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Slow cooker or v quick meal ideas for busy school holidays!

(20 Posts)
TwinsPlusAnotherTwo Thu 09-Jul-15 10:17:18


I have 4dc - 6, 4 and 1yo twins. Over the summer school holidays we'll be pretty busy, out doing fun stuff a lot of the time (I hope!). The dts can't wait for their dinner and start melting down if it takes too long, so I need to have dinners I can have ready really quickly after we come home. I think my slow cooker might be the answer, but I need some inspiration.

Things I already do in my slow cooker:
Bolognese, chilli, lasagne, cottage pie meat base
Chinese style pork casserole
Delia's basque chicken

One dc is fussy about veg, and the dts are self feeders (with their hands, so messy!) but I'm trying to keep them trying new foods. Any recipe suggestions? Thanks.

TwinsPlusAnotherTwo Thu 09-Jul-15 13:53:23

No one? Might just be beans on toast then!

Pico2 Thu 09-Jul-15 14:03:55

I do chicken noodle soup and it's really quick. Peel and chop carrots into pieces that will cook in 7 mins, chop broccoli into bite size pieces, chop chicken breast into bite size pieces, relatively thin so you know it will cook through. Boil some water and add stock/soup powder, I use Telma. Chuck in the chicken & veg and bring back to the boil. Cook for 3 min then add some dried noodles and cook for 4 min. Add some tinned sweetcorn. Serve. Obviously you can change the veg etc. We're having it tonight and I've done all of the chopping so it should take less than 10 min to cook.

RoganJosh Thu 09-Jul-15 14:03:58

I have limited success with my slow cooker tbh.
Quick things I cook are:
Mini meatballs , with tomato sauce already made and pasta. 15 mins
Pasta carbonara ish, cream, garlic, bacon.
Set timer on oven for baked potatoes and have filled with cheese, ham and sweetcorn.
Fajitas if you'd already made a tomato sauce. Just fry some meat strips, possibly marinated, and serve with whatever bits you like.
Pizzas are also quick

I also serve up crudités if dinner is taking longer than expected.

TwinsPlusAnotherTwo Fri 10-Jul-15 18:53:56

Thanks both, I'll try those suggestions. I think I need to try some new stuff in my slow cooker too, will have a look online.

enifing Fri 10-Jul-15 20:21:32

Not great at meal inspiration, but are the twins at the stage where a small plate of sweet corn straight from the tin will keep them occupied for a while? That was the starter of choice in our house for quite a while, when they loved being able to pick little things up but it still took a while to do. Might buy you a few minutes to get meals on the table!

Ginrummy Fri 10-Jul-15 20:37:33

Are the dcs fussy? I like doing vegetarian tagines and curries in my slow cooker. Chickpeas work really well but mine won't eat them. If I fancy something spicy, I give them pasta with grated cheese on top and whatever veg they want.
Macaroni cheese is a good quick dinner if you have already batch cooked a load of cheese sauce.
Or what about slow cooker chorizo and bean stew made with tinned tomatoes? Have with bread or rice.

daisydalrymple Fri 10-Jul-15 20:40:14

Similar to the sweet corn idea, can you prep sticks of eg cucumber, peppers, carrots, baby tomatoes, melon etc and have them ready to go in pots so they can keep busy and munch on them whilst you start cooking?

Other quick meals -
Omelette or frittata, great to use up leftovers
Rice with peas and grated cheese mixed through (this is from a children's cookery book, I know it sounds a bit weird!) also works well with Tuna and sweet corn - although not so substantial if you also eat with them
Stir fry veg with noodles using eg chicken cooked the night before
Fish - most can be poached fairly quickly, or pan fried

Doing a meal plan might help, if you don't already, and you could factor in making extras towards a different meal but similar, and also easy prep ideas you can do in the morning or when batch cooking.

TwinsPlusAnotherTwo Fri 10-Jul-15 22:30:32

Thanks all.

Yes, the dts love sweet corn, peas, etc. so can start them off with that. Chickpeas are fine with them all too, as are most types of beans. One dc is fussy about veg, I get away with chopping it into minuscule pieces and cooking it in with meat etc, but a veg curry would (has been) be rejected!

Will try out some of these and see what's successful. I've got the older 2 to agree to trying one new recipe a week, so they are expecting experimentation! Thank you!

sashh Tue 14-Jul-15 07:52:33

What about a chicken? Roast n the sc serve with salad then make soup the next day - and no this is not a chicken that does a week, just 2 days.

Chicken wings put on a tray coverd with a mix of OL, honey salt and pepper and put n the oven for 15 mins - can prep the night before and just put in the oven when you get home.

Huffpot Thu 16-Jul-15 13:57:39

Ham and cheese omelettes are very popular here and quick. Scrambled eggs have also risen in popularity.
Spag bol in the slow cooker is something I want to trial these holidays as also planning on being out lots.
This is a great thread as have a 4 year old, a 5 year old and a just 1 year old smile

TwinsPlusAnotherTwo Thu 16-Jul-15 14:23:52

Yes Huff I do a lot of eggs for the kids already, filling and not too messy for the dts!

This week's stir fry didn't go down well! Any suggestions of stir fry sauce I can put together that kids generally like?

babybat Thu 16-Jul-15 19:10:17

You could do a gammon joint or roast chicken in the SC and serve with jacket potatoes and veg/salad.

Chicken or sausage casserole in the SC is easy if you limit the veg to ones you know they like.

canyou Tue 21-Jul-15 19:41:54

Look up Stephanie O Dea on f/b Slow cooking for a year, she has loads of easy family friendly slow cooker recipies.

TwinsPlusAnotherTwo Wed 22-Jul-15 19:52:37

Thanks canyou - that looks like some slow cooker inspiration!

Featherbluedot Thu 23-Jul-15 22:03:03

Chicken Fajitas are nice and quick,
baked potatoes are great in the slowcooker or in the microwave.
Chicken cacciatore in the slowcooker
Chicken with a tin of Campbell's condensed mushroom or chicken soup

Featherbluedot Thu 23-Jul-15 22:04:27

Homemade beef burgers
Chicken schnitzel

Featherbluedot Thu 23-Jul-15 22:06:44

Ham, cheese, baguette, tomatoes, cucumber, salad, houmous, carrots.

squizita Mon 27-Jul-15 14:34:59

Tesco do little mozzarella balls.
Fresh stuffed pasta, cooked with a handful of frozen peas in the water.
Chop some cherry tomatoes.
As soon as the pasta is drained, add the mozzarella and tomato and shake.

It comes out like a gooey mess but is very tasty and summery.

squizita Mon 27-Jul-15 14:35:45

Join pinterest and search "crockpot".
Suddenly you'll have more recipes than days to try em! grin

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