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After a long day teaching (and wrangling!) students, keeping on top of paperwork, dealing with administration and planning, the idea of cooking dinner can feel less than enticing. But we all need to eat, preferably something nutritious, delicious and simple to prepare. This week on School Stream, we are bringing you a list of 16 meals that tick all those boxes. 

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Simple, plant-based meals

Plant-based cooking doesn’t have to be loaded with speciality ingredients and convoluted techniques – no matter what social media would have you believe. The following recipes are quick, tasty and leftover friendly.

Vegan One Pot Mexican Quinoa – Healthy Girl Kitchen has a massive Instagram following courtesy of her quick and easy vegan recipes like this one that will be on the table in a heartbeat.

Pro tip: If you’re new to cooking with quinoa, make sure you give it a good rinse first.

Everyday Lentil Soup – Is there anything better than soup, ideally with some bread for dunking? This Sprouted Kitchen recipe is very straightforward and makes a hearty batch.

Best Veggie Burger – There are literally millions of veggie burger recipes online, each of them claiming to be the best. What sets this one apart from the pack is its simplicity, flexibility and consistency – you will get a great veggie burger every single time.  

Gnocchi Asparagus Edamame – Fans of veg-forward meals will be well aware of Hetty McKinnon and her creative takes on vegetarian eating. This is an easy and delicious twist on gnocchi that looks much fancier than it should.

Bowl food

Everything you need for a delicious meal, served in a single vessel. 

Supreme soy noodles – Nagi from Recipe Tin Eats is well-loved for her tasty and accessible dishes, and this is another hit you will go back to again and again. 

Green Rice Bowl with Chilli Oil – Nina Parker is the patron saint of delicious sauces. She even has an entire recipe book dedicated to the topic. In this recipe, she shows how she builds a meal around chilli oil.

Black bean bowls with poached eggs – This recipe suggests soaking black beans overnight but no one will notice if you use a tin of black beans instead.

Family food

Penne al baffo – Also known as creamy ham and tomato pasta. “Al Baffo” is said to be the abbreviated version of an Italian expression ‘da leccarsi i baffi,’ which translates as ‘it is so good you’ll lick your whiskers.’

Egg Fried Rice – Is it even a family food listing without Recipe Tin Eats’ egg fried rice? We think not. This could well be the fastest – and the best – fried rice recipe in all the land. A family food classic.

No-Fuss Shepherd’s Pie – The BBC Good Food call this the definitive Shepard’s Pie recipe.

Spicy Beef Cauli Rice – If your family isn’t afraid of a bit of heat, this could well be the meal you’re looking for. It has only five ingredients and is an excellent recipe for teens to practise their culinary chops.

Traybakes and One Hit Wonders 

Sweet Potato Macaroni Cheese – Macaroni Cheese has experienced something of a revival in recent years and is no longer relegated to the domain of daggy ’70s meals. There are so many recipes out there, but Nigella Lawson declares this her very favourite. 

Honey Miso Baked Salmon Broccolini and Coriander – If this recipe sounds like your idea of a good time, you’re in luck. It’s totally faff-free and requires only one pot.

Frizzled Chickpeas and Onions with Feta and Oregano – Alison Roman is probably best known for her internet-breaking recipe ‘The Stew’ but, as this recipe proves, she has plenty more good ideas up her sleeve.

Meals for One

Sometimes it can be hard to get excited about cooking for one, but these suggestions focus on minimal effort, maximum taste. 

Sardine Toasts with Tomatoes and Sweet Onion – the classic pantry meal for those times when you absolutely must have a meal ready within 10 minutes.

Tuna salad – It’s closer to assemblage than cooking, which is one of the many great strengths of this outrageously tasty and humble recipe.

Build your own nourish bowl – Nourish bowls have plenty to recommend them, and, by following the guidance here, you can be guaranteed a healthy meal packed with everything you need to thrive. 

We hope you found some inspiration in this collection of midweek meal ideas. 

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