22 Winter Dinner Ideas

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Y’know how some days you just cba to eat your kale and quinoa and salmon like a good little twenty-something?

But then like, you had a takeaway yesterday and really, REALLY can you eat two in a row in the middle of the week? I mean you COULD but you haven’t been to the gym since, well since, some time ago, you can’t exactly remember when it was.

So yeah, you’d ideally like to whip yourself up something in the kitchen. Something soothing on the soul and warming on the belly, but you’re so tired because life, you’ve kind of forgotten what exists in the world aside from pesto pasta and you fancy something a teeny tiny bit sparklier.

So here’s some ideas. Nothing fancy, just a list of good ol’ dishes you can whip up at home.

And plz plz comment with your fave ones below, I am in a dinner rut about five days of the weeks.

Thanks my babin’ rays of sunshine.

1. Macaroni cheese. Amped up with extra cheddar, breadcrumbs and a few sexy slithers of pancetta on top. Oh boy.

2. Peanut butter chicken. Ingredients basically include peanut butter and chicken (and lime and soy sauce), read it here.

3. Thai chicken broth, which basically involves frying up chicken with chilli, peppers and baby corn and then adding coconut milk and chicken stock. Best served with noodles or warm, crunchy bread.

4. Jumbalaya which is your choice of chicken, prawns and chorizo (all three of them or two of them or one of them, you do you boo), cooked with onions, peppers and cajun spices. Plus rice, stock and tinned tomatoes. This recipe explains it better than I ever could. Goes handsomely well with guacamole and/or (always and) soured cream.

5. Sweet potato hash. Grated sweet potato in a frying pan alongside whatever you have left in your fridge – bacon, mushrooms, sweetcorn, garlic, peppers – whatever you got. Scramble in an egg to make it stickier, or put under the grill with a few cheeky lumps of goat’s cheese or mozzarella to really make things naughty.

6. A pasta bake – ideally one with sweetcorn and tuna because they’re basically healthy and outweigh the thick layer of melted cheese on top, right?

7. Pork and apple stew. A great one if you have a slow cooker or a couple of hours on hand. Whack onions, carrots and celery in a big old pan with diced pork and fry together before adding of stock and apple juice and cooking for a further 90 minutes++. Best served with homemade suet dumplings (seriously friggin easy – just mix suet with self-raising flour and water).

8. Homemade Nando’s which is just you cooking a  sachet of microwave rice if you really just cba, and a chicken breast sliced through the middle to open it up into a butterfly shape and smothered in Nando’s saunce before grilling. Serve with halloumi, salad and corn on the cob. (You can also make macho peas by cooking peas and then blitzing half of them in a blender with chilli, mint and olive oil before mixing back with the other half).

9. Fajitas, tacos, burritos and burrito bowls. That whole shebang, you get what I’m saying. MEXICAN FOOD. Always best eaten with jalapenos, a lotta lot of cheese and refried beans. Oh sweet lord.

10. Homemade leek and potato soup, which involves simmering those two ingredients in a little bit of butter and garlic in a saucepan (maybe throw in half an onion too) and then adding in some vegetable stock, salt and pepper and cooking until the potatoes are soft. Then blend with a few sploshes of milk and TA DA, serve with a hunk of bread.

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11. A one pot pasta dish. There’s 745637 recipes on Pinterest, but this is my current fave. It’s vegan too (y’know, if you don’t add the cheese) and has the tiniest ingredient list known to man.

12. Gnocchi. A bag of the fresh stuff from the supermarket griddled in a pan and paired with pesto, chorizo, mushrooms and a few flakes of Parmesan is just perfection.

13. A falafel bowl. Make your own or buy a bag of the frozen stuff for a pound from Tesco and serve with lots of salad leaves, tomatoes, a seriously big dollop of houmous, a few chunks of feta and some warm pitta bread. YUM.

14. A toad in the hole which is waaaaaay easier to make than it looks. Half cook your sausages in a large dish in the oven and then take them out and pour batter into the sizzling hot oil and let it cook away for another 10-15 minutes. Serve with mash, peas and onion gravy cooked with a heavy splash of balsamic vinegar.

15. Microwave a sweet potato for a few minutes then slice through the middle and top with pesto, cheese and whatever else you want and stick under the grill. Oh boy, so quick, 1-2 of your five a day and did I mention it’s topped with melted cheese?

16. Nachos. Really, really beastly nachos. Best made by emptying half a bag of the most cheap tortilla chips you can find into a dish and spooning on salsa and a handful (or two) of grated cheese. Add the rest of the tortilla chips and layer up – adding jalapenos or chorizo or cooked chicken to the top layer if you’re feeling fancy.

17. Make a fake pie without sides by whacking chicken/lamb/beef and some veg in a pot and topping with a layer of gravy (or those wonderful jelly stock pots). Finish off with a pastry roof made from ready-rolled pastry from the chilled aisle in the supermarket. Serve with chips or mash, your choice sweet things.

18. Cheat an almost-healthy pizza by grilling tortilla wraps on both sides and topping with salsa and any ingredients lurking in the fridge as well as plenty of cheese.

19. Go one step sexier than an omelette with a frittata (literally only found out I’ve been making frittatas this entire time…). Cook your ingredients in your frying pan first – like mushrooms and tomatoes – and THEN add in a couple of whisked eggs and leave it to cook through on a low-medium heat for a few minutes. Top with grated cheese and grill and then flip one half onto the other and VOILA all the protein.

20. Quesadillas (and if someone can teach me an unmessy way to make these we can be BFFs fo sho). Take a tortilla wrap in a pan and add refried beans, cheese and anything like mushrooms, peppers, chorizo, bacon, onions to one side of the circle (go easy on these ingredients and cut them small otherwise it won’t stick together. Flip over the over side to make it look like an omelette and lightly brown on each side until your cheese and beans have melted through and glued everything together. Serve with sourced cream and hot sauce.

21. Spag bol/lasagne/meatballs. Some sort of pasta with tomatoes and onions and mince. Always, always eaten with garlic bread because duh.

22. A fish pie (you can buy a pack of mixed fish especially for this for a few quid from your local supermarket). Combine said fish in a pie dish with a white sauce made using butter, flour and milk and a little bit of cheese and top with mashed potato and more cheese. Pop in the oven for half an hour and hello handsome.

 


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