5 ways with 5 - Food for Thought

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Although we often have good intentions of writing out an extensive shopping list or meal plan before the big shop sometimes time is just not on our side. To help you when you’re in a pickle, or find yourself in the supermarket without your list, we’ve pulled together some shopping staples which, when combined with cupboard classics, can form the basis of five delicious lunches or dinners so you can always have a go to meal without panic shopping. 

This isn’t a formal shopping list or set of recipes but rather a starter for 10 to show you that many ingredients can have multiple uses, as well as which ingredients work well together! The idea is to inspire you to think about your food shop in a slightly different way, and to give you some guidance on what to buy. 

Alongside the 5 key ingredients, you’ll need some kitchen basics: things like chopped tomatoes, stock cubes, spices and seasoning. It’s also great to pick up some nut butter and dried goods like rice, noodles or pasta as well as some fresh veg like onions and peppers (why not pick up some seasonal produce for a good deal?). 

Plant-Based

Take the following 5 ingredients: 

  1. Chickpeas
  2. Sweet Potatoes
  3. Frozen Spinach
  4. Coconut Yoghurt (or dairy-free yoghurt of your choice) 
  5. Lentils

And why not make: 

  1. Chickpea & Sweet Potato Curry 

Use your chickpeas, sweet potato and spinach in a healthy curry. An onion makes a good base for this and you can use whatever spices you like. The addition of chopped tomatoes or coconut milk helps to form your sauce while a spoonful of your favourite nut butter can add a tasty flavour. Serve with rice - yum!

  1. Baked Sweet Potatoes with Hummus & Sauteed Spinach

A baked sweet potato is a nutritious and easy dinner, why not whizz up a simple hummus style spread with chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and tahini if you have it (alternatively just heat the chickpeas up and mash them with salt & pepper and some spices) and use as a topping for your tattie with some sauteed spinach!

  1. Daal with Flatbread 

A daal is really easy and you can have a bit of fun with it (chickpeas can bulk up a classic lentil daal and add some texture). Roast off some chunks of sweet potato with spices as a topper and make a simple flatbread with 75g flour, 75g yoghurt and ¼ tsp baking powder to scoop it all up. 

  1. Sweet Potato Topped Vegan Shepherd's Pie 

Use lentils in place of meat to make the filling for a vegan shepherd’s pie. Cook your lentils with onion and some spices and veg stock (or marmite or miso to add a good savoury flavour). Stir through some spinach too for an extra hit of goodness! Make your topping by boiling then mashing your sweet potato (add some yoghurt for creaminess). If you have it, a sprinkling of nutritional yeast can be used to replicate cheddar.

  1. Lentil & Sweet Potato Soup 

Great for using up any leftover veg in the fridge, a big pot of soup with lentils and sweet potato is a great option for lunches. Just add stock, and anything else you fancy! Whether blended or left chunky, you can’t go wrong with a swirl of yoghurt added before serving. 

Meat

Take the following 5 ingredients: 

  1. Beef Mince
  2. Burger Buns
  3. Sweet Potatoes
  4. Cheddar
  5. Eggs

And give these dishes a go: 

  1. Burgers with sweet potato fries 

Burgers are super simple! Make patties with mince and salt & pepper. Add them to your buns with melted cheddar, sliced onions if you have them, and whatever condiments are your fave. Serve with a side of sweet potato fries! 

  1. Beef & Sweet Potato Chilli 

Sweet potato makes a great addition to a classic chilli, bulking it out and adding its signature sweetness. Cumin, cinnamon, and chilli powder make a good base for a chilli as well as a tin of chopped tomatoes. Serve with rice from the cupboard and plenty of grated cheddar!

  1. Shakshuka with Beef Meatballs 

Turn one of your burger buns into breadcrumbs and make meatballs with beef mince, dried herbs, breadcrumbs, salt & pepper and an egg to bind. Fry off your meatballs and set aside. Take any fresh veg you fancy (onions, peppers and cherry tomatoes work well) and fry in the pan before adding your choice of spices and a tin of chopped tomatoes. A teaspoon of sugar or honey can also be added here for sweetness. Add meatballs back in and leave to simmer until sauce begins to thicken and meatballs are cooked through. Make a couple of wells in the sauce and crack in your eggs!

  1. Crispy Beef Rice Bowl 

Fry up your beef with some spices (5 spice is perfect if you have it as is fresh ginger and garlic) as well as some honey/sweet chilli or hoisin sauce. Once your mince has become crispy add in some fresh veg and fry that before adding cooked rice. Stir until combined and serve topped with a fried egg. 

  1. Cottage Pie 

A cottage pie is a simple classic and works really well with sweet potato too. Brown your mince with onion if you have it and add some stock (some Worcester sauce works well at this point too, or a spoonful of chutney). Top your cooked mince with mashed sweet potato and plenty of cheese and cook until bubbling and delicious.

Fish

Take the following 5 ingredients: 

  1. Tuna
  2. Frozen Peas
  3. Loaf of bread
  4. Feta
  5. Potatoes

And make something tasty like: 

  1. Fishcakes with pea mash 

Boil potatoes and make a mash, add your tinned tuna to the mash mix and form into patties (some mayonnaise can help to bind the mixture together). Make breadcrumbs from your loaf and serve with cooked peas mashed with lemon/mint/chilli - whatever you have, and a dollop of mayo.

  1. Pea & feta smash on toast 

Cook up some frozen peas and once ready roughly mash with a fork, crumble some feta into the mixture and add to toast with a sprinkle of chilli flakes. If you have eggs, this could also be topped with a fried or poached egg. 

  1. Baked Potato with Greekish salad 

Give the tuna baked potato a bit of an upgrade! Add some sliced onion (and cucumber and tomato if you have it) to tinned tuna. Stir through some feta, red wine vinegar and dried oregano and add to a baked potato. Black olives optional but very much encouraged!

  1. Tuna & Pea Pasta

Cook some pasta from the cupboard (a spaghetti or tagliatelle works well) and pop on some frozen peas. Lightly cook some garlic in olive oil in a pan, add your tuna, pasta, peas, and a touch of pasta water. Stir to combine with a squeeze of lemon if you have it. Season well and serve. 

  1. Roast Feta with garlic bread 

Take some fresh veggies (onions, peppers and tomatoes work well) and add them to a roasting tray with olive oil and salt & pepper. Nestle a block of feta in the middle and bake. Serve with toast that has been charred on a griddle pan and rubbed with oil and garlic.

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