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returning to work full time and looking for some fuss free make ahead meals for the family

(8 Posts)
Monroe Sat 15-Nov-14 16:06:17

I start back at work full time on Monday. I am extremely lucky in that my dm is going to be picking up the dc's from school every evening and bringing them home to our house and making their tea.

I'm trying to make it as easy as possible for her so so far this weekend I have made a cottage pie, bolognese and chicken casserole but I need more ideas.

Ideally meals I can make in advance as above or ones that are simple to throw together that she can rustle up herself whilst here. She is a good cook, I just don't want to take advantage of her and be asking her to be cooking a roast dinner in the evenings. Also I don't want to spend all of my now very precious weekends in the kitchen.

I have a slow cooker if that helps smile

ireallydontlikemonday Sat 15-Nov-14 16:17:45

I tend to make a few things on a Sunday so mum and mil don't have to cook for my kids. Nothing very inspiring though - cottage pie, spag Bol, fish pie, stews in various guises, left over roast, pasta sauces so then they just have to cook the pasta fresh, chilli, curry, meatballs in tom sauce, sausage and bean stew or sausage and lentil stew. All freeze / reheat well and can be done in the slow cooker.

Laquitar Sat 15-Nov-14 16:32:00

You can freeze burgers too and bean burgers - very easy and cheap- with baking paper between them in the freezer. Then she only has to put them on a tray and in the oven and
make some salad (or oven chips).

Ditto falafel.

Or fish cakes.

You can freeze mash and then she can put some chicken legs in the oven and serve them together.

Soup (you can freeze lots of it)

Salmon fillets - this is quick for your mum. She will just have to put the filkets in a foil and in the oven. Serve with left over potatoes and veg from your dinner or boil some new potato and brocolli.

Monroe Sun 16-Nov-14 10:14:56

Thank you, some great ideas.

The dc's love salmon so yes to them and anything else she can just pop on a tray and into the oven.

Stupid question alert. How do you freeze mash? blush I mean, I know you put it in the freezer but do you add the milk and butter first? Does it matter what you store it in? Does it not go watery when you defrost it?

Laquitar Sun 16-Nov-14 20:17:10

Yes i put the butter and milk before freeze it.
If i have space in the freezer i put in plastic container, i put 3 portions (3dcs) so thats a medium size container.
If there is no much space in the freezer i put it in freezer bags. Then take it out of the bag, place in a bowl, defrost in the macrowave.
Then you only have to put some chicken or fish into the oven and dinner is ready.
You can also serve it with eggs. They are nutritious and quick to make so your mum could also make them fried eggs or omelette sometimes.i add spinach or red pepper into the omelete.
Cous cous is also very quick for your mum to make, just pour boiled water over it. If your children like it. Unfortunetely mine dont like it.

Noggie Sun 16-Nov-14 20:23:25

Good food recipe- pea and ham tart is easy and keeps for a couple of days. Baked potato, omelette, spag bog, fish fingers, chicken with bacon and creme fraiche&lemon on pasta, salmon with microwave bag rice, pesto sauce at regular intervals, roast dinner in Sunday left overs for a soup on Monday = my most regular post work dinner options!

kateandme Mon 17-Nov-14 03:10:11

if they like salmon?do they also like mac and cheese.becasyue yes it takes a bit of time but it can be done in advance is salmon mac and cheese.whicdh is a lovely meal this time of year and nutritional too.just lay some salmon fillet out in the bottom of a casserole dish and top with your usual mac and cheese recipe.baken.really nice.
what about making a batch of mince and then once cool seperating it into seperate you can get it out for your pies.spaghetti,pasties etc.
also chicken cottage pie version is lovely.both with a white sauce and whith a gravy sauce version.
fish can whizz up some breadcrumbs seasoned at the weekedn and keep it in the freezer.then make a savoury fish crumble one night and a veggie packed on another night.

Monroe Mon 17-Nov-14 18:44:03

Thanks again, some great ideas.

Will definitely give the salmon mac and cheese a go. And chicken cottage pie, who knew smile

My 2 are quite fussy at times. Cous cous is a no go despite them both loving it as toddlers. Pasta is usually a winner and they love pesto.

Todays, chicken casserole went down well and I've just took the cottage pie out of the freezer for tomorrow.

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