For a quick meal try this colourful stir-fry of thin strips of tender steak with fresh ginger, button mushrooms, red capsicums and crisp snow peas, served on Chinese egg noodles. Hoisin sauce, a sweet Chinese barbecue sauce made from soya and red beans, gives the stir-fry a rich flavour.
Food in a Flash
Hoisin beef stir-fry
2 sheets medium Chinese egg noodles, about 170 g in total
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
2 large cloves garlic, cut into shreds
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 large red capsicum, seeded and thinly sliced
125 g baby button mushrooms, halved
1 sirloin steak, about 200 g, trimmed of fat and cut into thin strips
85 g snow peas, halved lengthwise
4 spring onions, cut into chunky lengths
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
shredded spring onion to garnish
Put the noodles in a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 5 minutes, or according to the packet instructions.
Meanwhile, heat the sunflower oil in a wok or large frying pan, add the garlic and ginger, and cook very briefly to release their flavour.
Toss in the capsicum and mushrooms, then stir-fry over a high heat for 2–3 minutes or until starting to soften.
Add the strips of steak, snow peas and spring onions, and stir-fry for a further 1–2 minutes or until the meat just turns from pink to brown.
Mix in the hoisin and soy sauces and stir well until bubbling, then drizzle in the sesame oil, if using.
Drain the noodles.
Serve the stir-fry on the noodles, garnished with shredded spring onion.
The hollows in hard–boiled egg halves make perfect containers for a tasty filling – here carrot and chive – and the eggs look attractive served on a bed of ribbon vegetables and lamb's lettuce. All you need is some bread to make a satisfying lunch.
Couscous is extremely versatile and can be used for both savoury dishes and for sweet ones, such as this quickly made, delicious hot cereal. The couscous is mixed with dried fruit and soaked briefly in hot milk, then topped with fresh fruit, to create something a little different to start the day.
For this savoury version of a classic French batter pudding, sweet cherry tomatoes are baked in a light, fluffy batter flavoured with grated pecorino cheese. Make individual clafoutis, or one large one, and serve for a simple lunch or dinner with bread or boiled new potatoes and green beans.
For these delectable chilli–flavoured omelettes, the eggs are whisked with cornflour to give them a slightly firmer texture, suitable for folding round a colourful and tasty filling of stir–fried vegetables and rice noodles.