What healthy stuff do you make when you come home late & need to get food on the table quickly?

(15 Posts)
bunjies Thu 30-Jan-14 10:55:05

Dh has just started a new job so now we both get in from work between 6-6.30. We try to batch cook as much as possible but it's not always possible so it would be good to have some easy alternatives. What healthy meals can we make quickly so we're not eating at 8pm?!

These are my weekly meal fast things to make:

Pasta with a tomato and lentil sauce. Takes as long as it takes to cook the pasta. I just mix a tin of lentils and a tin of passatta together for the sauce and boil the heck out of it whilst the pasta is cooking - the intense cooking makes the tomatoes sweeter.

Pasta with roast vegetables - e.g. cherry tomatoes, courgettes, mushrooms. Takes about 30 mins.

Chickpea and aubergine tagine with cous cous. Takes 30 minutes but you can prepare the night before whilst making the one below, or vice versa.

Paneer and chickpea curry with basmati rice. Stir some chickpeas and some chopped paneer into a good quality curry sauce (I use the ones aimed at the Asian market rather than Uncle Ben's). Cook for 20 minutes. Whilst this is cooking I make the rice using the "bring to the boil, cover and switch off heat for 8 minutes" method.

Pizza - not really healthy but you can make healthy toppings, and once a week doesn't hurt.

bunjies Thu 30-Jan-14 13:32:43

Thanks worldgonecrazy. Some good ideas there. How do you do your tagine?

Any more?

To make the tagine I fry the aubergine in oil with some ras el-hanout, then add the chickpeas, a tin of tomatoes and some stock, then cover and cook it for about another 25 minutes. If I've made it too wet, I take the lid off for the last few minutes of cooking to allow the sauce to boild down a bit.

Mrswellyboot Thu 30-Jan-14 13:37:24

Gnocchi only takes five mins and we batch cook mince in little pots or stit in dolmio pot

Ready to wok noodle and chicken stir fry with sweet chill

Omelettes

Wraps and salad

ShoeWhore Thu 30-Jan-14 13:41:35

Pasta pesto with salmon and broccoli and/or peas isn't bad nutritionally. I microwave the salmon (only takes a min or two) and pop the veg in with the pasta for the last few mins.

Omelettes are good.

Stir fry if you choose low chopping veg (eg broccoli, spring onions don't take too long to chop) or buy the ready chopped packs.

Egg fried rice with spring onions, peas and sweetcorn is pretty quick. I might do some broccoli as well to boost the veg content.

mumbaisapphirebluespruce Thu 30-Jan-14 13:41:51

Some of my simplest meals are basically meat/fish and then some kind of salad.

I make sure I have a supply of pork chops/chicken thighs/salmon fillets etc in the freezer. Remove one in the morning for that evening so it is defrosting during the day. Then come home, and all you have to do is grill/pan fry the meat or fish and prepare a salad. My favourite is a tomato salad with thinly sliced red onion and green or red pepper. I dress it with a pinch of dried oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil and red wine vinegar and crumble in some feta cheese and perhaps some olives too. Really easy and healthy.

Another salad that requires no cooking is a tuna lentil thing. All you do is open tins. Tin of tuna, tin of ready to eat lentils or cannelini beans. Then add veg. I usually add cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, spring onions, peppers etc. if I have fresh herbs then they go in too. Coriander, parsley and maybe some mint. Maybe some rocket leaves if you have them. Dress with olive oil, red wine vinegar or perhaps balsamic. You could add feta too. You could have that on the table in less than 15 mins!

overthemill Thu 30-Jan-14 13:44:00

I keep bag frozen ratatouille in freezer and stir fry quickly then add can cherry tomatoes. Add chilli flakes. Serve with instant couscous. Takes about ten fifteen minutes.

Also to go with couscous, flash fried Moroccan chicken. Chop chicken breast or thigh fillets. Fry in olive oil. Add chilli flakes, tablespoon cinnamon , chopped mint (or I use MIT sauce!) garlic and handful sultanas and pine nuts. Serve with the couscous, yoghurt and bagged salad.

