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Back to school family meals

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Tink_04Tink_04 Forumite
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I know a few people’s kids went back to school this week but up here ours go back on Tuesday.... it’s been a long 6 months!

Things are going to be a bit different as working from home means less travel time and we are more able to home cook family style meals, however some days we still all finish at different times so have been thinking about how to adapt and what can be home made, cheap, filling family meals which we can prep and make around working from home.

I enjoy batch cooking and have a slow cooker, however, kids are always starving when they come home from school. They and are good with veg (one is not so great with meat but will eat mince) hoping to get more veggies meals in the meal plan this autumn.

I tend to do -

- Spag bol

- Chilli & rice

- Soup & crusty bread

- Meatballs & pasta

If anyone has and good tea time family meals we can try that would be fab!



Living the simple life


  • NargleblastNargleblast Forumite
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    How about big jacket potatoes (apparently you can cook them in the slow cooker) wit( a selection of different fillings on the table, followed by sponge pud and custard or rice pud?

    A curry containing lots of different veg?

    A big chicken, done in the slow cooker till it falls apart, and served with chips, salad and bread?

    Shepherds pie and pasta bakes can be done in advance then heated up when needed.

    Braised sausage casserole served with pasta?
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  • IslandmaidIslandmaid Forumite
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    Chicken casserole or Beef Stew, our kids liked it served in big Yorkshire puddings 
    Fajitas - we bake it all in the oven, onion, pepper and chicken, all together with spice mix, then a huge bowl on the table with wraps, salad, salsa and sour cream for those who like it
    a gammon is lovely done in the slow cooker too, serve with mash etc, then cold cuts for the next day, gammon, egg and chips
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  • joedenisejoedenise Forumite
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    Do you have a Mr Ts near you?  If so, grab one of their magazines for the recipes.  This month there is a turkey ragu with 3 ways of using it once cooked.

    I like traybakes, things like loads of different veg with chicken thighs; meatballs, lamb chops, pork chops or even just veg on its' own but if just veg make sure it contains some big mushrooms like portobello as they are quite meaty.

  • edited 5 September at 9:14PM
    ZsaZsaZsaZsa Forumite
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    edited 5 September at 9:14PM
    Great thread. I’ve been planning with our return to school Tuesday too and menu planning. Looking forward to some new ideas.
    A favourite here is a curried mince beef bake. (No set recipe, it changes each time depending on what’s in!)
    Brown mince, onions, garlic. Simmer in tinned toms with some curry paste and add some frozen veg (peas, sweet corn, peppers or green beans). Stir in some almost-cooked rice and an egg and pour into a baking dish. Cover in foil and bake for 20-30 mins. Remove foil, add grated cheese and bake another 5-10 mins. Serve with salad. I tend to make a double batch of the mince and freeze for a quick weekday dinner.

  • MrsStepfordMrsStepford Forumite
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    What about curry ? Easy way of hiding veg in it. 
  • Macaroni cheese, tuna pasta, lasagne, tacos and wraps are all school night dinners that we enjoy here.  Mainly as a couple can be prepared in advance.
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  • MaycausemayhemMaycausemayhem Forumite
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    We have been making things like keema with flatbreads, chicken souvlaki with rice and salad. Tonight is gammon steaks and tomorrow is spaghetti and meatballs. 
    I made a huge pot of ragu and it did two lasagnes, one to cook and one for the freezer, as well as a pot to make Bolognese.
  • 3secondmemory3secondmemory Forumite
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    You could always dump a whole load of recipe books and magazines in the middle of the table and get the children to pick some dishes (Obviously the bias should be towards one pot dinners, easy Mid week meals etc. 

    Each of mine had their own signature dish from Pasta bakes and tray bakes to ‘anything Mexican’ which they had picked out of a magazine and learnt to cook! 

    Another good idea for busy homes are ‘dump’ recipes for the slow cooker. 
  • edited 9 September at 12:06AM
    JILJIL Forumite
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    edited 9 September at 12:06AM
    I once read someone very wise on here describing how she meal planned and it was so simple it was brilliant, however I lost the post and havent been able to find it since.
    It was something like a mince on Monday, which was meatballs, meatloaf, bolognese, chilli or cottage pie.
    Chicken on tuesday which was casserole or roast or cold with salad.
    Sausages on a Wednesday which was casserole or hotdogs or sausage  and mash or toad in the hole.
    Fish on Friday, which was fishcakes or fish pie or something else.

    Cant remember what Thursday was.
    I thought how helpful it was and easy to work with for busy families.
  • JellytottsJellytotts Forumite
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    Mine used to love an "on toast" night which took the pressure off on busy evenings and worked around different eating times too.  A fruit salad for pud or a slow cooker full of homemade veg soup makes a good balance for the lack of veg in the meal.

    Soup works well as an after school tummy filler too, a cup of soup with a bit of buttered bread to dunk always went down well and filled a gap before a later tea.  Mine loved a chicken and sweet corn, didn't use much chicken and great for the tiny pickings from a carcass.

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