Take-away, microwave meal, or even sauce from a jar….all things that a lot of us turn to when we get home after a hard day at work. However is this really the best way of cooking dinners? I think you know the answer to this.

However yo may be thinking ‘If i make it from scratch it will take me AGES!’ Well let me convince you otherwise.

I have to admit I am not the best cook in the world, in fact my husband Barry is a superb cook and he sometimes, SOMETIMES cooks better than me!


Simple dinner ideas that anyone can make

I remember having a client who had his oven in his house for 15 years and NEVER cooked in it. He relied on take-aways (check out his story here if you like)

He was actually afraid to cook in case he did something wrong. However we gave him 1 cooking lesson for 1 hour and got him to cook his own meal and now he is unstoppable!!

We cooked with him:

Salmon, Sweet Potato Fries, Broccoli and roasted peppers and onions

This is how we did it –

1. We prepared the fries (see the video here of how to make these – they will change you life trust me) PLUS we cut up the roasted veg and put them all in the oven at the same time on fan assisted oven 220c for 15 minutes.

2. While that was cooking we put the salmon in some foil and wrapped it up in a parcel, and cut up his broccoli and put it in a pyrex bowl with a little water.

3. After 15 minutes we put the salmon in the oven and cooked everything for another 15 minutes. Just before the salmon and fries are done we put the broccoli in the microwave for 3 minutes and then served. Simple!

healthy dinner recipes for beginners_2If you wanted to take some leftover to work, as I mentioned in my blog – Beginners Guide to cooking healthy lunches then here are a few recipes for you to make where you can take them.

Always check the labels!

A word of caution, when it comes to jars and ready meals, stay away. The reason that these are in jars is because they have been pumped full of additives that keep them fresher for longer. Check out the labels most of them have added sugars somewhere along the line.

There are other alternatives…which I will show you now, that don’t actually take much time.

Spaghetti Bolognaise

The Shopping List

– Mince (lean beef or turkey)
– Chopped celery, red onion, carrots
– Garlic 1-2 cloves of garlic
– Herbs: any herbs, which you like, we use bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, basil, mixed herbs
– 1 x carton of Passata OR can make your own with blended tomatoes
– Spaghetti: This can be brown pasta OR courgette

How to make it:

1. Brown the mince off and drain any excess fat

2. Remove the mince from the pan and brown the chopped carrots, onion, garlic and celery, stirring

3. Once soft add the mice back into the mix

4. Add the passata and the herbs, and mix well

5. Simmer for approx 20 minutes



healthy dinner recipes for beginners_3The Shopping List:


– 1 x tablespoon Tabasco sauce
– 2 x garlic cloves, minced
– 1 x tablespoon honey
– 1 x tsp paprika
– ½ x tsp ground black pepper

 Other ingredients:

– Meat (lean turkey, chicken, beef)
– Green pepper sliced into strips
– Onion sliced into strips
– Tomatoes diced

How to make it:

1. Mix together all marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the meat strips and turn to coat them. Let this sit for at least 10 minutes

2. In the meantime get your peppers and onions, wash and slice them into strips. Also dice the tomato.

3. Heat the pan an add some of the 1 cal spray. Stir fry the meat until cooked through. Remove from the pan the meat and add the peppers and the onions.

4. Stir fry until cooked to your preference. Add the meat back into the veggies and mix.

5. Serve with either wholemeal pitas or whole meal wraps.

You will see that all the ingredients are natural, and there are no additives. Give these a go and let me know how you get on!

Connect with Expert Laura Ash.


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