Easy and simple homely meals to cook this Spring
29th April 2020
With extra time on people’s hands, there are plenty of things you can do to occupy your time, like cleaning, organising, and cooking. Cooking is a wonderful way to relax, express your creativity and create something delicious to eat. Homely recipes are also great for sharing with family and friends, as you can pass tips onto one another, enjoy video call cookery sessions and create a new hobby that you can enjoy all year round.
In this article, you will find a plethora of easy and simple home-cooked meals that are perfect for the spring months, using ingredients in everybody’s cupboards. With help and suggestions from cookery experts and food and lifestyle bloggers.
Root Vegetable Curry
The first recipe, suggested by Annabelle, the face behind The Flexitarian is a Root Vegetable Curry, a typical home-cooked dish that is warming and delicious, perfect for a spring evening and very simple to make.
Anabelle shared a little more about this dish and why she thinks it is perfect for the spring months: “Spring is a wonderful time to enjoy some vegetables such as beetroot, carrot, leek, purple sprouting broccoli, radishes, new potatoes, kale, mushrooms, spinach, watercress and asparagus. Some of my favourite ways to prepare vegetables are either to roast them in the oven or boil/ steam them. I then add them to pasta, rice, lentils, or whole grains.
“I love root vegetable curries, new potato salad with eggs, creamy mushrooms on toast, watercress soup or salad as well as grilled asparagus. These dishes are perfect for spring as some can be comforting on colder days when others can be enjoyed al fresco on a warm spring day.
Healthy eating is not only essential for a healthy body but also a healthy mind. Cooking can boost your wellbeing as it helps you unwind and let your creativity flow. It also brings a sense of purpose and achievement, especially as you will enjoy a healthy meal at the end of it. Homecooked meals will be more nutritious than store-bought alternatives benefiting your mind and body as a whole.”
This recipe can be adapted to your exacting tastes and doesn’t require accurate measurements or scales, you can make it up as you go along by adding all of your favourite vegetables.
- 500g parsnips
- 500g carrots (or any other root vegetables of your choice)
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp. curry powder
- 800ml coconut milk
- 1 tsp. ginger
- Preheat your oven to 180c, chop and peel all your vegetables and your sweet potato. Place on a baking tray with a little olive oil, curry powder and general seasoning. Roast for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the vegetables are golden brown. Meanwhile, cook your rice.
- Add the onion, ginger and garlic gloves into a blender and blitz until smooth, this is your curry base.
- Add the coconut milk to the curry base and bring to a gentle simmer until the roasted vegetables are ready. Once the vegetables are ready, add them to the coconut mixture and stir well.
- Add some rice to your plate and serve, season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with herbs and nuts should you wish.
The next recipe is the perfect pudding and one suggested by Jane Sixsmith, National Training Manager for Food for Life. Jane commented a little more about why this recipe is perfect for the spring months.
“As we move into spring and the weather starts to pick up, it’s nice to cook with seasonal ingredients and bring a taste of outdoors into our meals. Spring greens, rhubarb and Jersey new potatoes are all coming into season and at their best just now. Simply boiled and dotted with a small knob of butter, early new potatoes and spring greens will add a special feel to your dinner plate – try them with a grilled lamb chop, a casserole, or a piece of fish. Or include them in curries and pie fillings – delicious.
“If you enjoy baking, why not make a rhubarb crumble? It’s easy to make as you can simply chop the rhubarb into small pieces, place it in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with sugar and add the crumble topping. You’ll have had fun making it and have a delicious dessert to look forward to.”
- 250g rhubarb
- 50g caster sugar
For the crumble topping
- 100g plain flour
- 50g butter
- 35g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp porridge oats or chopped nuts (optional, but great to add fibre to the recipe)
- Chop the rhubarb into 1-inch (2.5cm) lengths and place in a small ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with the sugar and stir it around so it’s evenly mixed. Place the flour in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and cut it up with a table knife until it’s in small pieces.
- Using your thumb against your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it is broken down and the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and oats or chopped nuts if you are using them.
- Sprinkle the crumble topping onto the fruit in the ovenproof dish. Pat down very lightly but keep it looking crumbly. Bake in a medium oven – Gas Mark 6 or 200 degrees C for 25-30 minutes until it’s golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.
- Serve with custard or cream or ice cream.
Chicken and vegetable pasta
Pasta and rice dishes are extremely versatile and can be adapted to everyone’s tastes. Whether you enjoy meat, vegetables or something a little more technical like risotto, there are plenty of options, like this one that Caroline from All That I’m Eating suggests.
Caroline said what she would suggest to those looking to get into the kitchen: “Spring is a great time to make the most of seasonal ingredients; there’s plenty of vegetables appearing now and in the coming weeks. Being able to cook something up for yourself is really satisfying and because you’re cooking it you can add what you like and leave out what you don’t!
“Cooking involves all your senses and it’s fantastic to see, smell and feel all the ingredients you cook with. Some of my favourite easy meals to cook at this time of year are filling but light. A simple pasta sauce with some sautéed vegetables, chicken and cream is always a winner. A handful of frozen peas or spinach are great staples to add into many recipes.”
- 225g penne pasta
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 red pepper
- 1 broccoli
- 1 onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 250ml double cream
- Place your pasta in a pan to boil and cook according to packet instructions.
- Chop the chicken breast, red pepper, broccoli, onion, and garlic glove. Place the garlic clove in a pan with a little oil and soften slightly. Add the chicken breast and cook through. Add the vegetables and cook.
- Add the double cream to your cooked chicken and vegetables and add two tbsp of pasta water. Mix well and let it bubble for about 10 minutes, or until thick.
- Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Serve and garnish with cheese and seasonings of your choice.
If it is a hearty, filling meal that you’re after, then there is nothing more delicious than a rich and juicy steak pie. Tender steak in a rich gravy sauce, covered in flaky pastry, this dish isn’t just delicious, it is simple and easy to cook too.
With a prep time of only 15 minutes and a cooking time of 3 hours, this recipe is perfect to prepare at lunch, letting it cook through the afternoon. Spring is a great time to enjoy delicious cuts of beef and other meats, along with fresh spring vegetables and potatoes.
- 1kg diced braising steak
- 2 onions
- 3 tbsp ketchup
- 2 beef stock cubes
- 1 pack of ready rolled puff pastry
- 1 egg yolk for the pastry
- Preheat the oven to 160c. Add the diced beef a portion at a time to a little oil in a large pan. Cook in small batched until golden brown and cooked. Cook the onions on a low heat for about 5 minutes or until softened.
- Scatter the flour over the onions and stir before adding the beef and any resting juices back into the pan. Add the ketchup and pour over the beef stock, before giving it a cook stir before letting it simmer. Once simmering, add the lid and place in the oven for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, turn the oven up to 220c, take the dish out of the oven and tip the contents into a shallow pie dish. Unpack the pastry, flattening it out from the packet and place over the top of the beef and juices. Prick a few air holes into the top of the pastry and press the edges to fill any holes around the rim.
- Wash with egg and place in the oven for a further 40 minutes until golden brown. Serve with your favourite vegetables.
If you know someone who is finding it increasingly hard to manoeuvre around their home and often find use out of mobility aids like home stairlifts or walk-in baths and showers, sending them these simple and easy recipes could be a nice way to introduce them to some new meals that don’t require a long time standing up in the kitchen.
Easy and simple recipes to cook this Spring:
- Root Vegetable Curry
- Rhubarb Crumble
- Chicken and vegetable pasta
- Steak Pie
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.