Quick lazy dinner ideas needed please :)(27 Posts)
I have a DP, a 3 year old and am pregnant with DC2. I work freelance in the mornings and evenings and my DP works very long hours. I am starting to feel exhausted from pregnancy especially as my DD still does not sleep through the night
I usually cook from recipe books from scratch but have totally lost all motivation for cooking as I am so tired. I have resorted to takeaways this week but this cannot be a long term solution for us.
I am looking for some quick meal solutions, I have had a search through old threads and have come up with the following but would love suggestions for more:
Egg, chips and peas
Hotdogs, chips and beans
Pasta and pesto
Also DP is on a diet so I would need to adapt his so they are not too fattening for him, I have no idea how I would do that with the above!
Caramel that sounds lovely! Is it baby spinach leaves you use?
Tip a bag of prewashed spinach leaves in a casserole dish. Place salmon fillets on top (skinside up to make skin easier to remove at end). Spoon over jar of pesto. Chuck in 1 tablespoon water. Put lid on dish and stick in oven for 20 mins. Salmon will cook through and spinach and pesto will mulch into a sauce.
Cook some pasta.
Remove skin from fish. Stir pasta into casserole dish. Ta-da!!! Delicious and reasonably healthy - even my v v picky boring-eater child loves this.
Thank you for all the wonderful ideas, here is to a takeaway free week
Chicken thigh? Lemon? Cream?
Try using a bit of chicken stock to poach your chicken or turkey thighs either whole or chopped/diced, add whatever veg you like, tinned sweet corn, peas, celery, shallots, red onions, peppers, spinach, zucchini, squash, grated lemon peel and a squeeze of lemon at the end to finish, then after a few min lob in some noodles, a bit of parsley or basil or whatever, and you have a speedy chicken noodle soup, all,in one pot and takes about 20 minutes start to finish.
Or use pasta and a bit of cream if you want something a bit more stodgy.
Not massively healthy but...
Cook pasta while making this sauce
Finely chop courgette and bacon (or use cubes of pancetta) and fry until golden. Stir in a few spoonfuls (or a tub if for a family) of creme fraiche and grated cheese. Keep stirring. Ends up a gooey cheesy sauce
Our lazy meals:
Sausages, rice and a big salad
Chicken thighs - heat butter or oilwith dried thyme, garlic and lemon in microwave, chuck over chicken, bung in oven, serve with rice and peas
Tuna /tomato pasta
Pasta with mozzarella, basil and tomatoes
Stir fry from packets with noodles chucked in
Fajitas are pretty simple
And yes to jacket potatoes! Can vary fillings.
Instead of eggs chips and peas, how about omelette, potato wedges and salad? Cut thick potato wedges, toss in a small amount of olive oil, and they'll need about 30-40 minutes. made the omelette, and do the salad while the omelette cooks.
Also tuna egg salad. make a big plate of salad, add drained tuna, boiled eggs and cous cous or potato wedges.
using myfitness pal will help you to see which meals work out well for the diet too.
I have recently eaten tescos finest reduced fat sausages, noot oo bad, esp when on a diet.
Ratatouille is good too. I usually cut up courgette, pepper, aubergine, onion, mushrooms, bung in an oven dish with tinned tomatoes, garlic and herbs and cook for about 30 odd minutes. good with pasta and rice too.
I haven't read all the replies so apologies for any duplicates.
We love pasta, pesto and peas/green beans. Add cream cheese if you fancy a creamy sauce.
Fresh pasta and gnocchi are your friend. Very quick to cook and make interesting.
Pea and pesto soup: peas, onions, garlic, potato to thicken if you fancy, pesto. Cook and whizz. Serve with bread/garlic bread
Chicken breast/piece of fish, in individual foil parcels. Add sliced peppers, garlic, ginger, chilli, sliced onion etc. Bake in oven and serve with oven chips/roasties etc.
Pizzas made on pittas/naans/muffins. Tomato purée, mozzarella and add any veg/meat you fancy/have in the fridge.
Keep an emergency tub of fresh pasta sauce in the freezer. Add extra veg/tuna/bacon etc. Ditto with keeping a cheese/tomato pizza in the freezer then pimp it up with whatever you've got.
