10 basic healthy family meals(42 Posts)
Since having two children I am finding the recipes I usually use two complicated and time consuming. For example making homemade fishcakes took me an hour tonight while my eldest ran round the kitchen and youngest clung to my leg. I am not a great cook I have taught myself with a recipe book but would like to switch to basic easy meals instead. Can anyone give me an example of a quick easy family meal that doesn't create loads of washing up? I am aiming to get 10 I can rotate. Thank you
Pasta bake - takes a bit of time to cook but most of that is in the oven so you don't need to be standing over it
Frittatas with whatever fillings you fancy
Stir fry with rice or noodles
Making extras and eating leftovers on some nights means less cooking and washing up as well. Or buying ready made fish cakes and just doing some quick sides with it as well.
Fry seasoned fish (salmon a good one)
Serve with Hollandaise sauce out of a ready-made pot/sachet if feeling fancy.
Ooh yes, following with interest. I'm interested in family meals that don't include chicken, rice, fish or egg.
Tray bakes, chicken and chorizo with veg or sausage with veg, or bake the veg and put the fish in on you to cook for ten minutes. This kind of thing, www.nigella.com/recipes/view/spanish-chicken-with-chorizo-and-potatoes-5160 . Chuck it all in and leave, lots of variations...
Smoked haddock, bought mash and green veg. Bake the haddock for 10 mins in foil in oven with a bit of butter.
- chicken breast or thin beef steak, sliced in to strips
- sachet of mild fajita seasoning
- mix, then stir fry it - add sliced pepper & red onion depending on how kids would take to that
- serve with either wraps & assortment of salady stuff like cucumber & pepper strips, sprinkle of cheese, guacamole (tesco just started selling frozen avocado halves = ace)
- or serve on top of rice
Put potatoes and veg on to boil.
Fry chopped onion (buy ready in frozen bag).
Add lamb/beef mince and salt and pepper and paprika, and fry brown.
Sprinkle bit of flour and stir.
Add bit of water or stock, plus bay leaf.
Add stock pot for actual flavour. Add browning if insipid colour.
Ta da! Mince 'n' onions 'n' tatties.
Here's a meal plan I did to get your 5 a day - all pretty healthy and pretty easy - hopefully it will give you a few ideas
Save extra boiled potatoes from previous day's meal. Chop and fry with frozen chopped onion, and ready-chopped pancetta, and peppers. Add in some whisked eggs. Shove in oven for ten mins.
Shazam! Spanish-ish omelette! Serve with baked beans for a second veg. <snigger>
Pasta with tomato sauce and cheese
Pasta with leftover chicken, bacon, spinach, tomato, Parmesan, oregano and cream
Pasta with grated courgette creme fraiche and Parmesan
Chicken fajitas (prep ahead and marinade)
Pork chops with gooseberry and butter sauce with Savoy cabbage
Chicken or pork stir fry - buy ready prepped stir fry veg and make sauce from sesame oil, sherry, honey, soy and cornflour
Quesadillas with any filling eg cooked leftover chicken cheese spring onion or chorizo cheese and spring onion, served with corn on cob or salad
Pulled pork rolls (using leftover slow cooked pork shoulder) with BBQ sauce, onions
Soup and toasties
Eggs many ways
It helps to have a big roast at some point so you have leftover cooked meat
Chilli made with lots of veg - healthy, dead easy, do on hob or slow cooker:
- chop up (or grate in food processor for easiness, or use frozen premixed packet) something like: couple of onions, 2/3 carrots, packet mushrooms, couple sticks of celery
- gently fry these up (or just bung in slow cooker)
- add around 750g of mince: mix of 500g beef + 250 pork is nice, frozen cheap stuff comes out fine. Or its nice with frozen soya mince, but in this case add the mince later as doesn't take much cooking. If using cheaper/fattier mince taste will be v good, but make sure veg ratio is high and add a handful or two of red lentils to ensure not too greasy
- add either a sachet of mild chilli con carne seasoning (easy route), or a selection of herbs, garlic, bit of chilli powder
- add tin of chopped tomatoes & packet passatta
- add time kidney beans
- cook gently either until at least carrots cooled through & it's thickening, or just leave several hrs in slow cooker
- serve with brown rice or pasta or on jacket potato
- this will make loads, but it freezes beautifully
Salmon & Orzo (this is Top fave of my dc)
- salmon steaks (1 per adult, half per child for you get ones) - put in hot oven
- meanwhile cook orzo (pasta in rice shape - they have it at tesco, sains etc) - takes about 10 mins
- put spoonful of caramelised onion chutney on top of each bit of salmon (or leave plain for kids) & put back in oven
- drain orzo & mix in couple bags spoons of green pesto
- plate up with the salmon sat on top of the orzo, and decorate liberally with green salad out of a packet ;-) looks great on plate for very little effort!
