I’ve been trying really hard to eat healthily lately and during that journey, I have been attempting to cook for myself. I even used this as an opportunity for some self-care and a distraction from my mental health issues. I find the process of finding a recipe, going to buy the ingredients and giving it a go to be a really rewarding self-care strategy. Although I can be a little bit dangerous in the kitchen and while cooking one of these recipes, I did set fire to a pair of oven gloves and narrowly avoided having to evacuate the entire block of flats. Let’s just say Masterchef may not be in my future, but I hope that I can continue to make some delicious food and not injure myself or others.
Korean Bulgogi “beef” with rice
After my travels, I found a love of Korean food but being a pescetarian I never tried Korean BBQ or Bulgogi beef. In Tesco, I was looking at the “Street Kitchen” meal kits and I found one that was for Korean Bulgogi beef. I decided to give it a go with some Quorn steak strips! It was really easy to make, I just cooked the streak strips first with some onion and peppers in the ginger and garlic paste from the meal kit. Then I added the bulgogi sauce and let it simmer. I served it with some plain rice and it made a really delicious meal. The one downside to this meal kit is that it serves 3-4 people and I only cook for myself, so I used about half. When I calculated the calories for the meal, it was approximately 409 calories.
Prawn Pad Thai
This recipe I actually got from watching This Morning while I was off work on sick leave, but I tweaked it a bit. I cooked prawns with garlic and coriander in my pan, before adding cooked rice noodles (they sat in boiling water for 2 minutes beforehand). I then put a generous amount of soy sauce in and mixed together. I finished it off by adding spring onion, peppers, and some chilies and letting it all simmer until cooked. This was a really quick and easy recipe that was really tasty! There was very little needed to prepare beforehand and I saved extra time as I always use the pots of Lazy Garlic and Lazy Chilies to make my food. This meal is approximately 400 calories.
“Beef” noodle stir fry
I had the other half of the Quorn Steak strips in the freezer so I decided to be creative and make up my own dish. I knew I have lots of rice and noodles in my cupboard and that I just needed a sauce and some veggies. I had a look around in Tesco and picked up some broccoli and mushrooms, but I was stuck on what sauce to use. In the stir fry section, I saw a Plum and Hoisin sauce which sounded interesting so I gave it a go. I cooked the steak strips first before adding the broccoli after 5 minutes. I seasoned it with garlic and coriander while I cooked my noodles in boiling water. I added them to the stir-fry and cooked for a few more minutes before adding the sauce. I don’t know if the flavours really went well together at all, but I enjoyed it! This meal was approximately 480 calories.
Teryaki Sea Bass
Another pescetarian meal here using one of my favourite types of fish, sea bass. I cooked the sea bass using the Japanese Teryaki Chicken meal kit, so you could also make this using quorn chicken or tofu if you are a vegetarian. I mixed the Garlic and Ginger paste into the sea bass first, before adding it to a hot wok and searing. Instead of adding vegetables to the pan, I was working with whatever I had in the fridge so I roasted some asparagus in the oven. I added the teryaki sauce to the pan and allowed the sea bass to simmer until it was cooked, before serving it on a bed of rice with the asparagus. The pack also had some sesame seeds to sprinkle on the top. This meal is approximately 556 calories.
Another Korean recipe, but this one came from a Simply Cook box. I used to get weekly boxes and use them regularly, but as I became busier with work and wanted easier meals I made my boxes less regular and I’m still catching up on the backlog of recipes I hadn’t used. This is one of my favourite meals to cook. For this meal, all you need is cabbage, onion, rice and an egg (along with the paste and sauces provided in the box). First, cook your rice in one pan and stir-fry cabbage in another. The trick is to cook the rice so that it is slightly underdone so that when you add it to your other pan it starts to fry. Put the cabbage to one side and cook the rice for 5 minutes. Add in the Gochujang and Doenjang sauces along with the spring onions, before returning the cabbage to the pan and cooking it all together. Finish the dish off by topping it with a fried egg. It’s delicious. This meal is approximately 450 calories.