Friday 20 March 2015

ain't nobody got time for that: weekday recipe roundup

I'm boring myself with my own cooking. I'm limited in what I can make during the week because I'm either in the office or we do All The Things after school on my non-office days. Add this to the fact that two of my kids are relatively picky eaters (thank you Jack for being a human Hoover) and I am NEVER going to cook separate meals for everyone so don't even suggest it, okay?

So this means having to do the rather soul-destroying task of weekly meal planning. I can't just bung things together when I get home, or at least I can't make a regular habit of it. Weekends and Mondays are good because I have more time to cook. The rest of the week is like a food-based game show in which the prize is children that aren't screaming and hungry.

Here is a list of some recipes I've tried out lately that were not only incredibly delicious and fit into my schedule, but the kids actually loved them. Well, except the pasta one because Mia doesn't do pasta. What kid doesn't like pasta? Honestly.

  • Buttermilk roast chicken from the fabulous Smitten Kitchen: based on a Nigella recipe, this does something magical that makes it taste a million times better than plain roasted chicken pieces. You can marinate it up to two days and just whack it in the oven after work for about 35-40 minutes. I serve this with a ready made mash from Tesco that doesn't have any crap in it and just requires a quick trip in the microwave. 
  • Quinoa with things on top (here's a link for some great tips on cooking quinoa): okay look, don't get all arsey with me because I'm mentioning a super trendy food. This quinoa is good stuff if you cook it properly and it holds up very well for a day or two afterwards, unlike its clumpy wannabe twin couscous. Bring to the boil in stock, simmer 15 minutes, drain, put a lid on it and let it sit for another 15 minutes. Job's done. You can get grilled peppers and things you can stick on top with chicken or whatever else you've got. I toss in a little olive oil, lemon juice, and sometimes feta.
  • Slow cooker meatballs: looks labour intensive but isn't, and you can prepare the meatballs the day before. An incredibly rich sauce with flavourful meatballs that made enough to feed four of us (Mia wouldn't entertain the idea) with plenty of leftovers. So, so good.
  • Slow cooker chicken tortilla soup: don't be put off by all the strange and wonderful peppers needed for this soup. I get mine online from or a Mexican online grocer - stock up and keep a bunch in the cupboard. Even Tesco is now stocking dried chipotles and poblanos these days. The most work needed for this one was the toppings because I lovingly organised them all into a lazy susan. The kids LOVED this soup. I'm tempted to add beans to it next time to bulk it out a bit. The soup was delicious and a great remedy to a weekend of overindulgence, but probably not filling enough for a normal meal (for adults) on its own. 
Just don't tell anyone that this week two of my kids had frozen chicken nuggets because I couldn't be bothered to figure out one meal that would make everyone happy. 


LisaS said...

One of mine doesn't like pasta, too. Is infuriating. Even more so when she eats school spag Bol and says it is delicious.

Blork said...

I'm not going to give you a lecture on meal planning, but for amy kitchen n00bs who might be reading, your best friend is LEFTOVERS. Always make a double batch of everything so that a couple of days later you can have the same (or a variation of) meal a few days later with just a warm-up. My classic for this is osso bucco. I slave all Sunday over it and that night we eat half. Tuesday or Wednesday I warm it up and mix it with pasta for million dollar spag that's ready in 10 minutes.

Same with chicken. Roast/bake double and eat leftovers all week (sandwiches, tacos, salads, etc.)

Blork said...

*Sigh* See above comment for an example of the crap writing that occurs when you use your phone to make comments.

Mrs Dee said...

I agree with you to a point Ed, but keep in mind I'm feeding a family of 5 - leftovers aren't really a thing in this house unless I'm doing industrial catering. ;) But yes, if there are any leftovers to be had, it's usually my lunch the next day. Never enough for a full meal for our family, sadly.

Mrs Dee said...

(Really, the point of this post was just to share links for recipes that were quick and easy for this working mama.)

Blork said...

Of course, but this is the internet, so nobody reads posts, they just make comments. ;-)

BTW, that's why I started with "I'm not going to give you a lecture..." because I was going a bit off-topic and providing a comment for other readers (the aforementioned "kitchen n00bs").

Mrs Dee said...

I think the only other person who reads this blog is my mother, but I'm sure she would agree with you!

Also, please come to my house and cook delicious Ed food for me. Bring Martine, too. ;)