Easy Mid-Week Meals(34 Posts)
I've just gone back to work full time, both DH and I commute and we're both notoriously dreadful at planning and organising our food due to hectic work and social lives. Plus there's a lot of "what do you want for tea?" "I don't know, what do you want for tea.." ad infinitum.
I've tried in the past to meal plan and budget but life always gets in the way. We also always forget what kind of food we can have, decide we don't know what we want/have nothing in the house and end up with a takeaway. So what I'm trying to do now is have a printed out list as an easy-refer guide. Can you help me?
So far I've got the obvious options chilli/bolognese, pasta dishes, etc but I'd love to hear of any specific easy tasty dishes you guys have on your weekly rota.
Easy sausage casserole.
Cook sausages (real ones or quorn ones, whatever you like).
Put in ovenproof dish.
Mix together one tin baked beans, one tin chopped toms & one green pepper. Add to that whatever flavour or seasoning you like (I usually chuck in some herbs and a chilli as I like things hot).
Pour over sausages.
Cook in oven for about 15/20mins.
If you're feeling greedy this is yummy if you make some eggy bread to go with it.
We always have sweet chilli and plum sauce in the fridge, use left over meat or buy cooked meat specially and use up whatever is in the fridge out of coleslaw, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers.
The wraps can be frozen but need to come out in advance to defrost.
I have a loose meal plan, i.e. a list of meals we have stuff for but not allocated to specific days. Then each morning I decide what we're having and get any bits out of the freezer.
Oven baked bacon and leek risotto. Chop 6 rashers of bacon, finely slice 2 leeks. Fry off bacon in casserole dish for few mins then add leeks and fry for 5 mins until soft.
Add 250g arborio rice and 700ml stock. Put in oven 200c 180 fan for 20 mins, stirring halfway through. After 20 mins add handful frozen peas and return to oven for further5 mins. Stir through couple of spoons of cream cheese and serve! Delish and easy.
Prawn or chicken green curry - aubergine, courgette, (and mange tout, babycorn if you have them), jar of curry paste and can of coconut milk.
Thanks, these are good. I think it's all about having ideas so you don't just look in your very well stocked cupboard and think, well there's NOTHING to eat in there....
I would love the recipe for herby spinach lentils - is it likely to be suitable for a 7mo if I use the right stock?
Salmon and pesto brown rice - stir pesto through the rice, then break up a salmon steak per person into the mix. Add halved cherry tomatoes. Great with a green salad.
I am noting down these recipes with interest! I am back to work soon and am also a planning disaster.
I would also be interested in the herby spinach recipe.
To add to the above, if you have frozen salmon steaks that you could just defrost in the microwave, then the only fresh ingredient is the tomatoes.
Red lentil spaghetti is also a favourite of mine. Let me see if I can find the recipes.
Have C&P'd this
Jamie Oliver recipe for Salmon fillet wrapped in prosciutto with herby lentils, spinach and yoghurt from his book "The Return of the Naked Chef" - serves 4.
4 x 225gr/8oz salmon fillets, skinned and pin-boned
salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 slices of prosciutto
juice of 1 lemon
2 good handfuls of mixed herbs (flat-leaf parsley, basil, mint) chopped
3 large handfuls of spinach, chopped
200ml/7fl.oz natural yoghurt
Prehead the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7.
Put the lentils into a pan, cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender.
Season the salmon fillets with a little pepper before wrapping them in the prosciutto slices. Leave some of the flesh exposed. Drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven for around 10 minutes until the prosciutto is golden. Feel free to cook the salmon for less time if pinker is to your liking.
Drain away most of the water from the lentils and season carefully with salt, pepper, the lemon juice and 4 good lugs of olive oil. Just before serving stir the herbs and spinach into the lentils on a high heat, until wilted. Place on to plates with the salmon and finish with a drizzle of lightly seasoned yoghurt.
I tend to use tinned puy lentils so just warm them through and drain before adding the lemon juice, olive oil, herbs and spinach. I also use creme fraiche instead of yogurt
Frittata, with 6 eggs, left over cooked potatoes, all your old peppers, onion, mushroom, some chorizo/bacon, cheese on top. Served with [frozen when on offer] garlic bread and green salad.
Spaghetti carbonara - fry bacon in big heavy casserole, set aside. Boil spag. Meanwhile combine 1/2 tub creme fraiche, 1 egg, 1 tbsp grated cheese. Add drained pasta to bacon, stir in cream without heating. Serve immediately [nice with griddled courgettes]
both quick and don't require a special shop
Jacket spuds with beans/grated cheese/tuna/garlic mushrooms/soured cream and chives/whatever takes your fancy....
Obvious I guess, but in case it's not on the list yet...!!
I do a chicken and rice dish that takes 30 mins.
