Cooking is a skill that some find comes naturally. Yet for many people, cooking seems like a task better left to the professionals. But making healthy and nutritious meals can be much quicker and easier than you may think.
Making food that tastes great is all about trial and error. Luckily the chef’s among us have put many hours into practising recipes, learning from their mistakes along the way, meaning you don’t have to.
Basic cooking is a valuable skill to have and everyone should be able to prepare a handful of meals for themselves. So, if you’re ready to say goodbye to the delivery driver and hello to the stand mixer, below are 6 simply-made meals that are perfect for beginners.
Spaghetti Bolognese is a simple meal that’s easy to prepare and tastes incredible. What’s more, a basic spaghetti bolognese can be made quite cheaply and you can develop your recipe as your cooking skills improve.
- Heat a small amount of oil in a large frying pan and once hot, add your beef mince. Once the mince is cooked through transfer it into a bowl and set to one side for later.
- Add onions, garlic and grated carrot to the pan and cook gently until the onions are soft. Once the onions are cooked you can add the cooked mince back to the pan.
- Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and stock to the mixture. Season, give everything a good mix and then simmer on a low to medium heat for 30-40 minutes.
- Whilst your sauce thickens, cook the spaghetti. For perfectly cooked pasta add a good amount of salt to your water. Once the pasta is cooked mix with your sauce and serve!
Tortilla Pizza With Side Salad
Everyone loves pizza, but not everyone has the time to make it! These quick and easy tortilla pizzas take less than 15 minutes and are great for sharing.
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
- Place your tortilla on a sheet of baking paper. Cover your tortilla with an even layer of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.
- Add your favourite pizza toppings and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
- Slice into wedges and serve with a side salad.
A cooked breakfast is the ultimate comfort meal and can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Get inspiration for your perfect cooked breakfast from what’s being served in your local cafe, or stick with the basics for a filling meal that’s ready in less than 30 minutes.
Choc Chip Cookies
You can’t call yourself a home cook without knowing how to cook at least one dessert. This cookie recipe base can be customised with your favourite flavours, so experiment with what you choose to add to your cookie dough to create your signature sweet treat.
- Combine 275g of plain flour with 110g of sugar in a large mixing bowl. If you would like to use dry spices such as cinnamon add these now.
- Cream 225g of butter with a stand mixer or wooden spoon. Beat the butter until it is soft and fluffy.
- Add the dry ingredients to the mixture in batches until fully incorporated. Be careful not to over mix your cookie dough.
- Add chocolate chips, nuts, fruit or any other fillings you desire.
- Roll your finished dough into walnut-sized balls. They can now be baked in the oven at 180C for 12-15 minutes. Alternatively, you can store your raw cookies in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to bake them.
- Let your cookies cool for 15-20 minutes, serve and enjoy!
Vegetable Stir Fry
This vegetarian option can be eaten as a main meal or a shared side dish. Again, this is a recipe designed for you to make it your own, adding your favourite vegetables and flavours to the mix. Dishes like this vegetable stir fry are perfect for those living alone as you can make only what you need and it’s also a great way of using up any vegetables that may be wasted otherwise. Stir fry is all about preparation, so chop all of your veggies and make your sauce prior to heating the wok.
- Chop all of your chosen veggies ready to toss into the wok or deep frying pan when hot.
- Heat your chosen oil in a pan.
- Cook your vegetables until they’re tender.
- Stir in your chosen stir fry sauce.
- Serve with rice or noodles.
This salmon recipe is a real showstopper and no one would ever know just how easy it is to throw together. What’s more, the salmon and other ingredients are all baked on one pan making the after-dinner clean up that much easier.
- Bake potatoes in the oven as these will take a little longer to cook through than other ingredients.
- Once cooked add salmon fillets and other vegetables of your choice to the same baking tray. Asparagus works well for this recipe.
- Mix melted butter, crushed garlic and lemon juice and pour this mixture over everything on your baking tray.
- Cook in a medium to hot oven until the vegetables and salmon are cooked to your liking.
Hopefully, at least one of these recipes above has tickled your tastebuds and inspired you to get into the kitchen. Cooking is all about experimenting with flavours and each of the recipes listed are designed to be customised to your liking.