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Stock up and make healthy meals with one fortnightly shop

Want to reduce your supermarket trips and still eat nutritious food? Take dietitian Orla Walsh's shopping list for two weeks of easy-to-make nourishing dinners

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Chicken in almond apple sauce

Chicken in almond apple sauce

Coco-noodley

Coco-noodley

Meat-free Monday

Meat-free Monday

Fish Curry

Fish Curry

Dietary plan: Orla Walsh

Dietary plan: Orla Walsh

Chicken in almond apple sauce

During this challenging time, certain foods can be hard to come by. For this reason, and to follow a more sustainable diet, it's important to focus on foods with a longer shelf life, as well as those that are in season. This will also help you to visit your local shop less, reducing your need to leave your home.

Foods that are frozen are a nutritious, convenient and often more affordable choice. Due to the longer shelf life and using what you need, they can help reduce food waste and be a more sustainable option. Another option is fruit and vegetables in a tin or jar. They too can be a nutritious option. However, it's important to watch out for added ingredients, including salt and sugar.

For fresh fruit and vegetables, focusing on in-season produce that is grown locally can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from food. Fruits and vegetables that are in season at the moment include leeks, pak choi, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, scallions, peppers and tomatoes, purple sprouting broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, kale, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, potatoes, rhubarb, swedes and radish.

Freezing leftovers, or batch cooking, can help save time and money. It will also help reduce food waste.

Eating a varied diet benefits your immune system and tends to be better for gut health. So it's important to enjoy lots of different foods across the week. Many people build their main meals around the protein source at meal time. To help build a plan with variety, it's helpful to set different choices to different days.

For example, meat-free Monday, red meat on Tuesday, fish on Wednesday, chicken on Thursday, dairy on Friday, fish on Saturday and a one-pot meal on Sunday. Here are some of my favourite recipes (each approx 4 adult servings) to help build variety and balance into your week.

Each meal provides a source of protein, carbohydrate, as well as a source of colour.

Tuna pasta bake

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, pressed

3 tins of tuna

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

300ml passata

1 tin chopped tomatoes

100g cheddar, grated

300g wholegrain penne pasta

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

2. Add the oil, onion and garlic to a frying pan and fry for 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Into the pan add the passata, chopped tomatoes, thyme and oregano and turn up the heat until it bubbles.

Reduce the heat and simmer while you make the pasta.

4. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water as per instructions on the pack. Usually 10 to 12 minutes. Once cooked, drainimmediately.

5. Drain the tuna and stir it through the tomato based sauce. If making for young kids, season when it's on your plate.

6. Next, mix together the pasta and tuna. Then, add the pasta to an ovenproof baking dish (roughly 25cm x 30cm).

7. Sprinkle the cheese over the pasta.

8. Place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

9. If you have the rations, serve with a nice salad.

Coco-noodley

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

2 tbsp toasted sesame oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp ground

1 tsp red chilli flakes

4 spring onions

1 bag of Quorn pieces

Frozen stir fry mix

1 tin coconut milk

1 tbsp fish sauce

Noodles - cook as per pack

METHOD

1. In the sesame oil, fry the onion, garlic and chilli. If using longer-to-cook veg like peppers, mushrooms and carrots, add them in now.

2. Next add in the chicken and cook for about 3 minutes or until cooked through.

3. If using no-chop veg, add them in now as they don't take very long.

4. Stir in the coconut milk and fish sauce and simmer for 2 minutes.

5. Once the noodles are ready, add them in. Season with salt, pepper and, if you have it, coriander.

Chicken in almond apple sauce

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

1 onion

2 bay leaves

1/2 stick cinnamon

4 cloves

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

900g (large packet - doesn't have to be exact) chicken legs/thighs (remove skin)

