I was chatting to a friend of mine at the gym this morning about how difficult she was finding cooking fresh meals from scratch. Up until a few years ago I was seriously “domestically challenged” I could quite literally burn water (well the pan it was in anyways!), so I could understand her reservations at getting some recipes and just going for it.
When you have time limitations it’s very easy to look at a recipe and think its ingredient list is way too long, so must mean that it’s a long and convoluted procedure when all you want it is a quick dinner and instead you head for the freezer and get out some ready meal or even order some take out.
Having taken some time to improve my culinary skills I was amazed at all the recipes I’d passed up due to thinking it was too difficult as the ingredients list was lengthy and I hadn’t heard of many of the items on it. Just taking one shopping trip and filling up my cupboards with herbs, spices, nuts, legumes and other staples including bulger wheat, wholewheat pasta, brown rice, greatly reduced my anxiety of not being able to create a great meal.
Now, nothing is too daunting and remember, the ingredients list may be long, but when you realise that most of the items are herbs and spices, ie opening some jars or chopping some fresh herbs, then you’ll see that you can whip up some fantastic meals for yourself (remember you can make things in batches and freeze them), your family or even a grand dinner party.
The key to everything is preparation. By planning your meals ahead of time you can always make sure that all your ingredients are to hand and you know exactly what you’re going cook and how long it will take so you can plan in a healthy meal to fit in around any schedule.
No excuses, now get busy in the kitchen!
Here are some recipes that I made for last weeks dinners (and if I can make them, seriously, anyone can!) With many of the recipes you come across, there’s a good chance you may have to modify slightly to make them both “clean” and vegan. I will note next to the recipes my alterations)
5 a day Tagine (less the honey) Ready in 45 minutes
Chickpea burgers – ready in less than 45 minutes (I served mine with tahini instead of mayo with a side of sweet potato wedges)
Black Bean Chilli – ready in less than 45 minutes (I served mine with brown rice, avocado and radish – NO feta or sour cream)
Artichokes with roasted red pepper and sundried tomato sauce – I had mine ready within the hour (made without the red wine, sugar and butter, you really don’t need them) served with wholewheat spaghetti and garlic bread (wholewheat bread)
I’ll get the camera out this week and take pics of my meals!