I have decided to put together a few of my favourite mid-week dinner recipes. I cook a lot, I love food and cooking does make me happy. However, I am also human and a mother of two children under three and some nights, I just manage to get the kids to bed and I am left feeling like the last thing in the world I want to do is stand and chop and fry and stir and create fabulous food.
Living here in South West France in our very rural farmhouse, I dont have access to take away menus or any sort of food delivery at all. When we lived in London, I would not think twice about getting a curry delivered after a hard day at work. But here I have no option other than to cook from scratch.
So I thought I would share some recipes for things I cook that dont take too much effort but deliver on taste.
I really love cooking a roast chicken one night, safe in the knowledge that tomorrow nights meal can be put together super quick with the leftovers. A roast chicken with all the trimmings is a delight but fairly laborious for a week night. So I prefer to serve it with just a single accompaniment to lessen the work load. I was inspired to make this dish of Roast Chicken & Lentils by a recipe I saw on a Nigella Lawson show. I am not clear on the specifics so I just developed it with what I had to hand. A simple chicken, roasted with lemons, accompanied by lentils cooked with bacon and garlic. The key to elevating this dish from fine to fantastic is that the rich, lemony juices from the chicken are stirred into the lentils just before serving, making them deliciously moist and loaded with flavour. This dish is certainly not dull. The lentils compliment the chicken but dont overwhelm. This is packed full of taste, low in fat and requires minimal cooking processes. A must for all of us exhausted Mums .
Recently I dieted to loose the baby weight that lingered around after the birth of my son last July. On my diet I discovered the beauty of couscous. Quick, easy, versatile, and wonderfully low in fat, we eat it multiple times a week in our house in a variety of delicious ways. My preferred way of eating it at this moment in time, is my Roast Chicken & Feta Couscous with chunky griddled vegetables and garlic. This recipe is really more of an assembly job, but some care and attention should be paid to cooking the vegetables to ensure they have a lovely griddled effect. This meal always makes me feel virtuous and contented and definitely ticks the box for a speedy supper.
Another dish I make on a regular basis is Stir Fried Chard with Haricot Blanc, packed with fresh tomatoes and garlic. Chard is such a generous vegetable, just pick a few leaves for dinner and it will promptly grow you some more and keep doing so for months and months! This dish is rustic and hearty and goes very well with a variety of meat. I especially like it with a good Toulouse sausage or some smoked sausage (as seen in the picture) which is popular here in France. We have Rainbow Chard and Swiss Chard growing in our garden and a mixture of the leaves can present a vibrant looking plate of food. Chard is not a vegetable I cooked with when I lived in England but it is one that I have grown to love since living here. I treat the leaves in a similar way to spinach and the stalks have a wonderful crunch and celery like texture. A very versatile vegetable, bursting with vitamins and minerals, fabulous in vegetable curries or risotto or just simply cooked with salt and pepper. If you have not yet discovered Chard in your life, I urge you to do so.
So thats just a few recipes I enjoy cooking when I dont have the energy to do very much at all. They are delicious and easy and definitely represent a little time spent wisely.