Ideas for simplifying weeknight cooking please

(2 Posts)
DahliaBloom Wed 17-Jun-15 12:32:07

I'd really like to spend a lot less time in the kitchen on weekday evenings. Dh isn't home, so it's just me and the boys, and I feel like I always have my back to them chopping veg etc. when I'd rather be doing something with them / when they need me to look over homework etc. For some reason I lack the keeping-it-simple gene and even when I'm trying to make simple suppers it takes too long and I get stressed and irritable.

As a freelancer, I can organise my time how I like, really. I just don't seem to be able to get properly organised! (For some reason, I feel a bit overwhelmed by it all). But I could for example spend Monday morning cooking and/or prepping vegetables, salads etc.

I'd like to be able to come home and quickly assemble something, or warm something up. I like the idea of, for example, roasting a big load of vegetables and then using them during the week (but how?)

I don't have a slow-cooker or a massive freezer, though I can freeze a few things.

Can you give me some ideas? I don't know why I find this so hard, but I do, and I feel like I'm always anxious and stressed about the next meal and then bad-tempered every evening. I want to give my kids simple, healthy, delicious meals; I feel like it should be easy!

WorkingBling Wed 17-Jun-15 16:52:58

Well, what kind of stuff do you cook at the moment? How long does it take? And how long do you want to spend in future?

Are you a freelancer who works from home or are you out a lot? If you work from home, a good choice is one dish meals that you cook on stove of oven - when I'm working from home I quite often use it as an opportunity to make spag bol or a chicken /sausage casserole as they only take a few minutes to prepare but then need time to cook.

Roasting vegetables is great, but you need a lot of them to make a meal so I've never found it very successful to do in advance. However, buying pre-chopped vegetables (frozen or fresh) can make it preparing roast vegetables on the day a lot easier and quicker. I've just discovered you can even buy prepared frozen butternut so we'll be eating more of that as I love butternut but hate the effort of peeling and cutting it. Similarly you can buy chopped onion frozen and other basics for all kinds of meals.

Salads can last a day in the fridge (if you don't add dressing) so it's worth making a double amount for two days.

Otherwise simple pasta dishes are ALWAYS a good choice. A good pasta sauce should only take as long as the pasta to cook.

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