For all you time poor mum and dads out there
Do you have great ideas about cooking and meal times that tend to never actually happen? Do you find that the very act of getting the food shopping done at all is a miracle in itself? Do you find yourself buying the same things over and over again? Yes was my answer to all these questions. I was getting bored and something had to change.
This is how I shook things up in the kitchen and I hope it helps you do the same
- If you buy something like a roast chicken every single week why not try something different with it. Instead of serving it with meat and vegetables you could do something different like adding it to some peppers and onions and serving it inside wraps. Top with passata and bake in the oven with some grated cheese and you've got quick and easy Enchiladas.
- Use your slow-cooker at night. You'll willingly leave it on all day while you're at work so why not make something over night that you can actually take to work for lunches. A few simple ingredients could be a healthy filling hot meal ready to throw in to a lunch box when you wake up the next morning.
- Choose one new recipe to try each week. Rome wasn't built in a day and you'd be surprised by how exciting one new meal can be. In a month you'll have added four new meals to your repertoire.
- At the end of the week when you have a random array of vegetables left in the fridge simply sautee them with some garlic, salt, pepper and passata or chopped tomatoes. Simmer and blitz and you have a healthy and delicious go-to marinara sauce which works well for Bolognaise, Chilli or Lasagne to name but a few. Having something like this ready to go will encourage you to actually use it and try something different. It's also a healthy option for everyone.
- Have breakfast for dinner some night. A nice comforting grill that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. It will surprise the kids and keep things exciting.
- Marinate before you go to work. It could be as simple as leaving chicken fillets in a bowl with some soy sauce, honey and cumin. Marinating is a wonderful way of increasing flavour. It'll add a bit of excitement to dinner time as you know flavour has been developing all day long.
- Sometimes simple is best. We put so much pressure on ourselves but quite often the simplest ideas have the best results. For example baked potatoes with an array of toppings could take fifteen minutes to whip up and you'll probably have clean plates all round. Bacon and cheese, tuna and sweet chilli sauce, beans and cheddar cheese. The possibilities are endless.
- Don't be afraid to substitute. If you are missing one ingredient from a recipe then simply substitute with something that you do have. I bet it's still delicious!
Written by Tracey Quinn staff writer at Family Friendly HQ