Try these store-cupboard recipe ideas fit for family and friends

Waste not WANT NOT

Nutritious and tasty meals needn’t take time. Try these store-cupboard recipe ideas fit for family and friends.

Often referred to as Ireland’s answer to Nigella, the blonde and beautiful Rachel Allen reveals a feast of nutritious and inventive ways to use up leftovers in her latest book Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen (Harper Collins, £25). “This book began around Christmas 2012, when I was writing a completely different book,’ says Allen. ‘I had so many people asking me what to do with all their leftovers, as it seems such as waste to throw them out. Of course, you can make something very delicious with the carcass of a chicken or some leftover cooked vegetables. It’s simply a case of planning how you eat and shop.’Allen’s time is taken up with teaching at the famous Ballymaloe Cookery School, and filming a 13-part TV series, also called Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen, for UKTV 1 Food, so it’s impressive that she’s able to plan such | economic meals for her family.

I love thinking of new ways to use up every single bit of food. For example, S I have a chicken I roasted for lunch on Saturday. I sent my husband and son off to football with chicken sandwiches on Sunday and today [Monday] I’m going to use the leftover meat in a salad and then cook up the carcass with some garlic, carrots, onion and herbs for a couple of hours to make stock.’ And this is the type of cooking Rachel promotes in her book – cook once, but produce a couple of healthy dinners for the week in a flash.Planning ahead needn’t be a time-consuming operation. For example. Allen suggests cooking a big batch of quinoa at the weekend to use throughout the week – try her Nutty Quinoa Salad (below) served with roasted veg and feta. Or, mix quinoa with yoghurt and berries for a breakfast. Alternatively, warm it with a little milk and a few chopped apricots as an alternative to porridge. ‘This grain is so versatile, you can use it to create a number of dishes with great flavour and texture,’ says Allen. Try the following recipes and see if doubling the quantities or reserving portions for meals later in the week saves you time, too.

Try these store-cupboard recipe ideas fit for family and friends Photo Gallery



Per serving: 391 calories, 13g protein, 23g fat, (5.5g saturated fat), 34g carbohydrates, 12g sugar, 1g salt, 5,5g fibre

1 small butternut squash, cut into 3cm chunks

10 sprigs of thyme

50ml olive oil

Salt and black pepper

50g whole almonds (skins on)

250ml water or vegetable or chicken stock

125g quinoa

100g feta cheese, crumbled

into 1cm chunks

4 tbsp parsley, chopped

1.Pre-heat the oven to 200cC/ gas mark 6. Place the squash in a roasting tin with the thyme and olive oil. Mix together, season and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until slightly caramelised. Remove from the oven and set aside in a bowl.

2.While the squash is roasting, ” scatter the almonds on a baking tray and place in the oven for five minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove and chop.

3.Meanwhile, pour the water or 45 stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the quinoa and some salt and pepper, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed.

4.Add the quinoa to the roasted squash, chopped nuts, feta and parsley. Mix well, taste for seasoning, adding some more salt and freshly ground black pepper if necessary.

Try these  store cupboard recipe ideas fit for family and friends


Serves: 4-6

Per serving: 665 calories, 3g protein, 27g fat (12g saturated fat), 69g carbohydrate 2g sugar, 2g salt, 0.8g fibre

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

350g risotto rice

11t chicken or fish stock

200ml white wine

Juice of %-1 lemon

6 asparagus spears sliced into

3cm lengths

50g creme fraîche

25g butter

1 tbsp chopped dill

170g smoked salmon, thinly sliced

75g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Salt and black pepper

1 tsp lemon zest, to serve

1.Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and garlic, then cover and cook for eight to 10 minutes until soft but not browned. Add the rice and stir for two minutes, Heat the stock in another saucepan and keep at a very gentle simmer.

2. Pour the wine into the rice mixture.“ Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for three minutes. Add a ladleful of stock and half the lemon juice and continue to stir until most of the stock has been absorbed, then add another ladleful and continue stirring. Continue in this way until all of the stock has been incorporated and the rice is creamy and just al dente. This should take no more than 25 minutes.

3.Meanwhile, cook the asparagus in ‘> boiling water for three minutes, until tender, then drain and set aside.

4.Stir in the creme fraîche, butter, dill, smoked salmon and 50g of the Parmesan, then season with salt and pepper and add more lemon juice, if necessary. Remove from the heat: the risotto should be wet and loose in consistency, not thick and porridge-like.

5.Serve with the asparagus scattered over the top. Add a sprinkling of dill, lemon zest and plenty of black pepper, andscatter over the remaining Parmesan.


Serves: 6

Per serving: 359 calories, 4g protein 20g fat (3.5g saturated fat), 31 g carbohydrate, 18g sugar, 0.8g salt, 8g fibre

3 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

V? tbsp each smoked paprika,

ground ginger, ground turmeric,

and ground cinnamon

2 x 400g cans chickpeas

50g dried apricots, halved

50g pitted dates, halved

Large pinch of saffron, soaked

in 2 tbsp boiling water

2 x 400 g cans

chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp honey

100 g baby spinach

1.Pour the oil into a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and fry, until golden around the edges. Stir in the spices with one teaspoon of black pepper and two teaspoons of salt and cook for a further two minutes.

2. Next add the chickpeas, “ apricots, dates, saffron and soaking liquid, tomatoes and honey.

3. Pour in 300ml of water and ° bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture is quite thick.

4.Stir in the spinach and wilt.To serve, scatter with coriander leaves, flaked almonds, wedges of lemon or lime and Greek yoghurt.


Creating frugal feasts is a smart and satisfying way to make the most of good-quality ingredients. Try these ideas:

.Boiled or roasted potatoes are a great food to have on standby in your fridge. If using floury potatoes, such as Golden Wonders, peel them after boiling, as they tend to absorb too much water if cooked without their skins, and collapse once cooked.

.Pasta sauces are perfect candidates for cooking in batches and storing in the fridge or freezer. Make them in double quantities.

.A slice or two of leftover quiche or tart is an ideal base for a packed lunch – my favourite is spinach, bacon and Gruyere frittata.

Try these  store cupboard recipe ideas fit for family and friends

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