Comforting midweek dinner ideas


As we inch ever closer to the weekend, meal inspiration may be lacking. Here are some comforting midweek dinner ideas

yellow fruit on stainless steel tray

Image by Peter Schad via Unsplash

It is definitely getting that little bit chillier, and there’s nothing more Irish or more comforting than the humble vegetable! If you’re running out of dinner ideas, and need some inspiration, here are some delicious meals to keep bellies full and homes warm, you’ll be sure to have empty plates by the end of the meal.

Paprika Chicken with Colcannon Mash

Hot and Spicy Chicken Paprika served with Mash Direct Colcannon Mash and butter | Mash Direct

2 packets of Mash Direct Colcannon
4 chicken breasts – cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp flour
½ pint of chicken stock
3 tbsp chopped parsley
2 red peppers
4 large tomatoes
250ml sour cream

Heat a large pan and add a dash of oil. Rub the chicken in the salt, and place in the pan to brown. Remove and set aside once cooked through.

Using the same pan, add in some chopped onions and garlic and let it simmer for about five minutes. Then add the paprika along with the flour and stir until combined – taking care not to burn.

Add the stock and stir. Return the chicken pieces to the pan, adding a bit more stock if the mixture seems too dry.

Add half of the chopped parsley and bring to the boil. Add the chopped red pepper strips, reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes.

Cook the Mash Direct Colcannon according to packet instructions and serve as a side dish to complete the meal.

Cottage Pie with Cheesy Mash Top


2 packets of Mash Direct Cheesy Mash
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 celery stick, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 pack (400g) lean steak/lamb mince
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
450ml beef stock

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4-5, 180°C, 350°F.

In an ovenproof casserole dish on the hob, heat the oil and add the finely diced onion, carrots and celery. Cook over a low heat for ten minutes, until softened and lightly brown.

Add the crushed garlic and thyme, cooking until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes) before adding the mince. Turn up the heat to medium and cook, stirring periodically until the mince is browned all over and juices caramelise on the bottom of the casserole dish.

Stir in the flour, tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce to the mince for a minute or so to combine. Immediately add the chicken stock, bringing to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until the sauce is reduced and thickened.

Leave the mixture to cool for a few minutes and prepare the Mash Direct Cheesy Mash as directed. Top the mince mixture with the mash and smooth to create an even layer using the back of a large metal spoon.

Transfer the dish to the preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes, until the mash is a bubbling golden brown.