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You are knackered, in a hurry, and you need a decent meal. What do you make?

(30 Posts)
thereistheball Thu 04-Oct-12 06:00:46

I have premature twins in hospital for the long haul and a daughter at school whose child care arrangements keep falling apart. I need to be in 3 places at once and none of them is in a supermarket or in front of the cooker. But I like good food and need to eat properly to keep my strength up (I am pumping milk for two and fighting off the inevitable back-to-school lurgy). For te last two days we've been living off variations of egg, ham, mushrooms and cheese on toast. What do you make when you're in a hurry but on your last legs? I don't mean ready meals (you can't get decent ones in France where I live) or stuff out of a packet/jar - I want proper food ideas to keep body and soul together please, preferably with leftover ideas for lunch for me that I can take into hospital (no fridge) so I don't have to live on baguettes. One last detail - I may be diabetic so I am trying to avoid sugar or anything too carby eg pasta or the aforementioned baguettes. Things like couscous etc are fine as an accompaniment but not as the main component of the meal. I try to stick with wholemeal carbs where possible.

Help me plan my meals please - thanks very much!

HeffalumpsAndGoldenWoozles Thu 04-Oct-12 06:22:26

Both my favourite 5 minute meals are pasta but if you used wholemeal pasta would that make it better for your requirements?

My absolute laziest is pasta with a tin of tuna, a tin of sweet corn and loads of grated cheese all chucked together while the pan's still hot so it goes all melty and lovely.

If I can be bothered to chop vegetables then I plonk a load if whatever is available peppers/courgettes/tomatoes/onions/mushrooms etc in a frying pan with olive oil garlic and chili paste, bacon if I have it or leftover chicken, and stir fry until all the flavours run together, then chuck over pasta and scoff.

Have you got a slow cooker? 5 mins chucking anything & everything in in the morning gives you tasty stew by the afternoon for very little effort, and it freezes well too.

Hope you manage to get through what sounds like a really tough time smile

PotteringAlong Thu 04-Oct-12 06:24:58

Roast chicken - have it as a main meal then add onions and stock for soup.

Have you got a slowcooker?

Rosa Thu 04-Oct-12 06:27:44

Large batch of vege soup that you can just heat up (freeze the rest), then you can take to hosp in a termos. ? Large stew that you could do the same. Does your over have a timer? jacket potatoes. Do you have a local friendly restaurant that could make up a few dishes for you that you could bung in the freezer ? Just an idea......

MavisG Thu 04-Oct-12 06:33:49

Steak/chops/fish + rice/couscous & salad or veg: cook an extra portion for next day's lunch, don't stint on the lunch protein.
Frittatas - more effort than omelette but great for leftovers
Tuna nicoise good for next day too, as are any hearty salads.

BBC good food website has a filter for easy/time available, might be worth a look. Eat eggs/protein & fat rather than just a croissant for breakfast if you can.

thereistheball Thu 04-Oct-12 07:38:30

Thanks! I do have protein for breakfast, and try to stay away from croissants etc as far as possible ignores pain au chocolat in bag.

No slow cooker and I haven't yet used the timer function on my oven. The next time I'm at home awake for more than a few hours I might test it out but then I might as well do normal cooking anyway, iyswim. I have been doing a lot of roast chicken as the basis for a proper meals and lots I leftovers - I tend to do two at a time so I don't have to think much about what to eat for a few days. I do have a thermos flask so could do a batch of soup - that's a great idea. Something meaty and sustaining - maybe pea and ham. A pot of that plus a cold chicken and a bolognese or a stew ought to see us through next week. I think I need to schedule a few hours for a cookathon. Thanks!

SoggyMoggy Thu 04-Oct-12 07:47:43

My favorite crazy-quick is making up packets in butcher's paper and tossing them in the microwave or the oven. There's all kinds of choices. My favorite is broccoli, salmon or other fish, some lemon and a smidge of cream cheese.

Bonsoir Thu 04-Oct-12 07:52:09

Oh, thereistheball - congratulations on your twins! I had no idea!

Monoprix is your friend. There is a good selection of pre-prepped vegetables for the microwave (or you can just steam them) by C-Zon, and you can buy all sorts of meat that needs very little work - think chicken fillets that you chargrill (5 minutes max), small fillet steaks ditto, little chickens (coquelets) that only need 30 minutes roasting in a very hot oven.

qo Thu 04-Oct-12 07:56:48

This was me last night (knackered, hungry, low carbing and in a hurry) I had a chilli prawn salad - it was deeee-licious and only took 10mins max

PropositionJoe Thu 04-Oct-12 07:57:57

For a one off I like tinned tuna with poached egg and broccoli. 5 mins max, but not much help for tomorrow's lunch. If you can buy ready made fresh cheese sauce like you can here, a tub of that in the fridge is useful to jazz up plain veg. Have nuts and dried fruit to snack on?

thereistheball Thu 04-Oct-12 08:07:31

Hello Bonsoir! How are you? I hear you re Monoprix (though the one near me is small and not as well stocked as central Paris ones). I think I actually need to get myself to Picard, although my freezer is mostly home to the European breast milk lake. In fact, do Picard deliver? Must check.

These are all great ideas: love the sound of the prawn and chilli salad. Please keep them coming!

