Sometimes it’s really fun to get your MasterChef on, whip out a glossy recipe book and put together a fancy new recipe. Sometimes you just want to put on your PJs after a long day and work and put your feet up and relax, and not spend 3 hours in the kitchen making a meal that’s just going to be eaten in a few minutes. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you want take away!
The common misconception is that cooking up a delicious, healthy meal is time consuming and expensive. I’m going to try to disprove that by posting some QUICK DINNER recipes. I grew up in a good, traditional Italian family, where mum put a homemade dinner on the table every single night without exception, no matter how tight money was or how exhausted she was after her long days. I think it’s because of this upbringing that I really believe everyone should have access to delicious food that is good for you, fun to put together but not necessarily time consuming or expensive. I get it, sometimes you just can’t be stuffed. But I want people to see that you can still put a great dinner on the table without resorting to Maccas!
First up in the QUICK DINNER series is pork steaks with apples and lentils. You can cheat and save a bit of time by using tinned lentils and dried sage, without compromising on goodness or flavour at all. It doesn’t take more than 20 minutes, start to finish, and it’s a reallllyyy delicious winter dinner. Here’s how to throw it together…
What you need (to make dinner for 2):
- cooking spray oil
- 2 pork steaks (standard serving is around 135g each)
- salt and pepper
- 1 large or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 large apple (I like to use Fuji apples), skin on, sliced thinly
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 x 400g tin of lentils, drained
- sage (you can use dried sage here)
- 1 handful baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
What to do:
- Heat a large non-stick fry pan over medium heat (not high – pork doesn’t like to be seared, it dries out really easily!); spray a coating of cooking oil and add a bit of butter (just enough to coat the pan).
- Add the pork and season with a little salt and pepper. Cook for 2 – 3min on each side, or to your preference (I like mine a little pink inside still).
- Once cooked, remove from the heat and cover with foil to keep warm while resting.
- Add some more butter to the pan, about twice as much as you used for the pork; once melted, add the shallots and cook for a minute, stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Turn the heat up to high, throw in the apples and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Stir that around, then add in 2tbsp water to help de-glaze the pan and caramelise the apples a little. Cook, stirring constantly for 2 – 3min.
- Stir in the lentils and sage next and cook for another minute or two.
- Finally, stir in the baby spinach until just wilted. Spoon the mix onto a plate, slice up the pork, and serve that on top!