With the ever-increasing demands of longer hours, bigger workloads and less money in our pockets, it is becoming more and more important to integrate efficient and effective solutions into our existing lifestyle. Programmes such as ‘Jamie’s Fifteen Minute Meals’ and ‘Come Dine With Me’ inspire our culinary senses and are great when you’re feeling like a chivalrous chef, but is it really likely that you’ll have calves’ liver slices waiting for you in the fridge?
Below is some essential advice on how to whip up a delicious, nutritious and quick meal. Fill up a jug of fresh, cold water to accompany your meal and feel revitalised.
Think of 2 items each that you have in your fridge/freezer/kitchen cupboards at this moment in time.
My fridge: Butter, Hollandaise Sauce
My freezer: Frozen garden vegetables, Quorn Sticky Chilli and Lime Fillets
My kitchen cupboard: New Potatoes, Seasonings – herbs, salt, pepper
All of the above ingredients are easy to buy and even easier to keep. Bang the fillets in the oven, pop the potatoes in a pan of boiling water and do whatever your mind fancies for 15 minutes. 15 minutes later, all that’s left to do is boil the vegetables and a few minutes down the line, you have a varied, healthy and delectable meal. Season the potatoes and add a bit of butter as a reward for your ever so hard work. Load onto a plate, add a dollop of hollandaise sauce and watch the colours come to light.
Quorn produce meat imitation products which contain heaps of protein and dietary fibre and are low in saturated fat and salt. If you’re not sold on that, then just check out some of these products and tell me you don’t wish it was dinner time already…
• Wild Garlic and Parsley Sausages
• Cheese and Leek Escalopes
• Pork and Apple Sausages
• Garlic and Herb Sausages
If your carnivorous instincts are still very much intact, then substitute the Quorn products for meat products.
My fridge: Very lazy products, Salad
My freezer: Garlic and Mushroom Escalopes, Low Fat Ice Cream
My kitchen cupboard: Rice, Vegetable Stock
Place the rice in a pan of boiling water and the escalopes in the oven. Wash up and chop up some salad then rest your legs. The rice and escalopes will take almost the same time to cook, around 15 minutes. Drain the rice and stir in some vegetable stock, give it a kick by adding a pinch of the very lazy products (caramelised onions, ginger, garlic, chillies). Serve with a side salad and think about whether you’d prefer strawberry or chocolate sauce with your ice cream.
There you have some quick, easy, healthy meal options. It’s always handy to keep some fresh fruit around, satisfy any post-dinner cravings by chopping up a variety of fruit and nibbling the night away. If you have a bit more time to buy ingredients and make a meal, then get that apron on and get experimental. Last but not least, remember to smell those aromas, listen to that sizzling, admire those colours, feel those textures and most importantly, taste those flavours.
Written by Dr. Noel Duncan