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Help feeding the crowded house

(6 Posts)
foolonthehill Fri 10-Jun-16 21:49:49

Please help me with your fail-safe recipes and meal planning ideas....I am going potty and our diet is going down the swanny as I am too tired/too busy/too disorganised/on a very low budget.

In my house i am a single parent looking after my 4 DC, 3 others and dog, working from home, low income.

Every day I provide 8 cooked protein based breakfast, 4 packed lunches, 3 cooked lunches (plus a sandwich for me..maybe), main meal for 7 dc and me.

I need a plan that could involve slow cooker, hob, oven, small 2 slice toaster, freezer, but no microwave. Ideally something to help packed lunches look less boring.

I know some of you must have this down pat...

does anyone have any recipes/meal plans that would allow me to reclaim some time and head space. I am a reasonable cook and baker but very limited time. main meal needs to be dairy free.

notagiraffe Sat 11-Jun-16 08:10:20

The quickest evening meals are the bung in the oven ones.

Chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, drumsticks or whole legs - up to you) with skin on are incredible versatile. I do:
1. Herby Chicken All in a roasting dish with a glass of white wine, sprinkled with rosemary and rubbed with garlic puree.
Serve with microwaved basmati rice (can't accidentally overcook it )and steamed peas/beans/broccoli etc.
Total prep time about 10 mins. Total cooking time 30-40 depending on size of chicken pieces.

2. Jerk chicken: put chicken pieces in roasting pan. Cover with a very thick sprinkling of jerk seasoning.Pour a glass of water in around them.
Cut sweet potatoes into four or six lengthways slices to make wedges. Paint with a bit of oil and garlic puree, season.
Roast in the oven along with the jerk chicken for 45-50 mins. The water and jerk seasoning and meat juices make the most delicious clear gravy.
Serve with big bowl of leafy salad, cucumber and tomatoes.

3. Mediterranean Chicken. Chicken pieces in roasting tin with quartered red onions, black olives, cherry tomatoes, garlic cloves still in their skins and sprigs of thyme. Pour glass of red wine over them. Serve with crusty bread and steamed green beans.

4. Smoky Paprika Chicken. Chicken pieces in roasting pan again grin Mix a paste of smoky paprika, lemon juice, garlic puree and olive oil. Add wedges of lemon and thick chunks of red and yellow peppers and Spanish onion brushed with olive oil. Coat chicken pieces with paprika paste and bake.
Serve with couscous (no need to cook it, just mix with boiled kettle water, bit of veg stock and plenty of frozen petit pois stirred in with the boiling water. Add chopped mint and parsley if you want.

5. Soy Salmon (or chicken grin) pieces. Mix a paste of soy sauce, OJ, honey, garlic puree and grated ginger. Coat over salmon and roast in oven, covered in foil so the space doesn't char. Serve with noodles that take 5 mins to cook and lots of steamed green veg.

6. Or Very Quick Salmon. Drizzle soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce in equal measure over salmon pieces. Bake in oven. My DC love this and it takes 2 mins to prepare. Serve with rice or noodles and steamed veg.

7. Sweet Aromatic Pork. Pork steaks in roasting pan. Pour over a glass of cider or apple juice. Add halved apples with a bit of butter on top, quartered red onions and finely cut wedges of fennel. Cover with foil and bake in oven for 30 mins then grill for 3 mins just to make the edges golden brown and bubbling.

Serve with potato wedges tossed in garlic and herbs cooked in same oven.

foolonthehill Sat 11-Jun-16 12:06:17

thank you...I always forget the roasting tin dishes and end up on the hob!

great ideas

WiMoChi Sat 18-Jun-16 22:43:16

Pasta with broccoli, peas, green beans (cheese if you require or dairy free pesto to taste?) use rice or quinoa instead of pasta to change it up.

Roast a load of peppers onions garlic courgettes sweet potatoes and stir through pasta?

Jacket potatoes with beans and salad bits or home made coleslaw.

Cajun chicken with Corn on cob and home made wedges?

Shepherds pie? Make one, freeze one.

Corned been hash and beans. Mmmmm!

Turkey meatballs with pasta and a home made tomatoe and red pepper sauce??


Fajitas (DIY might be cheaper) or wraps with a tasty filling and salad.

Chilli or spag Bol. Could use pork or turkey mince instead of beef. Yum!

Home made curries with meat or mixed beans or chick peas/lentils.

Get a stew on in the slow cooker, beef or lamb. Butchers always cheaper than super market...

Stir fries are cheap, chuck in some frozen (defrosted) prawns too??

Sandwiches (ham, cheese, humous, chicken, corned beef, paste)
Sausage rolls
Carrot, cucumber, pepper fingers and a dip (humous, avocado etc).
Dried fruit
Pasta/cous cous/quinoa salad
Crackers and pate
Home made soup (and garlic bread or bread and butter)

I can't remember what else we have off top of m head x

TwinsplusAnotherTwo Sun 19-Jun-16 09:05:54

When we have more than 7 to feed I usually do a huge all in one pot rice dish - paella, basque chicken, biryani etc. - they are easy to expand for an extra portion.

Or agree with traybakes - Spanish chicken or shawarma go down well here.

Hopingforsomesunshine Sun 19-Jun-16 09:17:11

When I need a speedy meal I grab a roll of ready made puff pastry, score a boarder and fill centre with what ever you fancy (often roasted med veg with pesto and prosciutto, I often chuck some cheese on but not need if avoiding dairy). Serve with salad. If you end up with leftovers can be eaten cold in lunch boxes.
Also big oven baked frittata's again can provide left overs for lunch boxes.
I do a morrocan chicken and chick pea tagine which can be bunged in the oven and forgotten about. Serve with cous cous.
Maybe a bit wintery at the mo but toad in the hole is pretty one pan bung in and leave.
Gammon joints are quite handy, can be done in the slow cooker and often provide leftover for packed lunches.
How do you plan at the moment? I like plans that go along the lines of
Mon a chicken dish
Tues a pasta dish
Wednesday something with rice
Thursday veggie
Fri fish dish
Saturday pick a new recipe you've never done before
Sun roast
Obviously lots of categories overlap and it doesn't specify specific dishes but it gives you something to start from.

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