It is the age-old problem of the working household…..how to make a healthy, tasty and (importantly) quick meal that all the family will eat on a weeknight.
I spent considerable time at the weekend putting together a list of some 48 dishes I or Husband-G can quickly rustle up when I am time-poor and tired. My plan is just to take the daily decision-making process out of the equation altogether and just choose something from the list.
Today was creamy chicken and vegetable pasta (sans chicken for vegetarian Husband). I started by prepping all the ingredients above. Mushrooms, peppers, onions, broccoli. Add to the pan, add optional chicken, add a carton of good quality passata and then when cooked through stir in the light cream cheese (or sour cream). We had this with spaghetti this evening, but I often use rice.
On the table in under 30 minutes. That’s my idea of a Tuesday night winning dish.
*It might not be pretty, but it was good.
Currently we are having a new kitchen put in, and I am really looking forward to having our ancient 20-year-old kitchen replaced with something a little more usable and modern.
In the meantime however, we have been investigating ready meals and pre-prepared meals from all our local supermarkets.
Breakfast – Vegetable Samosa from M&S. Filled with peas, spinach and potatos. Lightly spiced and a tasty snack.
Lunch was a New York Deli Veggie sandwich from M&S and an orange. The sandwich was really good…. coleslaw, cheese, pickles, spinach and mustard. It’s a new range apparently and I really enjoyed it.
Dinner- we had to use up the old fruit that was sitting around as the fridge has been junked.
Today has been a funny old day. I was up the vast majority of the night as I had two law school assignments due. Insomnia always strikes just before a deadline for me and I double guess everything I have written. Going to bed at about 5 am on a school day has its downsides but a definite upside is that the Husband can do the school run and I can sleep in until 10-ish. Another upside is when the Husband drops by Lidl on his way home and brings home croissants. Puffy, pillowy, buttery fresh croissants at that. This was my ‘breakfast’ taken just before noon.Warmed croissant, butter and French sour cherry jam.
Just before I left for the afternoon school run I finally ate ‘lunch’. Lidl guacamole with added chilli flakes and lemon juice with corn tortilla chips. Eaten in front of the computer while reading about Public Housing Law and Secured Tenancies.
Baby-G and I were not home until late. Rush hour Isle-Of-Wight style. I was over any thoughts of dinner when we got home. Baby-G ate a thrown together meal of cucumbers and dip followed by icecream and a single tiny piece of sliced banana which I used the ice cream following to bribe him into eating.
Cheese and tomato on toast. When it comes to cheese on toast, for me the highly-processed cheese slices that come wrapped in plastic are where it’s at.
Dinner was Italian ‘Polpette’ meatball and pasta soup. This is one of my favourite mid-week suppers and goes down a treat with the family.It is very quick too if I buy pre-made meatballs. Slice onion, dice garlic,carrots,celery and zucchini,brown all. Add meatballs an brown, add a jar of pasta sauce or passata and a cup of red wine and simmer for 45minutes or so until the soup is thick,deeply flavoured. Before serving, throw in a few handfuls of spiral pasta and cook. Baby-G has his with garlic bread. We find the soup on it’s own is enough.
I always make enough for leftovers the next day.
One of my favourite blogs that is a daily read for me is the one written by Annika from Estonia. Annika records what she eats pretty much every single day, and as an Australian living in the UK I find insights into the daily eating lives of others in different countries and cultures to be fascinating. Annika’s blog is here;
I decided to take inspiration from Annika and spend a few days recording my daily meals.
Fruity tea loaf with butter and black coffee. This was my post-school run and post-dog walk morning tea. This tea loaf is literally made with black tea in the batter (not made by me, by Aldi) and is stuffed full of sultanas and raisins. I am not much a cake eater but just felt like something sweet today. Shared with the Husband as we discussed our various tasks for the day.
Lunch was a wrap with hummus,salad, lamb, yoghurt and chilli.
Dinner was an apricot and chickpea tagine with couscous, pomegranate seeds and coriander.
This tagine was fantastic. It came from my brand new Nigella Lawson cookbook, and was filled with glorious yet subtle flavours such as cumin and cinnamon. Happy happy days- reading a brand new cookbook and plotting meals. I truly cannot think of anything better. 🙂