Six Tasty Midweek Dinner Ideas If You're Trying to Cut Back on All the Cheeky Takeaways
Kick things off with meat-free Mondays, then celebrate the end of the workweek with a potluck dinner with your nearest and dearest.
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Your local takeaway spot might be convenient when you've been stuck at work all day, but it's far from kind on the environment — or your wallet, for that matter. With the right know-how, you can spice up your midweek meals without too much hassle.
We've partnered with Glad and its Glad to be Green range to bring you six simple, eco-conscious dinner ideas that'll not only keep more cash in your bank account, but also see fewer takeaway containers ending up in landfill. Roll up those sleeves and get ready to whip up feasts every night of the week.
ADD MEAT-FREE MONDAYS TO THE DIARY
After an indulgent weekend, you'll want to put your best foot forward when the new week comes. Regardless of whether you're consciously looking to go full vegan, starting the week off a plant-based dinner means you're cutting back on one of climate change's biggest contributors: the meat industry. If you're someone who likes numbers, according to this study beef has a carbon dioxide equivalent of 59.6 kilograms. To compare, tofu has an equivalent of three kilograms.
These days, about 12.1 percent of Aussies eat a fully or mostly vegetarian diet. Don't know where to start? Treat yourself to a couple of cookbooks. Some go-tos include Hetty McKinnon's To Asia, With Love and Neighbourhood; Smith & Daughters' Shannon Martinez's cookbook Vegan with Bite; and, of course, Ottolenghi's newest title Flavour (or any from his Plenty series). Once you've cooked up your veg-packed feast, simply cover any leftovers with Glad to be Green cling wrap — made from 50 percent sugarcane and with a smaller carbon footprint — and consider tomorrow's lunch sorted.
HAVE POTLUCK DINNERS WITH MATES
Next time you're having mates round, organise a potluck dinner rather than hitting up the local pizza shop for a mediocre slice (and subsequent greasy box that can't be recycled). First up, it's a gamble as to what everyone will bring and, therefore, you'll be tucking into all sorts of delicious dishes. Plus, it's likely to save everyone some cash and your friends get to flex their kitchen skills.
With everyone bringing a plate — and some quality stories — to share, this is a great way to add some more home-style cooking and community to your life, too. And, there'll be a lot of food going around the table, which means no one will go hungry.
SLOW ROAST AS YOU WFH
Many of us have come to know the pros and cons of WFH life. But one undeniable benefit of working from your home office (or couch) is that you can slink away from the computer to prepare a glorious dinner. Whether you're cooking for your partner who has to go into the office or prepping a feast for your friends, slow roasting is super easy — when you actually have the time to do it.
So, as time is on your side when you're commute-less, you can try out new roast dinners each week. Whether you prefer sticky pork, rosemary-covered lamb shoulder or bourbon- and honey-glazed brisket, these slow-roasted meats are heartwarming meals for when the cold weather hits. Just be sure to layer your roasting pan with Glad to be Green compostable baking paper to cut down on the messy cleanup. It's certified home compostable, and it even breaks down in a worm farm.
KEEP THINGS SIMPLE WITH ONE-POT WONDERS
Replace the convenience of takeaway with an even more practical one-pot dinner. Although your meal might not get delivered straight to your door, there's not much cleaning involved when you throw all the ingredients into the same cauldron. Which, let's be honest, is a big reason why we often turn to delivery apps in the first place.
From quick 'n' easy stir-fries and soups to veggie laksas and casseroles, there are plenty of one-pot wonders out there. Plus, you can put any leftovers in Glad's new plant-based resealable sandwich bags, which are made with 50 percent sugarcane (a renewable resource). These bags are also freezer safe, so you can store leftovers for longer, ensuring you have a quick, fuss-free dinner for the next time cooking from scratch is too much of a chore.
MAKE A HOUSEMATE ROSTER
Coming up with homecooked dinner ideas doesn't have to be harder than picking something on Uber Eats. But, sometimes inspiration is lacking after a day at your nine-to-five, we get it. If you live with others, why not come up with a roster? That way, it's easy to plan for, everyone gets a night off the pots and pans, and you don't have to cook those sad dinner-for-one meals. After all, food is better when shared, right?
To make your new schedule a success, it's a good idea to liven up each night of the week with some broad themes, too. It'll also help ensure no one is stuck for ideas. Of course, you'll want to take into account your housemates' culinary and dietary preferences to avoid encountering any awkward dinner conversations.
COME TO LOVE LEFTOVERS
Leftovers are a godsend when you've got an itch for cheeky takeaways. Instead of having to dip into your savings (and even possibly impact your chances of a future homeloan), you can swing open your fridge or freezer and pull out a tasty creation cooked by yours truly. Not to mention, you're doing your bit for the planet, too.
In fact, you can store your leftovers in Glad's plant-based snack and sandwich size resealable bags if you want to divvy them up into perfect portions. So, when you CBF to cook next week, you've already got yourself covered.
Go green and visit the Glad website for more tips and tricks.
Published on June 07, 2021 by Hudson Brown