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp chilli/1 tsp ginger

2 cloves garlic, crushed

3 dessert spoons ground almond

3 apples sliced

1/2 large tub natural yoghurt

Flaked almonds

Serve with couscous

METHOD

1. Fry 1 onion with 2 bay leaves, 1/2 stick cinnamon and 4 cloves in 1 tbsp coconut oil for 3 to 4 mins.

2. Add 900g packet of chicken legs and cook for another 3 to 4 mins.

3. Then lower the heat and add 1 tsp of each of the following: garam masala, chilli, crushed garlic and ginger.

4. Season with salt & pepper and add 3 dessert spoons of ground almonds. Continue to cook for about 3 mins.

5. Now add in 1/2 tub (large) natural yoghurt and 3 sliced apples as well as 1 tbsp fresh coriander.

6. Cook for a further 15 minutes (or place in your slow cooker on low for a few hours).

7. Serve with flaked almonds and some more fresh coriander.

Meat-free Monday

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

1/3 of a jar or approximately 100g of crunchy peanut butter

1 tin of coconut milk

1 tin chopped tomatoes

2 tins of butter beans

1 block tofu (if you don't have tofu, you could add Quorn pieces or another tin of butter beans)

2 cloves garlic, pressed

2 tsp red chilli flakes

1 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp ground coriander

METHOD

1. Prepare the tofu by placing the block between two chopping boards. To squish the tofu downwards, put some heavy books on top. Leave beside the sink to allow the fluids to drain off. Ideally leave for 30 minutes. When ready, slice into cubes.

2. Add the coconut milk, tin of tomatoes and peanut butter to a saucepan.

3. Next add in everything else bar the tofu and butter beans.

4. When the sauce starts to bubble, add the tofu.

5. Cook for 25 minutes allowing the sauce to reduce. Then add the butter beans.

6. Serve with brown rice.

Fish Curry

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, pressed

1 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp garam masala

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 red pepper, sliced (can buy frozen)

4 fillets of haddock, cubed

METHOD

1. Heat the oil in the pan and add the onion.

2. Once the onion softens, add the garlic and ginger and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Next, add the rest of the spices. Cook for a further minute before adding the tomatoes and pepper.

4. Heat till it starts to bubble. Turn down the heat and simmer while you make rice.

5. Make the rice by following the pack instructions.

6. Add in the haddock cubes 3-5 minutes before the rice is finished.

Shopping list

Tins/cans

4 x tins of coconut milk

5 x tins of chopped tomatoes

2 x tins of butter beans

2 x small tins of bamboo shoots

2 x small tins of water chestnuts

2 x tins of chickpeas

1 x tin of pineapple

3 x tins of tuna

Jars

1 x jar crunchy peanut butter

1 x jar of mango chutney

1 x jar pesto

1 jar capers

1 jar black olives

Fresh meat and alternatives

1 x block of tofu

600g lamb

2 x blocks of cheddar

1 x whole chicken

2 x packets of prawns

900g (large packet - doesn't have to be exact) chicken legs/thighs

600g stewing beef

4 x fillets of haddock

4 x chicken breasts

1 x block of halloumi

1 x tub of natural yoghurt

4 x darnes of salmon

Spices

1 x Madras curry powder

1 x packet of beef stock

1 x jar of red chilli flakes

1 x jar of ground ginger

1 x jar of garam masala

1 x jar of ground coriander

1 x jar of dried Basil

1 x jar of dried oregano

1 x jar of dried thyme

1 x packet bay leaves

1 x jar of cinnamon sticks

1 x jar of ground cumin

1 x jar of smoked paprika

1 x jar of turmeric

1 x jar of dried basil

1 x jar of cloves

Fresh fruit and vegetables

3 x bulbs of garlic

2 x nets of onions

2 x boxes of cherry tomatoes

1 x bag of oranges

1 x bag of apples

4 x spring onions

4 x red peppers, chopped

2 x yellow peppers

1 x packet of flat mushrooms

3 x packets of mushrooms

2kg potatoes

1 x bag of carrots

Condiments

1 x jar of Thai paste

1 x bottle of fish sauce

1 x bottle of toasted sesame oil

1x bottle of rapeseed oil

1 x tube of tomato puree

1 x carton of passata

Store cupboard

1kg wholegrain penne pasta

1 x bag of ground almonds

1 x packet of raisins

1 x packet of pumpkin seeds

1 x bag of flaked almonds

2 x kg bags of rice

1 x packet of noodles

1 x bag of cashews

1 x bag of bulgur wheat

1 x bag of couscous

Breads

1 x packet of seeded wraps

1 x packet of seeded pitas

Frozen

1 x bag of frozen stir fry mix

1 x bag of Quorn pieces

1 x bag frozen broccoli

1 x bag of frozen cauliflower

Belfast Telegraph