Trying to find meals that everyone likes is a challenge and half. Something that almost every family in the country faces every single week. Chuck in the need to make everything healthy too, I'm sure many families struggle with finding ideas.
As FFIT Cymru's new Food Expert, as well as a Mam, and busy person who enjoys keeping fit, I always aim to prepare and cook balanced meals that appeal to the whole family. For this series of FFIT Cymru, I set myself the challenge of creating healthy versions of my favourite takeaway foods, including fish and chips, noodles, chicken katsu curry, and even meat balls from that huge furniture store that we all love!
Other than creating delicious meals, the most important thing for me is to reduce the amount of food waste. You'll see that several recipes use the same or similar vegetables, so you could create a few meals throughout the week using the same vegetable. And don't assume this will mean cooking them the same way for these different meals - not at all! Use a carrot to make a sauce, or a pickle, and as an ingredient in a tagine - appreciate the versatility of the carrot!
Don't worry about having to buy loads of veggies and worrying about them rotting, I'm a massive fan of tinned food. From tuna for salads, and the man of the hour - chickpeas and tinned tomatoes, 2 of my favourite ingredients in the entire world. You can buy so many ingredients as frozen, which helps prevent food waste too.
To make life even easier, create a plan of what recipes you'll be eating throughout the week, and check first of all which ingredients you have in the house already, to avoid buying anything you already have. Then create your shopping list and stick to it!
I often cook two meals in one night, and freeze the one that we don't eat, or place it in the fridge ready for the next day. This means you won't have to cook every night, only every other night or every now and then, and you'll only need to reheat meals that you cooked the night or the week before. The freezer saves my backside so many nights in the week, especially when I'm tired and hungry.
The main intention here with these recipes is that they're healthy, and to achieve this, you will have to stick to the exact measurements - especially when using any oil.
Lastly - enjoy! The recipes were made for two people, so its easy to double up to be suitable to groups of four, six, eight etc; or you could double up to have the meal again later in the week.