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Quick dinner recipes and shopping lists for the week for busy employees.

Ahh, the universal issue that is a constant irritation for most of the workforce worldwide. What do I eat for dinner? I don’t have the energy for cooking, maybe I will just order in tonight, like almost every night. Where am I supposed to find the time to cook? I’m willing to take a bet on this, and if I am wrong, I will eat my socks. You, yes you, reading this, have at some point in the last few days or weeks been through the exact same question and answer session in your head, multiple times, if not daily.


It is a frustrating issue that just doesn’t go away. How do I know this? What makes me qualified to place such a bet? Well, it just so happens that I am a chef. I have been for over 20 years. So, I know food, and I know how people feel about food and cooking. I mean, its great that you are supporting your local establishments by ordering daily but, what if you could do it yourself? Not only that but, what if you could cook the same quality meals in your kitchen with ease? If you are still reading this, then you must be serious about getting on top of dinner time. You are in the right place; I am going to do what I can to make dinner time a breeze for you. In fact, the number one comment I receive from my students goes something along these lines. “Thank you for teaching me how to cook properly. I used to dread dinner time but after finishing your course, I am now excited to cook, every time.” Being excited about mealtime is hopefully where I can get you by the end of this. I will supply you with some great, quick and easy recipes that taste incredible and that you can easily pull off. Not only that, but I am also going to supply a weekly shopping list. Don’t say I don’t like you, yeah?


Now I am just giving you a sample here, don’t expect a month worth of dinner recipes and shopping lists. The menu I am going to suggest is something that most families would eat, if you eat gluten free or vegan, adapt the dishes to suit your requirements. I will include other options where I think they will work. The whole point is to think about what you want to eat and then plan it. Here is a pointer that is going to take your mealtime enjoyment to another level. A happier and easier one. Does that sound good? It does to me. The first concept that you should embrace and make second nature is to have all your ingredients weighed, measured and prepared before you even begin cooking. The term for this is mise en place. This is French for putting everything in its place. Trust me, this takes a lot of bother out of mealtime. When your mise en place is ready, your cooking will flow, easily. It will give you time to focus on what you are doing and not worry about weighing the butter while the fish is overcooking in the pan.


Ok, lets get into a sample menu for the work week. If you create two or three of these menus, you can rotate them weekly and not get bored. You will already have the shopping list from the last time. You will also soon be able to cook these dishes in half the time it takes you when you first make them. Do you see where I am going with this? Make your life easy. Cook smart, not hard. Let’s try see what we can come up with that gives variety, lots of nutrition and packs flavour, yeah? These are quick versions of the dishes and by no means the authentic recipe. I promise they do not lack in flavour at all.

The recipe

Adapt the recipe and replace with ingredients you would prefer if any of the listed ones do not float your boat. The recipes are for a family of 4 people. Half or double the recipes as needed. Easy, yeah? 

Thai green curry (Chicken, beef, pork, seafood, vegetable) with steamed basmati rice…

Full Recipe

Steak, egg and chips with a juicy salad. (Swop the steak for a pork schnitzel, mushroom or aubergine ‘steaks.’ Roast potato wedges will do)…

Full Recipe

TSpinach and gorgonzola with pasta (add some crispy fried streaky bacon for the carnivores)…

Full Recipe

Grilled fillet of line fish topped with an olive tapenade or pesto crust, served with smooth mashed potatoes and fresh seasonal vegetables. With lemon butter sauce….

Full Recipe

Super easy roast chicken, vegetables and roast potatoes.

Full Recipe

Monday
Thai green curry

Ingredients:

Method:

Tuesday
Steak, egg and chips with a juicy salad

Ingredients:

Method:

Wednesday
Spinach and gorgonzola with pasta

Ingredients:

Method:

Thursday
Grilled fillet of line fish topped with an olive tapenade or pesto crust

Served with smooth mashed potatoes and fresh seasonal vegetables. With lemon butter sauce

Ingredients:

Method:

Friday
Super easy roast chicken, vegetables and roast potatoes. no trussing and no stress.

Method:

Follow the same style guide as above for ingredient and methods.

That’s your week of cooking right there. Now, to make this even easier, you can prepare the pasta, rice and mashed potatoes ahead of time. Like on a Sunday if you have the energy. Cook them and freeze them for when you need them. Just do not add the milk to the mash yet. Add it when you heat the potatoes up again! You can in fact also prepare the spinach and gorgonzola ahead of time as well, it is better when fresh though. 

So now, because I like you guys, I’m even going to go the extra mile and give you a shopping list for the week’s meals. Winning, yeah? 

Before doing the shopping, check your fridge and pantry for some of the ingredients you should already have. No need to double up. The whole point is for it to be affordable and easy while still tasting awesome. Got it. 

Your shopping lists

Meat, poultry, fish
Vegetables
Dairy
Tinned
Dry goods

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