Meal planning is what helps us stop impulse purchases and reduces wastage in our home. I create a weekly meal plan, taking into account any activities we may have on during the week. I try and get my family involved where possible and love batch cooking recipes to freeze for a rainy day. This week’s Beef Casserole, Bolognese Sauce and Easy Butter Chicken will all be doubled, cooked and frozen, ready for when I need!
This Beef Casserole with potatoes and carrots is comfort food at its best, perfect to make ahead for busy weeknights or to indulge in during a cosy weekend. This recipe makes use of chuck steak, a cheaper cut of beef that is cooked slowly in a rich gravy until it becomes fall-apart tender. The stove does all the hard work here, so that you can enjoy a flavourful dinner with minimal effort and hands-on time. Although I’ve used potatoes and carrots here, you could substitute or add other root vegetables such as parsnips or turnips if you prefer. Serve this casserole steaming hot with crusty bread and butter.
Roasted Chicken with Gravy is a meal that rotates on our meal plan at least once a fortnight. There is just something so wholesome and comforting about a roasted dinner. Regardless of the season, it’s so lovely to come home after a long day and enjoy perfectly cooked chicken and a big plate of roasted potatoes. It may look complicated, but this is one of the easiest dinners to make. By following this method, you can have dinner on the table with minimal preparation; the oven does all the hard work.
This Bolognese Sauce is seriously delicious and simple to make! It’s the ultimate comfort food that’ll make you feel all warm and cozy inside. The trick is to take your time and cook the veggies slowly, and later add some beef stock to make it extra rich and flavorful. When combined with pasta, it’s perfect for feeding a hungry family of four, and the leftovers are just as good (if not better!) This is also a great dish to stash in the freezer for an easy meal any time—all you have to do is reheat and toss with pasta and dinner is ready. Serve this dish on its own, or add garlic bread or a simple salad.
These Chicken Tzatziki Wraps have ‘chicken kebab’ and ‘chicken gyros’ vibes with minimal effort and maximum flavour! The marinade is made with a very simple mix of fresh garlic, dried oregano and lemon juice and it is so good that I use it to marinate absolutely everything. When life feels busy and chaotic, I lean into this recipe. The kids can load up with whatever salads they like (although I love the combination of tomato and parsley) and it takes less than 20 minutes to get on the table. To make this an even easier and faster recipe, you can absolutely buy some store-bought hummus or tzatziki to top your wraps with, but aside from the benefit of saving money by making your own, the homemade tzatziki in this recipe could possibly be one of the best you’ll ever eat. A bonus is that once it is made, leftovers can be stored in the fridge ready for another day—we love tzatziki with veggie sticks as a quick snack! Try this incredible recipe with these two-ingredient flatbreads or simply load up some store-bought wraps. I think you will love this recipe as much as I do!
Swedish Meatballs are traditionally made with allspice and/or nutmeg, but I chose to omit them to make this recipe the ultimate kid-friendly, family crowd-pleaser. I promise you won’t miss the spices here! This is a go-to dinner at our place. Simple meatballs are made incredibly soft with a secret ingredient (milk!), then covered in a rich, creamy gravy and served with pasta or mashed potato. It’s a deceptively easy recipe to make, with hardly any chopping, making it perfect for a fast, delicious weeknight dinner. The meatballs can even be made in advance and stored in your freezer until you need them. I like to add a fresh cucumber salad and a dollop of cranberry sauce for contrast against the creamy richness of the gravy.
Miso is the ultimate umami flavour sensation and it’s so easy to cook with at home. Miso paste is available at most major supermarkets and, mixed with a few simple ingredients like tamari, sugar and vinegar, it makes the most incredible marinade. This is Baked Miso Salmon with maximum flavour and minimal effort. I love the way the marinade caramelises on the salmon, while the rest remains liquid enough to drizzle over rice. I regularly make this meal midweek because it’s as simple as mixing a few pantry staples together and popping the tray in the oven. Serve with rice and your choice of vegetables; here I used steamed bok choy.
Many of the butter chicken recipes I have come across are pretty complex. They require multiple ingredients and long marinating times; some even require ingredients to be blitzed in a food processor. This Easy Butter Chicken is made with the simplest ingredients, and I can have dinner on the table within 15 minutes. Bite-sized pieces of chicken are perfectly cooked in a creamy sauce, seasoned with just a few carefully chosen aromatic spices to create delicious and intense flavour. Serve with steamed rice, a dollop of yoghurt, and a few fresh ingredients such as cucumber and coriander for a fast and easy dinner.
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