MY TOP 5 EASY & SIMPLE DINNER IDEAS

CBA?

I've had such a long day and really really can't be bothered to cook. Like REALLY can't be bothered. Ever felt like that? It happens to me too. In fact, Friday was one of those days. JB was out for dinner, I was home late-ish after my PT session and really didn't want to do 'gormet'. Instead, I went to one of my 5 favourite go to easy dinners and resisted the temptation of a cheeky takeaway. Yeah... I know that's what you guys were thinking.

But hold on a minute...  what do you do? There's just JB and I to feed usually so I guess I'm lucky I only have 2 different people to consider. I know it isn't easy scrabbling round the cupboards to pull something together soooo, to make it easy for all of you I've decided to share my top five meals for days like that.

1. Spaghetti alle vongole

Now I know you may not have easy access to clams or just have them lying around and don't get me wrong, neither do I BUT... on the off chance you can get hold of some, do and you will not regret it. 

I first fell in love with this dish on my first trip to Italy. JB and I were sat in Piazza delle Erbe in Verona people watching and out came this huge dish overflowing with clams and spaghetti. It was love at first sight! I polished it all off without sharing (you should have seen the look on JB's face) and mopped the remnants of the sauce up with the basket of bread that was in front of us. I don't think I've eaten that much in one sitting for a VERY long time.

Since the first time I had it I've gone home, adapted and changed the recipe until I created something that suits me down to a T. If you're not a fan of clams, this would also work really well with chicken, prawns or mushrooms for a veggie option as they add great texture.

2. Omelette

There is nothing wrong with good, simple cooking. Every style has its place. For me an omelette is more than just a breakfast food, eggs are such a good carrier for flavour and you can make them so filling without being too naughty. My standard filling usually has mushroom and pepper and from there it changes depending on how I'm feeling.

For brunch I love a bit of garlic and chilli and maybe some pancetta or parma ham to help bulk up the omelette and some spinach or kale for contrast. The saltiness of the cured meats also means you don't need to add additional salt, WIN. I serve it with wholegrain seeded toast sometimes too. As I'm a visual eater my food has to look good before I tuck in, I usually go for ingredients that not only add colour but add flavour too.

3. Chicken pasta

This is by far one of the easiest things to do. It does take that little bit longer to make but it also gives you time for a shower and a cup of tea before you sit down for a hot and healthy dinner. I just chop a few of my favourite vegetables like pepper, aubergine or courgette and chicken up into bite sized portions, add some passata, salt, pepper, garlic and oregano. Top with a little cheese if you fancy and bake for 40mins. Seriously, that's it. 

This is a rustic Italian inspired dish so I use the giant tubes of rigatoni and don't worry about making sure all my veg is the same size. There's bags of flavour and texture in this dish and all thrown together in a matter of minutes!

4. Cheats carbonara

As I'm not a cheese lover, carbonara you'd think, would be my least favourite dish. Well, a few years ago I developed a cheat version of this because I don't like missing out... HA silly I know. The sauce for this is made with a tablespoon of cream cheese and vegetable stock so that it still has a creamy taste and consistency with a tonne less saturated fat and no sign of really cheesy cheese. JB obviously then goes and undoes my efforts by grating smoked applewood over the top. You can't say I don't try : )

5. Faux Pho


Last but definitely not least my faux pho. When you have little time there is no way you can make pho. However, I have been playing with this dish for a while and think I may have finally nailed it. I'll leave you to be the judge though. I make a lot of asian inspired foods so for me this was a store cupboard cook. I mixed flavours such as white wine vinegar, soy sauce, chilli & lime and with a little help from a beef and vegetable stock cube made a super  broth for my pho base, It took 20mins to reduce and then I just built the rest around it. Serve it with some fresh leaves and a soft boiled egg and you are good to go.

I hope this helps when you're in a bind and not sure what to make : )

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