Sometimes the thought of getting dinner on the table at the end of a long day at work seems like an impossible task - and on the nights when jack frost has come calling it’s oh so tempting to curl up with a nice glass of red and tell the family to fend for themselves.
Dinner for the family – or an impressive spread for friends – doesn’t need to be difficult (or expensive!). There are plenty of things you (or heaven forbid, your other half) can make that don’t just taste great, they’re super-simple to make. Here are our favourite winter recipes:
Slow it down
There’s a reason the slow food revolution is so popular and it’s because you can pretty much set and forget. Investing in a slow cooker will only set you back around $60 and for the time that you’ll save it’s money well spent.
Everyone loves Mexican and for an easy winter dinner that only takes a few minutes to prepare, just throw 500 grams of beef mince into the crockpot and add 1 cup of stock, I cup of water, 1 tsp of cumin, 2 tsp of chilli powder, 1 tin of diced tomatoes and 100 grams of cream cheese. Mix together until combined, put the lid on your crockpot and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours. At the end of this time, add cooked and drained pasta shells and some grated cheese then cook uncovered for another 15 minutes. That’s it! Job done.
Turn it up
It’s time to turn up the oven for an easy peasy dinner that won’t keep you chained to the kitchen! Just take some boneless chicken breasts and smother with basil pesto then bake at 180 degrees for around 40 minutes. Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top and continue cooking until the cheese is melted. Serve with rice or pasta.
For those days when even the slow cooker seems like too much effort try quick and easy chicken and pasta. Just grab yourself a cooked whole chicken from the supermarket and serve it with this delicious one-pan pasta dish. Just place 350 grams of linguine into a pan (you may need to break it up a little if you pan isn’t wide enough) then add 350 grams of chopped tomatoes, 1 chopped onion, 1 clove of chopped garlic, ½ tsp of chilli flakes, salt and pepper and a handful of fresh herbs if you have them. Pour over 4.5 cups of water and a good couple of glugs of olive oil then bring to the boil and cook for around 9 minutes. Give it a few stirs while it’s cooking then serve with your roast chicken. Simple, fast and delicious.
Spice it up
Here’s one of the simplest one pot dinners you’ll ever make. It’s an insanely easy spicy Asian noodle recipe that has just 5 ingredients. Use the left over chicken from the chicken and pasta recipe above and you’ll have dinner made in a flash. Just put spaghetti noodles in a large pot with 4 cups of water, 1 cup of peanut sauce (buy from the supermarket or make your own by mixing together peanut butter, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and water). Bring to the boil then simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes – at this stage the sauce should start to thicken and the pasta will be tender. Toss in some chopped spring onions, chicken and a handful of chopped peanuts. Stir to coat then serve and enjoy.
So there you have a few ideas to take the stress out of dinnertime. But if you really want to de-stress and indulge in a little me time, why not check out our flexible mini-loans and find out how easy it is to get some extra cash for when you need it. Once approved, we can usually get a payment into your bank account within 24 hours so stop stressing and start relaxing.