A Glug of Oil

Easy and delicious recipes including midweek dinner ideas, and world cuisine.

The Ultimate Guide to Cheat Day

Ever had one of those days when you feel like pulling the curtains shut and hibernating for the winter?  We all have.  Too lazy to venture outside for mealtimes, too broke to order a takeaway - what are we to do?  Fear not, a little bit of forward planning and stocking up the pantry can make such cheat days live up to their name - for some ideas on what to eat on your next duvet day, check out the ideas below.

Deep Pan or Thin and Crispy
The pizza is a tried and tested staple that should be the first name on any cheat sheet line-up. The freeze-ability of this delicious Italian favourite - and its relative tastiness after thawing – makes it your first port of call when raiding the pantry.  Pizza Express have a great range of affordable and exquisite pizzas that can be found in most supermarkets… or, if you’re really on top of your game, you can plan in advance and whip up this excellent prosciutto and salami pizza for a rainy day.  In fact, the whole thing can be thrown together in less than an hour, so if you’re not feeling too defeated by the day, it also poses a feasible option right then and there.

Let it Stew for a While
There’s nothing more satisfying and comforting than a hearty stew. While the ingredients cook in a pot for hours on end, the aroma will slowly infiltrate all areas of your home, whet your appetite and increase your enjoyment of the meal when it finally comes. There’s just one problem – all the preparation involved… or is there?  With many supermarkets (such as Sainsbury's) offering pre-made stew packs, all you need to do is toss the ingredients in a pot of boiling water, add your own spices, herbs and stock and kick back and relax.  What could be easier?

Bag it and Bake it
Want succulently tender chicken with a delectable taste, but without the fuss?  Have no worries - the bake-in-a-bag revolution is upon us and makes preparing mouth-watering dishes Child’s play.
Maggi offer a one-size-fits-all herbs kit, complete with seal-able bag, which only requires you to add chicken and an oven to cook it in.  Before you know it, you’ll be digging into flavoursome, juicy chicken breasts to die for.  You can even dispense with the store-bought kit and do it yourself with a Ziploc bag and a healthy sprinkling of rosemary, sage or whatever herbs you wish to include.

Don’t Forget the Sides!
When it comes to side dishes, nothing can really hold a candle to the humble potato.  Mashed, roasted, baked, whatever – it’s always a winner.  However, our particular favourite incarnation of the potato is the elegance lent to the tuber by the term ‘French fries’.  Not only do these snacks taste amazing, they also sound inherently classy, regardless of where and when you eat them.  For a stress-free cheat day meal, you can’t go wrong with McCain French fries, which come in a variety of shapes and styles.   From the spicy peri-peri strain to the thick-cut steakhouse favourites, there is something for everyone and every meal.


  1. We always try and cook from scratch, but there's always a "busy day" every now and again which means a cheat night for the evening meal!
    Frozen fish and chips is usually our cheat!

  2. One of my cheat meals is to buy chips from the chippy and then cut them to the size of French Fries and make Revuelto Gramajo (Gramajo scramble) which is a very popular dish in Argentina (where I'm from). You stir fry a small onion, garlic and red pepper, add sliced ham cut into strips and when the ham is getting slightly caramelised add the chips to warm up, peas (I use tinned) and last minute you add - for two people - 2 to 3 eggs and mix. You need to make sure the egg is not cooked dry, just leave it slightly wet because it'll dry up as you wait to eat it anyway. It's one of my favourite meals, much nicer with freshly fried thin chips, of course, but buying them from the chippy saves you a lot of time. Originally the chips are meant to be matchstick chips, but at home we usually make it with French fries because it's easier.


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