3 Easy Weekday Dinners

Easy weekday dinners

Weekdays can be incredibly busy, but that doesn’t mean we have to resort to supermarket ready-meals.

Here, I have selected three recipes that take half an hour or less to prepare, so they are perfect for rustling up after a busy day at work.


Chorizo Fried Rice

Chorizo Fried Rice

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 476 per portion
Fat 24g (11g sat) per portion


  • Butter 15g (½oz)
  • Garlic 1 clove, peeled and crushed
  • Mushrooms 50g (2oz), wiped and sliced
  • Microwave basmati rice 250g packet
  • Chorizo 75g (3oz), chopped
  • Egg 1, beaten
  • Frozen peas 75g (3oz)
  • Frozen sweetcorn 75g (3oz)
  • Soy sauce 1–2 tbsp


  1. Melt the butter in a wok or frying pan over a medium heat and sauté the garlic and mushrooms for 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the rice in the microwave according to the packet’s instructions.
  3. Add the chorizo and egg to the pan and cook until lightly scrambled.
  4. Add the peas and sweetcorn and cook for 2 minutes and then add the rice and mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes until everything is hot.
  5. Serve on warmed plates sprinkled with soy sauce.

Cook’s tips You could replace the mushrooms with peppers, if you prefer. For an even more cost-effective meal you could cook your own basmati rice rather than using the microwave version. It will just take a little longer to prepare.


Mushroom Pancakes

Mushroom Pancakes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 413 per portion
Fat 26g (12.7g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians


  • Plain flour 110g (4oz) plus 2 tbsp
  • Egg 1
  • Milk 700ml (1 pint 4fl oz)
  • Vegetable oil for brushing
  • Butter 75g (3oz)
  • Mushrooms 450g (1lb) button or mixed, wiped and sliced
  • Mustard ½ tsp
  • Chopped parsley 2 tbsp
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cheddar cheese 50g (2oz) (optional)
  • Green salad to serve (optional)


  1. To make the pancakes, sift 110g (4oz) of flour into a bowl and break in the egg. Gradually add 125ml (4fl oz) milk, beating to form a smooth batter. Pour in another 125ml (4fl oz) milk and beat until smooth.
  2. Brush a non-stick frying pan with oil and pour in enough of the pancake batter to coat the base. Cook until the pancake moves freely, turn and cook until golden. Repeat until you have 8 pancakes. Keep warm.
  3. Melt 50g (2oz) of the butter in a deep frying pan over a medium heat and fry the mushrooms for 4–5 minutes, until softened and starting to brown. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
  4. Melt the remaining butter in the pan and add the 2 tbsp flour. Cook for 1–2 minutes, then gradually add the remaining milk, beating well and allowing the mixture to come to the boil between each addition of milk. Simmer the sauce gently for 2 minutes, then stir in the mustard, parsley, mushrooms and seasoning.
  5. Preheat the grill to hot. Divide the mushroom mixture between the pancakes, and fold or roll each one up. Place them on a buttered dish, sprinkle with cheese if you like and then place under the grill until the cheese melts and turns golden. Serve immediately with a green salad, if using.

Cook’s tips If you have any bacon in the fridge, chop up a few rashers, fry them and
add to the mushrooms. You could use tarragon in place of the parsley.



Salmon, Lemon & Asparagus Pancakes

Salmon, Lemon & Asparagus Pasta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 655 per portion
Fat 35g (20.8g sat) per portion


  • Tagliatelle 300g (11oz)
  • Asparagus tips 100/125g pack, halved
  • Butter 25g (1oz)
  • Frozen peas 150g (5oz)
  • Crème fraîche 250ml pot
  • Milk 4 tbsp
  • Lemon 1, grated zest only
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Ready-cooked lemon and herb salmon 185g packet, flaked


  1. Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the tagliatelle and cook for about 10–12 minutes, or according to packet’s instructions, until just tender.
  2. Add the asparagus tips during the last 4 minutes, then drain well.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the peas, then stir in the crème fraîche, milk and lemon zest (reserving a little for garnish). Heat gently, stirring, for about 3 minutes, then season to taste.
  4. Drain the pasta, then return it to the saucepan and add the sauce, stirring gently to mix. Divide between 4 warmed bowls. Scatter with the salmon flakes and lemon zest and serve at once.

Cook’s tip Use unwaxed lemons if possible, otherwise just scrub ordinary ones thoroughly before grating the zest. Remember to use only the yellow part – the white pith has a bitter flavour and will spoil the taste of the dish.



Fantastic Food For Less cookbookAll of these scrummy recipes are taken from our cookbook, Fantastic Food for Less.

This is one of the cookbooks that I refer to most and I can highly recommend it.

Click here for more information or to order.





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