Top Stress-Free Midweek Dinners – Our Favourite Family Bloggers Chime In
Whether you've a family to feed or it's been a long day at the office and you need a quick fix, we all have a few go-to meals we can rely on to help take the stress out of our busy schedules and hectic weeks. After doing the school run or your daily commute, the last thing you want to do is slave over the hob, making a meal of things.
We don't know about you, but our ideal scenario would be more like this: you get in, rustle up something in the kitchen, curl up on the couch, whack Netflix on and scoff the lot. And, if you can make your midweek timesavers in advance so all you need to do is heat things up, you stand to minimise stress even more. With the help of two of our favourite family bloggers, who'll share their choice midweek meals, we'll give you some foodie inspiration to take the stress out of your schedule and make the most out of evening dinners.
Keeping everyone in the family food-happy can sometimes be a tough ask, especially if certain members are fussy about what they eat. You can't go wrong with a classic then, as Jo from Slummy Single Mummy knows all too well. She says: "One of my favourite mid-week meals is lasagne. It's my daughter's favourite, so I know she's guaranteed not to turn her nose up at it, plus it means she will actually get to eat some vegetables (I put carrots, peppers and mushrooms in ours) – even if she doesn't really realise it!
"There is something really soothing about the process of making the Bolognese sauce and the béchamel separately, and then layering everything up together – it's not difficult but it feels so wholesome, like you're making a proper effort. And because there are only two of us at home, cooking a lasagne mid-week also means I have enough left over for the next day too!"
Like the sound of this lasagne? This recipe from Jamie Oliver is pretty similar, and even adds delicious streaky bacon into the ragu sauce.
One Pot Fish with Black Olives
Sometimes you just need to make nosh with as little effort as possible, especially when you're tired and the day's been a bit draining. That's where this one-pot fish dish comes in, and it really doesn't get much easier than this. With just six ingredients, four of which you whack into a big pan, you've got yourself a flavoursome meal that's packed with protein in around half an hour. No-effort cooking that doesn't skimp on flavour – give this one a try next time you're a little sluggish from the day you've just come home from.
A quick fix is essential if you're always rushing around, doubly so if you have little ones to look after. Maria, from Suburban Mum, has something in her repertoire she always relies on: a tasty tuna pasta that's full of veggies and takes no time at all to make.
She says: "As a working mum, easy to cook mid-week meals are essential for me! One of my favourite go-to meals is a simple tuna pasta. It's super easy to knock-up after a day's work and the boys love it. Pasta is cooked on the hob for 10 minutes and whilst that is on I fry some veggies like peppers and onions and pop in a tin of sweetcorn, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree and add in some herbs and seasoning. Once the pasta is cooked, I add this to the pan with veggies, add a couple of tins of tuna and season. Serve in pasta bowls and add some grated cheese on top. Et voila! Dinner is served in less than half an hour."
Thai Red Tofu and Sweet Potato Curry
If you're looking to eat less meat or just want something that's fresh and flavourful to perk you up, then this Thai red curry is well worth rustling up. It's full of protein so you won't be tempted to raid the fridge later on, and the baby sweetcorn, mange tout and pepper gives the dish plenty of bite. Lime juice counteracts the spiciness of the paste, while the coconut milk makes it irresistibly creamy, too.
Ready in 25 minutes, just be sure to dry out the tofu beforehand. This recipe says 10 minutes but try doing it overnight if you can. That way it'll crisp up nicely when you come to fry it.
Slow Cooker Spanish Chicken
The slow cooker is the saviour of many a midweek meal. While you're busy through the day, you can get on with what you're doing, safe in the knowledge you'll have a delicious, hearty meal waiting for you in the evening. Put yours to use with this paella-style dish, a robust, filling meal that's plenty big enough for you to enjoy some leftovers throughout the week.
There isn't much prep to this aside from chopping up the veg; once that's done, you can throw everything in and cook on low throughout the day or turn up the heat to cook it over the course of a couple of hours. Whichever way you choose, it'll be ready to go when it's time to get sat on the sofa and indulge in that new show you've been binging.
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