I would love it if every evening is a culinary odyssey chez moi. It's not. I wish I had time to prepare a delicious meal from scratch, and I've been doing a lot more of that over the summer having slightly forgotten what it's like to work full-time, study part-time and try and try to have a social life too. When you get home at 8.30 after a full day at work, an hour's lecture and an hour's seminar, you want to eat something quick and easy.
One of my favourite easy meals is a pimped up ready pizza. This one is inspired from a pizza I had when I had to find a decent restaurant to take my Chief Executive and manager out for a meal at Labour party conference in Manchester in 2008. We ended up in a mid-range Italian called the Olive Press just off Deansgate. It wasn't the most exciting restaurant, but I had a very memorable pizza. The pizza was topped with crab meat, chilli, thin lengths of chargrilled courgettes, cherry tomatoes, coriander and a squeeze of lime.
It sounds like it was heavy with toppings, but it was actually fairly light. And the combination of flavours was amazing, so fresh, so fiery. A winning combination of Italian bases and Thai tastes.
So on some of those evenings when I'm too tired and hungry to cook a proper meal, I can whip a pizza out the freezer, layer it with prawns (also out the freezer) or a tin of crab meat, add chilli, cherry tomatoes and chargrilled courgette (sometimes I have some spare stock in), sprinkle some coriander over and, when cooked, squeeze some lime over it.
And then it's ready, and I am happy.