I thought that each week I would post a mid week meal that helps us get through the week. I know for many of you out there, the constant chore of having to come up with meals each day to feed your family can be overwhelming! So I am starting with a few tips that will help you with what you already do! I hope that this helps you spice up your mid week meals.
Rosemary and Garlic are a fantastic flavour combination that will give most meats a lift, particularly Lamb, but rosemary and garlic are also yummy on vegetables as well!
If you have a Mortar and Pestle, pop 1 – 2 cloves of garlic in with the leave of a sprig of rosemary, pound until it becomes a paste and spread over your favourite meat to marinate before cooking. You can just as easily mince the garlic and chop up the rosemary, combine in a bowl and make into a paste using the back of a spoon.
For potatoes, chop roughly and put into a baking dish. Throw sprigs of rosemary and some crushed garlic over them, rub in a couple of tablespoons of your favourite oil (not Olive Oil if you want them to be crispy) and bake in a hot over until crispy!
For vegetables, heat a pan with a bit of olive oil and butter and lightly cook paste. Add in green vegetable like beans, cabbage, spinach, snow peas, kale etc.. and lightly toss in the pan, season and serve!
Smoked Paprika is great on almost everything, especially chicken. My favourite place to use it is in my Macaroni and Cheese. Click on the link HERE if you would like the recipe.
Smokey Paprika gives a delicious smokey flavour to any marinade, even plain old Tomato Sauce, so have an experiment with this delicious spice and see what you can come up with.
Cumin, Coriander and Turmeric are wonderful spices that go together very well with the turmeric giving everything a beautiful yellow hue. You can use just one or all three. I often use Cumin and Coriander to spice up my fish. Coriander is wonderful both ground or to use fresh. Toss a bit of fresh coriander in a salad, or even make a pesto out of it instead of basil.
Turmeric is a great way to colour vegetables for kids. I find that it works a treat for cauliflower and broccoli. Why don’t you try blanching the vegetables, then dip in an egg wash (I put a teaspoon of the Turmeric in the egg wash too), then toss them with a mixture of grated cheese, bread crumbs and Turmeric. You can then fry them, or pop them on some baking paper and put them in a hot oven until they are crispy. Get the kids to help you and then you never know they may just eat these delicious but sometimes hated vegetables.
Sage has to be my favourite herb. It is versatile and goes with almost everything. I think it and Tarragon are two of the most underrated and under utilised herbs. Sage goes with all root vegetables extremely well. Just throw some leaves on top when you are roasting or steaming and the delicious meaty flavour will come through. Sage always goes into my Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Soup Click HERE for the recipe!
One of my favourite things to do with sage is to fry it in a pan with lots of butter and then you have this beautiful sage butter sauce that you can pour over freshly made pasta, fish, chicken… It’s that easy. Also Sage is easy to grow and doesn’t require a lot of sun, so a partially shady spot will work well! Give this little known, underrated herb a go, you will be glad you did!
Oregano and Marjoram are what I describe as the Italian herbs. If it has tomato in it, put in some oregano and marjoram, it is that simple. They go very well with anything beefy as well as tomatoey. They are also easy to grow in pots, so there is no need to have the dried stuff in your cupboard (I still do but I don’t need too). Just make sure that when you grow them you label them, as to the untrained eye they look very similar! 🙂
Jamie Oliver is a great believer in these two herbs and uses them a lot. They enhance roast potatoes along with rosemary and garlic and give flavour to any dish you choose to use them in!
Honey, Tamari and Ginger is my go to marinade when I haven’t got any brain space and just want to flavour my chicken. 1/3 cup of Tamari (wheat free soy sauce) 1 Tablespoon of honey (use more if you have a sweet tooth) 1 Teaspoon of freshly grated ginger (yes you can use the stuff out of the bottle 🙂 because I know you have it in the fridge). I also add about 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil or Coconut Oil to make it into a good marinade.
You can spread this over any cut of chicken, personally I like leg and thighs, but breasts work just as well. You can then bake in the oven or use in a stir fry.
Just a little tip for having a great stir fry… If you marinate your meat/tofu in the flavour you want, then while you are cooking it, add the vegetables, it should be enough flavour for the whole stir fry. This way, you don’t get soggy vegetables and lots and lots of liquid.
I hope you enjoy reading my few little handy hints for spicing up your mid week meal – Part 1. Part 2 will be on the way soon.
Have a wonderful week cooking in the kitchen and remember that feeding people is a wonderful way to show them that you love them. So keep going, try something new and you never know you might just stumble on a new favourite for your house!