Midweek Meals: Five easy and healthy family dinners ready in 30 minutes or less

 From creamy pasta to ready-in-a-flash fish dishes, here are five meals your family can enjoy this week
Midweek Meals: Five easy and healthy family dinners ready in 30 minutes or less

Midweek meals can be nutritions as well as delicious

Take the stress out of cooking this week with these quick recipes for dinner. Darina Allen’s fish fingers are perfect for after-school dining and the cheesy chicken goujons are both delicious and nutritious. For more food inspiration, visit ieFood.

Fish Fingers with Garlic Mayo

recipe by:Darina Allen

A perfect after-school dinner

Fish Fingers with Garlic Mayo

Servings

8

Preparation Time

5 mins

Cooking Time

10 mins

Total Time

15 mins

Course

Main

Cuisine

Irish

Ingredients

  • 8 pieces fresh haddock, hake or pollock cut into fingers 11.5 x 3cm (4 1/2 x 1 1/4 inch) approximately

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • white flour, seasoned well with salt, freshly ground pepper and a little cayenne or smoked paprika (optional)

  • For the egg wash:

  • 2-3 beaten free-range, organic eggs and a little milk

  • panko or dried white breadcrumbs

  • To serve:

  • crunchy little gem lettuce leaves

  • For the garlic mayo:

  • 225g (8oz) homemade mayonnaise

  • 1-4 crushed garlic cloves (depending on size)

Method

  1. Add the garlic to the mayonnaise and season to taste.

  2. Heat the oil in a deep fry to 180˚C/350°F.

  3. Season the fingers of fish with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then, dip the fish, first into the well-seasoned flour and then into the beaten egg and finally coat evenly all over with the crumbs of your choice. Pat gently to firm up…!

  4. Heat some olive oil or clarified butter in a wide frying pan over a medium heat.

  5. Cook the fish fingers until golden and crispy on the outside and cooked through into the centre. Drain on kitchen paper.

  6. I love to wrap them in crunchy little gem lettuce leaves, add a dollop of garlic mayo (aioli) or your mayo of choice and enjoy.

 

Pasta puttanesca

recipe by:Currabinny Cooks

Whatever the true origins of puttanesca, it is one of the most flavoursome and lip-smacking sauces made almost entirely from store cupboard ingredients.

Pasta puttanesca

Servings

4

Preparation Time

5 mins

Cooking Time

12 mins

Total Time

17 mins

Course

Main

Ingredients

  • 8 anchovy fillets, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed

  • Good pinch or two of chilli flakes

  • 1 tin of plum tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons of capers

  • Handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

  • 200g of pitted Kalamata olives

  • Olive oil

  • Sea salt and black pepper

  • 500g dried pasta ( fusilli or penne)

Method

  1. Put the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water over medium heat. While the pasta cooks, heat some oil in a large frying pan over medium low heat.

  2. Add the anchovies, garlic and chilli flakes, cooking for a few minutes until everything is bubbling and fragrant. Add a spoonful of pasta water to the pan and turn up the heat slightly. Add the olives, capers and tin of plum tomatoes. Let the contents of the pan bubble away, stirring everything together until well combined.

  3. When the pasta is al dente, drain and set aside. Leave the sauce to bubble away for 10 minutes until slightly thickened and the plum tomatoes start to pop and fall apart. Season with sea salt and plenty of black pepper. tip the pasta into the sauce and toss well so that the pasta is well coated in sauce. Scatter the chopped parsley over and serve.

 

Parmesan chicken goujons

For a delicious and nutritious family supper, try these cheesy goujons with rich tomato sauce

Parmesan chicken goujons

Servings

6

Preparation Time

10 mins

Cooking Time

18 mins

Total Time

28 mins

Course

Main

Ingredients

  • 600g boneless and skinless chicken

  • 50g plain flour

  • salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 100g breadcrumbs

  • 50g Parmesan, finely grated

  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil

Method

  1. These can either be cooked on the hob or in the oven. If using the oven, preheat to 200°C, gas mark 6, and place on a baking tray in the oven to preheat.

  2. Cut the chicken into goujons the size of a big finger (1x10cm or ½x4in). Place the flour in a mixing bowl or in a plastic bag with some salt and pepper. Place the beaten eggs in another bowl. Mix the breadcrumbs and finely grated cheese together and place in a bowl or bag as well.

  3. Toss the goujons in the seasoned flour, making sure they do not stick together, then remove. Shake off the excess flour and dip them in the beaten egg. Remove from the egg, letting the excess drip off, and toss into the breadcrumb cheese mix. Shake off the excess and lay the goujons on a plate.

  4. To cook on the hob: Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium to high heat. When the oil is hot, add the goujons in a single layer, cook on one side for about 3 minutes until golden, then turn down the heat and flip the pieces over. Cook on the other side for about 4 minutes, until cooked through and golden.

  5. To cook the goujons in the oven: Drizzle the base of the preheated tray with the oil and lay the floured and seasoned goujons in a single layer. Bake in the oven for about 12-18 minutes, turning the goujons over halfway through, or when golden on one side. When they are completely cooked, remove from the oven and serve.
    This recipe is from Rachel's Favourite Food At Home.

 

Fish in a flash

recipe by:Darina Allen

This simple recipe can easily be multiplied - serve with lots of roasted veggies

Fish in a flash

Servings

2

Preparation Time

10 mins

Cooking Time

8 mins

Total Time

18 mins

Course

Main

Ingredients

  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 small red onion, chopped

  • ½ tsp red chilli flakes

  • 1cm/½ inch piece ginger, peeled and grated

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and bruised

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 x 300g/10½oz fillet of white fish (haddock, pollack or salmon)

  • juice of 1 lemon

  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

  • salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

  2. Place the tomatoes and red onion in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the red chilli flakes. Add the ginger and garlic cloves and drizzle over the olive oil. Mix well. Now lay the fish fillet on top of the veggies, skin side down, and season with salt and pepper.

  3. Squeeze the lemon over the top. Let the juice run through your fingers so you can catch any pips. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar, and then place in the hot oven for 8-10 minutes.

  4. Remove from the oven and check it’s cooked. The flesh should now be opaque. Serve with the roasted veggies. The tomatoes should be soft and bursting. I also like to eat this with a handful of baby spinach leaves and maybe a little French dressing

 

Spaghetti with beans and tomatoes

recipe by:Darina Allen

For a quick, creamy dinner with bursts of garlic and basil flavour, try combining French beans, tomatoes and a generous sprinkle of Parmesan

Spaghetti with beans and tomatoes

Servings

4

Preparation Time

10 mins

Cooking Time

15 mins

Total Time

25 mins

Course

Main

Cuisine

Italian

Ingredients

  • 1kg tomatoes (plum or small beefsteak)

  • 300g French beans, topped and tailed

  • salt

  • 150ml double cream

  • 1 garlic clove, whole and peeled

  • handful of basil leaves

  • 400g spaghetti

  • 50g grated Parmesan

Method

  1. Skin the tomatoes, deseed with a teaspoon and chop them coarsely.

  2. Cook the beans in plenty of salted boiling water for three minutes until they are just tender. Cool them quickly in a bowl of cold water and drain.

  3. Bring the cream to the boil and add the garlic.

  4. Take the pan off the heat and leave the cream to steep for  five minutes before removing the garlic.  Then add the beans, tomatoes and torn-up basil, and toss just for a minute to warm the veg through.

  5. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente.

  6. Drain and mix with the tomatoes and beans. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.

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