AIBU to ask for kids evening meal ideas?

(50 Posts)
craicdealer Wed 26-Oct-16 12:27:07

OK so here’s the thing. My name’s craicdealer and I’m a complete and utter failure on the cooking front. I always thought that when I became a parent I would somehow change into this domestic goddess and it hasn’t happened. I thought I’d be able to make my kids tasty, healthy meals from scratch but all that happens is I try and cook – badness happens. On one memorable occasion I managed to set the microwave on fire whilst making cakes for the school fair.

I’m a single parent with 3 kids so we leave at 7:30 every morning and drop them off at childminders / breakfast school club, then go to work, then do the whole thing in reverse so we’re all at home for 17:30. I need to be able to make my kids quick, cheap healthy meals but I haven’t a clue on how to get started with meal planning. AIBU to ask for your ideas?

ByeByeLilSebastian Wed 26-Oct-16 12:30:01

A slow cooker could be your friend. Do your kids like casserole type meals? tThey do well to be cooked that long

FreeButtonBee Wed 26-Oct-16 12:33:34

chicken or salmon noodles. Pre cooked udon noodles )the big fat ones), left over chicken or finely sliced chicken breast or salmon fillet (pork fillet also works well), then a mix of whatever veg they will eat (sweetcorn, carrot, peas, red pepper all go down well here, I usually add in one random veg to expand things) then a bit of garlic, honey, soy sauce. finished in less than 10 mins.

Discopanda Wed 26-Oct-16 12:36:49

I have a fussy eater so I sneak spinach into her by making green pancakes, it's a breakfast for dinner thing that she loves and takes 5 minutes, you blend a massive handful of baby spinach (or a few chunks of defrosted frozen spinach but that has more of a taste to hide) with some milk so it's milkshake consistancy, add an egg and a couple of big handfuls of flour, if you're worried about them tasting spinach you can add a dash of vanilla and I sometimes add Aldi's ground flaxseed too, then just fry them like you would do regular pancakes and serve them with fruit. You can also batch cook pasta with veg, cheese, sauce, etc. and freeze it. Chilli is great in a slow cooker and freezes well.

BorpBorpBorp Wed 26-Oct-16 12:39:25

Do you have any time for cooking at the weekend? You can make at least Monday's and Tuesday's food, e.g. make a shepherd's pie or lasagne on Sat, but make 2 and save one in the fridge for Monday. Sunday roast? Prep extra veg and keep in fridge til Tuesday, heat through leftover meat in gravy and all you have to make is the mash.

Cloclomomo Wed 26-Oct-16 12:40:39

Placemarking - am also struggling on this front with small children who are becoming ever more picky in their eating habits!

lastqueenofscotland Wed 26-Oct-16 12:40:55

Super fail safe ones I'd say are
Eggs on toast
Dahl and naan
Pasta green veg and pesto
Stir fry (you can get the veg pre chopped)
Jackets with fillings and side salad
Stuff you just put in the oven with some veg
A lot of one pot rice dishes are pretty easy. Lots of American sites have them on.

NapQueen Wed 26-Oct-16 12:42:46

Slow cooker!

Argos do a 5l one for 20quid we have it and it's amazing.

Once all the kids are in bed chuck all the ingredients for bolognaise in there and shove the removable part in the fridge

Next morning put it into the slow cooker and turn it on low. Home to delicious dinner. To save even more time serve it with crusty bread instead of boiling pasta.

ByeByeLilSebastian Wed 26-Oct-16 12:45:14

You can hide loads of veggies in bolognese too, especially done in a slow cooker

FlouryBap Wed 26-Oct-16 12:47:14

Another one for the slow cooker, espeically in winter. I put a whole chicken in it in the monring with some veg and stock and put it on for six hours. Mine has a keep warm function so it is warm when we get home.

Also fish cooked in foil. I have it wrapped up and in the fridge with lemon and some herbs. Then bung it in the oven when you get home.

ComfortingKormaBalls Wed 26-Oct-16 12:50:33

get frozen onions, mushroom and peppers to throw into anything.

I was running late recently and threw a packet of stewing beef (still clung together) and a jar of curry sauce into the slow cooker - 8 hours later, bloody lovely! I did chop some onions and peppers in when I got home but frozen would have been quicker.

whippetwoman Wed 26-Oct-16 12:55:16

I am utterly rubbish at cooking too craic so you're really not alone. I am reading with interest! Mine are 4, 12 and 14 so have had to put with crap cooking for years blush

CheshireChat Wed 26-Oct-16 13:28:57

Also, white sauces are quick and forgiving, yesterday I grabbed some milk tossed garlic, herbs, leftover chicken, gnocchi, new potatoes (from a tin!), big of cheese and cornflour and I had a lovely dinner. All one pot.

