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Need ideas for prepare-ahead-and-take-with-us meals, please!

(25 Posts)
SmallKindnesses Thu 31-Jan-13 11:02:06

We're going skiing next week, staying in a self-catering apartment and want to take some food with us (we're driving) so we don't have to cook from scratch every night. Dh is going to make a big tomatoey/veggie pasta sauce. What can I do apart from soup? Needs to be hearty and filling, everyone's hungry after a day skiing. Dcs don't really like curry, so I'm reluctant to do that and then have to make something else for them.

JennyPiccolo Thu 31-Jan-13 11:11:55

You could cook stew/bolognese/soup or whatever and keep it in the fridge, no? this is my favourite stew recipe, really hearty and tasty.

SmallKindnesses Thu 31-Jan-13 11:24:15

Will meat dishes be ok in the car? It'll be about a 7 hour drive.

ArbitraryUsername Thu 31-Jan-13 11:37:22

Pack them in a cool box/bag with plenty of ice packs. Batch cook up some staples. A big shepherd's/cottage pie, lasagne, moussaka, etc, etc.

This baked risotto is lovely. I leave out the prawns because DH won't eat them and often add some chopped pepper to it. It reheats fine for me. This giant cous cous is really nice too. You can chop us some leftover roast lamb and mix it through, have it with meatballs or just have it as a veggie dish. The kids love it and it reheats well. You could make it with normal cous cous or rice if you preferred.

You could also make some quick but filling food while you're there. Chicken and egg donburi is quick and easy (The recipe here gives you the general idea). You can use microwave rice to make it even quicker. And/or you can make it with already cooked chicken, rather than raw. I usually add some steamed broccoli to the bowls. The kids love it and it's ludicrously filling. Surprisingly so.

SmallKindnesses Thu 31-Jan-13 11:44:00

Thanks Arbitrary, the donburi looks great, might try that tonight!

ArbitraryUsername Thu 31-Jan-13 11:51:52

Actually, it tends to look lees than beautiful but it tastes great. I can easily feed all 4 of us with it on 2 chicken breasts and 4 eggs, with leftovers! I usually make mine with stock, soy sauce and mirin in the sauce. The actual recipe I use says to use a mix of sake and stock, but I never have any sake so I just double the amount of stock.

AnnIonicIsoTronic Thu 31-Jan-13 12:14:04


over-engineered much?

It really isn't that difficult to knock up a quick meal - compared to transporting a tray of lasagna across a continent.

Take a slow cooker with you. Maybe a few sauces to jazz up grilled protein & boiled veg type staples. Discover a love of soup, fondue & sandwiches.

TheMightyLois Thu 31-Jan-13 12:20:36

Rude much? hmm

OP - we do similar when we're self catering. 5 hour drive and if stuff is packed properly most stuff might still be frozen when you get there! Make in plenty of time and freeze well in advance, and pack close together. Stick the cool box in the middle of your boot between all your other bits, and make sure it's covered as well. It's great to have lots of meals to just warm up when you get there.

AnnIonicIsoTronic Thu 31-Jan-13 12:25:19


Mum work.

Triple the labour in the preceeding weeks in order to assuage the anxiety of being out of your normal environment.

How many casserole dishes and trays are involved?

What's wrong with simplify & adapt to the circumstance?

That lasagna is going to have one hell of a carbon footprint.

MortifiedAdams Thu 31-Jan-13 12:31:45

We do a big self catering holiday every year and always.take a big pan of goulash with us. We also take a bagged salad and some part baked rolls.

15mins of warming through and dinner is done. And yum.

TheMightyLois Thu 31-Jan-13 12:32:23

Meh. Bollocks to 'Mum work'.

Cook and extra bit when you make a meal, bung it in a plastic tub in the freezer.

Certainly easier than having to make meals every night when you're on holiday.

TheMightyLois Thu 31-Jan-13 12:32:42

*an extra bit.

AnnIonicIsoTronic Thu 31-Jan-13 12:42:51

But doesn't it strike you as a bit rude to arrive in a foreign country and unload a weeks worth of meals on wheels?

Like I said, I've nothing against thinking through a few shortcuts & bringing a few sauces. But I think it's insular and peculiar to self cater without going to the local supermarket to collect meat & veg etc. I don't know where the OP is going, but I generally find the quality of supermarket veg & meat to be superior on the continent. It is easy to grab some food which is convenient but also local and interesting (e.g. Stock up on local cheeses & salamis & deli salads to have a 'buffet supper' night, or grill some fish and boil some veg).

Each to their own - but it would severely bore me to go on holiday with the same old week-in week-out usual food to eat.

TheMightyLois Thu 31-Jan-13 12:47:34

Why on earth would it be rude? confused

I do it, it makes life easier for me. Nobody is asking you to do it.

AnnIonicIsoTronic Thu 31-Jan-13 12:50:54

It's rude because 'breaking bread together' is one of the oldest signs of hospitality - ergo not sharing food in any way with your hosts is rude.

