Ever since moving in to our home last year, Joe and I have had to put our adulting hats on in a big way- especially when it comes to dinner time.
Despite living in a pretty, ahem, vibrant, Deliveroo area- we’ve learnt to enjoy meal planning, doing a weekly food shop and trying to figure out achievable easy weeknight dinner ideas we both love and know we can turn to again and again (even if the temptation of a Katsu is only a short bike away).
And fortunately, in the last few months- we’ve gotten a lot better at it! Joe is a serious dab hand in the kitchen, and we’re finally getting into the swing of ordering a set weekly menu and putting together some meals we both really enjoy.
So! Today I thought I’d share with you just that, and point you in the direction of a few of our favourite recipes we’ve been ticking off from three of our go-to cook books- Eat Happy, The Roasting Tin and The Long and Short of Pasta…
I’ll be honest- this book had been sitting on my kitchen shelf for a few weeks before I even picked it up. I think I was secretly a bit worried it would be ‘too healthy’ or ‘green’ for me and Joe (Joe is a real ‘meat and two veg’ kind of person)- and I was a little concerned that recipes that looked as delicious the one’s I’d caught glimpses of, would require far more effort than either of us might have the capacity for. But boy was I wrong! After having a quick flick through, and making a list as long as our arm of things we wanted to try, Eat Happy by the gorgeous Melissa Hemsley has quickly become one of mine and Joe’s favourite recipe books for delicious, straight forward and feel good food that is never complicated but always tasty. With favourite recipes including the ‘Big Batch Dahl with Coriander Yoghurt’ (we’d somehow never cooked a Dahl and this is a new favourite), ‘Korean Chicken with Sesame Sprinkle’, ‘Spicy Salmon Teriyaki’ and ‘Spiced Lamb Chops with Mint Oil’– there are so many amazing dishes in here (both for veggies and not) and I couldn’t recommend those recipes more and some great places to start.
The Long And Short of Pasta…
After receiving this book from my best friend on my birthday (yup, she knows me well)- one recipe we’ve not stopped cooking is the ‘Pasta with Caldesi Sauce’. Oh my god- THIS RECIPE. Like a lot of brilliant Italian recipes, this one is delightfully simple but utilises flavour and good quality ingredients, resulting in a meal that Joe and I both agreed tasted ‘like it was from a restaurant’! We’ve since made it again and again- throwing in some extra roasted veg or mozzarella if we fancy a change, but if you’re after an amazing pasta dish (or dishes)- I can seriously recommend giving this a go.
The Roasting Tin…
I feel like I’ve waxed lyrical about this book endlessly, but it’s just. so. good. With a new vegetarian and vegan friendly ‘Green Roasting Tin’ out now too- I can always find easy dinner ideas super quickly here. Although we have yet to properly experiment with some more plant based dishes, some of our favourite meals from the original include the ‘Crispy baked Gnocchi’ (so, so easy to do and always perfect when you’re hosting people) and the ‘Roast Chicken with Fennel, Lemon, Shallots, Garlic and Mustard Mayo’ amongst many, many more. It’s totally revolutionised the way we cook, and has given both Joe and I so much more confidence in cooking things we previously felt a bit nervous to delve into- be it fish, meat or even cooking creatively with certain vegetables too.
What are your favourite easy weeknight dinners? Are there any cookbooks that have seriously changed your game?