As almost a father of two, Donal Skehan has realised that in order to survive with young children, quick and easy meals are key, writes Ciara McDonnell.
Lucky for all of us, he wrote down the recipes for his new book Super Food In Minutes features 90 recipes, all with 10 ingredients or less and all of which can be adapted to become vegan, vegetarian and paleo friendly.
With a focus on healthy, fresh mealtimes, this is the book you need if you find midweek dinners an unattainable feat.
Cook’s Notes: A gloriously golden orange bowl of warming comfort.
Equipment: Saucepan, small frying pan
1. Heat half the oil in a saucepan and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, 2 teaspoons of the cumin seeds and 2 teaspoons of the mustard seeds and fry for 30 seconds until the mustard seeds start to pop.
2. Stir in the ground spices, allowing them to become aromatic before adding the lentils, tomatoes and coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 25 minutes, adding a splash more water if you need to, until the lentils are tender.
3. Heat the remaining oil in a small frying pan over a medium– high heat. Add the rest of the cumin and mustard seeds and cook for 20 seconds. Serve the dahl topped with a drizzle of the spiced oil and lots of fresh coriander. The remaining oil will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Cook’s Notes: A speedy twist on an Italian classic. You can find prepared courgette spaghetti in many supermarkets or easily make it yourself with a julienne peeler.
Equipment: Ovenproof frying pan
1. Preheat the grill to high. Heat the oil in an ovenproof frying pan and fry the chicken over a high heat until browned all over. Add the dried herbs and passata and season well with salt and pepper, then add the courgette spaghetti and warm through until a little softened.
2. Mix the cheeses with the breadcrumbs and scatter all over the top of the pan. Pop under the grill for 4–5 minutes until golden and bubbling.
3. Serve scattered with basil leaves
Cook’s Notes: All the flavour of a full Sunday roast, but in a speedy one-pan supper.
1. Heat the oil in a large deep sauté pan over a medium heat.
2. Season the chicken thighs generously with salt and pepper and place skin-side down in the pan with the lemon zest, thyme and potatoes.
3. Allow the chicken thighs and potatoes to cook without moving for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the chicken skin turns crisp and a deep golden brown colour. Turn the chicken and potatoes, add the carrots and cook for 2–3 minutes until the carrots are starting to become tender.
4. Combine the chicken stock and mustard, then add to the pan. Bring to a simmer, then add the kale. Season, cover and cook for 10 minutes more until the chicken is cooked all the way through, the potatoes and carrots are tender and the liquid has reduced slightly.
5. Serve straight to the table with a good squeeze of lemon juice and a generous sprinkling of parsley.
Recipes from Donal's Super Food in Minutes by Donal Skehan. Hooder & Stoughton 2019. Pictures: Issy Croker.