Easy prepare ahead meal for big family dinner(13 Posts)
Being 35 wks pregnant and totally knackered I've completely lost all inspiration for menu planning. We have family visiting this weekend so please can I have ideas for dinner for 4 adults, 4 kids. Preferably slow cooker or something I can pretty much prep ahead of time or put in oven on timer so there's no rush to get home if we are out for the day.
Pork and beans?
Chop onions and red peppers into chunks and fry with garlic. Put in slow cooker with two to three tins of your favourite type of beans (not baked beans as they are already too soft) with diced casserole pork. Add chopped tinned tomatoes, smoky paprika, some thyme. Serve with baked potatoes.
Chicken coconut and almond curry
Simmer two peeled, quartered white onions in just enough water to cover them, with a cubed inch of peeled sliced ginger and 3 garlic cloves. When soft, blend to a pulp. Add powdered cumin, coriander, fenugreek, turmeric or just curry powder. Make half a pint of chicken stock from a stock cube and put stock and onion puree into slow cooker with half a tin of coconut milk, two tablespoons of ground almonds and chopped chicken breast or skinned thighs. You can add diced sweet potato, peas, chickpeas, baby corns, sugar snaps, whatever you think would taste nice. Serve with rice or naan.
Easiest dish ever - prep in advance but cook when you get back:
Chicken legs or thighs with skin on. Put in roasting tin with quartered red onions, cloves of unpeeled garlic, sprigs of fresh rosemary and/or thyme, chunks of butternut squash. Pour a glass of white wine over them then season.
Toss baby potatoes in olive oil and garlic in a separate tray.
Bake for about 40 mins. the chicken comes out crispy and bubbly. The veg are sweet. Serve with salad or steamed greens or peas.
Beef stew with plenty of carrots in it? Serve with mash you've made the day before, reheat in the microwave with a bit of extra milk.
I do lamb mince with ready mash or tortillas and cheese grated on top.
Make the lamb ahead and leave it to reheat later. Tastes better after a rest anyway. Heat mash when ready.
^ I do it with onion, garlic, thyme, tinned tomatoes and some beef stock and simmer for an hour.
Wartime moussaka - make a day or two in advance of eating or freezing, it tastes much better.
Salt and pepper
Tin of toms
Potatoes (I always use far too many )
Packet of cheese sauce or the just add water stuff - or make a bechamel if you prefer.
Lamb mince, bay leaf, tin of tomatoes (chopped onions if you want)
Fry off lamb (and onions if using), drain of excess fat, add tin of toms and bay leaf, simmer for a while, season to taste.
Peel and slice some potatoes, quite a lot... parboil.
In an ovenproof dish, layer of mince (remove the bay leaf) then layer of potatoes, repeat until you are last layer of mince, then add half the cheese sauce, last layer of potatoes, rest of cheese sauce, grated parmesan if using.
In a medium oven for an hour or three. Foil if you feel nervous and will be recooking it all again.
Leave it to sit and get cold, fridge overnight or two, reheat low and slow - no foil for at least the last half hour, serve with green side salad or just hunks of crusty bread.
It is ridiculously lovely.
Spinach and ricotta Cannelloni!
I make this all the time. Stuffing the tubes is a bit time consuming. My 2 year old helps me, so enlist help if you can, but it's not taxing stuff, so if you haven't got help, put the radio on and grab a cuppa whilst you do it. I'd cook it ahead and then reheat - I think it tastes nicer on day 2.
Serve with garlic bread and a bag of salad.
Meatballs and pasta?
Meatball pasta bake if you don't want to even cook pasta while everyone is there, 2 bags of salad & pop some garlic bread in the oven.
Ooh thanks a few good ideas there I can use this weekend and ideas for future.
Pre make cottage pie or lasagne so you can just put it in the oven when you get home.
wraps! Sausage and wraps! Always my go to. When you have time before cut up spring onions & chillies (if wanted). Buy ready made salad. Sweercorn from a tin. Cut some veg into strips. Have some sauces if wanted. Then add anything to the table you have in your fridge. Yum, seriously yum.
Forgot to add that then children can choose what they like & put in wrap themselves.
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