We all live busy lifestyles. Deciding on decent recipes for dinner just before leaving home in the morning in a rush can be difficult. What are the kids going to want? Will my husband be bored with yet another weekly round of the same meals? Perhaps you want ideas for healthy meals or quick meals that can satisfy the hordes yet still taste great!
Thankfully for you I have been in that self-same situation on many occasions and have taken the hard guesswork out of mealtimes for you. Below are some of my top recipes for dinner times that will delight both the kids and couples alike or just yourself if you want something quick and easy.
Chicken Recipes for Dinner
One of my favorite quick and easy chicken recipes involves the humble chicken breast (skin removed) some fresh breadcrumbs an egg and seasoning.
Chicken Schnitzel (serves 2)
- 2 x Chicken Breasts skin removed
- 1 x Large egg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh Breadcrumbs (or you can buy them ready made)
Prepare the Chicken Schnitzel
Place the chicken breast with the shiny topside facing you on a cutting board. Place a sharp knife at the centre side of the breast and whilst holding the chicken breast with one hand on top gently cut 3/4 the way through. You are essentially cutting the breast in half width ways without going all the way through to make a ‘butterfly’. Repeat this for the other breast and spread out the meat.
Next, get yourself a food bag and cut it at the sides so that it is one single sheet large enough to fit over the chicken breast including the bottom (you want to ‘wrap’ the breast so that you have plastic on the top and bottom to avoid sticking when you bash it). Place the plastic over the chicken and with a wooden rolling pin bash the chicken until it is flat and even.
I like to make my own breadcrumbs from old bread. Even if your bread is fresh you can still place it in a luke warm oven for 10 mins on a baking tray. This will release the moisture from the bread and dry it out. Once dried in the oven simply break it apart and put it in a food blender to create fresh homemade breadcrumbs (alternatively buy some!)
Place your breadcrumbs on a large plate and spread them out. Season with some salt and pepper.
Create your Chicken Schnitzel!
Next, break an egg into a bowl and mix well. Then pour the egg mixture onto a large plate.
Simply dip both sides of the chicken into the egg mixture and then immediately transfer to the seasoned breadcrumbs coating both sides well.
Cook it up!
Get a hot frying pan or griddle ready with a small amount of oil. Gently place the chicken in breadcrumbs into the pan (place it away from you to prevent the oil spitting at you) and allow to cook for no more than 2-3 minutes each side. Given they are thin they do not take very long to cook at all.
One of the easiest and most tasty pasta dishes on the planet is one of the simplest to make. Every cook should master the art of a basic tomato sauce which I will teach you below. Once you can create a base sauce as tasty as this you will find yourself using it a whole manner of ways from a quick tomato pasta dish made with fresh pasta to rich bolognaise sauces you have been warned! this recipe seriously kicks some ass and gives you some serious credibility in the kitchen (that’s good no?!)
4 Step Pasta and Meatballs in under 35 minutes
Grab a medium sized onion and dice it finely. Add a chopped clove of garlic to the onion.
Fire up your favorite frying pan and add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil until hot.
Add the onion and garlic and turn down the heat to low for around 8-10 minutes stirring often – you want the onions to be tender and soft without burning.
Take the onion and garlic mixture away from the heat and turn into a small bowl. Don’t wash the frying pan we are going to need it again in a moment. Let the onions cool down for 5 mins (spread them around the sides of the bowl to quicken the cooling.
Once the onion and garlic are cool enough mix them with around 500G of ground beef mince mixing with your clean hands until fully incorporated.
Season the beef mince/garlic and onion mixture with a good helping of good quality sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Once you have mixed the ground beef well with the onions and garlic, take small pieces of mixture (wetting your hands will make this easier) and create around 30 small meatballs placing them on a plate that will fit into your refrigerator. Once done put them in the fridge and leave to cool and firm up nicely.
Get your best cutting hat on and dice up nice and small 2 x cloves of garlic. Place two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into the pan you used for the onions earlier and bring up to a med-high heat. Add the two cloves of garlic and fry stirring continuously for around a minute – then add two cans of the best diced tomatoes you can find (don’t be tempted to get cheap cans of tomatoes, pay a little bit more for the best variety) and stir in ensuring all the fried garlic is nicely incorporated into the sauce.
IMPORTANT! Now is the time to add some salt and pepper to your tomato sauce. Add in a small sprinkle and taste it. If it needs more to your taste add it and don’t be afraid of using more, the salt interacts with the tomatoes to bring out the flavors – this is where your sauce really transforms itself into something special – keep tasting and adjusting until perfect. You can also add oregano or basil at this point for even more flavor. To add even more depth to the sauce you can add a few drops of balsamic vinegar or Worcester sauce.
Allow the sauce to simmer very gently for 10 mins.
Bring up a pan of water to the boil adding a dash of salt. Add in your spaghetti and allow to cook according to quantity (see packet).
While the Spaghetti is cooking;
In a new frying pan place a tablespoon of olive oil and bring up to a medium heat. Add in the meatballs from the fridge and turn them to brown on all sides. The meatballs will take around 10 minutes to cook. Once cooked place the meatballs into the tomato sauce and allow to simmer gently until your spaghetti is cooked through.
All that is left is to serve your masterpiece. Strain the spaghetti and place a good portion into a pasta bowl. Place sufficient amounts of meatballs onto the pasta bed and dowse with copious amounts of zangy zingy amazing tomato sauce and serve with Parmesan cheese and fresh crusty bread to mop up all the juices at the end!