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We all know that with caring responsibilities comes very little time, especially to think about getting creative in the kitchen. As well as providing care, many are pushed to the limit juggling jobs, supporting a family and anything else life throws your way. It can be difficult to factor in the time or headspace to create exciting meals.
We’ve pulled together some of our favourite recipes that are healthy and nutritious to help you feel inspired when you’re energy is running low. All of the options below can be adapted in some way to suit various dietary needs, and these no-fuss dishes won’t break the bank!
So next time you’re stuck for inspiration try these yummy and budget-friendly recipes:
1. Self Love Stew by Jack Monroe
Now who wouldn’t want self-love in a stew? When Jack found herself at a low point, with barely enough energy to muster a meal. She forced herself to the hob and self-love stew was born. Jack reflects on how this nutritious dish is soothing, both in the creation and the consumption.
“It is mindless, not mindful. Sod mindful. My mind is full enough. It is a minefield. Sometimes I want to stir some stuff and stare at my hands or into nothing.” – Jack
We love Jack’s recipes, she considers everything from cooking ability, dietary preference to cost per serving. This stew can be served with white fish, or tofu and you can easily keep it gluten-free.
For the full recipe see Cooking On a Bootstrap.
2. Simple Roasted Veggies with a Dreamy Tahini Sauce
Rather than reaching for the fish fingers, scour your fridge for any leftover veggies. Chop them and roast them along with a splash of oil and any seasonings of your choice (paprika and oregano works well!) Whilst they’re doing their thing in the oven, you can whip up this gorgeous dressing.
If you’ve never had tahini before it’s a sesame seed paste originating in the Middle East. Often a key ingredient used in hummus, it makes a delicious dressing, especially when paired with lots of garlic! Tahini is easily found in the world food aisle of your local supermarket or in Middle Eastern food shops.
When your roasted vegetables are ready, serve them with a grain or meat of your choice and drizzle the dressing all over - it really is dreamy!
Find the Dreamy Tahini Dressing recipe on Inspired Taste.
3. Coconut Red Lentil Dahl by Running on Real Food
This comforting mid-week dinner will leave you and your loved ones feeling completely satisfied. It’s a deliciously filling and creamy dahl that is super easy to make. You can make this gluten-free, as mild or as spicy as you like and its 100% vegan to cover everyone’s preferences. Serve it on its own or if you want to make it go further, give yourself a smaller portion with some rice, veggies or a naan as a side. Perfection.
To save for a future dinner, simply store in a sealable container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. And reheat as needed on the hob or in the microwave.
For the full recipe see Running on Real Food.
4. Creamy Broccoli Gnocchi by BBC Good Food
This delicious dinner is the perfect pick-me-up after a long week. With its fresh springtime flavours and cooking time of just 15 minutes, this is just the ticket! You’ll need to be prepared by picking up some fresh gnocchi at the supermarket, but after that it’s a short step recipe to follow. If you don’t have the right vegetables don’t be put off. You could replace the broccoli and peas with any veggies you have to hand, or even include some bacon for a meaty kick. What are you waiting for? Enjoy!
For the full recipe see BBC Good Food.
5. Quorn Sausage Casserole by Quorn
Want to try a classic with a bit of a twist? Then chow down on this tasty meatless sausage casserole, full of smoky paprika goodness. This recipe calls for Quorn sausages but you can swap them for any your favourites. It’s a hearty dish that’s packed full of protein, low in saturated fat and contains two of your five a day! Frozen vegetables work just as well in this recipe to keep costs down as well as using store cupboard ingredients like tinned beans and tomatoes. A healthy and cost effective staple to keep coming back to.
For the full recipe see the Quorn website.
We hope this has helped you to think of some meal ideas that can help you save time, money and even waste. Remember, bookmark this page if you’re ever looking for some cooking-inspo in the future!