If you ever have to cook for yourself, you’ll discover it’s actually a lot more difficult than it seems. Mum and Dad make it look so easy, don’t they? Say they leave you to fend for yourself for an evening, and you can’t afford to get takeaway/can only use what’s in the cupboard. I have some advice for you, friends! After many years as a student, I’ve learned to cook the quickest, easiest, but most importantly tasty meals. They’re suitable for both meat-eaters and vegetarians alike, as they can easily be adapted to suit your lifestyle. If you did food technology at school and it frightened you, don’t let it – cooking for yourself is a lot simpler than those odd recipes they give you. Let’s have a look at the top three to give us some inspiration, then we’ll proceed onto the other seven in a moment.
1. Spaghetti Bolognese. Yes, “spaghetti Bolognese” doesn’t exist in Italy (it’s just pasta in “ragu” sauce over there), but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat it. All you have to do is cook some pasta, and maybe frozen veg, in a saucepan for ten minutes. Whilst this is heating up and cooking, you can fry up some meat/Quorn mince, and then add a can of chopped tomatoes and various herbs. This counts as one of your five a day, so it’s quite nutritious! Finish with some tasty grated cheese. In all, it will take you about half an hour to make.
2. Stew. Stew can be made pretty easily, as you can buy most of the ingredients frozen, and throw them into a pot to cook for half an hour. First, boil some potatoes until they’re done. Put the boiled potatoes into a pot, and add some frozen vegetables and bits of sausage/another kind of meat. Quorn steak strips work very nicely here. Make up some gravy using gravy granules, and mix it all together. Finish by putting in some frozen dumplings, and pushing them into the stew mixture. Cook for about 30-45 minutes in the oven, et voila! A filling, classic British dish for those chilly and dark winter nights.
3. Egg fried rice. You can also add chicken if you like. The most important thing to remember is to cook chicken thoroughly – it must be hot throughout, with no pink bits, so it must be all the same colour. Firstly, boil some rice and peas together. Brown rice is healthier than white rice and tastes no different. Once this is done, drain it and put to the side. Fry your chicken/Quorn chicken pieces in a wok until done, then beat an egg and fry that. As it’s cooking, split it up into as many little parts as you can, so you get nice little bits throughout your rice. Add the rice and peas, and fry all together until everything’s mixed in evenly. Now, for the finishing touch, mix in some soy sauce for that classic Chinese flavour. You can make a big batch of fried rice and freeze it easily, so if you get hungry you can just reheat one in the microwave. Simple!
Join me in part 2 for some more time-saving recipe ideas.
Image from: http://www.parenting.com/article/5-quick-and-easy-family-meals