Cut up chicken breast and marinade in honey, orange juice, garam massala and turmeric for 5 mins or so (in my house this can be anything from 3 hours to 30 secs)
Fry off the chicken in batches and remove to a plate, then fry off an onion to pick up the sticky juices.
Put chicken back in pan with rest of marinade. Stir in rice (I use long grain) so rice is coated with marinade.
Add boiled water, or chicken stock (double the quanitiy to rice)
put lid on and cook for 10 mins on low heat
add sweetcorn and chopped peppers (or whatever you have lying around - peas are good)
cook for a further 5 minutes
I also do roast chicken - we have a spit roast in our oven, so I just bung on the chicken with some butter and maybe some herbs, put some chopped up potatoes on a tray underneath and wait 70 minutes. Much cheaper than a takeaway and gives leftovers for the next day and a carcass for stock.
Sausage Tray Bakes! These are cheap, quick and can be made of pretty much anything you have in the fridge.
My personal favourite combination is venison sausages, cherry tomatoes, red onion cut into chunks and new potato. I cut the spuds in half lengthways, parboil them and toss them in a little olive oil, rosemary and garlic. Chuck them into a baking tray with the other ingredients, season and drizzle over some balsamic glaze. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 200/gas mark 6.
Sometimes I add cubes of feta, or halloumi. Sometimes sliced red peppers, asparagus and/or wedges of courgette. Sometimes I toss a few chilli flakes in to liven it up.
So many possibilities!
Just marking my place to take note of these amazing ideas!!!!
God I always end up salivating over the Food section (sorry TMI!) around this time of the evening when I am SERIOUSLY hungry and see all these great ideas!
Buy a kit, or just some salsa and wraps, plus chicken and whatever veg you want. Just cook it all up and eat it out of the wraps. Takes 10 mins!
Tonight we had good food mahazine's grilled veg tostadas. Was fab and so easy. Cook a bag of waitrose frozen grilled veg (aubergine, peppers etc), sprinkling some chilli flakes over first. Cook tortillas for 5 mins til crispy. Pile high with veg, salsa of tomatoes and avocado, rocket and crumbled feta. Was delicious.
Ooh, yes, frozen char-grilled veg (I got a bag from Aldi for £1.50) are dead useful! I used them to make a stir fry with tofu (or chunks of meat if preferred) - just added extra onion, ginger and garlic plus a little soy sauce and some lime juice. Job done!
Thanks Peggotty, I'll be making that in the next few days. Sounds lovely, and so simple!
I am the queen of easy food, not even much chopping required! Chicken drumsticks, boil in bag basmati rice with baby corn - VERY easy! Jacket potatoes, tuna and salad. Microwaved salmon fillets, baby potatoes and roast veg (peppers, onions, courgettes). Ready cooked chicken, nice bread and salad. Pasta, pesto and chicken. Chicken korma (slow cooker), boil in bag basmati rice and naan breads. Steak, potato wedges and peas. Pizza and salad. Soup and part baked rolls. I work full time too and keep it very simple!
That thai baked rice is on my repertoire and absolutely delish!
Quick favourites here include:
* fishcakes, mashed pt and any fish you fancy, precooked. salmon, smoked trout, mackerel etc all good on the omega 3 front too!. you can lay on a greased tray and oven bake just like that or be keen and egg then breadcrumb dip and fry or bake. serve with a quick HM tartar ie mayo or creme fraiche/soured cream, chopped mixed herbs, horseradish, big squeeze lemon juice, chopped capers and gherkins.
* quesadillas..tortilla wraps, lay in a warm frying pan, spread with red pesto then grated cheese and top with another tortilla, flip once browned on bottom, cut into quateres and serve. can do variations like cheese and torn ham, tomatoes etc.
* filled and rebaked spuds. blitz spuds in micro then 10mins in oven to crisp a bit. slice in half, scoop out filling and mix with fried little bits of bacon, sliced spring onions, squirt of salad cream and cheese. refill the halves and back in oven for a few mins to brown.
* chicken leg stew, brown them in big pan, add chopped onions, carrots, celery and stock plus herbs and a can of green lentils, and bung in oven whilst you relax! )ps birds eye do a choped italian herb mix frozen which is FAB. I would add a good spronkle to this as well as on top of fish before cooking its really lovely)
*tomato soup. chop and fry onion, garlic, celery, carrots then add a tin of toms and some stock (chicken or veg). I then add any other veg that needs using up like sweet pot or butternut squah and also the magic ingredient which is sundried tomaotes from a jar along with a bit of the flavoured oil. simmer til all soft then blitz with hand blender. leftovers frozen in portions to be used a pizza topping or pasta sauce
*chicken pasta pesto, cooked chicken, cooked pasta and stir thru green pesto and serve with big salad.
will stop now, sorry!
I've put the recipe and photos of what I make my family for tea every night!
There's a section for "30 minutes or less" recipes or ones you can bung in your slow cooker in 5 minutes and leave overnight.
Hope there's something on there you like x
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