We’re going into week 753 of lockdown…. OK slight over exaggeration but some days it really feels like that and if you’re like us, putting on anything other than tracksuit bottoms and a vintage Tough Mudder finisher t-shirt, whilst dreaming of when we’ll be allowed to play in the mud again, is a big daily achievement. Thinking of new simple recipes and cooking dinner from scratch was a nice distraction for a few days, but now it’s pretty low down on the list of ‘what I’d like to do today’ after taking a nap, binge watching that new Netflix show, Zooming friends and family, starting that new craft you’ve been meaning to do for the last year and Marie Kondo’ing the sh*t out of the entire house.
No need to fear though, we’ve got 5 simple recipes to take the pressure off.
SPEEDY MOROCCAN MEATBALLS
This deliciously simple recipe serves 4 people and is a great dish to transport you outside your four walls and straight to Morocco, and all within 25 minutes. If you want something a bit more filling, or enough for leftovers, serve with couscous, rice, or whatever takes your fancy.
1tbsp Olive Oil
1 pack ready-made meatballs (approximately 16)
1 large onion, sliced
100g dried apricots, halved
1 small cinnamon stick (don’t worry if you don’t have one, use a good pinch of ground cinnamon)
400g tin chopped tomato with garlic
25g toasted flaked almonds
Handful chopped coriander
- Heat the oil in a large pan, then fry the meatballs for 10 minutes. Turn occasionally until cooked through.
- Set the meatballs aside and cook the sliced onions for 5 minutes until softened.
- Add dried apricots, cinnamon, tomatoes and half a can of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- If using a cinnamon stick, remove. Return the meatballs to the pan and stir until well coated and warmed through.
- Serve sprinkled with almonds and coriander, and whatever you decide on the side.
Source: Speedy Moroccan Meatballs
CHORIZO AND MOZZERELLA GNOCCHI BAKE
It’s time to update that old student favourite; cheesy tomato pasta bake for this more sophisticated, comforting bowl of deliciousness. This simple recipe serves 6 and takes a maximum of 35 minutes to make from scratch.
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
120g chorizo, diced
2 x 400g tin chopped tomato
1 tsp caster sugar
600g fresh gnocchi
125g mozzarella ball
Bunch of basil, torn
- Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and fry the onion and garlic for 8-10 minutes until soft.
- Add the chorizo and fry for 5 mins
- Add the tomatoes and sugar and season to taste
- Bring to a simmer and add the gnocchi. Cook for a further 8 minutes, stirring often until soft.
- Preheat the grill. Stir in ¾ of the mozzarella and most of the basil through the gnocchi.
- Pour mixture into an ovenproof dish. Top with the remaining mozzarella and grill for 3 mins or until the cheese is melted and golden.
- Scatter over remaining basil and serve with green salad (optional).
Source: Chorizo Mozzarella Gnocchi Bake
HAM AND CHEESE TORTILLA PIZZA
Our Lidl Mudder partner, Lidl has thought up this delicious, simple and lower-carb version of a pizza easily adapted to quickly become a family favourite by changing up the toppings. This version is for 4 people.
2 red peppers
2 red onions
4 slices of ham
4 tortilla wraps
4 tbsp tomato purée
4 handfuls of spinach
4 handfuls grated mozzarella
- Preheat your oven to 200∘C/ 180∘C fan gas mark 6
- Begin by preparing the toppings. Deseed the peppers and chop into even lengths. Finely slice the onion and shred the ham into small pieces.
- Place tortilla wraps on a baking sheet and spread tomato puréeevenly across, starting in the middle and working outwards.
- Scatter over the spinach, peppers and onions. Top with ham and grated cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 8-9 minutes, until crispy and golden.
Dreaming of those heady days when ordering takeaway whenever you liked was the norm. This quick flavourful veggie curry should help to fulfill some of those cravings in just 30 minutes. Serve this dish with rice or naan bread to feed 4 people.
3 tbsp vegetable oil
225g block of paneer, cut into 2cm cubes
1 onion, roughly chopped
Thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled
2 cloves garlic
5 tbsp korma paste
3 cardamom pods, crushed
70g ground almonds
500ml vegetable stock
100g greek yoghurt
- Heat 1tbsp of the oil in a deep pan over a medium-high heat. Add the paneer and fry for 5 minutes, turning regularly until nicely golden. Remove and put on a plate with kitchen roll
- Put the onion, ginger and garlic in a food processor with a small amount of water and blitz until smooth.
- Heat remaining oil over a medium-low heat and add the onion mixture with a pinch of salt. Fry for 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
- Add korma paste and cardamom and fry for 1 minute. Add ground almonds and fry for a further minute until a thick paste forms.
- Add vegetable stock, bring to the simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes or until reduced a little. Add the spinach and cook for 5 minutes. Stir through the greek yoghurt and paneer and season to taste.
- Serve with rice or warm naan bread.
Source: Paneer Korma
SALTED CARAMEL PROTEIN MOUSSE
Our friends at PHD Performance Nutrition have come up with a not so naughty dessert as an after dinner treat. This is a super simple, no cook recipe but does require a bit of forethought, and self control, to leave overnight to chill.
30g of PHD Salted Caramel Smart Protein
80ml of milk or dairy free alternative
Choice of toppings
- In a bowl, mix 30g (1 scoop) of PHD salted Caramel Smart Protein with 80ml of your chosen milk
- Leave in the fridge overnight to chill
- Add desired topping, e.g. fruit, maple syrup, desiccated coconut
Looking for more recipe inspiration? The Tough Mudder blog has plenty of nutritious and simple recipe ideas to keep you going. Enjoy these simple recipes.