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Summer meal ideas(14 Posts)
A big thank you to everyone giving reasoned and measured advice here. Thanks to this we've coped fairly well with lockdown, even with a two-week self-isolation period combined with not being able to get any home delivery slots.
The weather is only getting warmer, so I'm trying to think of shelf-stable menu ideas that are lighter for summer. Beyond growing our own salad leaves and tomatoes, any suggestions?
Feta and halloumi last for ever and are great with salads / BBQ. There's a nice chicken thigh traybake I do with olives, feta, roasted peppers and cubes potatoes. Drizzle with oil then juice of a lemon and dried herbs lush.
My friend makes the most glorious cous cous salad - I will ask her for the recipe then post it. She puts out a huge bowl & I could easily polish off the lot!
I agree on feta and haloumi.
Could you try some chopped tinned meat - I have a rather expensive tin of M&S chicken - bought while taking the piss out of myself- "this isn't ordinary tinned chicken etc etc".
Jack Monroe suggested using chicken from a chicken in white sauce tin and washing the white sauce off it - or saving it separately if you are that way inclined.
Maybe then either add to a salad as is or give it a bit of a fry first.
If you have lots of tomatoes in different sizes and fresh herbs there’s a really nice and cheap recipe for a crunchy baked tomato & onion gratin. Use leftover bread crusts if you have them. If you grow chili (the easiest thing to grow!) it’s nice to put some in too.
Couscous salad : -
Cook roughly 300g couscous & cool then add tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, spring onions, olive oil, plenty of lemon juice, salt & pepper & 2 tbsps mint sauce. It has to be one of the nicest things I have ever eaten!
Brilliant! Thank you all for the great suggestions. Tray bakes, gratin, and haloumi are now on my list.
@BrandyandBabycham I love a couscous salad, especially using giant couscous, however it's the fresh salad veg I'm thinking could be difficult to source, or particularly pricey this year. I could use roasted butternut squash, I usually have at least one in the cupboard, and they last ages.
My previous gardening attempts have delivered very few edible items (other than herbs), especially compared to the cost and effort. I may have to look at attempting some easier things like spring onions and chillies again.
I'm beginning to understand @bellinisurge's standard advice that, in the longer term, things like practical skills/knowledge, gardening, and a local network are more important than a pile of pasta in the garage!
This is the most amazing couscous salad https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/roasted-veg-couscous-salad
I don't mess around with the garlic and just do it all in one dish, squeezing lemon juice, mint, oil etc directly onto the roasted veg. It's so simple and makes loads. So delicious and simple. I freeze diced Mediterranean veg in freezer bags ready for this or traybakes.
I add twice as much harissa easily, it's lovely!
'I'm beginning to understand @bellinisurge's standard advice that, in the longer term, things like practical skills/knowledge, gardening, and a local network are more important than a pile of pasta in the garage!'
This, definitely! Working on all of this thanks to the lovely posters on this topic!
Dd loves a pasta salad which involves some fresh stuff but pretty store cupboard friendly.
Into a bowl, add:
Small tin (drained) chickpeas
About 10 black olives from a jar - each sliced into 3 rings
About half a diced red and diced yellow pepper (I think jarred roasted peppers would work)
Half a diced red onion
(Recipe calls for half a diced cucumber but we don’t eat it so dont include)
Handful of halved cherry tomatoes (or diced regular tomatoes or semi-dried from a jar of oil should both also work)
Decent handful of crumbled feta cheese
(About 2 Large handfuls of dried) freshly cooked pasta (still hot)
Add dressing (4 tbsp olive oil, 3 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, dash runny honey and pinch salt) and toss well while pasta still hot.
We’ve used white wine vinegar rather than cider and worked fine too. Lasts a few days in fridge.
I also freeze summery veg if I get a glut (or more usually, the stuff in the fridge has been sitting and won’t get used before going off ).
Dice up things like red onions, peppers (red and yellow - we hate green ones), tomatoes, mushrooms, courgette, French beans, aubergine etc - whatever you have but all the same sized dice. Add whole cloves of garlic. Season well with dried herbs like oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil - whatever you have - a good pinch salt and pepper, glug Of olive oil and decent splash of red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar.
Roast or bbq long enough to be soft. Can be frozen before or after cooking. Eat as a side dish, or use as a base of veg for pasta sauce (just add tin tomatoes or jar plain sauce) or pasta bake or to add to couscous.
Or if you freeze while still raw, you can decant straight to an ovenproof dish, moisten with some Passatta, add some meat (chicken joints or lamb chops both work well, or white fish) and baby or chopped potatoes on top (or cook pasta cooked on stovetop to serve alongside if preferred to potatoes) for a fast traybake dinner.
Here's a easy store cupboard/camping version of tonno & fagioli
2 cans of Cannellini Beans
1 large tin of tuna (preferably in olive oil)
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
2 small spring onions
1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley
salt & pepper
Drain the cans of beans and tuna and empty into a bowl. Chop tomatoes and spring onions and add to the bean and tuna mix. Chop the flat-leaf parsley and sprinkle into the bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with nice bread and green salad.
I know not traditional store cupboard staples but thought I'd suggest - I buy and freeze haloumi and chorizo in bulk and vac pack and freeze. Both ingredients are incredibly versatile - haloumi salads/added to tray bakes and haloumi burgers (our favourite)
Chorizo is great in the same salads/traybakes/braises and stews for flavour
Favourite 'summer' stew is chorizo, tin toms, red peppers (diced and frozen always in freezer from surplus), smoked paprika & chili powder, fry off then simmer for 40mins, serve topped with crumbled feta. Nice bread and wine on the side. Delish.
store cupboard cous cous:
dry cous cous, add termeric, cumin, salt, or ginger/garlic paste and lemon juice put sultanas and chopped dried apricots in with the dry cous cous to swell with the water.
add the hot water,
add chickpeas from a tin