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Store cupboard items for quick meals for fussy teens

(18 Posts)
FloraMcDonald Sun 06-May-18 15:15:33

Hi there, I've just joined hoping for suggestions and recommendations for feeding fussy older teens quickly using store cupboard ingredients, avoiding pork. Vegetarian stuff would be fine. I don't want to make stuff in advance as it might get wasted.

I host teenagers for a language school, but the older teens can sometimes suddenly arrange to meet friends and need a meal served uber-fast. The school doesn't require us to produce meals on demand, but in the end, the teens need fed, and I'd just prefer to have some easy tricks up my sleeve to keep things sweet. I don't want to cook things which can be heated up, as it may not be required. We don't have a big freezer to stock things to be heated up. We're always well-stocked with fresh basics such as eggs, cheese, milk, veggies, etc., and I'm looking for suggestions for enjoyable stuff which is vacuum-packed or tinned which could combined to produce a passable meal.

I hope people will be able to give me some tips. I'll really appreciate them smile

OP’s posts: |
barnet Sun 06-May-18 15:24:36

Tins of tuna for quick tuna mayonnaise, with tortillas/tacos/ bread

WheelyCote Sun 06-May-18 15:26:35

Noodles are ideal and are very quick. If you don't have time to cook then supernoodles are perfect otherwise buy dried noodles 2/3 packs and maybe make a satay type sauce...basically peanut butter and some other bits. Run the noodles through the sauce. If you can things like ginger and Spring onions even better.

Also hot dogs and hotdog buns. IKEA have them frozen and frozen buns...really tasty (let's not think what's in them) or tins of hotdogs again have a store of 2/3 packs/tins and then get some normal hotdog buns, cut the slice in them then freeze. To unfreeze microwave for about 10-20seconds.

I'll think of some more...

Eggs are fab because you can do scrambled egg, omelettes, boiled egg and soldiers (I defy any teen to not like egg an soldiers)

GreenTulips Sun 06-May-18 15:28:33

Pot noodles
Toasties
Soup
Tuna pasta
Passetta sauce over pasta with grated cheese

BikeRunSki Sun 06-May-18 15:32:13

Pasta and pesto- fresh tortellini to make it more special.
Tacos
Keep pizza bases in, and stuff to top them with.

WheelyCote Sun 06-May-18 15:36:52

Quarter pounder burgers and buns. Again you can freeze the buns and just bring out and zap in the microwave when needed to defrost.

My eldest lives plastic cheese (those squares that are passed off as cheese but we all know it isn't really hah)
Mayonaise
Ketchup
Onions

FloraMcDonald Sun 06-May-18 16:20:10

Some of these ideas are really useful thanks.

Wheelycote - About the satay sauce - is there anything which stores in the cupboard which would complement that as a protein source? Vegetarian stuff would be ideal, as some people will only eat halal meat.

I will definitely get in some tacos and pizza bases. We've always got plenty of topping type things in the fridge.

I tried some chicken Supernoodles recently and mixed in freshly cooked chicken breast and sweetcorn, but they were refused by six people, and I had to plough through them myself. Any better ideas as to how to make them more appealing would be appreciated.

Thanks so much again.. I will print this thread out and use all the ideas.

OP’s posts: |
FloraMcDonald Sun 06-May-18 16:27:57

Has anyone any suggestions for a nice thing which could be a substitute for chicken or something.. in a satay, for example, or with noodles, tacos, tortillas, etc. If we were cooking from scratch, for example, we might stuff a taco or tortilla with chicken cooked with onions, red peppers, etc.. However with no time to cook the chicken, what would be a quick store-cupboard substitute? veggie or meat is best but not pork, because some won't eat pork.

OP’s posts: |
WheelyCote Sun 06-May-18 16:58:38

Flora there's always Quorn chicken pieces...may not go down well though I've never tried it with a satay sauce.

Instead of a protein you could freeze baby sweet corn, spring onions (chop them and Bing them in a bag in the freezer), mange tout and freeze chopped /grated ginger. Then it's just a case of making up the source. Frying off the Spring onions and mange tous with garlic and ginger....just grab a handful for each child. Then add the sauce then throw in the noodles

Oh and chop up chillies and freeze and you can add that too.

