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Quick meals after a long day

(18 Posts)
ToBuyOrNot67 Wed 03-Sep-14 10:45:12

Hello everyone,

I was hoping to persuade you all to share your ideas / recipes for super quick meals for during the week. DH I both work full time, I have recently joined the gym and have settled into the routine of going straight from work. DH also has activities which means neither of us are home until around 7pm at the earliest by which point we are both starving and want something quick and easy.

I have all the good intentions of doing some batch cooking at the weekend so I can get something out the freezer in the morning than can be heated up later but frankly sometimes I just cannot be arsed and would rather spend my weekends doing fun things than cooking large vats of bolognaise.

I do have a slow cooker but whenever I make anything in it DH doesn't like it and says it all tastes the same and is mush.

So, can anyone give me some ideas? I already have a nice quick creamy lemon chicken and pasta recipe that I picked up from this forum a couple of months ago. I also (when I can be bothered to batch cook) serve up meatballs or chilli but that is where my imagination stops.

Any ideas would be received gratefully!!


OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 03-Sep-14 10:59:32

How quick do you think is quick? I'm the queen of under 30min cooking as it is all the time we have cooking. But DH do help prep so it might mean more than 30min if only one of you is doing it?

This week we have
* pasta salad with feta cheese, olives, tomatoes, avocado
* sweet and sour chicken, stir fried courgette and rice
* chicken korma with beans (pataks korma paste, with added single cream and toasted almonds)
* tomato and mozzeralla pizza (using supermarket naan bread as base)

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 03-Sep-14 11:01:08

Also forgot the last one is
* pan fried salmon fillets with noodles, carrots and cucumber in a sweet chilli dressing (dressing is just sweet chilli, soy sauce, lemon juice, sesame oil and chopped coriander leaves)

ToBuyOrNot67 Wed 03-Sep-14 11:04:55

Thanks Terror. Quick would be around 30 minutes I think.

Love the idea of pizza using a naan base, that is definitely one to add to the repertoire.

Thank you!

AnnOnymity Wed 03-Sep-14 11:07:34

Nigel Slater's 30 minute cookbook is a godsend for this sort of thing (much, much better than the Jamie Oliver 30 min book).

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 03-Sep-14 11:12:12

Jamie Oliver 15/30 min are both madness! I can do the 15min ones in 30min but it's very stressful and definitely not leisurely.

I really Nigel Slater and also Nigella express.

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Wed 03-Sep-14 11:58:52

Thai curry (chicken, pork fillet or prawn, or vegetable) - Use red (or yellow or green) curry paste (with chicken stock, creamed coconut and a splash of fish sauce and the curry can be made while the rice is cooking - takes less than 20 mins once you are up to speed with the recipe. Add some green beans to the sauce while cooking.

I know you don't want to batch cook, but I sometimes cook first thing in the morning, or later in the evening after eating and then use the bolognaise sauce or whatever over the next couple of days.

mkmjimmy Wed 03-Sep-14 12:30:46

The above is really easy. As is a prawn or chicken stirfry - especially if you buy a bag of stirfry and the chicken already cut up (more expensive - but probably worth it if it means you actually cook and eat it). Pasta carbonara - very quick. Make a couple of burgers out of mince - takes 2 minutes.

We had smoked mackerel fillets last night with roasted veg and some rice out of a packet. In fact rice in a packet that you just microwave is really handy. couscous is really quick too - have it with some already cooked chicken from the supermarket. Buy a cooked ham and have some salad in to have it with. Lentils in a pouch are really quick and you can mix them with roasted veg (especially if you have left overs from night before) and mix with goats cheese....

I like roasted veg - it keeps quite a while!

ToBuyOrNot67 Wed 03-Sep-14 12:37:44

Thank you all - some great ideas for me to try, no more last resort toast for dinner grin!!

I have a little bit of time before work so I could do some prep then ready to chuck in pan when I get home

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 03-Sep-14 12:46:00

That pasta linked by mkmjimmy is a staple in my house!

