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30 minute dinners for 2 adults plus 14mo?

(12 Posts)
Narya Wed 10-Apr-19 12:03:20

...any thoughts? I need to sort out weekday dinner time. DP and I work full time, DS is in nursery, on a weeknight we have at most half an hour after we get home to get dinner on the table. Any later and DS gets too tired. He eats well at nursery but still seems to need a good dinner before bed.

DP and I normally eat with him, but due to the time pressure the two of us end up eating more processed stuff than i'd like (jar sauces etc), meaning I don't want to give the same to DS. So he ends up with something from the freezer, or toast or something Ellas kitchen. We want to stay eating as a family though rather than the two of us eating later.

What can we all eat as a family that is reasonably healthy and quick? Most of the family recipes I've seen take too long to make (think cottage pie from scratch) or don't seem to have enough veg in. DS has plenty of teeth but seems to struggle a bit with salad/raw veg.

Also DP won't eat vegetarian food and I don't like cheese, so that seems to rule out a lot of other recipes!

I try to do a bit of batch cooking at the weekend so that covers a couple of nights, but need some quick ideas for the rest. Help!

OP’s posts: |
VictoriaReal Wed 10-Apr-19 12:09:02

Can you try baking fish (salmon, sea bass, cod etc) in foil parcels with some lemon juice, herbs, wine etc or Asian style with ginger & chilli?

Takes 2 mins to prepare and about 15 minutes to cook.

Roasted Mediterranean veg are a good fallback also as it only used one baking dish- roughly chop and bung in oven with herbs and some chicken breasts for about 35 mins.

Finally, other chicken traybakes are good eg using sweet potatoes, fennel or other root type veg and some sage or something.

Narya Wed 10-Apr-19 14:29:11

Thanks - fish foil parcels sound perfect, I'll definitely give them a go!

Traybakes are a good idea as will, previously I've had issues with them taking an age to cook in our oven but I think the idea is worth revising, maybe I just need to cut things smaller or something.

OP’s posts: |
Toooldtocareanymore Wed 10-Apr-19 14:55:28

lots of our family dinners I aim for no more than 30 mins cooking just' cos we are tired and who wants to spend a night in the kitchen, sometimes I may do a little advanced prep the night before to help, so I find like you, tray bakes with sweet potato or carrots isn't fast enough for week nights , but you can do with peppers, courgette and tomatoes, so far in last few days we have had pan fried sea bass took 2 minutes each side , did with the microwave mini potatoes with parsley butter and veg from freezer, we had my quick spaghetti which is basically batter couple chicken breasts to get them thin so they cook faster coat with some fennel seeds and seasoning and pop in oven, in separate dish in oven put cherry tomatoes halved some garlic, couple of asparagus spears per head- cos they are in season now later in year will use sugar snap peas, toss in dash of olive oil , some rosemary if you have or maybe basil, and while that's roasting in oven pop on pasta to boil by time its cooked the veg is ready toss pasta into the veg dish to coat and then plate up with chicken, beef stir fry with noodles, that's one where I prepped the beef night before by slicing and left it marinating in some soy sauce and so it was ready to toss in wok as soon as I wanted it so all I had to do was veg prep and boil kettle to start noodles, could have done it in 30 mins but its nice to have it marinated adds extra flavour

PickAChew Wed 10-Apr-19 15:00:15

If you like cottage pie, you can make a few at the weekend or after dinner then heat them up in the oven when you want them. That sort of thing freezes well. Same for stews, ragu, chilli's, curries, etc.

PickAChew Wed 10-Apr-19 15:02:06

And apologies, I completely missedd that you do batch cook!

Soontobe60 Wed 10-Apr-19 16:10:19

I've just made a large lasagne and a big pan of cauliflower cheese. Once it's baked in the oven, I then portion them up into foil containers and freeze them, usually get 8 portions from my large lasagne dish. I do the same with shepherds pie, chilli, curry etc. I do something every other weekend so I've always got at least 4 portions of 4 different home made meals in the freezer. I also make bean burgers, fish cakes and pasta sauces.
All I need to remember is to take what I want out of the freezer in the morning. I buy bags of carrot and swede mash, frozen peas, frozen sweet corn.

Narya Wed 10-Apr-19 20:05:31

Thanks for all the replies, @Toooldtocareanymore I had forgotten about bashing meat thinner so it cooks faster, that's a good tip. I think I had been assuming most things involving the oven would take too long, sounds like there are definitely things I could he oven cooking!

OP’s posts: |
Ricekrispie22 Sat 20-Apr-19 13:13:15

Tuna and sweetcorn burgers
Egg fried rice
Cheats fish pie
Chicken meatballs
Gnocchi (quicker than pasta!)

AllTheCakes Sat 20-Apr-19 13:27:28

I recommend the Roasting Tin books. We use this a few times a week as most of the recipes are just chucked in a tin in the oven and are very tasty. A lot of the recipes use grains like bulgur wheat which is a tasty but filling alternative to rice. For DH you can add a chicken breast to the veg meals to satisfy his meat need.

Mabellavender Fri 26-Apr-19 12:01:28

Have you tried the 30 minute meals by Jamie Oliver? I probably cook using those recipes two or three times a week( although have to double the portions because there’s 8 of us!)

Spam88 Mon 06-May-19 21:05:00

Gnocchi cooks in two minutes. We have it with cream cheese, pancetta and mushrooms.


Burger and chips. We normally go for spicy bean burgers, or sometimes just butterflied chicken breasts, often with sweet potato fries for an easy veg.

Do you have a slow cooker? That's a bit of a life saver for quick teas as well.

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