I try and chop all veg I can and freeze ready to throw in a pan when I have little time.

Grab a bag of spinach too and put in freezer. If you make soup, stir frys again you could just grab a handful of frozen leaves and throw it in.

The other thing is you could make Quorn mince chilli....recipe is on the Quorn website. It can be refrozen once cooked and bring out the portions as needed. My two tend to have it with nachos or tacos. I have it in the leaves of ice gem lettuces...like cups 😋😋

The passata and pasta is a good one too that someone mentioned. Just throw in garlic to the passata and some spinach and add pasta, linguine or spaghetti

Almostthere15 Sun 06-May-18 17:10:24

You can sometimes get single serve pesto sachets (but check as not all will be veggie because of the parmesan).
Would cans of beans in sauce work - Served alongside toast?
Or microwave rice can make egg fried rice really quickly.

BikeRunSki Sun 06-May-18 17:46:24

Flora when I make chicken tacos, I chop up a chicken breast and stir fry it in a few minutes.

canihaveacoffeeplease Sun 06-May-18 19:15:40

Ok, so my dd is 3 but this is a storecupboard meal we all love- egg fried rice, it would be great for teens.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Add a handful of frozen veg, half a pouch micro rice, cook medium until really hot. Stir in any chopped leftover meat/fish/tuna you might have, then break in 1 or 2 eggs, stir fry until just set. And that's it, about 5 mins start to finish, we have it at least once a week.

For more flavour add some soy/chilli sauce at the end, but that doesn't work for a 3 year old!!

Oh and good old pesto pasta of course...

Hope that helps

FloraMcDonald Mon 07-May-18 11:18:14

Thank you all very much. The ideas are really useful.

I'd still be grateful for suggestions for a nice brand of tinned meat (not pork), or a really yummy storable substitute as a main chunky ingredient in a rice or noodle dish. Jars of cooked chestnuts? Anything else similar? I thought of halloumi the other day... but there must be others, including chunky vegetables which teens might tolerate. As I say, I don't really have freezer room, as mine is packed already. I cannot defreeze meat or chicken as it takes too long for the quantity required.

Many thanks again for all the good ideas.

OP’s posts: |
givemushypeasachance Wed 09-May-18 16:22:19

If in doubt, pulses! Tins of chickpeas, butter beans, kidney beans, tinned lentils, black-eyed beans, mixed beans - they're all great "meaty" textures when used in a dish and it's so simple to crack open a tin, rinse and add to whatever you're cooking. Cheap, high in protein, healthy, tasty, what more do you want! grin

I really like tinned fish too, skinless & boneless sardines and mackerel in various sauces, tuna, salmon. Bit dubious about other forms of tinned meat unless it's full-on ye olde corned beef, childhood fave ha, but you can get tinned chicken breast in water that seems to look similar to tuna.

These days you get a lot of microwave flavoured pouches of mixed grains and pulses that help make a very quick light meal - serve those with a side salad or some veg, add something like tinned fish if you want to make it heartier.

Hastalapasta Wed 09-May-18 16:28:52

Home made dips, such as:
Hummus,
white bean dip,
lentil dip,
mushroom dip, all keep in the fridge for 5 days safely,
keep boxes of bread sticks and crackers in the cupboard, easy and nutritious snacks, add cheese, olives, (anti pasti) and salad for an impromptu mezze.

Quiche keeps for several days too, my kids love courgette tart.

Borridge Wed 09-May-18 16:36:10

Firm tofu as a meat substitute.

Brokit Sun 13-May-18 15:03:24

Meat alternatives to add protein or substance - sweet potato cubed makes good curry/sate. I would choose almonds over chestnuts.
Tins of cannelloni beans or butter beans.
I wouldn't personally eat tinned meat.
My teens will always eat pasta and sauce. I get small jars from Aldi or the stir in variety, they usually chuck in some frozen veg as well.
I know you said freezer space was limited but that really is the key to spontaneous meals! Pre soak and cook green lentils and freeze then they can be used straight from freezer.

FuckingWaffleDoggy Sun 13-May-18 19:19:44

If you can use up some of the meat in your freezer you could replace the eaten chicken with some from Iceland that can be used straight from frozen (may be able to get it in other supermarkets too, or other meats).

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