Purplehonesty Wed 03-Sep-14 13:32:42

Nigella Spanish chicken. Chicken pieces, new potatoes, chorizo, red onion, tomatoes and drizzle olive oil, tsp oregano and squeeze orange on top.
Roast for 30 - 40 mins about 220. Halfway through stir it all up.
Job done - we have ours with cous cous with chicken stock and raisins in and French bread.
In fact I am making it tonight. It's in the fridge waiting to go in all apart from the potatoes.

babybouncer Wed 03-Sep-14 15:39:23

I'm fairly certain that quick, healthy, tasty midweek meals are the holy grail!

We eat a lot of pasta - in the 11 minutes it takes to cook the pasta, I can usually whip up a sauce. My favourites are:
Mess'o'pasta (usually chopped onions, mushrooms and chicken or bacon with a jar sauce pesto)
Cheesy bacon pasta - courgettes, bacon and onions fried up with creme fraiche and loads of grated cheese
Chorizo and herbs - chopped chorizo fried with garlic, then throw on handful of chives and parsley (I buy fresh, chop and keep in freezer) and Parmesan and stir through pasta
Chorizo and green beans pasta - diced chorizo, fried, add beans (or broccoli) to the end of the pasta cooking and then stir it all in with cream cheese

Also, I like grilled lamb (I often put some Harissa paste or ras-el-hanout on it) with couscous - once cooked I add seasoning, oilive oil and some dried fruit and pine nuts or flaked almonds - and salad.

As a pizza alternative, fry some lamb mince add chopped tomatoes and pine nuts, spread a naan or flatbread with houmous and top with the mince mix, stick under a grill for a little while, then seve with yoghurt dolloped on top and a cucumber and grated carrot salad.

Stir fries with stir in noodles always work well, too. I like to add peanut butter to make a satay.

For quick Mexican dishes (utterly inauthentic, I'm sure) I've used the fajita packet mix - add to mince beef when frying to then roll in tortillas with sweetcorn, tomatoes and cheese, or add to cooked chicken and a tin of tomatoes, then layer up with fajitas and cheese like a Mexican lasagne and stick in an over for 10 mins.

I've started sitting down one evening a week and planning meals and I find that thinking in advance about when I'm working late or on my own, I can often get two days' worth of meals from one cooking session by doing a bit more when I have time. I also struggled with batch cooking, because it doesn't seem to have enough of a point, but just doubling up on quantities to get leftovers, or cooking extra chicken one night so I don't have to spend time cooking it the next night, really helps me.

Hope that helps!

Mostlyjustaluker Wed 03-Sep-14 18:14:23

From my favourite food website

Chop onion and mushrooms. Crush garlic. Fry until nearly done. Add splash of wine/brandy if you have it. Add either cream, cream cheese or soured cream and a load of parsley. Eat with salad and pitta bread.

Fry onion and garlic. Add cumin seeds, turmeric, mustard seeds, chilli flakes. Add drained chickpeas and a big splodge natural yoghurt. Add coriander. Eat with salad, chutney, chapati.

Omelettes and salad and nice bread.

DesperatelySeekingSanity Wed 03-Sep-14 19:57:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TyneTeas Wed 03-Sep-14 20:17:49

My quickest tastiest meals are

chicen kebabs

and chicken/prawn and chorizo rice

This prawn curry is pretty quick too

ToBuyOrNot67 Thu 04-Sep-14 10:44:37

Wow, thanks everyone. I am feeling inspired now!

Babybouncer, I think I want to come to your house for dinner!! (although I had to google ras-el-hanout!!)


WorkingBling Sat 06-Sep-14 15:48:43

We don't eat anything that takes more than 30 minutes.

For super easy meals we do grilled/fried steak or lamb with steamed veg or salad. Sometimes I will do a tomatoe/pepper salsa.

Salmon parcels topped with lemon, herbs, pesto, butter or any combination thereof. With new potatoes and greens.

Stir fries with rice from a packet.

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