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Need ideas for hot evening meals for my family who all have a good hot lunch at school/work

(22 Posts)
castille Tue 08-Sep-09 10:42:24

This year all 3 DC (aged 12 to 3) are having a good quality 3-course meal at school here in France which is great, but it costs quite a bit so I'm looking for cheapish ideas for hot, healthy evening meals that they and we will all like.

I do things like pasta with various veg-based sauces, homemade pizza and green salad, quiches, omelettes, jacket potatoes, caesar salad as well as occasional fish pie, shepherd's pie, chicken casserole, curry etc but I need more inspiration for dishes that are little or no meat/fish but healthy, filling and one fussy eater-friendlysmile

bodiddly Tue 08-Sep-09 10:50:56

maccaroni cheese with cherry tomatoes in it - yum .. that said my ds won't eat it!

cyteen Tue 08-Sep-09 10:52:11

Pulses are your friend here, I'd imagine. Soups/stews full of lentils and chickpeas - lots of scope for Moroccan/Indian inspired flavours. Will try and dig up some recipes later if you're interested

NaughtyAlice Tue 08-Sep-09 10:58:01

Homemade burgers (can be vegetarian ones)

Spanish omlette (frittata type thing)

Risotto/paella

Chilli/bolognese that can go with jacket potatoes

Tortilla wraps

Something we have if we get home late and need something quick is toast with a slice of ham on top with beans and grated cheese on top. It is very quick, very filling and not too unhealthy. Scrambled eggs are good too and can add all sorts of veg to it.

Hope any of this helps smile

NaughtyAlice Tue 08-Sep-09 10:59:04

Cyteen -i would be interested in some recipes smile

haventsleptforayear Tue 08-Sep-09 11:05:02

I am interested too as am in exactly the same situation as OP.

We do boiled eggs (keep chickens) as a v. quick meal when no-one can be bothered.

Pancakes (ie galettes) could work too I think.

cyteen Tue 08-Sep-09 11:05:11

Will sort some out this evening, assuming we don't spend all night trying to placate a tired, teething toddler (can you guess what we did last night grin)

slug Tue 08-Sep-09 11:39:01

Felafel are quick and easy to make, especially if you are using tinned chickpeas.

DH's standby is chicken bits with canneloni mash. Basically he stirfries bite size bits of chicken with veg, adds a little liquid or stock and simmers it down. He sometimes thickens the sauce with yogurt if he can be bothered. You can add any variety of seasonings as your fussy eater will allow, cardomon seeds and ginger are nice, or you can go the chilli and lemon route. While the chicken is simmering fry some onions and/or garlic in a pan and tip in a drained can or two of white beans (canneloni is nice) Add a little water or stock and heat it through. Mash them up a bit with a spoon, but don't make a smooth mush. The whole thing takes about 20 minutes from defrosting the chicken to serving.

For quick, hot snacks, we keep endame beans in the freezer. These are baby soy beans in the pod (look for them in Asian shops) All you need to do is boil them for a few minutes, drain and seve with a sprinkle of salt. you put the whole thing in your mouth and pop the beans out. You don't eat the pods (though they do make good compost)

castille Tue 08-Sep-09 12:16:48

Oh yes I do Breton galettes with green salad (all 3 love green salad with balsamic vinaigrette)

Pasta and tomatoes v good for fussy DD1

Risotto good

Don't do much with pulses, DD1 won't even like baked beansshock but she might eat them mashed up - chicken recipe sounds good

Kids love tortillas - what do you put in them, naughtyAlice? They like fajitas.

Yes please to recipes cyteen!

NaughtyAlice Tue 08-Sep-09 12:59:33

With the tortillas you could do thinly cut cucumber,peppers,carrot,celery etc, houmous/yoghurt with mint/creme fraiche/salsa and add cheese, sweetcorn, beetroot, chicken and salad. You could just chop everything up and put on the table for everyone to make their own wraps.

How about soup too? Creamy carrot soup is very good for kids as it is sweet and very easy for you to make and freezes well.

It is basically a kg bag of carrots
1 onion
Good dollop of butter
Pint of stock (i use 1 chicken oxo cube)

In a heavy bottomed pan, melt the butter, add the chopped carrots and chopped onion and a splash of stock. Put the lid on and sweat for 15mins adding stock as you need it to stop it burning dry. Then add the rest of the stock and simmer til the carrots are cooked. Leave to cool a bit then blend. You can add milk or cream when you serve it if you like. Cheap and yummy. (says it serves 8, but that would be a starter size portion)

cyteen Wed 09-Sep-09 22:11:26

Just popping on to say I really will post some recipes up one night soon blush Creeping off to bed now, but I haven't forgotten!

