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Mega fast meals that aren't ready meals...

(39 Posts)
HeadFairy Wed 24-Jun-09 12:52:19

I'm on nights next week and as dh can't boil water without burning it, I usually buy meals that are really quick and easy to do so I can just throw it all in a pan (I usually sleep until 6pm so I can't really spend ages preparing stuff) but I'm really running out of inspiration. I'm just doing my online shop now, and so far we're going to have pasta with home made white sauce and ham and mushrooms on one day (white sauce already made and in the freezer) and stir fry on another day... any other ideas. Ready meals are so flipping expensive and usually yukky, so I want something I can make in about half an hour... I need three more meals preferably.

Astrophe Wed 24-Jun-09 12:59:37

dull I know, but potatoes with beans or tuna/mayo/sweetcorn and a side salad?

could you make some soup and freeze it?

what about omlette with mushrooms,sweetcorn, red peppers and corriander - cut into slices and dip in soy sauce...maybe with a salad too?

Or potato gnocci with sauce - just chop up some bacon, onion, courgettes and peppers, throw a can of diced tomatoes in and simmer for a few minutes. If you have time, pour the sauce over the gnocci and then top with mozarella and bake for 10 minutes...otherwise just bung the sauce on and eat.

geekgirl Wed 24-Jun-09 13:04:26

fajitas - cut chicken breast, pepper, onion into strips, fry with a sachet of fajita seasoning. Serve with tortillas, salsa & creme fraiche.

MamaG Wed 24-Jun-09 13:08:00

egg, (oven) chips and beans

grilled bacon, sausage, scrambled egg, mushrooms, toms etc

Big Salad - chuck loads of stuff in, cubed cheese, meats etc

thumbwitch Wed 24-Jun-09 13:08:42

poached/baked fish takes less than half an hour, and while it's in the oven you can boil some baby potatoes (20 mins) and do some veggies (about 10-15 mins) so the whole meal will be ready in half an hour.

My mum used to make this thing called modge - minced beef with onions and a tin of Campbell's (now Batchelor's) veg soup, undiluted. Fry off the mince and onions, add the vegetable soup and simmer in the pan (or throw in the oven) for about 15 mins (or up to 2 hours, depending on whether or not she forgot about it grin!) Have it with pasta or mash.

seeker Wed 24-Jun-09 13:09:29

microwaveable rice with a big handful of cooked vegetables and chopped ham or left over chicken stirred in to it. My fastest ever meal. If the vegetables are tinned sweetcorn and frozen peas, or already cooked leftovers, I can have a meal on the table in 7 minutes from coming in the door.

At a risk of being shouted at, isn't it time he learned to cook a bit?It's not difficult. What if you were ill, or had to go away for a while?

MamaG Wed 24-Jun-09 13:10:50

Actually thats a really good point seeker!

Your DH really should know how to cook...

HeadFairy Wed 24-Jun-09 13:11:47

oh seeker you are soooo right about the whole cooking thing... I've tried, really I have! Just gotta do something for work, back in a mo....

becstarlitsea Wed 24-Jun-09 13:14:45

Tonno e faglio - Can tuna, can butter beans drained, lots of chopped parsley, crushed garlic to your taste, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp vinegar, season with sea salt & black pepper, and mixed with cooked pasta. The only thing to cook is the pasta - otherwise it's just opening cans and stirring. If it takes you more than 2 minutes prep time you must have stopped for a cuppa!

Pacific pie (from 'How to feed your whole family') - I mix in one ovenproof dish drained can spinach, drained can sweetcorn, handful grated red leicester, dollop of yoghurt, can of chopped tomatoes, can of tuna - mix all together. Throw crushed ready salted crisps on tip, sprinkle with more red leicester cheese & bake til bubbling. Again - 2 mins prep time max.

Cheat's minestrone - fry carrot, celery & garlic for 2 mins, add chopped courgette, can of cannellini beans with their liquid, bit more water plus chicken stock cube & some parsley. Add some midget pasta or broken spaghetti. Cook for 10 mins until pasta is done.

throckenholt Wed 24-Jun-09 13:19:24

chicken and sweetcorn goes down well in our house - takes about 30 mins.

Boil or steam potatoes (could go with rice or pasta I guess). Cut chicken breasts into cubes, fry in frying pan with a little oil and leek or onion and a chicken stock cube until browned a bit, then stick in a tin or some frozen sweetcorn. Put on a lid, and turn down the heat and simmer for about 10 mins.

Put potatoes in a bowl, pour chicken over so that they soak up the juice, and server with veg, salad, garlic bread - whatever you like.

seeker Wed 24-Jun-09 13:23:04

Oooh - tonno e fagioli! Thank you - that's my 'what's for tea?" dilemma solved. We haven't had that for ages. It's also nice - but rather less Italian! -with chick peas.

HeadFairy Wed 24-Jun-09 13:33:08

Ok, omelettes. Great idea, eggs duly ordered!

Love the other ideas, I don't like tuna so I'll have to pass on the tonno faglio, though I might try and adapt it on another day. I want to avoid having pasta every day, is that possible and do quick meals? I dunno, it's always the quickest thing.

dh hates sweetcorn with a passion, but the fish pie sounds nice if I can adapt it with another fish... perhaps tinned salmon, though not with the cheese perhaps.

I like thumbwitches fish idea, nice and healthy. It's so hard trying to cut down on meat for economic reasons, but avoid having pasta every day.... fish is nice and healthy though...

I love the fajitas idea... will definitely put that one on the list for this week! thanks geekgirl.