But if it's too stressful to buy bagged salad and steak at the local Auchan, then of course it is not my place to judge.

SmallKindnesses Thu 31-Jan-13 12:55:14

We're not arriving in a foreign country, we already live here. We're driving from one end of Austria to the other, and we are staying up in the mountain which is only accessible by cable car.

Of course we will cook when we're there, but from experience, I know it's nice to have some evenings where time in the kitchen is kept to a minimum.

Thanks to all who posted helpful suggestions!

SmallKindnesses Thu 31-Jan-13 12:57:43

Oh, and as we're not going abroad, the supermarket is exactly the same as the one at home (with the exception of a few cheeses).

TheMightyLois Thu 31-Jan-13 14:08:41

ha, it's not rude you bizarre person. OP is self catering. grin

OP - how about this

Its delicious, but when you make it don't let the chicken and the chorizo cool down before adding it to the rice, then it'll be fine to freeze and reheat.

AnnIonicIsoTronic Thu 31-Jan-13 14:26:21

Like I said - meh.

It baffles me - but maybe for you it is genuinely easier to cook/chill/decant/freeze/pack/transport/unload/reheat to piping hot a pan of risotto compared to chucking some stock and rice in a pan on site with a few extra bits scavenged from the supermarket,

The OP already has pasta sauce & soup - that would be my limit to what I would think it sensible to transport in a 'just reheat' kind of state.

ArbitraryUsername Thu 31-Jan-13 14:39:14

I think the issue here is that the OP doesn't want to spend 30 or more minutes cooking dinner every night while she's on holiday (and doing the shopping for it too). She wants to be able to throw something in the oven (or microwave) and sit down while it reheats. It's her holiday and she's asked for ideas to help her do this. Personally, I'd much rather put something in the oven and go have a shower/change/relax while it heats up than start chopping and stirring and properly cooking while everyone else does the showering/changing/relaxing thing.

It only counts as 'breaking bread with' your hosts when you have actual hosts. When you're staying in a SC place, I sincerely doubt the locals give a shit what you eat and whether you bought it from their branch of a supermarket chain or another branch elsewhere.

haggisaggis Thu 31-Jan-13 15:29:05

I do this too when we go self catering in this country -5 hour drive somewhere remote with no decent supermarkets. We spend our days walking and although there are a few places to eat out it's too expensive every night. I tend to take a chilli, maybe lasagne, fish pie etc. All frozen so will keep for ages in the fridge until needed. Have also taken a joint of meat together with ready prepared roasties and veg as that takes little prep and the leftover meat can be used for sandwiches.

TheMightyLois Thu 31-Jan-13 16:50:52

FGS, of course its easier.

multitaskmama Thu 31-Jan-13 17:16:22

I would take tinend salmon and potato flakes and make fishcakes.
Tins of sweetcorn are handy as are boiled tin potatoes, mix together, season and add a sauce of choice and enjoy with bread.
Those packets of rice are quite handy when we go away and taste great with some veggies stir-fried.

AnnIonicIsoTronic Thu 31-Jan-13 19:45:39

arbitrary - that's exactly why I refer to it as 'mum work'.

Op will still do all the shopping, stirring etc - but out of sight oh her dh & dc - who will hence be led to imagine that dinner was effortless.

Obviously she shouldn't slave for 30 minutes while her family relax. But how about everyone cooks together? Or a simpler holiday dinner is chosen (e.g. Carbonara, or as suggested by multitaskmama fish cakes)?

I'm obviously outvoted here - but I think
A) that getting food locally is a large part of the holiday fun
B) taking a lasagna on holiday is ridiculous

SmallKindnesses Thu 31-Jan-13 20:10:00

AnnIonicIsoTronic you've made so many assumptions today and/or just plain misread my post/s!

I said in my op that dh was making a pasta sauce - and I asked for suggestions for what I could make other than soup. He's making something, I'm making something. No imbalance, or me rustling something up that looks effortless while dh and dcs are oblivious to the work I put in. When we do cook on holiday, we either take it in turns or cook together. There's no "mum work" about it.

I said we don't want to cook from scratch every night, not that we wouldn't be buying locally (Spar in the Alps v. Spar Vienna) and cooking, or eating local produce ffs - we will be going shopping there, we will be buying the mountain cheeses, we will be eating out. Dh is Austrian, we've lived here for 15 years, we go skiing once or twice a year, we know and love the area.

I don't think you need to inform people that eating food locally is part of the pleasure of travelling (even not actually having travelled that far), and though I probably won't be making a lasagne beforehand, I also definitely won't be bunging a slow cooker in the car (don't even own one).

I work freelance from home so have plenty of time, and whether I buy my vegetables from Spar here and make it beforehand or buy them from Spar there and make it when we're there has absolutely nothing to do with insular thinking and everything to do with making life a little easier and having a couple of evenings where dinner is sorted.

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