PurplePidjin Thu 04-Oct-12 08:09:19

Cous cous made with veg stock and a handful of frozen peas/sweetcorn. 3 minutes in the microwave grin

Congratulations and i hope life calms down soon thanks

Bonsoir Thu 04-Oct-12 08:10:25

I'm fine thanks - certainly nothing as exciting or challenging as premature twins to report! Yes, Picard is probably a very good idea too - they definitely deliver. I never use Picard but I know a lot of French working mothers cater entirely from there. Maybe you should buy a bigger freezer? Which you can also order online and have delivered, from Darty.

thereistheball Thu 04-Oct-12 08:21:44

Hello Bonsoir! How are you? I hear you re Monoprix (though the one near me is small and not as well stocked as central Paris ones). I think I actually need to get myself to Picard, although my freezer is mostly home to the European breast milk lake. In fact, do Picard deliver? Must check.

These are all great ideas: love the sound of the prawn and chilli salad. Please keep them coming!

thereistheball Thu 04-Oct-12 08:24:08

Oops, didn't mean to post that again, sorry.

Bonsoir - I did just buy a new big freezer, from Darty, 3 weeks ago smile

somebloke123 Thu 04-Oct-12 10:20:00

Probably sardines on toast, with a touch of Worcester sauce + sprig of parsley if any happens to be lying around.

sleeplessinderbyshire Thu 04-Oct-12 10:25:43

i always keep raw king prawns and scallops in the freezer. They cook really fast from frozen. I tend to fry them in some olive oil add a splash of white wine and a dollop of creme fraiche and toss with pasta. If you are avoiding pasta you could perhaps do scallops and bacon or chorizo with a big salad.

Another quick one is pork fillet dusted with paprika, fried quickly with some chopped garlic, big dollop of dijon mustard and creme fraiche. I serve with rice and peas/salad but could be carb free and add extra veg

Chicken breast cut smallish and fried with chorizo and some halved cherry tomatoes is lovely with pasta or cous cous....

Good luck and congratulations on the twins

BriocheDoree Thu 04-Oct-12 10:38:25

Thereistheball, Picard DO deliver: I used them when DS turned up a week or so early and MIL, DH and DD were all in a house with no food (DH Doesn't drive).
Also a big fan of frozen seafood (my kids love prawns and mussels).
Fillet de porc is a really quick roast, also. Heat oven to 200, roll fillet in olive oil, salt pepper and (in my case) fennel seeds, bung in oven and ignore for an hour (or baste if you can be bothered) Can be served with any green veg (again, I always have peas and haricots verts in the freezer. Preprepared veg from monoprix or carrefour market, s Bonsoir says.
Congratulations on your twins!

BriocheDoree Thu 04-Oct-12 10:40:10

Oh yes, and eggs are good: scrambled egg or omelette with smoked salmon or whatever you fancy.

Bonsoir Thu 04-Oct-12 10:42:57

You can get your butcher to prepare super-thin veal escalopes and then shallow fry them in beaten egg and chapelure while cooking some pre-prepared haricots verts. Ready in 10 minutes.

Pasanna Thu 04-Oct-12 18:12:11

Super U do quite a good frozen paella, what about using the deli counter at the supermarket, they usually have things like couscous, blanquette etc. Shepards/cottage pie is quick and easy to do and you could use frozen mash.
Salmon quiche is good for a quick supper, fillet of salmon ready rolled pastry,small tub of crime fraiche, 4 eggs dash of milk, seasoning and a sprinkle of tarragon or dill. Top with cheese and serve with a salad. You can have it cold for lunch.
If you have a pressure cooker beef bourginon takes about an hour to cook, meat's on special offer here atm do big batch and freeze, serve with rice, jacket spuds etc.
Congratulations on your twins!

greenandcabbagelooking Thu 04-Oct-12 20:30:05

Creamy greeny pasta - cooked pasta with salmon (I used the microwave in the bag stuff, or poach for a few minutes), peas, broccoli and spinach.

Peas/broccoli from freezer, cooked in microwave then added to pasta. Spinach wilted with kettle-ful of water. Flake salmon, add everything to pasta pot, with a little cream, cream cheese, mascarpone or whatever. Stir and heat. Eat, with grated cheese and/or chilli flakes.

Leftovers for lunch.

sharond101 Thu 04-Oct-12 22:26:28

Cous cous with stir fried or roasted veg, pine nuts and chorizo with pesto mixed through is ready in 7minutes from start to finish and good cold next day.

Wingdingdong Sun 07-Oct-12 02:12:22

Firm white fish (eg haddock/cod loin). Couple of sage leaves on top, wrap in Parma ham. Bung in oven on gas 7 (200???) for 7-10 mins depending on thickness.

Meanwhile rinse/drain tin of flageolet beans (cannellini work just as well IMO). Add crushed garlic clove. Heat gently in saucepan for a couple of mins. Add olive oil and lemon juice (think orig recipe was a tbsp oil and 15ml juice but I just shake the bottle over it till it looks/tastes right). Orig recipe says remove from heat at this point and stir in 50g of rocket (with 1 tin beans and 4 fish pieces to serve 4 people). I normally keep it on low for another min and tip in an entire bag of rocket (with 1 tin beans and 2 fish pieces) to serve 2 adults plus a bit cut off for toddler plus some mashed for 7m baby.

Anyway, vary proportions to suit but the whole thing is ready in <15 mins and is nutritious and filling with no refined carbs.

VeganBody Sun 07-Oct-12 02:34:02

Congratulations on your twins, and good luck with the juggling.
Lots of low carb and quick, healthy recipes here:

But, maybe things that you chuck in the oven for a couple of hours whilst you're out with your twins or daughter might work? So, slow cooked butternut squash, and then stuff with some red lentils/dhal as v quick. Or slow roast veg then tossed into some whole meal pasta / bulgar. Tagine style, where the carb isn't the majority ingredient.

My swift default setting is chucking red lentils in water and some spices, a dash of light coconut milk and about ten minutes later you have a good lentil soup.

Bon chance!

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