Thursday 27 October 2016

10 Tips for Cooking From Scratch During the Week

Published 20/05/2016 | 09:49

Roast Leg of Lamb
Roast Leg of Lamb

Do you love the idea of cooking from scratch with healthy ingredients but lack inspiration?

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Or are you stuck in a home-cooking rut and dread the pressure of rushing around trying to create mid-week family meals? Home-cooking doesn’t have to be a struggle and is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family.  It’s cheaper, more nutritious and it can be faster.  Using the handy Good Food Karma Meal Planner, you can easily choose recipes, order the ingredients and get cooking. Here are 10 tips for cooking from scratch during the week:

1. A Tray of Roast Vegetables - Three Ways

Roast a tray of vegetables on a Sunday evening and you’ll get a head start to your week.  Served either hot or cold, they are a perfect addition to the fridge to add to salads, or taste great eaten on their own rather than having to start from scratch when you arrive home from work.  Roast vegetables are perfect as the base for a recipe such as this Terriyaki Salmon by Daniel Davey, with a sweet and salty sauce.

Terriyaki Salmon
Terriyaki Salmon

2.  Bake Ahead To Save Money and Time  

Rather than reaching for the biscuit tin or running out of bread yet again, by spending a little time baking some simple granola bars, muffins, cookies or bread, you’ll be stocked up for the week and have healthier options to choose from. Get your apron on and try these healthy raspberry, banana and pecan muffins by Sharon Hearne Smith which are perfect for using up over-ripe bananas, can be frozen and are a great lunchbox treat.

Raspberry Muffins
Raspberry Muffins

3.  Stock Up On Store Cupboard Essentials

By purchasing foods that are stored in a can or a jar such as chopped tomatoes, anchovies or capers and pairing them with spaghetti, you’ll be guaranteed to be able to rustle up simple dishes such as Frederico Reizzo’s ‘Poor Man’s Pasta’ – a tasty Sicilian treat that you can make from what’s already stored in your pantry.

4.  The Sunday Roast – Revisited

If you’re having a Sunday roast (like this one by Kevin Dundon) at the weekend think about the quantities.  If you cook a little extra on the day, whether it’s an additional piece of roast chicken, pork, lamb, ham or roast beef, you’ll save money and time as you can store it in the fridge and use it as a base for stir-frys or to add to salads.  

Roast Leg of Lamb
Roast Leg of Lamb

5.  A Fast Any-Time Omelette

A hot omelette is ideal when you return from work, or to feed a hungry family quickly or as a great breakfast or relaxed brunch.  By preparing vegetables in advance and storing them in the fridge you can add any selection you personally favour for the perfect veggie omelette.

Veggie Omlette
Veggie Omlette

7. Chop in Advance For A Speedy Mid-Week Stir Fry

This Beef Stir Fry from David Gillick is a great and mouthwatering mid-week option.  By chopping whatever vegetables you like in advance, such as broccoli, carrots, onion and red pepper, you’ll save time as all you’ll have to do is quickly cook your noodles or rice, toast a few seeds and then stir-fry the beef with garlic.  It should take no more than 10 minutes of preparation time and 10 minutes of cooking time.

Beef stir fry
Beef stir fry

8.  Plan Ahead and Order Online

With a bit of pre-planning even the busiest parent can cook from scratch but the real key to this is planning ahead and ordering online.  A new resource from SuperValu, the Good Food Karma Meal Planner, aims to get Ireland cooking.  It just takes three steps - all you have to do is plan and choose your favourite recipes and you can buy all your ingredients for the week on-line with just a few clicks.  There’s inspiration from Ireland’s top chefs and foodies and new ideas delivered to your inbox whether it’s for a healthy brunch, healthy mid-week meals, Friday fun or Sunday lunch.

9.  Slow Cooking – A One-Pot Wonder!

There’s nothing nicer than arriving home to the aroma of home cooking.  Invest in a slow cooker and you’ll really benefit from home cooked food in the most low maintenance way possible and particularly for one-pot wonders. Another tip is to double-up on portions and freeze to use again.

10.  Make a Salad and Fruit Salad In Advance

Why not make a big bowl of fruit salad on a Sunday and a big bowl of salad?  Not only is a bowl of fruit salad an instant healthy snack, it can be used for super-fast smoothies; toppings on pancakes or for topping porridge. Use the leaf salad on its own with a dressing or to accompany cold meats or as an easy side with an omelette or piece of grilled fish. A top tip for keeping salad fresh is to make sure it is dry when you store it in the fridge.

SuperValu Good Food Karma aims to get Ireland cooking. By cooking from scratch at least once a week, you will find that you pay more attention to what you eat. 

For ideas for good food with fresh ingredients cooked from scratch go to:


Sponsored by: SuperValu

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