Omelette? Chicken liver pasta: cook pasta and while cooking fry chicken livers with chopped onions. When almost cooked add tablespoon butter and tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Stir. Pour over cooked pasta.

Risotto only takes 20 mins start to finish but you do have to stand and stir!

Nigel slater has a 30 minutes cook book which I used to death. Loads of great fast ideas. I never spend more than 30 mins except for batch cooking ( and most of that is on sol cooker)

overthemill Thu 30-Jan-14 13:44:57

Oh yes and grill or fry salmon fillets several with sweet chili sauce and brown rice broccoli or else stir through tabouleh

ShoeWhore Thu 30-Jan-14 13:48:26

This one is a bit storecupboardy but is very comforting and has become a bit of a staple in our house. Chickpea and pasta soup. For 2, put half a tin of whole tomatoes (without the juice) in a biggish saucepan, chop them up a bit then add 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled & slightly squashed, a glug of olive oil, and either a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary or a sprinkling of dried rosemary, a drained tin of chickpeas and cover generously with stock (I use Marigold powder to make my stock) Cook this for a bit (say 10-15 mins) so the flavours mingle then add pasta of your choice (I like either normal size penne or the tiny soup pasta shells are even better) and cook until the pasta is done. Serve with a drizzle of chilli oil and plenty of grated parmesan.

Or Nigella's spaghetti carbonara takes some beating although I am sure we halve those quantities for 2 (500g of pasta for 2 people?? shock ) Not too unhealthy if you add a big salad.

BBC Good Food website is also good for quick healthy midweek ideas.

bunjies Thu 30-Jan-14 21:06:17

Really liking these suggestions. Need to do a big store cupboard shop this weekend methinks.

panedd Thu 30-Jan-14 21:26:48

Rice stir fried with tuna, peas, sweetcorn, peppers and onion. I keep blue dragon pouches and chuck one in but it is really tasty with just soy sauce.

Chicken breast with skin on seared in a really hot frying pan then add halved new potatoes, wedges of red onion, chunks of carrot, a couple of garlic cloves, thyme, half a bottle of white or rose wine and some chicken or vegetable stock (knorr stock pots are good).
Simmer for a little while until the liquid reduces a little then bung into a baking tray and put in the oven until the potatoes and chicken are cooked.
Lovely served with buttered green beans or asparagus.

Noggie Thu 30-Jan-14 22:08:19

Falafel only needs to be in the oven for about 10min so a good option on days you need a quick dinner. We have them with pitta bread cut in half - dd like filling them with falafel or humous or Philadelphia plus cucumber/tomatoes/red peppers etc

Onykahonie Thu 30-Jan-14 23:05:22

I do things like pesto pasta (with whatever veg I have left over), Quorn souvlaki in pitta with salad or paneer tikka kebabs in pittas with salad and mint sauce. You could use chicken instead of paneer/Quorn and either marinate over night or just leave in the marinade for 5 minutes if you want to speed things up!

WilsonFrickett Fri 31-Jan-14 00:05:45

Grilled salmon with spiced chickpeas (put salt and seasoning on a plate, drain tin chickpeas, roll in seasoning, fry in a tiny bit of olive oil) coat salmon with Harissa and fry or grill, serve with salad.

Really quick prawn curry - soften onions, add curry paste from a jar or homemade, cook, add around 150 ml of coconut milk, throw in some veg then the prawns. Meanwhile boil noodles or microwave a rice sachet (I know but it only takes 2 mins and I'm shit at making rice). Eat.

Spicy pasta: dry fry pancetta till crispy, while thats happening slice mushrooms and boil water for pasta. Add the mushrooms to the pancetta with a good pinch of chilli, cook. Put the pasta in the boiling water, add something green like broccoli. Reserve a cup of pasta water, drain pasta and veg, add to mushrooms and pancetta with a good handful of parmasan and some of the cooking water, stir. Lovely.

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