So, we all have days that we just do not have much time to prepare a meal or filling snack. Maybe we are busy with the children,. working late or just feeling depressed and cant motivate ourselves for long. On this basis I have put together a list of some simple meals for these days that you can cook start to finish in 20 minutes or less. Obviously everyone has different ovens and takes differing times to prepare things but the following I can do in 20 minutes or less so I hope most of you can too! They may be things you already make but there may be an idea or two to help you too.
Chilli Egg Noodles and Vegetable stir fry (serves 4)
4 nests of dried egg noodles
pinch of chilli powder (adjust amount according to taste)
freshly ground black pepper
selection of stir fry vegetables
This recipe is really easy adapted to what you have in the fridge, what you pick up cheaply at the shops or whatever you fancy, you can in the space of the 20 minutes also add Quorn or thinly cut chicken, beef or gammon easily enough too. Everyone can make a stir fry so I wont list that as you can just make it however you like. A nice and easy way I find of flavouring it is dark soy sauce and Chinese five spice, but whatever you fancy! For the noodles, cook the noodles according to packet instructions in boiling water. Beat the eggs in a jug/bowl with a pinch of chilli powder and a couple of twists of freshly ground black pepper. Spray a frying pan with Frylight or other low calorie cooking spray and heat, then add the cooked noodles and the egg mixture and toss continuously coating all the noodles while the egg is cooking covering them, it takes 3-4 minutes to cook. serve immediately or reheat in the microwave as they don’t warm through in the pan well!
Tomato Soup (serves 4)
1 can baked beans (for a bit of a twist try different flavour beans!)
2 cartons passata
1 large pickled onion (or 4 small ones)
1/2 pint vegetable stock
1 can carrots
Blend all ingredients together, heat and then serve, takes well under 20 minutes! Not necessarily a big filling meal but a good quick meal and with healthy extra or synned bread it makes it more filling!
Omelette and Salad
This can serve as many as you want it to serve, just adjust the vegetables and eggs accordingly. A good tip if you don’t make omelettes as you cant flip them is to cook it through from the bottom then instead of trying to turn it over just pop it under the grill to cook the top!
Fillings I love for omelettes are:
Tomato and fresh basil
Pepper, onion and mushroom
Garlic mushroom (mushroom omelette cooked with garlic Frylight or adding a bit of garlic to the mix!)
Ham and mushroom (I use Quorn ham style slices!)
Cheese and mushroom (obviously measure the cheese)
Cheese and tomato (again measure the cheese!)
Garlic Mushroom Tagliatelle (serves 4)
1 large red onion
2 tsp lazy garlic or 2 cloves of garlic crushed
Cook the tagliatelle according to packet instructions. Meanwhile fry the onion and mushrooms with the garlic until soft. Beat the eggs in a jug and season lightly. Add the pasta to the frying pan and toss in the egg mixture and cook until the eggs thicken as a sauce over the pasta. Not suitable for pregnant women, young children or those with reduced immunity due to partially cooked eggs. An alternative is to mix quark through instead of egg but do this off the heat before serving or it splits!
I use Linda McCartney Rosemary and Red Onion sausages or Quorn Low fat sausages which both cook in 20 minutes. I have them with fried eggs or omelette, baked beans, fried mushrooms and plum tomatoes, the whole thing can be cooked in 20 minutes with time for a cuppa too!
Large Stuffed Mushrooms
The large mushrooms are lovely filled with a Babybel (which could be your healthy extra a choice or synned), some couscous and cheese, tomato and basil, or anything really, just pop it in and under the grill. Even with making the couscous with boiling water it can be done in under 20 minutes! The mushrooms need a bit of time under the grill before adding the filling sometimes depending how you like them and what filling you are using!
Houmous and vegetable sticks
Vegetables of your choice (eg babycorn, peppers, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, spring onion)
400g can chick peas, drained
1 clove of garlic crushed
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 roasted red pepper (from a jar in brine not oil!)
60g fat free Greek yoghurt
pinch of cayenne pepper
Blend all ingredients (other than vegetables!) together until smooth and then you have houmous with vegetables to dip! super quick and tasty!
Burger in a bowl (From the Slimming World Fakeaway book) 1 syn a portion serves 4
For the burger mix:
500g minced beef (5% fat or less) or quorn mince
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic crushed
For the salad:
1/2 iceburg lettuce roughly shredded
8 Gherkins, sliced
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
For the sauce:
3 level tbsp. extra light mayonnaise
5 tbsp fat free fromage frais
1 level tbsp. American style mustard
2 tbsp. tomato puree
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp onion granules
1/4 tsp sweet smoked paprika
4 tbsp. water
Fry the burger mix ingredients in a large frying pan sprayed with Frylight or other low calorie cooking spray for 6-7 minutes until cooked through and onions softened. Meanwhile whisk together the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Mix the salad ingredients together and split between the 4 bowls, top with the cooked burger mix and then drizzle over the burger sauce. Yummy and quick, if you have a little more time you could make chips to go with it!
Mediterranean style couscous
Cook couscous according to packet instructions, usually takes around 10-15 minutes, this can be made for any amount you like quite easily! Fry some onions, peppers, and mushrooms finely chopped until softened, add some halved cherry tomatoes and if you like a little squirt of tomato puree and some herbs like fresh basil, then mix in with the couscous. It is lovely served warm or cold so a great snack or lunch for the following day too! I never weigh out couscous and just estimate the amount I need but I would say go with approximately the amount dry of couscous that you would dry of rice and you cant go far wrong!
While I appreciate you will likely already thought of salads I thought I would list some ingredients I sometimes have in salads that you may not have thought of which make them a little different or feel more interesting! So most people already have lettuce or some other leaves, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, onion/spring onion, but other favourites you may not have thought of are, raw mushrooms, babycorn/sweetcorn, sugar snap peas/mangetout, grapes, apple, pasta, boiled egg, beetroot, raw beansprouts (I personally don’t like these raw but my friend loves them!), carrot, mango, persimmon, cous cous, pomegranate seeds, edamame beans, and well, pretty much anything you like you can toss on a salad! Eating salad doesn’t have to be boring!
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