What’s for Dinner?

Our oven has been broken for nearly a month. Hopefully, we will be getting a new one this weekend and there will be much rejoicing in the Mallon house… baking can once again occur, cookies will be made, the traditional Christmas dinner that we had to cancel will be eaten, all will be right with the world (and my diet will be well and truly scuppered!). But in the meantime, we have actually fared completely fine. The lack of an oven has been a very minor inconvenience. So what have we been eating all this time? Well, I’m glad you asked. I figure that I really like looking at other people’s meal plans and recipes and you may too. So here is a run down of the Mallon household’s favourite stove top meals that we have consumed over the past few weeks. I’ve included recipes for a couple much loved meals where I didn’t feel I would be breaching anybody’s copyright to share.

Spanish Pork*

I think I modified the recipe from one I found in an Asda magazine ages ago. It is marvellously easy.

  • 500g pork fillet
  • 200g chorizo
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 peppers, chopped
  • 1 tin of tomatoes (or box if you, like me, have begun to fear that the nasties released in the plastic lining of the tin are going to kill us all)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • half a chilli or a sprinkling of chilli flakes

Heat a pan and add the chorizo and onions. When the onions are soft, add the peppers and pork. When the pork is browned, add the tomatoes, paprika and chilli. Cover and simmer for half an hour. That’s it. Serve with rice or cous cous and a salad if you feel like it. I think the original recipe called for olives to be added part-way through the cooking, but we don’t like them so we don’t.

Potato Soup

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 7-8 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tin evaporated milk

Put the onion and potatoes in a pan and just cover with cold water. Stick on a lid and bring to a boil. Boil until potatoes are soft (20 minutes-ish depending on how small you chopped them). Do not drain. Mash potatoes. You could blend it up in a food processor, but we like it a bit chunky and just mash with a potato masher. Add the tin of evaporated milk and lots of salt. That’s it, and it is the best potato soup I have ever had!

Spaghetti Bolognaise* (For you Americans, this is just spaghetti in a meat-based sauce.)

Taco Salad*


Macaroni and Cheese (I use the cheese sauce recipe from Cookus Interruptus. I love their website – loads of great recipes.)

Chicken Stew (I do a couple versions of this. One with lots of winter veg, tarragon and some creme fraiche and one from Jamie Oliver’s “Ministry of Food” Cookbook. I tend to add shredded cabbage and quinoa to his recipe).

Beef Stew (from Jamie again – we like this with dumplings, but need our oven back for them!)

Chicken Fajitas (another one from my Jamie book)

Sweet and Sour Pork (Jamie again)

Various curries (usually, again, from my beloved Jamie book)

Pasta Carbonara* (I use the recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s “River Cottage Family” Cookbook)

Sausage and Bean Casserole (“River Cottage Family” recipe again.)

Tuna Quesadillas* 

So there you go. I thought it might be really difficult thinking up foods we could eat that didn’t require an oven, but it turns out we eat loads of stuff that is just cooked on the hob.

*The Mallon children are extraordinarily picky.  A night in which everyone eats what they are served is rare in our house, but these are the dishes which tend to please everyone.


3 thoughts on “What’s for Dinner?

  1. I am impressed with your many stove top options. My new obsession is the website 100 days of real food. I am starting to add her recipes into our rotation in the hopes of slowly eliminating cans, artificial food coloring (which I’ve heard is much less prevalent over there), and processed food in general from our diet. I had quite a few real food recipes I already use, but our pantry is still pretty full of junk. Anywho it’s just a new focus I have for the year. Jason is not very find of veggies so that is definetly a challenge. Good luck with your diet after baking commences again! Love you!

    • You should definitely check out the Cookus Interruptus link. She’s all about real food. We try to do the same here. I make just about everything from scratch these days. (Maybe with the exception of the Old El Paso taco seasoning… none of my homemade substitutes taste quite the same. Must be the MSG!) 🙂

  2. I haven’t tried the 100days taco seasoning yet, but she does have one. I will check out cookus too. I am kind of sad to be losing all my shortcut recipes. Oh well. Hopefully we will all be much healthier in a year. 🙂

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