CheshireChat Wed 26-Oct-16 13:29:59

Bit of cheese, about 75 grams I believe for about 4 portions.

formerbabe Wed 26-Oct-16 13:47:46

Easy meals I do...

Chicken Kiev, frozen mash, frozen peas

Jacket potatoes with beans, cheese or tuna

Ready made pizza with salad

Chicken noodles, boil any veg and noodles in same pan, fry chopped chicken . Drain veg and noodles, add chicken and a ready-made stir fry sauce

Cook pasta, add tuna, sweet corn and a spoon of mayo

craicdealer Wed 26-Oct-16 14:38:39

Wow! Some brilliant ideas here. I have a slow cooker as well - time to pull it out from the back of the kitchen press and put it to use :-)

Liiinoo Wed 26-Oct-16 14:50:14

You have had lots of great ideas for main courses on here. I would add soup (the nice ones in a tub) with a roll. Also tortilla wraps with chicken - you slice up a chicken breast (or buy it ready sliced ), fry it in a little oil for about 10 mins and then serve with lettuce/Mayo/cucumber etc. The kids kids can roll their own wraps up.

When I was stuck for a veg accompaniment I would give them sliced cucumber/ peppers/apples. They loved that. Also a salad made of a raw grated carrot (one grated carrot goes a LONG way ) mixed with raisins.

mrselizabethdarcy Wed 26-Oct-16 14:51:14

Placemarking fo ideas 😃

soloula Wed 26-Oct-16 14:54:14

Macaroni cheese always gets inhaled by my two (1yo and 3yo). I make my cheese sauce in the time it takes to cook the pasta so it's nice and quick. I often add veggies like broccoli and peas that can be boiled in with the pasta (add them partway/towards the end of cooking so they don't turn to mush).

Omelettes are another favourite with a wee bit of whatever cold meat and veggies or cheese is in the fridge.

We also use the ready made cheese and tomato pizzas from the supermarket and top with veg and meat and some extra cheese. Cooks in about ten minutes.

Cous cous is good too and quicker than rice, which can be awkward to cook in really small kids portions.

I've always got mince in gravy in the freezer and can defrost it in the time it takes to cook some mashed potatoes.

WankersHacksandThieves Wed 26-Oct-16 15:01:12

There is nothing wrong with decent fish fingers served with frozen mash and peas or beans.

Grilled or George foremaned chicken pieces of the bone. Thighs are good. Coat with spices Ala nand is and serve with micro rice or supernoodles corn on rhetoric cob, garlic bread. etc. Omelette and wedges. Get cold sliced meat, cook it in a casserole dish with gravy and serve with puff pastry cooked separately. Mince cobbler or Mince with frozen dumplings goosed on top.

WankersHacksandThieves Wed 26-Oct-16 15:02:48

Hopefully that's readable blush

NotWithoutMyMerkin Wed 26-Oct-16 15:06:57

Some staples here;
Salmon or grilled chicken with veg
Tuna fish cakes (homemade, dead easy and you can freeze them)
Spag Bol - cook a big batch and freeze, and you can add loads of veg in it
Sausage and tomato pasta
Jacket potato and fillings
Curries - there's a nice chicken and sweet potato one on BBC food and ditto a cauliflower tikka masala
Fish pie
Slow cooker - chilli, sausage casserole, lamb tagine

thestylethatdecadesforgot Wed 26-Oct-16 15:09:57

soloula how do you make your cheese sauce for the Mac please? I can never ever get it right!

Pastaagain78 Wed 26-Oct-16 15:11:07

Toasted sandwich and soup. Nice in the winter,
cheese and ham,
cheese and tomato,
pesto, chicken and cheese,
pepperoni, cheese and tomato.

I buy grated mozzarella and freeze it.

Marshmallows and chocolate buttons.

That1950sMum Wed 26-Oct-16 15:18:48

My kids' favourite is jacket potatoes cooked until soft then scoop out the middles, mix the potato with tomato puree, chopped ham, sweetcorn (or any veg they'll eat) and grated cheese and then bung back in the oven for another five minutes to get it warm again and melt the cheese.

We also eat quite a lot of cauliflower cheese, sausage casserole, warm potato salad (new spuds fried in a pan with salami and veggies and served with a poached egg if I'm feeling fancy), spaghetti with passata and finely chopped courgette stirred through served with grated cheese.

All this sounds impressive - but they're having fish finger sandwiches and tinned tomato soup tonight!

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