Whether you like to plan your weekly menus, or you’re a throw-it-together-on-impulse type of eater, an exciting midweek dinner will work wonders for getting you through the week. If your stamina’s flagging, one of these healthy, balanced and satisfying dinners like these will help keep your energy levels up, give you a better night’s sleep and hopefully stop you reaching for pork scratchings and kebabs. Make an effort. You’ll be glad you did.
SPANISH TORTILLA AND SALAD
Not the thin flatbread used to make wraps, nor the chips that go with dips, but a Spanish tortilla, or thick omelette filled with veg.
Fry a small onion until soft, then add some cooked potato chunks and three beaten eggs, cooking gently over a moderate heat and moving the mixture with a spatula to cook all the egg. Put a lid on the pan and leave it for a few minutes to set – the edges and base should be golden and the middle still a bit ‘loose’. Now flip it over onto a plate, and serve with a mixed leaves, tomato and avocado salad, dressed with olive oil and fresh herbs.
There’s protein from the eggs to give you energy, boost your tired brain and satisfy your hunger. And there’s also omega 3 in the olive oil, which is great for lowering mid-week anxiety, plus lots of vitamins and minerals in the salad for optimum overall health benefits. Or you could try…
Oft-derided lentils are so good for you that they should be made compulsory. In fact, eating plant-based protein like lentils has been shown in studies to make you live longer. And they’re delicious too if you know how to cook them right.
Fry some garlic and a small onion until soft then add a pouch of Puy lentils, half a teaspoon of paprika and some stock and black pepper. Simmer the lentils gently then tip them onto a plate. Fry an egg in olive oil and top the lentils with it. Serve with a green salad with a little olive oil as dressing.
Apart from the double-whammy of protein (eggs and lentils), you’re also getting iron, vitamins and minerals from the lentils as well as fibre – which is excellent for digestion. All this plus omega 3 fats and tons more vitamins and minerals in the salad and paprika, plus garlic to boost your immune system and fight off lurgies.
… AND FOR DESSERT?
If you can’t live without dessert, avoid shop-bought cakes and pastries that are packed with sugar and additives. Bake brownies or a banana loaf at the weekend and serve with Greek yogurt and a few dark chocolate cacao nibs or a handful of almonds. Or make a big fruit salad to last a few days, including exciting fruits like kiwi, pineapple, figs or Sharon fruit.