- a blog about food and value

Recipes: Fast, easy and healthy food

Having a couple of pre-packed smoked mackeral fillets in the fridge can be turned into a delicious dish quickly

Having a couple of pre-packed smoked mackerel fillets in the fridge can be turned into a delicious dish quickly

I work mostly from home but I have been working quite a bit in the city lately. Living in the sticks and having no car means I have to contend with an epic journey home.

After enduring the longest Dublin bus journey in history (even longer than the 17 bus route), I then have a thirty minute vertical cycle up the side of a mountain. As you can imagine, I arrive home quite late and the last thing I want to do is potter around the kitchen preparing a long and complicated meal.

This lack of energy quite often leads to bad eating habits and a reliance on ready-meals which are expensive and plain bad for you. Well there are a few dishes that are fast, easy but also satisfying. Whether it’s a hearty meal or a simple salad, these are the perfect solution for a tired and hungry soul looking for nourishment.

Later in the week I’ll have some more fast and easy recipes including some delicious quick desserts.

Cod with tarator and pine nuts

Sauté an onion in olive oil. Add tarator (tahini mixed with lemon juice and water) and let bubble for a few minutes. Spoon over pan-fried black cod fillets. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and serve with a salad or boiled baby potatoes.

Lamb chops with chickpea purée and flatbread

Grill three lamb chops per person while you drain a 400g tin of chickpeas. Dry roast a teaspoon of cumin seeds for literally half a minute and pop them in a food processor with the chickpeas, one level tablespoon of tomato purée, three tablespoons of olive oil and the juice of half a lemon. Blitz the mixture. Season the chickpea purée to your liking and serve it with the lamb chops and a flatbread like pitta or naan. A knot of coriander leaves mixed with rocket is optional as a garnish.

Smoked mackerel with beetroot and horseradish

Flake a pair of smoked mackerel fillets roughly and toss them with cooked beetroot, watercress, sliced shallots and capers. Grate fresh horseradish into a small tub of sour cream and season it with salt and pepper. Serve the salad and the cream with plenty of crusty bread

15-minute fried herbed chicken

In a blender or food processor, combine one onion, one to two tablespoons mixed fresh herbs, such as tarragon and sage, and two tablespoons of tahini or peanut butter. As you purée the mixture, slowly add just enough olive oil to make a thick, smooth paste – do not let it get too thin. Put a little flour in a shallow bowl. Place six boneless, skinless chicken thighs or four half-breasts in another bowl. Rub the puréed mixture over the chicken, then dip each piece in flour. Gently shake off any excess, coat again with paste and dip again in the flour. Heat half a cm of olive oil in a pan; when it is hot, fry the chicken for about four minutes each side until browned and cooked through. Garnish with parsley and serve hot or warm, with lemon wedges.


  1. yum yum…they all sound great!! 😀
    one of my fast and easy suppers at the mo is stuffed flat cap mushrooms (included in supervalu’s 3 for €4) chop one glove of garlic, one pepper,some spring onion,courgette or any veg lurking in the bottom drawer of the fridge pile into the mushroom,top with a dollop of spreadable goats cheese,season and grill for 8 mins! delicious served with a salad and crusty bread!!

  2. Just the other day I was trying to use up a whole load of field mushrooms, this looks like an excellent solution, quick too. Thanks.