Losing motivation to create hearty, healthy dishes after a long day of work? Food writer Louise Quick shares a weekday dinner recipe that is not only delicious but also freezes well, meaning less work for you!

This is one of my boyfriend’s classic recipes. He’ll cook up a vat of chilli on a Monday, filling our flat with a fiery air of spices. We portion it out, let it cool, and then pop it in the freezer for dinners later in the week. We serve ours with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and a baked sweet potato, but some fluffy rice works as well. For a meaty chilli, swap the beans for 500g of turkey mince and add it about five minutes before the courgette. Talking of beans, if you can’t find the precise beans then most others work just as well, such as kidney beans and black-eyed beans.


Serves: 6


2 tbsp vegetable oil (£0.04)

1 large onion (£0.10)

3 celery sticks (£0.25)

3 tsp cumin seeds (£0.40)

1 red chilli (£0.20)

2 courgettes (£0.80)

2 bell peppers (£0.90)

1 stock cube (£0.13)

1 tbsp tomato puree (£0.04)

2 tins three bean salad (£1.30)

2 tins chopped tomatoes (£0.70)

1 tsp mild chilli powder (£0.09)

1 tsp ground coriander (£0.12)

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (£0.04)



Price total: £5.11

Portion price: £0.85


  1. Pop a large deep pan on the hob at a low heat and add the oil.
  2. Dice the onion, slice the celery, and finely chop the red chilli, adding each to the pan once they’re ready.
  3. Cook for about ten minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.
  4. While that’s cooking, prepare the courgettes and bell peppers by chopping them roughly into equal sizes. I like to keep them quite chunky so cut them into rough 2cm cubes.
  5. Add the cumin seeds to the pan with the onion mixture and let them toast for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Now add the chopped courgette and pepper. Increase the heat and cook this all through for at least ten minutes, mixing occasionally. The trick is you want to keep the heat low but make sure the courgette is cooked through.
  7. Once the courgette and pepper are soft, add the tomato puree and crumble in the stock cube. Give it all a good mix and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  8. Drain the beans and add them to the pan along with the chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, ground coriander, and cayenne pepper.
  9. Bring this to a boil, reduce the heat and let it slowly simmer for at least ten minutes.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste, plus some extra chilli powder if you like your chilli with more of a kick.
  11. The longer you leave the chilli the better it tastes. So keep the heat low and let this bubble away until you’re ready to eat.
  12. Once you’re ready and happy with the taste, serve it up and enjoy!

What recipes do you rely on when you work from home? Let us know in the comments below!

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