Are you a dedicated 9-5er? Do midweek dinners represent a constant source of frustration and lethargy? Do you just want to wolf something down, go to bed and hope it will be Saturday when you wake up?
The mental and physical strain or preparing five nutritious meals every week – especially if you’re head of a family – can be a challenge for anyone. But why make it hard for yourself? The list of deliciously simple meal suggestions below can all be whipped up with the minimum of fuss and will provide tasty, nourishing dishes for you and your horde in next to no time.
Fast, stress-free fajitas
When it comes to quick, easy and downright delicious meals, those Mexicans certainly know a thing or two. They’ve crafted a whole range of different dishes just by using different names for how the tortillas are folded up! Fajitas are one of the easiest to get your head round if you’re not a Latin apprentice – simply flash fry your meat, vegetables and seasoning, then serve with salsa, sour cream, lettuce and cheese. You can accompany the meal with oven-baked McCain Mexican wedges to add a little more flair without any of the fuss.
The ultimate quick-draw stir-fry
Did you think three-minute noodles were redundant in the realm of responsible, nutritious cooking? Think again. All you need to do to make a satisfying and substantial meal out of Maggi’s finest is use your imagination a little bit… soy, oyster sauce and your own preferred spicy garnish can go a long way to adding flavour to a previously bland dish. As for the nutrition? Simply dice shallots, ginger, garlic, carrot, pepper and whatever other veg you fancy, throw in an egg or two and you’ve got a balanced meal which ticks all of the dietary boxes in a matter of minutes.
One-pot pasta to rule them all
Whoever said you had to cook your pasta separately from your sauce needs to get out more. This wonderful recipe from Budget Bytes will revolutionise the way you think about al dente in the future. Combining chopped tomatoes, spinach, garlic, onion, herbs and whatever other vegetable treats your heart desires, it cooks the sauce inside the stock that boils the pasta! In this manner, the starch leaks out of the pasta itself to form a robust and delicious flavour that doesn’t require drainage… or the washing up of more than one pot!
Hearty and nourishing soup in just 25 minutes
When the winter months set in, there’s nothing quite like a hearty bowl of soup to warm those cockles from the inside out. The BBC promise to bowl you over (their pun, not mine, I promise!) with this delicious spiced carrot and lentil soup recipe, which combines a creamy texture with a slightly fiery punch, as well as all the iron a family needs. The best thing about it? It takes less than half an hour to concoct, from start to finish. Finish off with some tiger bread or a bloomer and you’ll have yourself a rich and satisfying meal to please everyone at the table.
3-cheese macaroni in a jiffy
Like cheese? Like three kinds of cheese at once? Like macaroni and cheese? If the answer to any or all of these questions was yes, you’re in luck. The good folks over at the Food Network have compiled a deliciously decadent macaroni-and-three-cheese recipe that is to die for. With just 10 minutes time invested in the entire prep and cooking process, this particular comfort food classic is sure to become a staple when you’re pressed for time and hungry for something nostalgic. Okay, so it’s perhaps not as nutritionally balanced as some of the other suggestions on the list… but it sure is tasty and stress-free.