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What's For Dinner?
Member Name: wigglylittleworm
Advantages: tasty, cheap, easy
Disadvantages: not as tasty as takeaway pizza
I'm not one of those people who really plans my meals out, this means that there will be days when I get home tired and find very little food in the house for dinner. This invariably happens on the days when I am tired and hungry so I like to have a few ideas of meals which can be cooked and served quickly.
1 My favourite option is to head round the corner to the chippy. I don't like chips but my local does amazing pizza, it's bad when Marco the pizza chef knows my order off by heart. A 12 inch pizza with onion, mushroom, peppers and fresh tomato slices (Marco has even ran to the co-op to buy fresh veg for me before) with a side order of potato fritters costs around £6. Add in a couple of cans of juice and a bag of salad from the co-op so I don't feel so guilty about eating crap and it's the best part of a tenner for a meal for me and my daughter so not something I can afford to do very often.
2 Creamy mushroom pasta.
Take either a clove of fresh garlic or a teaspoon of fresh garlic and fry with fry light low calorie spray. Add a punnet of sliced mushrooms and fry until browned. Add a mug of vegetable stock and simmer until there is a little bit of liquid left and then stir in a tub of Philadelphia or similar cream cheese and stir until it melts. Serve over pasta of your choice and with a side salad. I buy Philadelphia when it is on special offer and it keeps for months unopened in the fridge and then I just need to buy fresh mushrooms from the co-op for about £1.
3 Tomato Pasta
Take a chopped onion and a little bit of garlic and fry with fry light with a teaspoon of Italian herbs. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and simmer for around 20 mins. Add any other veg like mushrooms and peppers or Linda Mcartny veggie sausages cut into chunks for meatballs. Serve with spaghetti and sprinkle grated cheese on top.
4 Pizza Toast
Take some pasta sauce and zap it in a cup in the microwave for a minute or so. Spread over hot buttered toast and sprinkle with grated cheese. Add any finely cooked veg like onions or peppers and stick under a medium grill till the cheese bubbles.
I cannot make a proper omelette but my broken up version still tastes ok.
My favourite fillings are a mix of fried tomato, onion and mushroom and then I chuck the beaten egg on top and try not to make too much of a mess. My daughter likes chopped chicken as a filling so I heat the meat up first before pouring beaten egg over it.
A nice variation is to make some stir fry, chuck in some sesame oil and Chinese 5 spice and then add the beaten egg and then stir. Egg Fu Yung in an instant!
Serve with oven chips or rice.
6 Quick Bean Chilli
Chuck a can of mixed bean salad and a can of tomatoes into a pan with some chilli powder. Add any veg like onion, garlic, carrot, mushrooms, peppers etc and simmer for about 1/2 an hour. Serve with a microwave baked potato and some grated cheese.
7 Chicken Soup
I boil the bones from aroast chicken up in a pressure cooker to get lovely fresh stock and then dilute it with a stock cube. The stock keeps for a few days in fridge or can be frozen and tastes far nicer than store bought stuff and is full of calcium.
To make chicken noodle soup simmer some stock and leftover chicken with some chopped spring onion and a pinch of 5 spice for a few minutes. Add some fine noodles and eat when noddles are soft.
For chicken and sweetcorn soup simmer the stock with chicken chunks and some canned sweetcorn. Take a little of the liquid and mix with a little bit cornflour and add to pan to thicken. Stir through some beaten egg trickling it in slowly and stirring just before serving. I now refuse to pay £2+ for chicken soup from the Chinese as I see how cheap the ingredients are and how little effort goes into making it.
All of those meals are quick and cheap to make. You do need to plan a bit and make sure you have herbs and spices and cans of tomatoes in the house and for me the co-op is around the corner so I can buy fresh veg. My daughter needs to eat a low sodium diet because of kidney disease so ready meals are out for us, the only foods from the above recipes she has to limit is the cheese.
Summary: Delia eat your heart out