How to do it

 

1. Buying your food.

  • First, have a look and see if there’s anything in your fridge that needs eating. From the day before,  or even the week before that!

  • If your fridge food jumps out at you, you’ve got a problem. :-) Live food, when it’s supposed to be dead, is not a good thing! If you can catch it, tape it up and throw it in the bin before it attacks you.

  • If there’s nothing edible in your fridge, go out to the supermarket, and head straight for the reduced/clearance section. Check out the special offers too.

  • Buy food that appeals to you that’s reduced, or is on offer.

  • Remember that ‘Best Before’ dates allow for the time it’s taken for the food to reach the supermarket shelves, and they normally over-compensate so that the food looks as good as possible for the shopper. But be careful with chicken, pork and fish. If the ‘Sell By’ date is today, cook it today and don’t keep it.

  • Beef, lamb and root vegetables will keep for days past their ‘Sell By’ or ‘Best Before’ dates.

  • Don’t be afraid of using leftovers. I use them all the time.

 

2. Food selection for your Supper

 

  • Make sure you’ve got a good balance: at least 2 green or red vegetables for the supper you’re cooking, as well as one starch (potato, noodles, or rice) dish. As a non-vegetarian, I think that meat is an essential part of the mix.

  • You can include raw vegetables in the mix. Fruit too. Just because other parts of your meal are cooked, it doesn’t have to mean that everything is.

  • Aim for an interesting colour balance. Your Easy Supper should look fun to eat, as well as being nutritious. And food colour, especially in vegetables, is a bonus nutritionally.

  • Never be afraid to flout convention. I do all the time! Cook what tastes good to you. So what if someone says that this food should go with that? It really doesn't matter. It's you eating it, not them!

 

3. Treats

 

  • Although there are always bargains to be had in the clearance section, sometimes I feel like splashing out, because what I fancy just isnte there, or because (and this is very rare!) I think I can afford it. For example, I wanted to serve the sea bass and salmon raw (see the fish page), or fillet of beef to make carpaccio, which is raw (see the beef page). These sorts of things are never reduced, and I'd only buy them ultra-fresh for this sort of raw dish. So doing this is definitely not necessary on a normal basis, and I only ever do it as a special treat to indulge myself!

4. Tips for cooking your food

  • When frying, always put some olive oil in the pan, and heat it first before adding the food. It should be very hot before you add the food to be cooked. Meat (and vegetables like onions or garlic) should sizzle when they hit he pan.

  • Always make sure the water in the pan is boiling before adding the vegetables.

  • Don’t overcook things. Meat or vegetables. Meat should always be pink (apart from pork and chicken), and green vegetables are best on the crunchy side. That way, you get all the goodness that occurs naturally, and don't destroy it. 

  • Having said you should not overcook anything, don’t worry if sometimes you do (apart from green vegetables). A bit of charcoal on the outside of meat or potatoes doesn’t harm anyone.

  • Unless your supper is cold, always heat the plate for a couple of minutes in the microwave. It will keep the food you put on it at the right temperature to eat.

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5. What you don’t need for My Easy Suppers:

 

  • A fancy kitchen

  • A blender

  • A mixer

  • Pretension

Legal disclaimer: Nick Davies and My Easy Suppers accept no responsibility or liability for the consequences of what you eat. Always be sensible when handling and preparing food!