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Quick, easy meals for the "cookery challenged"


quick and easy to make, versatile, ingredients not too expensive

i am a terrible cook

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I cannot cook so it is a surprise to me that I actually have something to write in this category! However, recently I have made some feeble attempts at cooking either by just throwing things from the cupboard into a pan and hoping for the best or by looking at recipes online.

I am quite lazy and cooking is not something I find particularly interesting or enjoyable, but one day I woke up infront of the television and found that I was watching Jamie Olivers "pass it on" cooking show. Just as I was about to turn over I saw a finished dish that looked like something I would actually enjoy!!! I am the most fussiest eater in the world, I will not eat anything spicy, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, onions, anything fish or fish related, pies, leek, courgettes and anything with weird looking lumps in it. Unfortunately most recipes seems to include at least mushrooms and onions so I abandon the idea.

Interested by the Jamie Oliver dish I went online and had a look at it on the website. There were a few things in there that I would eat. I brought some of the ingredients and adapted a few to make the dish suit me. Since I made it the first time everyone loved it and we have it at least once a week now!!

I adapt the quantities based on how many people it is for but the nice thing about this one is that you don't have to weigh out amounts you can just put in the amount you want without needing to be too accurate.

Bacon, Pasta and Peas meal

The Ingredients

The ingredients for my version of the recipe are as follows (this is the amount I would use for two people):
  • 10 strips of smoked bacon
  • approximately four handfuls of frozen petit pois
  • two generous dessert spoons of crème fraiche
  • a pinch of ground pepper
  • mini pasta shells
  • a generous handful of cheddar cheese
  • a squeeze of lemon juice

I start by cutting the fat off the bacon and then cutting the bacon into small square pieces or thin strips, then cook this in a wok or deep frying pan in a little oil.

Whilst the bacon is frying, put a saucepan of water on the hob and add the amount of mini pasta shells that you want (I do approximately two generous handfuls per person).

I like my bacon crispy so it takes a good few minutes. Once it is cooked I add the pinch of pepper to it. By now the pasta should be beginning to cook and as they are mini shells they only take around 8 minutes. So as soon as the bacon is cooked I add the frozen petit pois to the frying pan. They quickly fry alongside the bacon and will be cooked within a minute or so.

Once the peas have cooked, I add the two dessert spoonfuls of crème fraiche to the frying pan. Give it a stir and it will create a silky sauce. By now the pasta should be almost cooked but it is an idea time to grate the cheese. (bare in mind that it is going to melt so theres no need to grate it perfectly).

Once it is cooked drain off the pasta and put the pasta in the wok/deep frying pan with the bacon and peas etc. Carefully mix the pasta in with a wooden spoon. Now add couple of splashes of the lemon juice and mix this in.

Finally add the grated cheese and mix it in whilst keeping the pan on the heat. After a minute or two the cheese will have melted and the meal is ready to serve. Either serve it on a plate or into a pasta bowl.

If you are not keen on cheese I have also tried this recipe without cheese and it is also nice. I have never been keen on peas but they seem delicious in this recipe and it is a great way to get a lot of them into your kids!! It is a soft enough meal with bitesize pieces that it will also suit young children and can be eaten with a spoon without need for cutting.

Pork Medallians, Pasta and Sauce

This one is another fairly quick and easy meal which we tend to have once a week. As the prices of food increased we noticed that many meats were just not worth the money anymore. We love porkchops but the amount of fat seems like a waste of money. Then we discovered pork medallions. They are small circles of pork which look small but are solid pork. You get 6 in a pack in tescos and they are much better value for money that pork chops. They are also delicious!

The recipe below is for two people.The ingredients
  • 6 pork medallions
  • apple sauce
  • mozzarella cheese
  • fresh pasta (either plain or the pouches which contain cheese)
  • a sachet of carbonara sauce.
The Recipe.

Put the pork medallions in the grill for the amount of time specified on the packet. Then put a pan of water on the hob and wait for it to boil. Once the water has boiled add the fresh pasta.

At this point pull the grill tray out of the oven and spoon a teaspoon of apple sauce onto each pork medallion. Then add a generous slice of mozzarella (it is useful to have some foil in the tray under the grill rack to catch whatever falls of the edge when it melts!) Then put them back under the grill to melt the mozzarella.

By now the pasta should be cooked so you need to drain it and put it back into the pan. Add the carbonara sauce and put it back onto the hob and stir with a wooden spoon to heat up the sauce. Once ready, serve onto a plate and add the pork medallions.

The meal is very tasty and quick to cook. It is also pretty fool proof which suits me!

Boiled Chicken and Rice

My boyfriend is African and tends to prefer "simple" food. He introduced me to this meal which is so easy to cook and I love it! It is also VERY cheap to make!Ingredients
  • Chicken legs (as many as you want)
  • Rice
  • Tin of chopped tomatoes.
The Recipe.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the chicken legs.

In a separate pan boil the amount of rice you want.

Once the chicken is boiled (this will depend on how thick they are but you can tell by breaking a piece of meat off and if its not pink then its cooked!) drain it and chuck the tinned chopped tomatoes into the pan with the chicken. Put the pan back on the hob on a low heat so that the chicken is now simmering in the tomatoes juices.

Drain the rice once cooked and serve onto the plate. Then finally add the chicken with the tomatoes.

This is such a simple meal but looks surprisingly attractive and tastes lovely. As the chicken has been boiled it is so tender and literally falls off the bone.

Final Note

Thank you for reading and do let me know what you think if you try any of them out! Em x

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Comments about this review »

erenthae 15.01.2010 18:30

Ugh! These sound so nice!!!!!

SweetTooth93 10.01.2009 20:07

These meals probably aren't ones I'd choose to have but some interesting and promising recipes here xx

Expired-Account 17.12.2008 10:56

Will have to try these, sounds good to me

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