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Please share your best family meals

(17 Posts)
GrouchyKiwi Tue 26-Jul-16 18:34:10

Struggling to feed my family well at the moment. I have a two month old baby who always seems to need attention when it's time to cook dinner so I'm looking for inspiration for quick, easy and nutritious meals.

The difficulty: DD1 (4) won't eat pasta and DD2 (2) won't eat potatoes, unless they're chips. I'm tired of battles and food waste, but I'm also not prepared to make them different meals. DD1 used to love pasta and DD2 is small enough that she'll learn to like potatoes eventually!

They will both always eat risotto, beef chilli with nachos, roast dinners (except the potatoes for DD2, but there's enough other food to keep her happy) and toad in the hole, plus they're great with fruit and vegetables. The chilli with nachos is easy enough because I can do it in the slow cooker, and the toad in the hole isn't too time consuming, but risotto is a right faff so I don't cook it that often.

I'm almost at the point of just giving them bread, cold meat and salady bits for dinner every night until I have more time and energy to cook properly. We've had so many freezer meals lately that I feel really worried about their diets.

(DH gets home too late in the day to cook, btw, so him taking over cooking duties isn't a possibility.)

Scotmumof2girls Tue 26-Jul-16 18:36:23

I coat chicken legs in flour and paprika and fry all sides. Add to casserole dish with chorizo red peppers and chicken stock. Oven cook for 2 hours then uncover add uncooked savoury rice and recover. Cook until rice softens properly and soaks up the stock. Awesome easy one pot. Can be done in slow cooker too but rice needs longer.

wobblywonderwoman Tue 26-Jul-16 18:39:33

I would love some ideas also

I do salmon darnes (wrap in tin foil and sprinkle with either BBQ or cajun spice) mash and veg but rice would be good

Chicken breasts or pork chops cooked with roasted veg in the oven with herbs and halved new potatoes (they might suit dc who will eat chips as they are nice and crispy)

Steak burgers, onions

GrouchyKiwi Tue 26-Jul-16 18:50:17

Scotmum That sounds delicious, and it's close enough to a risotto that they're probably eat it.

wobbly I do love that kind of tray bake. If I do enough other veg then DD2 would be well catered for.

PartiallyStars Tue 26-Jul-16 18:56:39

would they eat couscous? We do chicken breasts wrapped in bacon, fry first then put in oven, and in same pan fry chopped courgette, tomato, pepper, whatever you have and they will eat, and add to the couscous with chopped dried apricots. Can add peas or sweet corn.

PartiallyStars Tue 26-Jul-16 18:59:23

We also do egg fried rice - basically fry whatever you have in the line of onions, peppers etc, as well as bite size chicken, can add ham, then add cooked rice, then an egg, stir it all up. Can add soy sauce and/ or Chinese five spices if they will go for it.

KeepCalmAndRetreat Tue 26-Jul-16 19:09:43

My quickest is chicken legs in sour cream with garlic. Mix everything together and sauté for 50-60 minutes. Serve it with rice.

GrouchyKiwi Tue 26-Jul-16 20:05:39

Partially I'm not sure if they'd eat couscous. We've not had it since I was pregnant with DD1 and went right off it! The rest of it sounds good, though.

KeepCalm That also sounds tasty.

Thanks. smile

Soakingupsomesunshine Tue 26-Jul-16 21:49:27

Have you tried them on gnocchi? A compromise between potato and pasta!
Morrocan chicken tagine with couscous
Falafel and pittas
Puff pastry tart with mozzarella and roasted veg
Chicken and veg skewers with coleslaw and salad

GrouchyKiwi Wed 27-Jul-16 08:39:11

Gnocchi is a good idea!

Getting a good list now. smile

NattyTile Wed 27-Jul-16 09:01:48

You can make risotto in the oven which might be a game changer?

Instead of a full roast, how about pork steaks, lamb chops, chicken thighs? Cut up a load of veg into 1 inch cubes, and shove the lot into the oven with herbs and oil.

If they like chilli, will they eat mince in other ways - bolognese maybe? With rice or bulgar or quinoa if you don't want the faff of a handful of pasta for one and a potato for the other.

If they like baguettes, then baguette, hot chicken, bowl of salad is a glorious summer meal!

We have some of those bake at home petit pains - mini baguettes. Easy enough to shove one or two in the oven with whatever else is going on as a substitute for pasta of the wrong kind of potato.

Libbers Wed 27-Jul-16 09:33:57

I was having some similar problems and getting really uninspired about what to cook everyone. Plus I found it a right faff because everything had to be done at a time when it was stressful - somehow it's always stressful just ebfore dinner in our house. But I found this blog recently and it's really helped me. It focuses on how to cook somethings in advance like they do in restaurants. I saw someone mention risotto and restauarants don't have thirty minutes between when you've ordered it and serving it so they cook mainly in advance! Anyway, it's really helped me destress and cook whilst kids are at school (and baby is asleep) for dinner! Blog is

PisforPeter Wed 27-Jul-16 09:39:45

Love these sorts of threads smile

bookbook Wed 03-Aug-16 11:14:55

Just seen this smile
I do savoury rice salad - while rice is cooking - fry onions ( or shallots - much quicker) hard boil an egg per person. Chuck frozen peas and sweetcorn into cooking rice just before its ready. Drain rice , stir in onions. Chop up eggs and add. Season, add a tablespoon of mayonnaise to give it a bit of stickyness . Serve . But you could add prawns, tinned tuna, cooked chicken or bacon as well - however you feel. Or spinach, green beans if you have time. Its a bit of a store cupboard recipe here, so as long as you have rice and onions you can just about add anything you have .
And yes to tray bake - tomatoes, courgettes, shallots, garlic , herbs then add chicken thighs on top.
Have you tried orzo ?- I know its pasta, but looks like rice....

GrouchyKiwi Wed 03-Aug-16 11:28:48

Thanks for more ideas. smile

(I had forgotten I wrote this thread. blush)

We've had a small potato breakthrough with DD2, which is very exciting!

libbers That blog looks amazing. I've bookmarked it for when I have more brains.

bookbook Wed 03-Aug-16 22:34:33

Good news re DD2. - jacket potatoes and cheese then !
as an extra thought - gnocchi works really well quickly fried in a pan - almost like tiny roast potatoes. Gives a different texture . ( Thats a Nigella Lawson tip )

THirdEeye Thu 04-Aug-16 09:55:12


Make a bologanaise sauce and serve with pasta that is the size and shape of rice (I think it's called orzo pasta).

Stir fry with rice


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