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Meal ideas needed please

(8 Posts)
Mowlem Mon 25-Jul-11 22:53:20

Okay, this is a complicated one, but DD (7) does a lot of gymnastics and has juts had her hours increased, so that now I need to provide lots of meals on the run. However, I'm at a loss of what will fulfill all our criteria...

1. She already has a pasta based meal one night a week, so I'd prefer something different to pasta if at all possible.

2. I only have half an hour to prepare the meal from getting in from work to collecting DD from school.

3. DD was raised vegetarian, and whilst she now chooses to eat some meat, she's not great on eating it and I'm not great on cooking it. I could manage sausages and the like, but have never cooked a roast in my life!

4. It needs to be fairly easy to eat, as she will be eating it in the car.

5. Given the amount of gym she does it needs to be nutritious too.

6. She does eat school dinners, but does have a lot of jacket potatoes, so I'd like to avoid them, if possible.

7. I'm a hopeless cook - DH does most of the cooking in our house, I rarely cook, so it needs to be easy too.

So, any ideas gratefully received for quick, easy to cook meals that are nutritious and easy to eat on the run.

Mowlem Mon 25-Jul-11 22:55:01

Forgot to say, usual thing is... She eats school dinners at school, will eat a main meal before gymnastics and then a good snack meal (sandwiches, beans on toast and the like) after gym. So I need a second proper meal iyswim.

Taffeta Mon 25-Jul-11 23:08:33

Quesadillas with cheese and pesto, raw veg on the side
Omelette or tortilla cut into strips
Rice bowl with soy and stir fried veg, can also add cut up strips of plain omelette
Another pasta meal - 2 x per week is fine

pengymum Mon 25-Jul-11 23:18:01

What about:
Rice and dhal (lentil curry)? Can make it mild if she is not into spices and serve with yoghurt and raita (chopped tomato, onion, cucumber plus anything else you like - we sometimes put in apple or mango, chopped fresh coriander, squeeze of lemon juice). I sometimes cook peas/chick peas/mixed frozen veg in with the rice as well.
My kids love it. There is a creamy/sweeter tasting version in Sarah Brown's Vegetarian cooking.
You can make the dal at the weekend and freeze in portions. Take portion out in the morning to defrost, cook rice fresh, add microwaved dhal and raita in a tupperware and your DD can eat a proper meal.
Also have you tried stuffed parathas? They are easy to make - prepare the dough in the morning or night before, cover in clingfilm and leave in fridge. For stuffing can use potatoes, radish, cooked keema (curried mince) or anything you fancy really as long as is not too 'wet'!
Noodle stirfry - can add chicken, beef, ham or prawns to veg and noodles.
Fajita wraps - stir fry thin strips of meat, add onions, peppers and carrots add spices (or El Paso packet spices) warm wrap, add sour cream, guacamole, salsa etc if liked and serve
Hot samosas with salad
Cornish pasty
Toasted sandwiches
These are tasty high carbohydrate dishes so good for active youngster.

Apart from these, anything is possible if you precook and freeze it. Just take it out to defrost in the morning and reheat/finish off when you get in.

ralfann Tue 26-Jul-11 10:42:09

My couscous Salad : Speedy + Tasty + Nutritious
for 4 portions (will keep in the fridge)
250g couscous : put in a bowl, top with 300ml boiling water, cover with cling film and leave to swell-
Meantime: chop 1 red onion, 1 shallot, 1 clove of garlic,1red & 1 green pepper, plenty herbs (parsley, coriander, mint....), juice & zest of 1 lemon. Add a can of mixed beans or 1 cup of edamame beans (good protein) -
Fluff the couscous , add all the above, season generously with olive oil, salt, pepper - either eat on its own, or add tinned tuna or flaked smoked mackerel, or pieces of cooked chicken.

Mowlem Tue 26-Jul-11 18:40:07

Thank you, some great ideas there. Particularly loving the couscous recipe. Would like more, if people have them - one thing I forgot to say earlier it also needs to be something that can go into a thermal lunchbox that can be kept warm until she eats it (which could be minutes, could be hours)

pengymum Tue 26-Jul-11 22:48:58

If you cook extra rice one day, can use the leftover rice the following evening to make egg fried rice and add some thin strips of meat, chicken, fish or prawns and lightly cooked peas/green beans or frozen mixed veg. This is another favourite with my family.
My recipe:
Fry finely chopped onion, garlic and ginger with veg/sunflower oil and a splash of toasted sesame oil in wok until starts to soften and can smell the ginger and garlic.
Add ground cumin and ground coriander and salt (to taste) and fry for 1 min.
Add handful of cooked green beans/peas/mixed veg if liked and stir fry for couple of mins and then push onion mixture to one side or take out altogether.
Can also add chopped green chilli or chilli powder if you want a kick.
Beat 1 or 2 eggs (if lots of rice) with some soy sauce and add to wok, avoiding the onion mixture but if a little mixes in is fine, scramble egg then remove from wok.
Put onion mixture back in if taken out and add any meat/chicken/prawns if using, stir fry for a minute or two then add cold rice, breaking up any lumps with your hands.
Stir fry quickly, mixing in with onion mixture until rice is hot.
Add handful of fresh chopped coriander or chives, if available.
Serve with soy sauce if liked.

Important thing is to lightly cook everything so is hot and crisp but not overcooked.
My family like it as it is but sometimes I stirfry beansprouts/pak choi/mushrooms etc to make it more substantial.

ralfann Thu 28-Jul-11 14:32:05

Here is one that will keep hot in a wide neck flask : Thick Minestrone using Orzo pasta (they look like rice)-
Soup base : chopped onion, leeks, carrots, celery : sweat in a pan
Add 2 cans of chopped tomatoes, 1 tbsp tomato puree, 2ltr stock - cook for 10mn then add two cups of Orzo pasta, add seasoning to taste,(optional:chopped courgettes in summer) leave to cook for a further 35mn. I like to make mine really thick so that it is more of a filling main course - I usually make big pans of it and then freeze - Ideal for two teenage boys to re-heat at anytime

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