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quick family dinners when you cant face the cooking??

13 REPLIES 13
weepixie
Member

Re: quick family dinners when you cant face the cooking??

I'm a big slow cooker fan and found it a godsend during chemo either on treatment days when I wasn't at home all day and we still needed an evening meal to come home to or on days when I didn't have the energy or felt too nauseus to cook. My husband is great at chopping veg and throwing a few ingredients into the pot so even he can do a decent dinner with it.
My rule is always to cook double quantities and freeze half for another day. This keeps a good stock of family favourites always ready in the freezer. If we have mince then I cook a bulk lot and divide into 3, one lot has plain gravy, one has a tomato sauce for pasta and another becomes chilli. I like to freeze some in single portions that can top a baked potato or bowl of pasta when I need a meal for one in a hurry. I can do all sorts of meat in gravy or chicken in sauce and freeze then just cook a bit of puff pastry to serve as a pie.
There are some great standby ingredients that I have in the cupboard. A tin of tuna and some sweetcorn mixed with creme fraiche makes an easy and quick pasta sauce. Tinned chicken in sauce is fine for a pie filling, with rice or on a baked potato. Chilli beans in a tin saves making a chilli sauce from scratch, chilli was one of the few things I could taste during chemo so we ate it a lot either with rice or topping baked potatoes. ALDI have some lovely potato dishes in vacuum sealed packs with a long shelf life. On really bad days when cooking is a no-no I have dished these up for the family with some steamed fresh or frozen veg and cold meats.
Condensed soup is another thing I'd not be without, nice and comforting as soup but also a great cheat's quick sauce for chicken, meat or pasta.
Niknak321
Member

Re: quick family dinners when you cant face the cooking??

I make the meaty mix for shepherd's pie, lamb hotpot that sort of thing and then freeze that in a bag and then just add mash/sliced potatoes on the day. A nice sausage casserols and rice we have enjoyed recently and doesn't require too much effort. It's hard to deal with food when you are tired, feeling yuck and have no appetite.
Good thread.
Nicola
butterfly7
Member

Re: quick family dinners when you cant face the cooking??

Brilliant idea.

Im a single parent to 3 fussy children and will be starting chemo soon so will find this very useful. I will probably stock up and prepare and freeze extra dinners while Im feeling well. The above recipes sound delicious and I will definitely be trying some of them.

Dawn
xx
Jayne_m
Member

Re: quick family dinners when you cant face the cooking??

A quick store cupboard recipe:
a tin of tomatos
a tin of baked beans
a tin of chiili beans in chilli sauce
an onion (chopped)
few mushrooms or peppers or both sliced
1 tsp very lazy garlic
1 tsp very lazy coriander
(add chilli powder/paste if you like it spicy although chilli beans give some spice)

Soften the onion in a pan, add everything else and simmer for 10 mins - serve with rice or pitta bread or jacket potato - this is low fat too!

Added bonus - all of those beans help get things moving.....

Jayne x
JCJ
Member

Re: quick family dinners when you cant face the cooking??

What a great idea for a thread!
I keep some tins of chilli, chicken curry - both mild and hot - and chicken in white sauce in the store cupboard for CBA days. (I buy the better quality supermarket own brand ones! They keep forever and are also brilliant for camping.)

The chicken in white sauce is delicious with a tin of sweetcorn thrown in, heated through and served on a baked spud (cooked in m.wave) or with pasta or rice. Similarly the chilli and curry can be eaten on a spud or rice, or I love oven chips with chilli on and grated cheese on the top. I also make too much chilli every time I cook it and keep some in the freezer.

I keep in a couple of sachets of pasta sauce and some garlic bread in the freezer. A quick meal can be quickly thrown together, and if I can be bothered/have any I shove a quick salad together to go with it.

I'm hungry just typing this! Friday night is chippy night, so I'll drag my body out in the rain and walk the 1/2 mile, each way, to get them. (My penance for eating 'naughty' chips :))
Foxy
Member

Re: quick family dinners when you cant face the cooking??

Fry onions and sliced mushrooms then add some spinach (fresh or frozen), when wilted/defrosted stir in a teaspoonful of flour to make a sort of roux, then add creme fraiche and seasoning. Serve with any old pasta but tagliatele is especially nice. Thanks to the Hairy Bikers!
Foxy
xxxx

Wendy56
Member

Re: quick family dinners when you cant face the cooking??

Talking of pasta either just ham or smoked salmon chuck in a few sliced mushrooms and philidelphia a splash of milk cook then serve with pasta

Wendy
carolihne
Member

Re: quick family dinners when you cant face the cooking??