Pasta with oil, garlic and chilli. Salad on the side.
Tray bakes good with chicken/sausages/chorizo, potatoes, onions/root veg etc. maybe some garlic, mustard, herbs etc for extra flavouring.
I'll come back if I can think of any other quickies!
Oooh I had forgot about pasta bakes, I used to do them a lot before I had DD and had forgot about them. They are yummy.....
Sainsburys three for £10 - we get two packs of the salmon fillets as part of that (so four fillets total between two adults and one preschooler)
Fry salmon in pan - 5 min each side ish?
And microwave rice - 7min for two packs.
Add a bit of salad /veg or just bread and butter! Salmon is very tasty by itself or with small squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of salt.
Homepride do a good pasta bake sauce - you put sauce, water, dry pasta and anything else you like (one or two of the following: tin of tuna, chopped up cooked meat like ham or chicken, olives, sweetcorn, peas etc) in big dish and bake - easy peasy! Cheese on top for the last 20mins if you like.
Gnocchi and tomato sauce can be super quick. Cook a big batch of tomato sauce and freeze is in portions. Then all you need to do is boil some gnocchi (takes 3 mins), defrost/warm sauce and you're done. You could add some cheese if you wanted.
Italian rice and chicken
400g chopped tomatoes
2 sliced chicken breast
1 red onion
1 yellow pepper
1 garlic clove
100g rice uncooked
300ml chicken stock
Handful of pitted black olives
Tbsp red pesto
Some fresh chopped basil sprinkled on top before serving
Fry off the onion and pepper, add garlic and chicken and brown those. Stir in the tomatoes, olives and stock and add the rice. Stir, pop in an ovenproof dish and cook on gas 6 until the rice is cooked and sauce has thickened. Or it takes a couple of hours in a slow cooker. Stir pesto through before serving.
Really tasty, I've just made it for dinner tonight for me DH and DD (3) just enough in this recipe for us all. I did it in my slow cooker whilst we played out in the snow, came in and it was ready
Wow thank you. I will give all of these a try. I am building up a good list now. The only ones I cannot do are the slow cooker ones, I bought a slow cooker a few months back and the smell of the food cooking all day makes me feel sick at the moment, hopefully I can put it to good use once the morning (all day) sickness goes. I am 15 weeks now so hopefully not too long until the sickness goes.....
Spread some pesto ontop of fish fillet (salmon, haddock,cod) and sprinkle with wholemeal breadcrumbs. Bake for 15 minutes at 180.
Here are two tray bakes -- the first is a bit of a treat, the second is healthier
Baked Sausages with Chestnuts (Diana Henry)
8 pork sausages
200g cooked vacuum-packed chestnuts
300g mushrooms, sliced thickly
1 large onion, cut in wedges
1 garlic bulb, cloves separated but not peeled
10 Tbsp olive oil
4 sprigs rosemary (NB: I used a tsp or so dried)
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
300ml red wine
Preheat oven to Gas 5. Combine everything into a baking dish, except the wine. Mix so everything is coated with oil, and roast for 25 minutes. Add wine and cook for another 25 minutes, till wine is reduced to a rich sauce. Serve with mash or/and crusty bread.
Roasted Cod with Potatoes and Olives (Martha Stewart)
1kg red new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
4 cloves garlic, halved lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 cod fillets (6 to 8 ounces each)
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, whole or halved
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to Gas 8. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss potatoes with garlic, rosemary, and 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange potatoes in a single layer, cut side down. Bake, tossing potatoes once, until beginning to brown, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, rub fillets with remaining teaspoon oil; season all sides with salt and pepper.
Remove baking sheet from oven. Add tomatoes and olives to potatoes; stir to combine. Push vegetable mixture to one side; place fillets flat on baking sheet, next to vegetables. Return to oven, and roast until fish is cooked through and potatoes are brown and tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer fish and vegetables to serving platter. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges if desired.
I have also been making some recipes from the website yummybambini -- it has really quick, easy but healthy meals that are geared for kids. Tonight DD and I had pasta with ricotta, we've tried the chicken and peas and cinnamon ragu.
Salad and part baked baguettes (kids tend to have cucumber/pepper/carrot sticks) with something like pork chop, sausages, chicken breasts (marinated if we have time- takes 5 minutes earlier in the day).
