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Please give me your best cooking shortcuts

19 replies

GiantMouseofMinsk · 15/10/2020 18:48

I hate, hate, hate cooking. I've tried to get into, and it's so much faff and nonsense for a meal that not everyone is going to like.

I'd really like to be able to sit down each night as a family, and eat a meal together.

Would love to hear any ideas for meals that are just throw it in the oven, or microwave types, whilst not being fish fingers and chips.

OP posts:
bestbefore · 15/10/2020 18:51

We've enjoyed slow cooker joints of meat eg gammon, pulled pork. Would they work for you?

GiantMouseofMinsk · 15/10/2020 18:54

Yes, that could work well. I'd be happy to use the slow cooker more, just seems that the meals all end up being casseroles etc. Any ideas would be great.

I'm currently trying to muster up some actual want to go into the kitchen and cook the pork steaks. Would be lovely to have a joint all ready to go.

OP posts:
Itllbeaninterestingchristmas · 15/10/2020 18:57

Frozen veg is great
You can buy ready cooked joints from Donald Russell but they are not cheap
Pinterest has some good slow cooker ideas under crock pot dump meals.

nancybotwinbloom · 15/10/2020 19:00

Also came on to suggest a slow cooker.

I batch cook and then it's just a mircrowave job.

QuantumWeatherButterfly · 15/10/2020 19:00

Personally, I love my Instant Pot. Once you work it out, it makes tedious things like potatoes and rice much less faff. Now I'm confident with it, I find it an enormous help with getting meals ready with low effort.

If that idea doesn't appeal to you, I recommend frozen chopped garlic, herbs and chillis as good shortcut ingredients that are tiresome to prepare. I use them all the time and I'm a very keen cook. Premade garlic and ginger paste from a jar is a good shortcut for curries, even if you're using a paste/jar.

Risotto (and May other rice dishes) are good made in the oven (no need to stand at the stove).

One pot dishes where I don't have to do separate veg/accompaniments are alway a winner.

LemonDrizzles · 15/10/2020 19:02

Jarred minced garlic; frozen chopped onions; highly rated bbc good food recipes; a few quality (oxo) utensils; getting the eating party to do the jobs you don't like in exchange for the meal you're preparing; sounds obvs but cooking stuff you enjoy eating

QforCucumber · 15/10/2020 19:03

Buying frozen chopped onion is amazing

AcornPaw · 15/10/2020 19:03

This reply has been withdrawn

This has been withdrawn by MNHQ at the poster's request

bestbefore · 15/10/2020 19:05

I've done gammon in the slow cooker - dead easy - with some carrots and onion, bottle of cider and some mustard. I serve the juices all puréed up as a gravy.
Pulled pork also easy - put your steaks or a fillet joint in there with some bbq sauce / liquid - there's some mixes you can get and serve with rice or jacket potatoes?

bananamonkey · 15/10/2020 19:09

5 minute microwave white sauce works every time

AcornPaw · 15/10/2020 19:15

This reply has been withdrawn

This has been withdrawn by MNHQ at the poster's request

AdaColeman · 15/10/2020 19:19

Frozen mashed potato, so quick and easy.
Frozen soffritto, use to give meals like bolognese sauce a good depth of flavour.
A splash of wine will lift almost any sauce.
Microwaveable rice or lentils are time savers, look out for the pouches.

grownup2 · 15/10/2020 19:24

Traybake dinners are quick to prepare, then just leave in the oven for a bit. Someone gave me this book, which is full of ideas you can improvise on

33goingon64 · 15/10/2020 19:26

Garlic granules. Dried herbs and things that are a pain to prepare like chilli. Ready grated cheddar. Frozen ready made pizza dough. I used to use pouches of microwave rice but try not to now because of the extra packaging. Frozen veg. Puddings are things like tinned rice pudding or tinned custard and bananas, or if I'm feeling posh, meringue nest with cream and frozen berries. Ready to roll pastry.

Also, if you're making something involving onions and tomatoes or stock, make 2 dishes at the same time as you have the ingredients out anyway e.g. bolognese and casserole, or 2 different flavour soups. Use takeaway tubs, write contents with marker pen, freeze.

Roast or bake everything on one tray e.g. chicken legs with veg or sausages with potatoes. Chuck veg to boil in pan with pasta or potatoes. Microwave steamer for veg - so easy I use mine every day.

Baboutheocelot · 15/10/2020 19:27

I love the Joseph Joseph rice cooker, makes cooking rice very easy.
The roasting tin books are great, saves on washing up.

formerbabe · 15/10/2020 19:27

I make a meal that's really quick and delicious.

Jar of good quality tomato pasta sauce...I use the lidl siciliana one.

Pour sauce in a baking dish. Add whole chicken breasts. Cover with foil. Bake for an might need to add a little splash of water. After the hour..remove with mozzarella and put back in oven to melt.

Serve on top of spaghetti.

DorisDaisyMay · 15/10/2020 19:34

I have variations on this:

Green veg steamed using a steamer saucepan thing from Sainsbury’s
Microwave rice
I also like microwave veg in little bags

Lunch is often
Salad - tip a stir fry mix in a bowl
Add ready cooked chicken/or prawns or tuna
Apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar and flaxseed oil dressing

On Sunday I had:
Roast in a bag chicken
Ready prepped Roast potatoes from M and S
Green veg medley from M and S that you do in the microwave
Microwave suede mash

I am the queen of wanting to eat from scratch but am quite lazy!!

Jellybott · 15/10/2020 20:58

I had this earlier with some salad and it was really delicious for what was basically 5 minutes of mixing things in a dish. Tastes a lot like pizza, you could easily add whatever your favourite toppings are -

Rupertpenrysmistress · 15/10/2020 21:52

Highly recommend the batch lady book, very simple tasty recipes and you can make multiple different meals from similar ingredients.

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