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Three Lockdown Meals Under 30 Minutes

Cooking in lockdown can get rather repetitive, so here’s three handpicked recipes to mix things up. They’re quick, easy and super tasty.

1. Butternut squash risotto

Watch here and below

Impress in lockdown with this restaurant standard risotto. Super healthy too.

Butternut Risotto recipe from Jason Whiting on Vimeo.


  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 2 Vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Garlic
  • Bunch of sage
  • Bunch of thyme
  • 300 grams risotto Rice
  • 2 finely chopped onions
  • 50 g parmesan cheese or vegetarian alternative


  • Before you make the risotto, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Cut the Butternut into bite sized chunks. Cover in olive oil, scatter into a shallow roasting tin and roast for 30 mins until it is brown and soft.
  • In a pan, add some olive oil, the chopped onions and garlic. Cook gently for 8-10 mins until soft but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Stir the Risotto Rice into the pan, then stir continuously until the rice is shiny and the edges of the grain start to look transparent.
  • Cover with the sage before adding the stock, you want add stock about a ladleful at a time, stirring the rice over a low heat for 25-30 mins, until the rice is cooked al dente (with a slightly firm, starchy bite in the middle). The risotto should be creamy and slightly soupy.
  • When the squash is cooked remove from oven and add to mix, leaving some aside for final garnish. When the risotto is just done, add the Butternut Squash, cheese and Thyme. Stir before leaving to rest for a few mins. Serve the risotto scattered with the whole chunks of squash and a sprinkle of thyme

2. Halloumi pesto toast with spinach and chopped tomatoes

Watch here and below

This recipe is super tasty and easy to do. It makes for a great breakfast or a light option for lunch or tea.

Halloumi pesto toast with spinach and chopped tomatoes from Sarah Scott on Vimeo.

You’ll need: (Serves 2-3)

  • 1 block halloumi
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of green pesto
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • Handful of baby spinach leaves
  • 2-3 slices of bread (1 per person)


  • Pre-heat the grill to 150°c
  • Chop the halloumi into 8/9 even pieces and place under grill for approx. 8 minutes or until golden brown
  • While the halloumi cooks, heat the chopped tomatoes on the hob, stirring often
  • Add 2 heaped teaspoons of pesto to 2 tbs of olive oil to make the pesto dressing. Give it a good stir
  • Toast your bread
  • When the toast is done layer spinach leaves on top. Then add the grilled halloumi. Drizzle a couple of teaspoons of the pesto dressing over the halloumi and spinach. Then cover in the chopped tomatoes.
  • Serve hot and season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Brilliant banana bread

Watch here and below

If you are bored and hungry while in quarantine, here is a quick and easy recipe for a banana loaf to make in about half an hour.


  • 140g butter, softened, plus extra for the tin
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • Icing sugar and ½ banana (for decoration)


  • Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  • Butter a 2lb loaf tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment.
  • Cream 140g softened butter and 140g caster sugar until light and fluffy, then slowly add 2 beaten large eggs with a little of the 140g flour.
  • Fold in the remaining flour, 1 tsp baking powder, vanilla essence and 2 mashed bananas.
  • Pour into the tin and bake for about 30 mins until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then remove to a wire rack.
  • Dust with icing sugar and chopped banana for decoration.
By Sarah Scott, Jason Whiting and Olivia Lawlor-McDonald

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