3 ways to shake up old favourites and make dinners more exciting

Sick of the same old, same old? Spice up your dinnertime staples so you and the family can fall in love with them again.

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It can be hard to think of new and interesting things to eat for dinner, especially when you’ve been cooking them every day for… well, let’s not even add up those days, hey?

But with a few tips and tricks, it’s easy to add a new twist to your old favourites. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Sweeten your side dishes

Mashed potatoes make the perfect side dish, but why not sweeten things up by using sweet potatoes instead?

Chop the sweet potatoes and boil as you would a regular potato. Mash, then add milk, butter, a splash of maple syrup and a teaspoon of nutmeg and cinnamon to enhance the flavour of the potatoes.

For an extra naughty-but-nice touch, top it off with a crunchy topping made by mixing butter, pecans and brown sugar together. Bake for 5-10 minutes until golden brown and enjoy.

2. Convert your curry cuisine

Do you love a tikka masala? Try mixing it up and having a Japanese curry for a change. Katsu curry is thicker, milder and sweeter than most Indian or Thai curries, and it perfectly tops off a bowl of rice or udon noodles.

Most supermarkets sell pre-made Japanese curry roux, which makes this recipe even easier. Simply chop up carrots, potatoes and your preferred protein, then add in the roux and water - dinner made easy!

If you would prefer to make the sauce yourself, follow this recipe for two:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon sunflower oil in a medium non-stick saucepan, add a sliced onion and 2 chopped garlic cloves and cook until softened. Stir in a sliced carrot and cook over a low heat for 10-12 minutes.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of plain flour and 2 teaspoon curry powder and cook for a minute. Gradually stir in 300ml chicken stock until combined. Add 1 teaspoon honey, 2 teaspoon soy sauce and a bay leaf. Slowly bring to the boil.
  3. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce thickens. Stir in a pinch of garam masala. Pour the curry sauce through a sieve and return to the saucepan, keeping it on a low heat until it’s ready to serve.

3. Freeze up your fruit

Turn your fresh fruit dessert into frozen lollies for the perfect summer treat. Take sliced peaches, blueberries, strawberries and peeled and sliced kiwis, and arrange them in lolly moulds, making sure the fruit fits snugly.

Pour white grape juice into each mould to cover the fruit. Insert lolly sticks and freeze until solid. You can make a batch in one go as they last up to two weeks. When it’s a balmy evening, these give you the perfect excuse to take dessert outside.

These ideas have been brought to you by Fairy, which cuts through grease and stuck-on food first time, no matter what you’ve cooked up in the kitchen!

How do you keep mealtimes exciting? Share your tips in the comments section below.