End up cooking the same old dishes week after week? Discover clever tips on planning meals ahead and feeding your family healthy food in a hurry.
When it comes to midweek cooking, it’s easy to fall back on tried and tested dishes you can whip up without thinking. After all, who has the time (and energy) to dig out a new recipe, head to the shops and give it a go after a busy day at work?
But with just a few simple swaps, you can add a fresh twist to old favourites. Try some of our ideas for new recipes and time-saving hacks to bring the magic back to your kitchen.
Get the most from your roast
- Do you have a roast dinner left over from Sunday? Make a soup with the chicken and whichever vegetables you have lying around. Just before serving, stir through a dollop of green pesto. Serve, then top with a little more pesto and enjoy with crusty bread.
Prep for the week ahead
- Get ready for a busy week by pre-chopping your veg and sticking it in the freezer. When you need it, simply add it straight to the pot as an easy and nutritious boost to your meal.
- In need of a snack? How about crudités that you can serve with a quick and tasty houmous made from ½ a can of chickpeas, a little lemon juice, garlic, cumin, water and olive oil, plus 1 tbsp of Biona Organic Tahini White found on Ocado.
Easy ways to 5-a-day
- If you’re struggling to get your kids to eat their 5-a-day, try whipping up a lentil Bolognese. Add diced onions, carrots, lentils and whichever other vegetables you have lying around.
Swap out the spaghetti
- To pack in even more veg, try replacing spaghetti with homemade courgetti made using a spiralizer. Courgetti is just as moreish as pasta and you can make it in advance and freeze it. It’ll last about a week before beginning to lose some flavour and texture.
- In search of a hearty salad you can make in minutes? Flavour giant couscous with lemon juice, fresh parsley and a sprinkle of chilli flakes. Take it further by adding pomegranate seeds, spring onions or roughly chopped cherry tomatoes.
Supercharge your jacket potato
- Bored of basic old baked spuds? Swap the potato for sweet potato, then make a filling from a can of tuna, a spoonful of yogurt, a few slices of red onion and one or two Ocado Sundried Tomatoes – a flavourful twist on a midweek classic.
Save your chillies
- If you only need one or two chillies for a recipe, don’t waste the rest. Preserve them for weeks by roasting them and storing in a sterilised jar, covered with olive oil. Not only will they last for up to a month in the fridge, but you’ll also be left with some delicious chilli-infused oil – perfect for adding a little extra flavour to your midweek dinner.
Fast and easy arrabiata
- Arrabiata is tasty, nutritious and quick to make. All you need is some garlic, chilli, olive oil, fresh basil and a jar of Ocado Organic Passata.
- Knock up a Thai noodle soup in minutes. You’ll need the usual garlic and ginger, plus chillies and spring onions to garnish. Lightly fry a little Thai curry paste with the garlic and ginger, add some fish sauce, a tin of coconut milk and vermicelli noodles. Finish with cooked king prawns or chicken depending on your preference.
Swap out the rice
- Fried rice is an easy way to get a veg fix in minutes. For a low-carb, no-grain version, try swapping out the rice for grated cauliflower – perhaps one that's knocking about at the back of the fridge. Simply use a food processor with a grating attachment to cut it down to size before you fry. Perfect for sneaking veg into kids’ meals.
- Ratatouille is as good for you as it is delicious, and you can make a cheat’s version in minutes. Use a can of Ocado Organic Chopped Tomatoes, plus peppers, onions, frozen peas and sweetcorn for the perfect midweek treat.
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