Also pick & choose the stuff that you can use prepared - eg you can buy ready made fish cakes that are pretty much just fish & potato & breadcrumbs. Or meatballs that are just beef & seasoning. I think it's definitely worth using those. Also some of the seasoning sachets (eg for chilli or fajitas above) are just a quick route to tasty meal and are just a premixed set of the dried seasonings I'd use myself otherwise.
But I'd (personally) rather have a simple baked potato or omelette dinner than eat a ready made supermarket lasagne.
Thank you, some great ideas to start my list off
Savoury bread and butter pudding
Beef in beer stew - takes a lot g time but that is in the oven so you are not doing anything with it
Smoked salmon frittata
Pasta with smoked salmon, cream cheese and frozen peas
Baked potatoes, grated cheese and beans
Stir fry, use a preprepared bag of stir fry veg, stir fry beef/chicken strips and straight to work noodles
Soup, you can even buy ready prepped soup veg mixes
Beans on toast with cheese
Cook a joint or chicken one day and use the leftover meat to make quick meals later in the week.
I think when kids are wee you have to box clever and decide which corners to cut. There is nothing wrong, for instance, with the odd fish finger or frozen mash. Decent fresh, ready made fish cakes are absolutely fine as are meatballs/burgers from the butcher section, or indeed the butcher if you have one nearby.
When I had DC2 Jamie brought out 30 min meals (which let's be honest relied v heavily on that 30 mins being "good to go", i.e. oven on, pan hot, everything prepped - so really more like 45 min meals
And he had all the ingredients ready there by the production team
There was no hope while my kitchen was on outpost of the pontypandy firestation
I have the Jamie 30 minute meals! Your so right they don't take into account things like having children in the kitchen! I have so many recipe books but not many of the recipes really work for me now I have children hanging off my legs while cooking! I wish I had been taught the basics by my mum so I knew how to whip up a few easy family meals. Oh well it will give me something to aim for with my own DC!!
If you want to actually make a meal in 30ish minutes, you need to buy Jamie's 15 minute meals. There are some nice recipes in there, but everything does take more than 15 mins.
Simmer a can of crushed tomatoes, some minced garlic, a splash of balsamic vinegar, a sprinkle of sugar and a sprinkle of dried basil - ten minutes
At the same time, cook spaghetti - ten minutes
When sauce has reduced to a rich sludge and spag is done, mix and serve. Add cheese if you like.
Tasty, cheap, filling, healthy
1.noodles & stir fry vegetables ( either with prawns, beef, chicken or nuts)
2.pasta and meatballs
3.roast chicken, stuffing, veg and boiled potatoes
4.(left over) chicken pie with mash and carrots and peas
7.gammon steak with an egg or pineapple, potato wedges and brocolli
8. shepherds pie
9.toad in a hole, veggies and potatoes
10.wraps with salad and either beef or chicken filling.
11. fish pie
12. fish and chips
14. burger in a bun with coleslaw, wedges and sweetcorn
15. chili con carne
I usually cook from fresh but a lot of corners can be cut with the above meals. Making the tomato sauce in huge batches, frozen vegetables, wedges, battered fish and pre cut meat.
I also use quorn mince in the lasagna and shepherds pie as you cant really taste the difference and its healthier.
Roasted vegetables made into a soup with some stock. Takes minutes to prepare the veg, chuck it in the oven for half an hour or so (however long they take to cook) and whizz up with hot vegetable stock.
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