SomeGuy Thu 10-Sep-09 02:08:22

How about some cassoulet? Haricot beans, pork hock, strong French sausage, some bacon, tomatoes.

Yum.

SomeGuy Thu 10-Sep-09 02:09:25

it's better with a duck leg for the fat.

CharlotteVV Fri 11-Sep-09 11:44:33

Are you looking for cheap and cheerful? You could try these 2 websites for ideas and inspiration for cheap and quick meals:

http://www.britishpotatoes.co.uk/recipes/
http://www.beyondbakedbeans.com/

Failing that I like cooking lots of vegetarian indian food. Its really easy and you can adapt the recipe below to anything you fancy. Also how about making a Lentil Daal? Its a bit more substantial than a normal soup as its made from lentils and its very filling, we tend to eat it with rice and some plain yoghurt on the side.

Recipe for chickpea & potato curry (my fave - v cheap & filling)
1 large onion finely chopped
1/2 tin plum tomatoes
2 tins chickpeas
3/4 medium potatoes peeled & cut to approx 1 inch cubes
3 cloves of finely chopped garlic
2 medium fingers of ginger - chopped up finely
1 tsp garam masala
2tsp cumin seeds
1tsp turmeric
salt to season & chilli to taste (or paprika if you want the flavour but not the heat)
Fresh coriander chopped up finely for granish if you have it

If you have a slow cooker then you can literally ptu all the ingredients in together except the fresh coriander which you add at the end before serving with rice

If no slow cooker then just fry the onions in a little veg oil with the cumin until golden then add the ginger, then garlic, fry for a couple of more minutes until the ginger & garlic are golden, then add the garam masal, turmeric, chilli, salt etc, then add the tomatoes. Let this simmer for a few minutes then add chickpeas, potatoes and top up with enough water so you have a decent sauce at the end. Leave to simmer for half an hour - 45 minutes, checking on water level & stirring occasionally. Add chopped coriander before serving.

I serve with basmati rice, but I fry off some birds eye frozen peas in a little oil & with a tsp of cumin in the pan first , then I add the rice and water. You could add a little thinly sliced onion too - it adds a really lovely savouriness to the rice and is delicious eaten on its own. Don't forget to add salt when you add the water. Cook for 15 minutes then turn off and put lid back on and you should have perfect rice 15 minutes later. I use 1 part rice to 1 & 1/4 part water.

You can adapt the above to any of your favourite beans or you could adapt it for chicken or whatever, the curry sauce recipe stays the same......

cyteen Fri 11-Sep-09 20:13:57

Best dhal ever:

Boil some red lentils till you can crush a grain without any hard stuff. Fry some onion, when translucent add some garlic and ginger, stir for a sec, then add a chopped tomato. The add a teaspoon of paprika, and half a teaspoon each of cumin, chilli powder, tumeric, coriander and garam masala. Once the spices are fried off a little, stir it into the dhal. Add green chilli, salt and vinegar to taste. Serve with chapatis, or whatever bread you've got lying around.

cyteen Fri 11-Sep-09 20:16:16

Chunky chickpea soup

2 tbs olive oil
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 small fennel bulb, cut into small cubes
100g pancetta, cut into small cubes (or just leave it out and add some paprika instead)
1 carrot, grated
1 potato, cut into small cubes
1.5l chicken stock (or veg stock)
400g canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
80g fresh spinach, chopped
50g parmesan cheese, finely grated
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the leek, fennel and pancetta and cook for 5 minutes over high heat, until the leek softens and the pancetta really flavours the oil. Add the carrot, potato, stock and chickpeas and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper then add the spinach. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, until the spinach has wilted throughout the soup.

Serve with parmesan sprinkled on top.

cyteen Fri 11-Sep-09 20:19:53

ham and lentil soup

BonsoirAnna Fri 11-Sep-09 20:20:03

The River Café cook books have lots of pasta dishes with vegetables that are quick, easy and economical. We had penne with courgette and ricotta a couple of nights ago and everyone loved it.

Gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce is a good supper dish if you eat a salad and some fruit as well.

cyteen Fri 11-Sep-09 20:34:00

puy lentil lasagne

cyteen Fri 11-Sep-09 20:35:35

I've made this courgette and pea risotto a few times now and it rocks - easy, tasty, filling

SomeGuy Fri 11-Sep-09 23:13:42

You could try Nigella Express, lots of famil-friendly stuff there.

castille Sun 13-Sep-09 15:56:19

Great ideas all, thank you! Have printed off lots and will be experimenting on my family, the lucky people.

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