Doing something that cooks reasonably slowly like chilli or pulled pork means not too much effort but can also be done earlier in the day when you feel a bit less exhausted. You can serve with jacket potatoes or rice one day. Then salad and wraps for some make your own tortillas the next. My husband lives by the motto that pretty much anything will go in a wrap so we do this with a lot of foods
Homemade soup again doesn't need to be too much effort with cheese and bread on the side.
If you can afford it pre diced veg can save a lot of effort. As can stuff like fresh premade mash potatoes.
To save calories/sodium Don't use pre made sauces - use balsamic vinegar on pork chops with a bit of sage or rosemary or thyme(can be dried). Or you can make a quick spice mix in an old jar or container (e.g Cajun or tandoori). I can give you some recipes for these if you want. Mixed with a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice (the bottled stuff is fine for this) or low fat natural yoghurt they make a quick marinade for meats and fish. It takes a few minutes to make enough for a month or more and just needs to be kept in dark dry cupboard.
There's something called Cheat's gooey pasta on the BBC good food website. It's basically fresh tortellini layered with mozzarella and tomato sauce (either homemade or out of a jar). Bake in the oven- it's delicious.
I see you've got pasta and pesto - I often add some veg to the pasta cooking water to add some vits- green beans work well as does broccoli and cherry toms (these are softened in a pan, not added to the water obviously )
If you can afford it buy a slow cooker. I bought a Breville 4.5l one in Asds for £19.
Ten minutes has any ingredients prepped eg veg chopped or mince browned. Turn it on and leave it. It has made life with a 4 year old and a new born so much easier!
We had spicy lentil and chorizo soup tonight. Though with half the stock to make it more like a stew. Ten minutes had the chorizo and onion chopped. 4 hours on high and it was done.
My 4 year old loves it though I do make it less spicy if shes eating it!
Have you got a steamer or a slow cooker?
Make a big batch of bolognese (made different/healthier with turkey mince/butternut squash/loads of veg) and either freeze in portions or use a) with pasta b) in pitta breads - really fast & delicious c) add a bit of chilli and beans and serve with rice as chilli con carne d) mix with cooked pasta, top w/bechamel & cheese bake and you've got easy peasy lasagne.
Fritatta with smoked salmon, peas and new potatoes
Chicken with curry paste & coconut milk
Cous cous is so easy and quick. You could mix it with a bag of frozen chargrilled med veg.
Daal? Boil yellow split peas in stock until tender. In frying pan toast cumin and coriander seeds, add oil and a chopped onion, chopped chilli, garam masala and any other spices you fancy. Add to the daal and combine thoroughly. Yum and easy peasy!
Omelette? I make a giant one with peppers onions and boiled potato and cut it into wedges. Served with salad.
There is a spicy root veg casserole on the bbc food website that is a chuck it all in the pan and then in the oven recipe that's popular!
Hth, I remember the pregnancy apathy towards dinner....it took all my effort to get to 6 pm and not flake out...
I had a newspaper cutting about no-brainer chicken dinner - basically get chicken pieces (thighs best), add flavourings as you fancy (onions/garlic/herbs/leeks/lemon juice etc), add liquid as you fancy (wine/tinned tomato/stock, about 1/2 inch, apparently), bung all in oven and cook. If you vary the options you never have to have the same thing twice in a week while always cooking the same thing. That's magic. I'm sure it works with pork fillets too. Serve with rice/pasta/couscous/chips/potatoes.
Thank you, those both sound healthy too as well as quick so will be great for all of us. Any more suggestions from people would be great, hopefully I can build up a list of different options to make. I am sitting here eating chip shop tonight so really need to get my act together!
Easy peasy oven risotto - fry some bacon. Add risotto rice. Add stock (+ glass of wine if it's a friday night) Bring to simmer. Add some halved cherry tomatoes. Cover and shove in the oven for 18 mins. Remove from oven, add parmesan and serve. Minimal washing up as well, if you do the hob and oven bits in the same casserole dish. Unsure of qtys, bit I think the recipe is on the BBC Food website
We also have lots of salmon fillets - I slap a bit of pesto, breadcrumbs (from a packet) and parmesan on top - they are lovely!
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