Last week, I had three free evenings and quieter work days. I didn’t want to waste my time but I didn’t want to get too busy. I wanted to create something and I still needed to eat so I turned to cooking: something that I need to do to live but also something I’m starting to see as a hobby rather than a chore.
When I got married nearly 2 years ago, I remember telling friends there were only two things about marriage that scared me: food and finances. Finances still scare me but food doesn’t. I was never good in the kitchen. I can still remember the horrific crunches of the pasta when I burned it for a girl’s movie night. I burnt pasta. Is that even possible?
Pretty immediately into marriage, I found some easy yummy healthy recipes and got into a rhythm. My husband and I always said we would split the cooking but in our first year of marriage, he worked away from home Monday to Friday so I had to do all the cooking because he wasn’t there. When he did come back, the kitchen had become my territory. I was cooking and that was it. (He does the dishes.)
Every week, I try and experiment with at least one new recipe but this week, I tried multiple new recipes and I would recommend them all! I’m excited to share them with you here. They’re all super easy to make and some only take 5 minutes. Let’s go!
B R E A K F A S T
I have a love/hate relationship with breakfast. I’ve never been a huge fan of cereals; toast is okay; eggs can get repetative; anything that I really love tends to be on the time-consuming or unhealthy sign.
Then I discovered porridge.
Then I started to dislike porridge.
And then I found a new kind of porridge. And I’m satisfied.
I bought this Super Goodness Porridge at Tesco for £2.60 and it’ll last for ages! It’s delicious and it’s got extra grains in it (such as barley, quinoa and flaxseeds) so the texture doesn’t get repetitive which is something that always stops me from finishing normal porridge. I make this with soy milk because I find it sweeter and apparently it’s healthier. Then I add raspberries and blueberries and honey. Bananas make it taste weird so I’d avoid those!
I came across this recipe for this breakfast casserole which I found appealing for three reasons. 1) Yum. 2) Hot breakfast. 3) Can make it in advance and it lasts for a few servings.
As you can see from the photo, I burnt mine but I’ll definitely be making this again and keeping a better eye on it! Serving it with fresh orange slices was a great touch, too.
All that’s in this recipe is spinach, mozerella cheese, spring onion and eggs. Plus, you can add some olive oil, salt and pepper which is always nice. It was super easy and it meant that my husband could grab a slice, stick it in the microwave for a minute and eat it before leaving for work, even at 6am!
Overnight oats have become a bit of a lifesaver at the moment and if you haven’t heard of them, where have you been hiding?! My husband is loving at the moment because he can stick it in tupperware or a jar and eat it on the way to work.
All you do is mix together oats and milk (1:2 ratio) and stick it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, you add in whatever toppings you’d like. We love chia seeds, blueberries and raspberries with a little honey + brown sugar.
Here’s a picture of me eating it in my car after I dropped Ali off at work before spending my morning working in Starbucks. It keeps you satisfied and full for HOURS because of the carbs in the oats and the fat in the chia seeds.
L U N C H
Ah, lunch. I love lunch. It marks the middle of the day and I usually take 45 minutes to enjoy it while watching a programme or listening to music or reading a book. I gave up sandwhiches for lunch a while back (although I’ll have them if there’s nothing else) and started trying different things. This has varied in terms of wraps, soups, salads, pasta toasties and more. However, this week, with everything being a bit quieter, I need something completely new and easy so that I can make it in the future with little notice.
This obviously isn’t lunch but it’s something I like to have before or after lunch. It’s a sweet healthy treat and it’s delicious. All I do is seep this teabag in 1/4 cup of water for 5 minutes while I heat up oat milk (specifically oat milk!) and then I mix the two liquids together and add a squirt of honey. AMAZING.
Okay. These eggs are life changing. Easy. Scrumptious. Healthy. You have got to try them. Seriously. Now. Turn the oven on. Get going. Stop reading this blog post and eat them!
All you do it preheat the oven, half an avacado and pour the raw egg inside. Stick it in the oven for 15/20 minutes and when you take it out, season it however you like. I personally did salt, pepper, mixed herbs, crushed chilis, lemon juice and sriracha hot sauce! I’m looking forward to the next time I have this because it’s just soooo gooooooood.
This was the meal I spent the longest time on. I was actually getting frustrated with how long it was taking because I spent my entire lunch break making it so I would definitely recommend making this the night before while the oven is already on. The good thing is that it lasts a few days and makes 3/4 servings so once you do make it, no need to slave over lunches for a while!
It is quinoa salad with homemade dressing and I have to say, it’s glorious. There’s a lot of ingredients and instructions so I’ll let you have a read of the recipe for yourself. I personally didn’t use the cranberries because I’m a little weird about dried fruit but tastes delicious without!
D I N N E R
Dinner. My favourite time of day. I’m at that stage in my life where dinner marks the end of a day. I don’t usually go back out after dinner midweek. It signals that it’s time to wind down and relax and this week especially, it meant just that.
These cauliflower wraps were one of the best decisions I made last week. They were utterly delicious, light on the stomach and makes enough for 2 each. They’re also so simple to make and full of flavour – and of course, meet free! You can also easily make this into a vegan recipe.
I couldn’t find chipotle peppers in Scotland so I used a chipotle salsa that I found in Tesco instead and it worked just as well. I wasn’t sure what Ali would think of them because he is a traditionally British eater: a lover of steak pies and macaroni and cheese and big roasts whereas I push boundaries and experiment with ingredients and lean on the healthier side. But he LOVED them.
Despite saying the kitchen is my terriroty, that doesn’t mean there are nights when I just don’t feel like cooking. I had pretty bad cramps one night so I passed on the responsibility to Ali to make one of my favourite recipes – meat free, creamy spaghetti. It’s so easy. So yummy. And we usually make double and keep it for a few extra days! Extra bonus, you’ll probably have most of these ingredients in the house anyway so you can make it on a whim.
This was a lazier recipe and I burnt it again. This tandoori chicken would work much better if we had an outdoor grill/barbeque but we didn’t so we grilled it in the oven which I find sort of stressful. We served it up with corn and garlic bread and it was satisfying but not my favourite – probably because I’m not a huge fan of chicken but still tasty nonetheless! (Also, I definitely did NOT add food colouring. Yuck.)
And this. Hot damn. This was definintely, by far, my favourite thing I have probably ever made. Like oh my goodness – is this heaven on a plate? I think so! This is a Jamie Oliver recipe and it’s tikka salmon on naan bread. It takes around 10 minutes to make and the flavours are explosive. I can’t believe I didn’t make it before now! If you don’t like salmon, I’m sure could replace this with chicken or chickpeas.
D E S S E R T
Okay, so I’m terrible at baking. In fact, I only have 1 thing to put in this category, although my friends and I made edible cookie dough on the Friday night which I didn’t take artsy pictures of. I also keep a stash of ice lollys, vanilla ice cream, oreos and other biscuits in the kitchen to enjoy after dinner if I need a sweet treat. However, I wanted to try cookies. I’m not even going to bother sharing the recipe because it didn’t work for me. My friend described these as a cross between a biscuit and a scone. That would be a compliment if I wasn’t trying to make chewy gooey chocolate chip cookies. Ah, when will I learn!!
If you made it to the end, yay! Be sure to try all these recipes and let me know if there’s any you’d recommend.
Song of the day: I GO CRAZY by Orla Gartland.