I've just started f/t work again, after being p/t for 9 years. I'll be getting home about 645pm every night, and have to get tea on the table asap for myself, husband (gets in about 7) and 13 y.o. Help! I've forgotten how to do this, and last time I did, child was a lot younger and had had a big dinner at nursery! Please can someone tell me how to feed family if you never have time in the week to cook from scratch?!
Firstly make a huge, flexible base meal on Sunday that you can use for loads of things, e.g. beef mince with onions, carrots, bay leaves and tinned tomatoes. Stick in the fridge and cook a small portion differently on various days, e.g.
- add kidney beans with chillis, oregano and cumin and serve with rice for chilli con carne - add peas, worcester sauce, more vegetable and serve with potatoes for cottage pie - add garlic and grate cheese over it with pasta for spaghetti bolognese - etc. etc.
You can do it with any meat but actually the cheapest work best (like braising steak etc)
Make a bit more variation by serving different meals in between days of the staple meals. There's lot of quick things, but great things are one you can cook in one big pot (e.g. pasta with vegetables and ham) which reduce washing up afterwards. If you can, great to have a few fresh herbs around plus nice deli things (e.g. good quality ham, cheese, capers etc) as they can make something dull much more tasty very quickly and easily.
Apart from that, always useful to have one or two ready meals in the freezer as back up for when youre feeling too knackered to do anything.