Hi there,
Pasta is allways a quick and easy favourite in our house - either with a home made tomato sauce, carbonara or if your feeling really rough just chuck some pesto on it and a little grated cheese, if you are feeling a bit more extravagent it's great with cooked smoked salmon cream and dried sage. All very easy and most of the stuff is in the storecupboard (well not the smoked salmon - at least not in this house!)
cheers
caroline

sdfmeg
Member

Re: quick family dinners when you cant face the cooking??

I try to double quantities when I have my good week, and freeze for the bad times. Also useful to make up things like bolognese sauce (I make a veggie equivalent with lentils, chopped veg and mushrooms), cheese sauce, mashed potatoes etc. Then, when you don't feel like cooking you could make up spag bol, lasagne or cottage pie, or have the sauce with baked spuds. Baked potatoes and beans also goes down fairly well, and isn't too bad from a nutritional point of view. French toast is quick and easy. My kids loved it when they were young. We had it with soy sauce. And if your family is into puddings - baked apples are good. We also make up sweet crumbles with added nuts, and a savoury one with cheese. Then, you can put them on top of stews, or tinned or fresh fruits.

keyfeatures
Member

Re: quick family dinners when you cant face the cooking??

This is one of my favourite recipes from my Anglo-Indian backgroud and so tasty and quick. It's a bit hot but you can adjust the amount of fresh chilli to taste. Amounts are for 2 so increase if you have more mouths. You can also microwave some poppadoms and have yogurt, chutney and pickle to serve.
FOr the rice;
Mug of basmati rice (rinsed)
Cinnamon stick
3 cloves
3 cardamon pods
Half teaspoon turmeric
1-2 tablespoons cooking oil
For the curry;
3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
Chunk of fresh ginger (finely chopped)
2-3 fresh green chillies (seeds removed and finely chopped)
1 standard can of red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
Teaspoon of turmeric
Teaspoon of ground cumin
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
Small tub of single cream (or half a carton of Oatly 'cream' for dairy free)

Put the oil for the rice in a deep pan, fry cinnamon, cloves, cardomon over a high heat (don't burn), add the rinsed rice and coat for a few seconds, pour in two mugs of cold water. Bring to the boil, add the turmeric, stir, cover the pan and put to the lowest heat for 10 minutes until the rice is cooked - you can cook the curry in this time.
In a large shallow (frying) pan heat oil and add garlic and ginger, before it browns add turmeric and cumin for a few seconds. Add tomato puree, chillies, kidney beans, cream. Lower the heat and cook through for a couple of minutes. When the rice is ready serve.
Pegglass
Member

Re: quick family dinners when you cant face the cooking??

Before my first chemo dose I made and froze as much food as I could fit in the freezer. Then mid-chemo I did a big on-line grocery shop and refilled the now empty freezer - I made sure there were as many choices as possible, so food wouldn't get too boring. I also stocked up on plain frozen fish and veggies (I don't eat meat).
During chemo I can either cook fresh or grab something I'd made earlier - depending on how I feel.
Things I've made and frozen include Italian vegetable bean soup; spinach mornay; pea soup; cheese and leek tartlets (on puff pastry, frozen raw); Janssens Temptation (potato fish bake) and pasta bake. Some can be nuked from frozen, some has to be defrosted and baked in the oven.

Of course if I normally cooked for someone else I'd get them to do the cooking for the duration of my treatment!
southpool
Member

Re: quick family dinners when you cant face the cooking??

Slow cookers are perfect my staple dishes were:
Chilli made with turkey mince (mince, carrots, peppers, onions, mushrooms, chilli mix stirred into tinned tomatoes) full of veg & really quick to do. Serve with wraps & grated cheese.

Chicken & sweet potato curry ( chicken thighs, onions, peppers, carrots, diced sweet potato, Swartz slow cooker curry mix stirred into tinned tomatos & spinach just before serving). Serve with instant rice or naans.

My sister has 5 boys and they all love these dishes and they are cheap. Used to just chuck the ingredients in the night before & switch on in the morning. If you do enough the chilli was great for lunch the next day.

S x

mggdggn@yahoo.co.uk
Member

Re: quick family dinners when you cant face the cooking??

What a great idea, I need dinner ideas now, and I'm not due chemo until Jan.
I am lost for ideas while shopping, so tend to buy the same old things week in week out....
Think this idea could be a winner, well done for thinking of it.
Maggie
amd66
Member

quick family dinners when you cant face the cooking??

Nothing to do with chemo for a change, but wondered whether we could have a thread of easy things when a lot of us have families and cant face the evening meal?? Rather than existing on eggs or toast? I feel guilty that we arent getting a proper meal, using slow cooker just for chicken thighs, veg and bit of gravy.
Anyone want to add their quick ideas