an incredibly basic version but should satisfy a craving and warm you up on a cold night

    Take a large saucepan and pour in the stock and get it boiling away. Add in two star anise, the ginger (grated), a finely sliced garlic clove, a chopped red chilli, a teaspoon of coriander seeds, a tablespoon of fish sauce and a tablespoon of lemongrass puree. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer. Add half the chicken in to the broth to poach for about 10 minutes, then take it out and shred it. Add the rice noodles to the broth (use two packs if you’re both hungry, but often one is enough) – these should take a couple of minutes to cook, then ladle the noodles and broth into bowls, topping with the shredded chicken and a handful of chopped coriander. Serve with half a lime each.

    NOTE: If you have any fresh veggies that need using up, you could pop these on top – carrot ribbons, spring onions and baby sweetcorn are inauthentic but nutritious and tasty nonetheless. If you have leftover roast chicken from the weekend, use this instead of buying fresh meat of course.

    Wednesday – Prawn cocktail jacket potato, 1 hour

    We all know a proper baked potato is far superior to a sad 6 minute microwave version. If you really can’t wait an hour for it, start it off in the microwave for 3-4 mins and bake it for the last 30-40.

    Preheat the oven to 200C and pop your jacket potatoes in for about an hour. Make your prawn cocktail by combining the prawns with two tablespoons of mayonnaise, one tablespoon of ketchup, the juice of half a lemon and a splash of tabasco (adjust the quantities as you go to your personal taste). Chop the remaining lettuce and mix in with the prawns. Serve inside the potato with a wedge of lemon.

    Thursday – Spiced venison and roast veg, 15 mins

    A fragrant wintry warmer that makes the most of the rich gamey flavour of venison and uses up Monday’s veg at the same time

    Take the venison out of the fridge up to an hour before cooking. Heat a non-stick pan to a very high heat then add a knob of butter and a teaspoon of oil and a star anise. When the fat is hot, add the steaks and let them fry for 2-3 minutes each side without moving (this is for rare – add another 1-2 minutes each side for medium). Put the steaks on a plate, cover with foil and rest for 6-10 minutes whilst you deal with the veg. Turn the pan that had the venison in down to a medium heat, remove the star anise and add in the rest of the roasted veg from Monday’s salad, along with any remaining beetroot, sliced. When it’s all warmed through, serve with the venison sliced on top and perhaps a dollop of horseradish if you have it.

    NOTE: Venison is leaner, cheaper and has more protein and iron than beef, but by all means use a small sirloin or fillet steak if you prefer.

    Friday – Chilli chicken nachos, 20 mins

    The perfect lazy Friday accompaniment to a movie night on the sofa. Go as hot as you dare and don’t skimp on the cheese.

    Chop the chicken into small bite-sized pieces and place them in a bowl. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of cumin and a chopped chilli. Spread out onto a baking tray and grill under a high heat for 10 minutes until cooked through. Meanwhile, tip the tortilla chips into an oven proof bowl, grate over the cheese and bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 180C. Whilst those are both cooking, chop the tomato, jalapenos, onion, remaining coriander and mix together in a bowl with the juice of a lime. Mash the avocado with some salt and pepper. When the cheese is melted, scatter over the chilli chicken, the tomato salsa and dollop over the sour cream and avocado.

    NOTE: Swap chicken for refried beans, chilli con carne or three bean chilli if you prefer, or leave it out altogether.

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