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Meal plans for the lazy/unenthusiastic?

(11 Posts)
SunnilyEnough Tue 20-Sep-11 13:09:16

I need some new midweek meal ideas - it's usually just me eating with 6yo and 2yo and I feel like I spend half my time thinking about what we're going to have for supper. We usually have things like soup, pasta, eggs, sandwiches: I need to extend my repertoire without spending hours every day cooking.

Any suggestions for other child-friendly, easy meals ready in under half an hour?! (Also ideas for more efficient-type cooking - ie make bolognese sauce, have spag bol one night, two nights later cottage pie?).

THINKING about bloody food is driving me mad!

Thanks!

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 20-Sep-11 13:45:49

How about spending some time at the weekend making large amounts of long-cook things and then freezing them for later in the week so you don't have to cook? I regularly batch-cook bolognese sauce, chicken curry and various beef/lamb casseroles in my pressure cooker, freeze in portions and then, when I don't have much time, I can defrost one & cook a bit of rice/pasta/spuds to go with it.

SunnilyEnough Tue 20-Sep-11 13:53:23

That's a good idea, thanks!

Laquitar Tue 20-Sep-11 13:58:57

I'm quite lazy grin so i will follow the thread.

Do you and your kids like fish? We often have cod or salmon fillet baked for 15 min in foil with some lemon and herbs. All i have to do is boil some new potatoes and broccoli. Or some rice.

Tinned pulses are also very handy. With rice or cous cous and raw peppers or tomatoes.

Some people might get a bit hmm at this but i bought a bag of frozen chopped onion and it makes cooking easier.

SunnilyEnough Tue 20-Sep-11 14:29:43

I like fish but 6yo is allergic to it, so that doesn't work for us unfortunately. Are there any easy chuck-in-the-oven meat recipes like that?!

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 20-Sep-11 14:41:37

Pork steaks or lamb chops are good baked in foil parcels

berri Wed 21-Sep-11 02:41:47

You could always get a slow cooker - then you can chuck everything in together in the morning, and it'll be ready for whenever you need it. Choose recipes which don't need any pre-cooking and it can all be done in about 15/20 mins, then cook for the rest of the day. As there are 3 of you, most recipes you'll be able to have either two days running, or you can freeze the other half to have the following week.

They are pretty cheap too and v economical to run, and then you don't have to think about meals at all during the day. And the week when you can just defrost the leftovers can be your week off smile

SunnilyEnough Fri 23-Sep-11 18:09:56

I'm really in two minds about a slow cooker - I loved the idea of it and was going to buy one and then suddenly seemed to read so many threads about them being rubbish, that I got nervous and changed my mind.

I do like the idea of it though - the efficiency and having leftovers etc.!

berri Fri 23-Sep-11 19:21:20

I'd honestly give it a try. They are pretty cheap now so wait until you see one for under £20 perhaps...

It's great - you can sort dinner out at the same time as breakfast or lunch, and not have to think about it again for the rest of the day. Perfect!

Fatshionista Fri 23-Sep-11 19:26:41

I have a lovely (cheap) Russell Hobbs slow cooker and I adore it. Last night I made a steak stew in it and the other day I made a bolognese. I throw whatever I need in there around 10am and by 5:30pm we all have dinner and I just have to boil pasta.

notnowImreading Fri 23-Sep-11 19:30:21

This might be a bit garlicky for kids but tastes good and is minimum input although a bit longer in the cooking than you prefer. I put a chicken breast (whole) per person in a small ceramic dish so they are quite crammed in, then put quite a lot of olive oil over all of them, some peeled garlic cloves (about as many as chicken breasts) and small sprigs of rosemary, salt and pepper. Put foil over the top of the dish and bake in the oven for about 35-40 mins depending on how many chicken breasts are in the dish (I do 40 mins for 3). This is even nicer if you put a bit of white wine and mushrooms in with it, but adds ingredients and makes it less child friendly. I boil new potatoes for 10 mins in kettle water on the stove, then put these in the oven with olive oil for mini-roasties for 30 mins at 210 degrees C.

Caveat - I don't have kids! I don't really know much about cooking for children but I do know about being lazy and doing as little as possible for dinner while going off to watch telly for half an hour.

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