Inspiration for dinner is hard to come by – especially on a Monday. While some fully functional adults manage to have an airtight schedule of meals, appointments, projects and pet-walking rosters set in motion by 6am, many of us get home after a long day at work on a Monday and are genuinely surprised to find only a dry heel of cheese and a jar of mustard in the fridge.
Let us help you along with a plan of what to make every night this week. (But we’ll let you off the hook if one night you decide to forget the cooking, collapse on the couch and call for pizza.)
Monday: Home-made baked beans on rye
Cut out the sugar, ditch the cans and make your own healthy baked beans from scratch at home. Once you’ve had a stab at this recipe with chickpeas, mung beans and a squeeze of red curry paste, you won’t go back. It’s great for meat-free Monday.
Tuesday: Beef Burma curry
This Burmese recipe is a lighter, more fragrant take on the usual beef curry. Perfect for an invigorating mid-week dinner, it incorporates garlic, fresh ginger, lemongrass, tamarind, coconut milk, lime and basil leaves. Serve over rice or rice noodles.
Wednesday: Creamy salmon and rocket pasta
By ‘hump day’ (you’re reached the top of the climb and it’s downhill to the weekend) you’ll be in your stride and ready for something a little more decadent. Don’t protest – you don’t have to toss lovely fresh salmon into your pasta pot. Smoked salmon-flavoured cream cheese takes all the fuss and expense out of this equation, along with some rocket leaves, a squeeze of lemon and snipped chives. But if you’re feeling especially decadent, you are welcome to stir in a handful of sliced smoked salmon strips (about 100g) at the end of cooking.
Thursday: Crispy garlic chicken with coriander and lemon pesto
Pinterest tells us that everybody loves a chicken recipe, and this one is bursting with flavour. Bite-size chicken breasts, dusted with flour and fried until golden, are served with a zesty coriander pesto. Warm garlicky naan bread rounds this off nicely, or serve it with a crunchy leaf salad.
Friday: Pork and apple burgers
Break out the beers; it’s the weekend! The apple in these burgers is used for its subtle flavour and sweetness. Invite some friends around and serve the pork patties on toasted buns with caramelised onions, thinly sliced apples, sliced camembert and fresh rocket.
By Linda Scarborough
Looking for even more ideas? Why not try one (or all – we don’t judge) of these 12 ways with grilled cheese.