As M&S looks at overhauling its food range, let’s look at ways YOU can make some restaurant quality favourites.

As M&S has reported a decline in sales, it has been decided that a bit of an overhaul is in order. However, we thought it may be an idea to show you how to make restaurant quality foods at a fraction of the price. Most of these are side dishes, and predominantly will go with anything, but we have slipped a few mains in too. So get creative.

The reason we’re doing this, is because it really isn’t expensive to eat well, and with so many people relying on solely ready meals, it’s getting to a point where we need to up our game, otherwise the obesity endemic is just going to get worse. These are simple alternatives that even the kids can help with, and it’s always good to get the youngsters in the kitchen to learn about food from a young age as cooking is a life skill that we will always have to use, be that making a sandwich, or making a 3 course dinner for a date.

Below are simply guides, but with a little common sense, we’re sure you can work out your measurements without too much difficulty. Also, take a look online at how other people do things, you may find you have a new passion.

New Potatoes with Herbs – Simply empty a bag of New Potatoes into a pan of salted, boiling water until cooked through and tender, drain, transfer to an oven proof dish, drizzle in olive oil, add fresh herbs and toss well. Put in the oven for 20 minutes at 200C. Saving – £5.50

Glazed Vegetables – Boil your vegetables until tender, but still slightly firm, drain and return to the pan with a knob of butter and 1tsp of sugar. Place over a high heat for a few minutes until the veg has a nice glaze. Saving – £3-5

Bubble and Squeak – Boil Potatoes, 1 Carrot and 1 Onion, drain and mash together. Serve as a topping for cottage pie, make into cakes and shallow fry for a few minutes each side, or serve as an alternative for stuffing for a veggie roast dinner. – £3

Sticky Whiskey BBQ Chicken Breasts – In an oven proof dish, place 1 chopped onion, chicken breasts, sliced green pepper and submerge in BBQ Sauce, add 2 shots of sweet whiskey, cover and marinate for 2 hours. Remove cover, put in a preheated oven at 200C for 30 minutes or until the sauce is reduced and sticky. – Saving £10

Mac, Leek and Bacon and Cheese  – In a large pan boil the macaroni for 2 minutes shy of the packaging instructions, drain. Chop and fry the leeks and bacon until cooked add to an oven proof dish. Make cheese sauce and put into the dish. Add the pasta to the dish. Stir well. Top with lots of grated cheese and bake for 20 minutes at 200C. – Saving £7

Published by Sara O'Connell

A passionate photographer from Arizona, Sara enjoys art and culture.