10 tips for quick and easy meals

Short on time? Fear not - Mumsnetters are on the case with meal inspiration that requires minimal effort

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1. Wrap and roast


"Grab a chicken breast, make a slit from top to bottom to form a pocket and stuff it with mozzarella. Wrap with a ham or bacon rasher (secure with cocktail stick), dab with BBQ sauce and pop it in the oven for about 35 or 40 minutes."


2. Slow cookers save you time


"My best tip for low effort meals is a slow cooker. Chuck everything in it in the morning, turn it on and serve up dinner in the evening. I mainly make thick soups and stews in my slow cooker but they are great for chilli, bolognese and pot roasts too."

"I cook most of my meats in the slow cooker and they come out gorgeous, whole chicken, stewing beef, lamb shoulder, pork joint etc."


3. Eggs are an egg-cellent speedy ingredient

 

"Eggs are wonderful for quick, easy meals. Scrambled, poached, boiled, in omelettes or served with toast/bread and salad, or sticks of carrot/peppers/celery and some cherry tomatoes."


4. Embrace all culinary shortcuts


"I love frozen onions, garlic, basil, coriander, parsley, chilli, mint and ginger."

"Buy pouches of rice, quinoa, lentils, spelt grains, and use them as carbs instead of potatoes. They only take a few minutes in the microwave, instead of peeling and boiling spuds."


5. Try a sweet alternative to jacket potatoes


"Whole sweet potatoes roasted for about 45 minutes. Take them out and tear open the skin to find beautiful sweet, caramelised potato. Serve with anything, but I particularly like this with some tinned black or kidney beans, avocado, broccoli and maybe some hummus and roasted pumpkin seeds on top for added crunch."


6. Discover stove-top macaroni cheese

"Quick mac 'n' cheese - take a pot of creme fraiche, a bag of pre-grated cheese, and half a teaspoon of whole grain mustard. Mix together then heat gently on the hob, and add to cooked pasta."


7. Package up your supper 


"Pop a large piece of foil on an oven tray, put on a frozen piece of fish or a chicken breast on one half of it with whichever vegetables you like. Add a drizzle of vegetable/olive oil and then fold or roll the edges up completely, sealing the parcel. Stick it in the oven, checking halfway through to make sure the meat is cooking through and fastening it back up again. When done, undo the foil, lift the food off onto a plate and either eat as it is, or add potatoes or salad. It tastes lovely and you can easily do one for each person with individual veg according to their preference."


8. You can make risotto in the microwave!


"Take 250g risotto rice, one finely chopped onion, 50g butter, 250ml vegetable stock, 500ml passata, 500g cherry tomatoes and 100g mozzarella cut into large chunks. Tip the rice, onion and half the butter into a large microwave-proof bowl. Cover and cook in the microwave on high for three minutes. Stir in the stock and passata, then continue to cook, uncovered, for 10 mins. Give it a good stir and mix in the tomatoes and mozzarella. Microwave on high for a further eight minutes until the rice is cooked and the tomatoes have softened. Leave the risotto to relax for a few mins, then stir in the remaining butter, and add Parmesan and basil to serve. Season to taste and serve straight from the bowl."


9. Invest in a sandwich maker


"My children all make their own brunch - quite healthy - wholegrain bread or wraps, cheese, pesto, tomatoes, cooked meat, etc etc, with a handful of cherry tomatoes. So easy, no cleaning to do and helps them develop an interest in catering for themselves and independence."


10. Make Mexican your go-to cuisine for snacks


"Slice cold cooked chicken, tomato and feta or cheddar. Add a few spinach leaves. Spread one half of a tortilla with avocado or mayo. Lay sliced ingredients on top of mayo or avocado. Fold over. Place in hot dry frying pan. Heat for two to three minutes on each side, till tortilla is toasted and cheese is melted."


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    Last updated: about 2 months ago