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How much effort do you put into evening meals?

(34 Posts)
SSSandy Thu 18-May-06 18:51:51

Hi everyone, wondering if I'm too lazy about cooking at night. Only dd and I eat at home in the evenings, dh gets back from the office at 9-10pm.

Dd has a warm lunch, does she need a cooked meal in the evening too? I would rather go without and have maybe a bit of toast or a cup of soup myself but I cook for her and end up eating more than I really need. There is always so much left over too since recipes are mostly for 4-6. Often enough I cook something, and she leaves it and I wonder what the point of it is.

Do you cook every evening and how many people do you cook for? How much effort do you put into it/how long does it take?

I'm not a great cook, I don't mind trying something new once in a blue moon but I find it such a chore on a daily basis, even prefer ironing, which is saying something.

compo Thu 18-May-06 18:56:11

We just have one cooked meal a day and sandwiches or something like beans on toast for the other meal. Do you mean you are cooking 2 hot meals a day?

SSSandy Thu 18-May-06 18:58:22

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

UglySister Thu 18-May-06 19:01:26

We have a home cooked meal once a day for the whole family and I always prepare for and freeze leftovers. Really cuts down on cooking time. DDs second meal is smg fast like a sandwich, jacket potato and cheese or similar.. the key thing for me is to make sure she has a good balance of meat, fish and veg in any given week. Infuriating when they leave their food isn´t it!!!

Try a 10 or 20 minute cook book. this has made all the difference to me. Now enjoy cooking as it doesn´t take up so much time and we have something different on a regular basis.

sloppyseconds Thu 18-May-06 19:06:23

in eating them quite a bit in cooking them not alot!!!!!!!! of course unless it's a special occasion then i switch the microwave on!!!

SSSandy Thu 18-May-06 19:10:30

That's a good idea, like the sound of 10 minutes. I could browse through some of those cookbooks and see how ambitious the ingredient list is. Just bought a nice big learn-how-to-cook compendium, chose 4 meals which sound good but I feel daunted at the task of even getting all the ingredients for any of them. I wouldn't have a clue where to find some of them round here.

When will there be an "instant nutricious meals with easily obtainable ingredients" for dummies cookbook? Sigh..

foxinsocks Thu 18-May-06 19:10:57

for 4 nights of the week, I eat with dh and the kids eat their tea at 5pm and on those nights I try and cook something for the children that can be heated through for us (or left in the oven like a casserole).

for the other 3 nights when dh is home too late, I eat with the children and leave a plate of food for dh in the fridge (that he can warm up).

I think if you can get a repertoire of a few healthy meals that don't take too long to prepare then it becomes a lot easier. Things like roasts or casseroles (where all you really do is brown the meat and then shove in loads of veg) take very little time to prepare and you can put them in the oven for as long or short a time as you need.

Other meals like spag bol or stir fries also take very little preparation time but a bit more effort on the cooking front.

cat64 Thu 18-May-06 19:15:53

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UglySister Thu 18-May-06 19:16:21

Sssandy, if I can cook you can. This recipe book I got is from a BBC food range, nothing takes more than 25 minutes and some really excellent stuff takes 5mins! eg. microwaved salmon with white beans mashed in a pan with rucola, creme fraiche and butter. Delicious and NO WORK! I think choosing just a small number of recipes to master is also a good idea.

TheLadyVanishes Thu 18-May-06 19:27:52

too much!! but its as much for dd as it is for myself and dh, get annoyed at times if he is held back at work and we don't sit down as a family but thats life isn't it

SSSandy Thu 18-May-06 19:31:46

These are good tips.
What kind of things do you make then TheLadyVanishes?

cod Thu 18-May-06 19:32:33

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UglySister Thu 18-May-06 19:34:51

Awaiting TheLadyVanishes .. any white fish - dip it in a bit flour and fry; takes just a few minutes if a thin fillet. Servw with whatever to hand - packet of salad, frozen veg, whatever is easy for you.

Hopecat Thu 18-May-06 19:35:24

In response to cat64:

really good, really quick tagliatelle recipe.

half a tub soft cheese (like phili)
2 eggs
enough tagliatelle for 2
1 onion - chopped
1 clove garlic
frozen peas
salt & pepper

Start softening the onion, and while it's cooking put the pasta on to boil (for about 10-11 mins). Boil the water ready for the peas, and pop these in to boil 3 minutes before the pasta is ready, and then crush the garlic clove in with the onion.

Drain the pasta, and mix the drained peas, onion & garic in with it. Then mix in the salt, pepper & soft cheese in as well. Crack in the eggs and mix them in - they cook gently in the heat of the just cooked food.

Great with parmesan - takes about 15 minutes.

pegasus Thu 18-May-06 20:01:32

UglySister could you name your recipe book please?!

UglySister Thu 18-May-06 20:26:31

Good Food 101 Low Fat Feasts, 101 Hot & Spicy Dishes; 5 pounds each; BBC books. They´re the bus!

kama Thu 18-May-06 20:35:16

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SSSandy Thu 18-May-06 20:43:04

I will have a look for those BBC books.

Those who cook in the evenings, do you have desserts every evening too?

cat64 Thu 18-May-06 22:44:17

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handlemecarefully Thu 18-May-06 22:46:11

try Ainsley Harriot - Meals in Minutes and All New Meals In Minutes

collision Thu 18-May-06 22:53:54

I think if your dd has a hot meal at lunchtime then it is unlikely she would need another meal in the evening.

I would do sandwiches or something on toast or 'bits and pieces' (a selection of stuff) or noodles or something.

We dont do dessert really. Boys would have yoghurt or jelly or custard or fruit.

UglySister Fri 19-May-06 12:17:15

Cat64, perhaps I´ve been out of the UK even longer than I thought...! Sorry!

JackieNo Fri 19-May-06 12:21:27

Is 'rucola' another name for 'rocket'? Have a feeling it might be.

Ledodgyherring Fri 19-May-06 12:24:09

This recipe is really nice with rice or a jacket potatao and is really easy to prepare.
Ingredients
2 cans of kidney beans (cook them in microwave)
2 apples
2 carrots
2 onions
tsp sugar
tsp cumin
tsp oregano
1 tsp of dijon mustard (or any mustard or mustard powder really)
2 tbs white wine vinegar
3 tbs tomato pure
1/2 pint of water
2 veg stock cubes

You grate the apple and the carrot and chop the onion. then stir fry with the crumbled stock cubes for 5 mins. Then mix the tomato puree with the 1/2 pint of water add this to the pan with all the other ingredients apart from the kidney beans. Cover and simmer for 2-3 mins. Then transfer it all into an ovenproof dish, add kidney beans and cover and put in oven on 180 for 45 mins. Serve with Jacket potatao and sour cream. It's lovely.

Ledodgyherring Fri 19-May-06 12:24:46

Actually that should have been ONE tablespoon of white wine vinegar!

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