Sitting around the table with our loved ones to share an evening meal can seem like the stuff of dreams sometimes. Especially when it comes to mid-week dinners.
With a little forward thinking, we can cut the evening cook down to a fine art. As much as cooking can be relaxing, most of us would rather be spending time with our loved ones than with a stovetop.
The essence of quick dinner ideas is having most of the ingredients already to hand and a recipe that isn’t too fiddly.
Most of us have basic staples in the pantry – rice, pasta, instant noodles. But before you go pouring a jar of sauce over some spaghetti and calling it a day, take a look at some of these ideas:
Creamy carbonara – classic ham carbonara is quick and delicious, for something a little different, throw in some smoked salmon and wilt in kale or baby spinach.
Zucchini noodles – ‘zoodles’ are so quick and healthy. Cook ribbons of zucchini or leave them raw and add your choice of pesto, grated parmesan and baby tomatoes.
Pasta bake – with pasta as your base, add in leftovers, some frozen veggies, or a tin of tuna and some corn, season to taste, adorn with the cheeses of your choice (mozzarella is an excellent topping) and bake.
Lasagne pots – fresh or frozen lasagne sheets make a fantastic base for a pot of cheesy vegetables. For a delicious twist, add ricotta, peas, tomatoes and blue cheese. It’s lasagne without the layers – delicious and fast.
Instant ramen – 2-minute noodles might seem like a cop out, but they can be cheap and cheerful start to a deluxe ramen. You’ll be amazed by what adding spring onions and mushrooms can do. A knob of butter, some grated frozen veggies, or leftover meat, and change the flavour profile considerably. Top with an egg for some extra protein and sprinkle with bean sprouts for a succulent crunch.