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Feeding a Large Family

(32 Posts)
Hedwig06 Mon 06-Aug-12 09:09:38

I am struggling just lately with meal ideas. I doesn't help that I really hate cooking and all that it in-tales grin

I have to cook for 6, DH, Myself, DD 16, DD12, DS10 & DS5.

Nobody like the same things, apart from a cooked dinner, but I'm sick to death of doing this.

I've just bought a Tefal Actifry & a Tefal Shredder, I also have a slow cooker as well, not that I use it.

Does anyone have any meal ideas for us all? I need simple easy meals, as I have NO cookery skills at all.

No mince please, as no-one like it smile

Vickles Fri 10-Aug-12 09:22:35

Can you replace mince., which I think is a pretty major staple in our house... With meatballs? I do meatball bolognaise with spaghetti hubby and older kids, then me and little one have savoy cabbage instead of spaghetti... Lush!
If beef meatballs are still too similar to mince for you, how about Wall's Pork Meatballs? They're in the sausage aisle I think, and they're similar to normal meatballs, but just pork. Or mince chicken, turkey or pork and make your own?

Get one or two roast chickens... Really easy, bung in baking tray and cook it in oven at 170 to 180 degrees for an hour and a half or two hours if there is two roast chickens. Even if you over cook them, roast chicken is fairly forgiving as the meat stays moist ish from being on the bone. Just make sure it's cooked through.... Just get a sharp knife, and slice down to the bone on the thigh bone... Should be white down to the bone.. If not, or your not sure, bung it back in. I tend to take it out of the oven, check, then if it's slightly underdone, I cover it with tin foil, and it still slightly cooks a bit longer the tin foil. Roast chicken will feed you all with chips, mash pot, rice, veges on the Sunday, just slice the meat off the chicken. Then, when you've all had enough, pick all the meat off the carcass... It was gross when I first did it, but, as a family of five now, I can't afford to waste good food, so I pick all the meat off.. Pop it in bowl and let it cool. Then, bung in fridge for the next day for a curry, or sweet and sour chicken, or chicken stirfry or chicken and rice or fajitas This is soooooo good value for money, and we have roast chicken most Sundays and then Mondays.

We have sausages every week, but just change how we have it. Sausage, mash and veges and homemade onion gravy. I place the sausages in baking tray ontop of sliced onions and apples... Then bake them. Take sausages out when cooked, and add bistro best gravy granules in the baking tray to make gravy. Then, serve or if kids are feeling particularly fussy, I mash it, as the onions and apples go all soft, thus making it less lumpy.

Jacket potatoe nights arE the kids favourite. I bake them in the oven, then I put the fillings on the centre of the table and they choose. Baked beans and sprinkle cheese, tuna mayo with sweet corn, onion or cucumber.

We discovered wrappers, tortilla wraps, for fajitas. But, a lovely way to use them up is frying them in a big saucepan, with a bit of butter and oil, then sprinkling a filling like cheese and salsa,,, then, you fold it over, like a pancake... And it melts in the middle, but gets crispy on the outside. Lush. We've done also ham and cheese, cheese and pickle, or just jam!

One night a week well have freezer food, chicken Kiev or something similar for us and chicken nuggets or fish fingers and chips for kids, with peas.

Omelettes have been A big hit since I bought a new omelette pan! I do spanish omelette with ham, Tom, new pots, onion etc... Or just toms or just cheese and ham.

Macaroni cheese is popular too, especially with bacon in it. You can get bacon scraps from the butcher, they're lush. You can mAke a cheese sauce from scratch, or buy a packet cheese sauce, or buy Philadelphia or other cream cheese.

Pork chops are popular, despite me over cooking them every blooming time. As long as they have the apple/ onion gravy, they're still ok.

If your kids aren't keen on jacket pots, how about homemade pot wedges? Soooo easy. Cut large pot into wedges, by cutting in half, then half again then half again.. Then sprinkle them in oil, and bung in oven. We have them with chilli con carne, mild, or just with poached eggs and beans. Use omelette pan, and cover bottom with water, just like you would with a fried egg in oil,,, bring water to boil, then, 'fry' egg in water. Dip wedges in the egg!

Mumsnet mums are great for ideas, but so are netmums too, in their recipe section.

No one taught me to cook, I just stumbled into it. I get a real buzz by keeping my food bill down every week and meal planning, so I very rarely have any left over food. I can't bare wasteage. I hope that helps. Good luck... Just go for it, and you'll learn along the way. I made a rice dish last week with fresh tuna, never again, it was minging, so we had scrambled egg on toast! But the next night, I made one of their favourites!

MUM2BLESS Fri 10-Aug-12 18:12:31

wow Vickles love your input. How many kids do you have? if I may ask, you seem really organised.

Vickles Fri 10-Aug-12 18:47:17

Hi, you're welcome. I've got three kids under 7yrs, and would like one more!
I get a real buzz from keeping my weekly asda bill down! I just go through my favourites section, and kind of put similar things in every week, but just jig it about a bit. Sometimes it goes a bit pete tong, like today, kids had scrambled egg on toast and me and hubby had chicken Kiev, mash and green beans! Kids had eaten out for lunch. I'm kind of organised most the time, but other times, it's shambles! Typical Gemini. But also, don't forget my kids are younger, 7, 4 and 18 months, so they don't really have much input, yet. My older one is a bit, and is a tad fussier than the others. I'm very good at hiding things, and whizz ing sweet corn and onions in the mini chopper! I want taught to cook, just learnt. Lots of mistakes along the way, and I do tend to over cook things a lot!

blue2 Fri 10-Aug-12 18:56:00

Hedwig -
Some thoughts....

Hamburgers? (I know they're mince, but....) Just add grated onion, an egg and (trust me) a grated apple. Makes them really juicy. Make into patties and into the fridge.

Someone posted nice recipe for basically a cheesy bread and butter pudding. It's delishhh. (Check out Nigellas 'Three Cheese Strata')

What about soup when its colder? You can add pasta, meat, veg - recipes are endless.

accessorizequeen Fri 10-Aug-12 20:56:16

Hello, just coming on because I have 4 dc and tips on feeding them always needed! I am 1 of 4 and remember my mum getting fed up because nothing suited everyone. My dc are only 8.7, 5.7 and 3.10 dts but have noticed that they're more receptive if they have a say or help or even get the spuds from the garden.

We have a lot of Spanish omlette with chorizo & potatoes as it's filling. Also recent discoveries are chicken jambalaya and sausage stew (chorizo, lentils & butter beans too). They all like cheesy beany tortillas which are easy and cheap - tins of butter/kidney/refried beans with tin of tomatoes, onion garlic. Whizz up if preferred. Spoon into wraps, fold, sprinkle cheese and bake. Yummy, healthy and no complaints!
Really must make an effort to do roast chickens, that sounds great!

Vickles Sat 11-Aug-12 09:27:59

You can buy these baking bags from supermarkets, that are in the food bag aisle. You bung a whole chicken in, and tie it, and the chicken comes out mega moist, and the major bonus is no hot chicken fat splatters all in the oven!

Northernlurker Sat 11-Aug-12 10:39:58

I think if your family will not eat : mince, pasta, sauces (seriously? all sauces?), cheese, bacon, spicy food and sausages then your options are critically limited.
I think you need to instruct dc and dh to get a grip and eat what you put in front of them! Good luck!

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