Food // Speedy Dinner Ideas on a Budget

Lately I feel like I’ve slipped in old habits and been eating out rather than making meals at home that cost half the price. So to get back into cooking, I took a trip to Aldi and filled the fridge with loads of fresh veggies to give me a much needed kick up the bum to make meals from scratch again!

Since we got Molly, our French bulldog puppy, when I get in from work I want to play and enjoy puppy cuddles so I’ve been enjoying tried and tested recipes that don’t need hours spent in the kitchen! I cook for the two of us and I hate spending loads on random ingredients when I can rustle up a few tasty meals using the same range of ingredients throughout the week.

Chicken, Leek & Mushroom Pasta Bake


Everyone loves a pasta bake and you can’t go wrong with a chicken, leek and mushroom combo plus a cheesy sauce! It’s dead easy and requires minimal effort.

Chop up and gently fry your chicken and veg for 10 minutes in a large frying pan. Add in crème fraiche and a vegetable stock cube and then transfer to a large baking tray and go to town with the grated cheese on top. The more the better I always say!

Veggie Ragu


Ragu is a new one to my repertoire but it’s essentially like a spag bol sauce. Chuck every veg you have in the fridge into a frying pan, add a carton of passata, dash of paprika and simmer.

I throw red onion, courgette, peppers, mushrooms and leeks into mine. Serve with rice and eat!

Mediterranean Roast Chicken


 So far I’ve only made this once but it was an instant success! People are often shocked when I say this but I’m not a huge roast dinner fan. But this is a great twist on a classic.

Marinate your chicken with dried herbs and then sear the chicken and your chosen veg in a pan. I used two chicken breasts, leeks, mushrooms and red onion. Add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and soy sauce to the pan. Cook through for 5 minutes and then transfer to an ovenproof dish and bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

I served this with sweet potato mash and mixed veg and it was a lovely Sunday roast that takes less than half an hour to cook!

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