As the nation continues to face rising food prices, some of the team here at Sovereign Health Care have shared their go-to tasty and budget friendly recipes for delicious home cooked meals that don’t break the bank.
Rachael – Marketing Executive
Pesto Veggie Pasta (serves 2)
- Dried tagliatelle pasta (4 nests)
- Button mushrooms
- Half a courgette
- Olive oil
- Pack of baby tomatoes, halved
- Green or red pesto
- Salt and pepper to taste
Wash all the veg in a colander, chop/slice and set aside.
Pan of cold water, bring to the boil and add the tagliatelle for approx. 12 mins.
Meanwhile add the olive oil to a heated frying pan, add the mushrooms, fry for a few mins and drain any excess juice.
Add the slices of courgette, fry for a further 2-3 mins and again drain any excess juice.
Add the halved baby tomatoes and fry for a further 3 mins.
Once the tagliatelle is cooked/al dente, drain and add to the frying pan mixing in the tasty veg.
Add 2 tbsp of pesto to the pan, mixing evenly into the pasta and veg.
Season with salt and pepper and serve!
Caroline – Head of Sales and Marketing
I call this ‘pizzadilla’ (a pizza/tortilla hybrid) – it’s quick, relatively healthy and my little girl loves to help me make it. You can tailor the fillings – maybe add some dried chilli, tuna or pepperoni but my family loves the cheese and tomato version. Add a mixed salad to the side – I like adding fresh orange segments to my salad, it adds a bit of interest and acts as a dressing
- Packet of large wholemeal tortillas (you typically get these in packs of 8)
- Tube of tomato puree
- Dried mixed herbs
- Grated cheddar cheese
- Light oil spray (or a teaspoon of vegetable oil)
Take a tortilla and spread one side with tomato puree – you can adjust the amount of tomato puree to taste.
Lightly sprinkle over dried herbs, then grate cheese over, again you can adjust the amount of herbs and cheese to taste.
Place another tortilla over the top and press down the top tortilla with your palm. Heat a frying pan big enough to hold the pizzadilla and spray/add the oil.
Once the pan’s hot, add the pizzadilla – I find the best way is to hold either side of the pizzadilla and place it gently in the pan. Press down on the pizzadilla with a spatula to help the cheese melt and ‘seal’ the tortillas together. Once the bottom side is browned, flip the pizzadilla over with the spatula to brown the other side. It takes 3 to 4 minutes to cook in total.
Slide the pizzadilla on to a board, cut it in slices and let it cool a bit before eating.
Emma – Corporate Account Manager
Chicken Fajita Pasta (serves 4)
- 2 tsp smoked paprika/1 tsp chilli powder/1 tsp ground cumin/ ½ tsp cayenne pepper/ ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 460g chicken breasts, cut into strips
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- 350g penne pasta
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper deseeded and sliced
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 230g tomato salsa
- 150g low-fat sour cream
- 50g reduced-fat cheddar cheese, grated
Mix the smoked paprika, chilli, cumin, cayenne and garlic powder. Rub half into the chicken strips.
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, deep frying pan and cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes or until golden all over and almost cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Drain well and set aside, reserving a little of the cooking water.
Add the chicken back into the frying pan along with the tomato puree. Cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the cooked pasta, salsa and sour cream. Heat through, and if the sauce needs loosening, add a little of the reserved pasta water until you reach a desired consistency.
Sprinkle over the cheese to serve.
Terri – Business Process and Systems Support
Veggie Lentil Bolognese (serves 4)
- 1 onion – roughly chopped
- 4 large carrots – grated
- 50g split red lentils
- 450-500ml vegetable stock
- 1 tsp of marjoram
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- Olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed or 1 tbsp garlic puree
Add olive oil to a large non-stick pan.
Fry the onions, garlic, and carrots until softened but not browned (about 5 minutes).
Add the stock, tomatoes, marjoram, tomato puree and lentils.
Part cover the pan and bring to the boil.
Turn down and simmer for about 30 minutes then serve!
Note: keep stirring frequently as lentils tend to stick.
Nasim – Corporate Appointment Executive
Nasim’s Tasty Chicken Curry (serves 4)
- 1kg deboned chopped chicken thighs (it has more flavour and is cheaper than breast)
- Blend of rapeseed and olive oil
- 2 small-medium sized onions, finely chopped
- 6 bulbs of garlic or the equivalent amount of lazy garlic
- Piece of fresh ginger approximately 1 inch – save some for garnish
- 2 fresh tomatoes chopped or half a tin of chopped tomatoes
- Basaar curry spice mix (try to buying authentic Pakistani Basaar)
- 1 tsp of cumin seeds/cumin powder
- 6-7 cloves
- 1 tbsp of dried fenugreek
- 1 tsp of garam masala
- Small bunch of fresh coriander – chopped finely
- 4 green chillis (reduce depending on your spice tolerance!)
- 1 sliced lemon
Start by adding oil to the pan with the finely chopped onions.
Cook on a medium heat until light to golden brown.
Then add the freshly crushed ginger and garlic – if you’re using lazy garlic/ginger 1 tbsp.
Add salt to taste then add the fresh or tinned tomatoes.
Let this simmer for a few minutes then add 1 or 11/2 tbsp, or as desired, of basaar and stir to mix.
Add the chicken thighs and stir on a high heat for 5 mins or until golden, then reduce the heat to low, put the lid on the pan and let it all simmer for 20-25 mins, stirring a couple of times.
Turn the heat on high, add the cumin seeds, 3 chopped chillis and garlic cloves – keep gently stirring until the water evaporates and the sauce reduces or stop at your desired texture (if you want it restaurant style, turn off the heat when the water is evaporated 85-90%).
Add the fenugreek and garam masala to the pan, let it sit on the curry for a minute and then stir in.
When the oil separates from the masala – this is an indication as to when the curry is ready.
Finally garnish with chopped coriander, a chopped green chilli, the slices of lemon and a sprinkle of fresh ginger.
You can add the garnish just before you turn off the heat to let the flavours mix with your curry.