With my other half working away for a week being a working mum has brought about new challenges. Having a meal either ready or quick to cook when we get home after six can be stressful. (I’m not going to tell you how much fun I’ve had using the remote control on my own though-there has been an endless stream of cooking and home programmes on-oh and I’m not saying a word about how great it is to sleep like a starfish)
As I mentioned previously I am no natural cook but I have learnt to cope.
Here are my top easy to make meals- some quick and easy, some cook while I’m in work and some are just plain scrimping:
- Chicken casserole in the slow cooker. The meat is always tender and the beauty is that is cooks while I’m work. I have a slow cooker big enough to fit a whole chicken- I just add onions, carrots, chopped tomatoes, chicken stock and herbs. Finally chop some small potatoes in to quarters ( I don’t peel them ). Hey presto when I get home our meal is ready, hot and homely.
- After I’ve cooked a chicken I put it in the fridge (once it’s gone cold) and the next day I make a really easy curry. Put the rice on to cook. When almost done chop onion and fry. Add chopped tomatoes and fresh tomatoes. Then add some curry paste or powder and you have a delicious curry. Stir in natural yogurt to make it nice and creamy.
- Sausage casserole. You can’t go wrong just browning some sausages, putting them in a casserole dish with chopped tomatoes, carrots, onions, herbs, mushrooms and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. I cook this the night before when my little one is in bed then just re-heat for our tea. I always put a little portion aside for her tea the next day.
- If you’re in a rush I find gnocchi is really simple to cook and tasty too. Grill some bacon lardons or pancetta under the grill. Add mushrooms to a saucepan with a little fry light, add a tin of tomatoes and some herbs. Leave to simmer. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Put in the gnocchi and remove when it floats to the top. Add to the tomato sauce. Simmer for a few minutes and then serve with grated parmesan.
- Spaghetti bolognese. Easy to make the night before and just re-heat once some spaghetti has cooked.
- Make double the quantity of bolognese and put aside. Add kidney beans and chilli power for a lovely chilli con carne. You can buy microwaveable rice pouches if you’re short of time. I find them perfectly nice and a good rescue remedy to keep in the freezer
- Fresh beef burgers are often inexpensive. I cut them up and once browned add them to a tomato sauce with onion. They make they make fab meatballs.
- I found a really good recipe called chicken mulligatawny. A meal that includes apples, sultanas and chicken. It fed us for two days.
- Stir fry is so healthy and so quick. I like too use turkey pieces as it has more protein than chicken. Fry meat until brown. Add vegatables and at the end fresh noodles. Coat in soy sauce. Yummy
- Make a tasty marinade for chicken thighs-just put some honey, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and some mustard in a bowl with olive oil. Whisk and coat chicken. Cook. Serve with chips or jackets potatoes and corn on the cob.
Most of these meals are one pot because I find I can hide vegetables in them easier, they take less cooking time and can be frozen or eaten again the next day.
If I make too much of a meal I just freeze a few portions for my little girl to take to nursery. Try and keep lots of different sized plastic pots. Nothing goes to waste in my home.
Have a good weekend. My next blog will be about fruit and vegetables-getting them through toddler customs!