Now back to dh... I have asked him what would happen if I was ill or away, and he said he'd live off pizzas and sandwiches, grrr angry.... and he'd feed ds all the stuff I have stockpiled in the freezer for him. He has absolutely no interest in knowing how to cook. He lived on his own for far too long in my opinion, lived the typical blokes life eating crap (or nothing at all, and playing computer games all night!). I probably do contribute to the problem as I love cooking so do it most days (I work late three nights a week but he'll do some quick pasta for himself those days, ds has his tea at the childminders).

perhaps his 40th birthday present will be a gourmet cookery course He'll hate that hahahahahahaha <evil cackle>

thereistheball Wed 24-Jun-09 13:34:57

Chorizo and chickpea salad. Fry spicy chorizo saving the oil it gives off. While that's doing (keep it moving a little bit so it doesn't burn) drain and rinse a can of chick peas, halve some cherry tomatoes, finely chop half a red onion, and chop quite a lot of flat leaf parsley. Mix everything including the cooked chorizo and its oil together and eat. You can also squeeze in some fresh garlic if you want. It should take about 10 minutes in total.

Sausages and lentils (which feeds you for 3 days): boil some puy lentils in some bouillon. While they are doing (20 minutes or less) fry some sausages. Eat with a salad. If you do extra sausages on Day 1 you can have them with roast butternut squash on Day 2 - cube and roast the squash leaving skin on, should take about 20 minutes. If you do extra lentils with the sausages on Day 1 you can keep them for lentil salad on Day 3: summer version of lentil salad is with rocket, cherry tomatoes, some roast butternut squash (which you have kept from the day before when you had it with sausages), parsley and feta. Winter version is with roast root veg, watercress and feta or goats cheese.

ninedragons Wed 24-Jun-09 13:35:48

Thai green curry.

Cook pork or chicken goujons in a frying pan with the tiniest smidgen of oil, add baby aubergines, chuck in a sachet of curry sauce and a tin of coconut milk, add some of those "shelf-fresh" udon noodles and some frozen broccoli florets.

Takes about 10-15 minutes tops, and is really delicious.

KingRolo Wed 24-Jun-09 13:58:20

Egg fried rice - my DH loves doing this!

Boil / microwave some white rice. While that's doing fry small pieces of whatever meat you like (chicken, prawns or bacon work well) and some veg (I like spring onion, peas and chopped red pepper but a handful of frozen veg works OK). When it is
done mix rice, meat and veg together in a big pan and pour over 2 beaten eggs. Stir like mad until egg has set and serve.

HeadFairy Wed 24-Jun-09 14:12:58

oh maaan, kingrolo ninedragons and thereistheball, those all sound fantastic. Thanks for those great ideas.

Perhaps when we have a bigger kitchen (we're moving soon) I can lure dh in there with the promise of a cold beer and get him stirring something as a gentle introduction to cooking

notamumyetbutoneday Wed 24-Jun-09 14:17:13

prawn stirfry with noodles- even quicker if you get one of those stirfry veg packs from the supermarket.

Takes 5 minutes, quite literally. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, ginger, chilli sauce to taste.

OrmIrian Wed 24-Jun-09 14:17:24

Chopped chorizo, pesto and passata - heat in a pan gently. Serve over pasta with parmesan.

Roast a chicken the days before. Serve cold with new potatoes and salad.

Savoury rice. Fry onions and mushrooms with some ham and garlic in lots of olive oil. Stir rice in and cook briefly. Add tomato and stock. Cook until rice is cooked and liquid is gone.

notamumyetbutoneday Wed 24-Jun-09 14:18:00

just read you are already doing stirfry Doh!

cyteen Wed 24-Jun-09 14:25:34

I know you said you didn't want pasta every day, but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to pimp spaghetti with chilli and garlic as my fastest/easiest meal.

Boil spaghetti, then drain
Heat enough olive oil to coat the pasta, then add some chopped red chilli and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes (long enough for the flavour to seep into the oil, not long enough to colour the garlic).
Toss pasta in oil, add salt and pepper, serve.

Also nice with a bit of grated parmesan if you have any handy.

HeadFairy Wed 24-Jun-09 14:35:16

mmmm cyteen, like the pasta idea.... I could add a few herbs to that too... I'm feeling very proud of my new herb garden and we've got loads of fresh parsley.

Orm - I like the savoury rice idea too, I've got in a bit of a rut of doing risotto most weeks as my rice dish, but all the chopping hacks me off and it does take a while with all the stirring and adding stock and general faffing, most of which I'm likely to mess up when I'm half asleep.

seeker Wed 24-Jun-09 14:41:34

cyteen - we call that 'evil spag"!

cyteen Wed 24-Jun-09 14:42:08

lol, it's not the most sociable of pasta that's for sure grin

HeadFairy Wed 24-Jun-09 14:43:26

My ds's childminder is always feeding him things with loads of garlic, his breath always stinks, and if dh and I both have garlicky breath we'll be the stinkiest family in town

claireybee Wed 24-Jun-09 14:49:14

Chorizo and beans- fry off chorizo, open can on beans (I use black eye or pinto mostly), add beans to pan to warm through. Add chopped parsley and black pepper. Serve with crusty bread to mop up all the juices.

Steak and salad takes 8 minutes, you can prep the salad while the steak cooks. Also can serve with jacket potato if you microwave it (I then crisp it up under the grill or in oven). Can also do tuna steak or chicken breast.

One pot rice dishes like jollof or jambalaya

You can make a chilli very quickly though it doesn't have the same depth of flavour as one that is cooked more slowly.

Risotto takes less than 30mins.

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