Thursday, 1 May 2014

Simple Weeknight Meal

There are very few things in this world that make me happier than giving a plate or bowl full of food that I have cooked to my daughter, seeing her smell the aromas, eat a forkful & say "mummy, you are the best cook in the world." I feel even better when I know that what she is enjoying is a plate full of healthy food that didn't take hours slaving over a stove to concoct and actually, didn't cost a huge amount of money to make.

It may sound silly, but these days, juggling a full time job whilst raising a family does mean that getting anything edible on a plate on a week night (or even weekends, well who else is going to do that washing, cleaning & ironing?) is a triumph in itself. I learnt most of my culinary skills from my mother, who always did her best to introduce my siblings and me to good food from different cultures (this one is a Greek dish called Kritharaki). 

If, by sharing some of these recipes, you can experience an (almost) stress free mealtime & maybe even an extra 15 minutes to spend with your family before Cbeebies bedtime hour is over, well...that would make me even happier.

For you lovely veggies, feel free to substitute the chicken breast for Quorn chicken style pieces or leave it out altogether for an even simpler pasta dish.

For those with little ones that like a little heat, you could also add half of a finely chopped red chili to give the dish a bit of a kick.

The cost per portion is approximately £1.45 and is based on the By Sainsbury's ingredients used below.



Serves 4     Prep time: 10 mins    Cook time: 20 mins


o   460g chicken breast fillets
o   400g orzo pasta
o   1 onion
o   1 tin of chopped tomatoes
o   1 tsp mixed herbs
o   1 tbsp. of tomato puree
o   1 tbsp. olive oil
o   Pinch of salt
o   Pepper (for seasoning)
o   Fresh flat leaf parsley (for seasoning)


1. Rinse your chicken breast and dice into chunks
2. Finley dice your onion
3. Add your olive oil to another pan and place on a medium heat and chuck in your chicken breast - cook for approx. 6-8 minutes until golden brown. Add your onions, chopped tomatoes, mixed herbs, tomato puree and a dash of pepper.
4. Boil 4 litres of water in your kettle & transfer to a large pan on a medium heat and add just a pinch of salt
5. Whilst your chicken is cooking thoroughly in the sauce (it needs to cook for at least another 10 minutes while your pasta is cooking) add your orzo to your large pan of boiling water & cook for approx. 9-11 minutes.
6. Once your pasta is done, drain off the water, add a drizzle of olive oil & transfer the pasta to the sauce pan. Turn off the heat & stir the sauce through the pasta.
7. Add a small amount of chopped parsley & you're ready to tuck in.

*Prices per portion are approximate, are correct at time of posting & only include ingredients. Prices will vary depending on where you shop.