What to Cook for Dinner?

This is a conundrum as old as time itself except, nowadays, we have so much choice available to us, what to cook for dinner has become a chore rather than a pleasure and an activity in creativity. This is my simple matrix for ensuring a tasty and nutritious meal is always on the table, and with appliances such as slow cookers, for those lacking in time, everything can be un-elegantly thrown in, left to cook all day whilst we’re at work, and enjoyed in the evening. It’s a simple matrix to make dinner decisions easier, for more creative ideas see my recipe pages.

1. Choose a protein. All can be seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices. Look for pre mixed blends such as garam masala and herb du provence. 

  • Eggs: 2 per person
  • lentils/beans/pulses: 1 handful per person
  • Chicken/ Turkey: 1 breast or 2 thighs per person
  • Oily fish such as Salmon, Mackeral, Anchovies, Sardines, Herring: 1 fillet per person
  • Lamb: 2 chops per person
  • White fish such as cod, haddock or coley: 1 fillet per person

2. Choose 1 starchy veg or wholgrain. This should amount to a quarter of your plate. To mix things up, try mashing a combination or spiralising in place of spaghetti.

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Beetroot
  • Turnips
  • Cauliflower (whizz in the food processor to make rice)
  • Swede
  • Celeriac
  • Butternut Squash

3. Choose vegetables. Aim for a variety of colours, these should fill half your plate.

  • Broccoli (can blitzed into rice too)
  • Kale/ spinach/ chard (sautéed in coconut oil with fresh lemon juice)
  • Asparagus (lightly steamed with a knob of organic butter)
  • Peas
  • Courgette
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage/ red cabbage (see my red cabbage salad recipe)
  • Leeks
  • Tomatoes (the levels of antioxidants increases when tomatoes are cooked)
  • Other salad veggies such as radish, cucumber, peppers, fennel.
  • Green beans
  • Brussel sprouts (finely chopped and sautéed with bacon)
  • ETC!

4. Choose a dressing.

  • Tahini, lemon juice and honey
  • Pesto- homemade or bought, can mix with yoghurt to thicken.
  • Tomato and basil dip- blitz tomatoes and basil with olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor.
  • Olive oil, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar.