Who’s got time to cook during the week let alone think about what to cook. Now I know why my mum owned a pressure cooker growing up!
Whilst my kids are mostly always fed when I pick them up after finishing work during the week, there are times when they are not, and I have a whole 30 mins to think, prep, cook and eat before it’s wind down time before bed. And there is always dinner for me and Pete (although some nights he is working) so it’s usually just me!
For those of you who know me well I am mostly eating lunch and dinner in the car or at the sink 🤪 en route to and from training/exercise, a meeting or some sort of kiddie pick up, so it really is a rarity that I am cooking up a storm during the week. I save that for weekends, maybe once or twice a month if I am lucky. Today happened to be one of those days.
So I thought I would share with you some of my go to meals that fit the criteria I mentioned above. The ones that I go to during the week. Mind you like my outfit and the kids uniforms the thinking happens the night before otherwise it just doesn’t happen.
1. Salmon, green beans or asparagus and rice
My butcher sells salmon every Tuesday so I always grab some pieces before work/school drop off. I cook the salmon in the oven in silver foil with some lemon, salt, olive oil and sometimes garnish with mushrooms or red capsicum. I then steam some green beans, asparagus or snow peas – kids don’t mind them either, with some brown rice. Yum.
2. Chicken and vegetable stir fry
My butcher has pre made stir fry that I buy and then literally chuck onto a fry pan with some extra virgin olive oil and in the mouth! I usually cook extra for lunch the next day. Sometimes I add some soy sauce, sometimes I also add some gluten free noodles depends on how hungry I am. I have tried this stir fry with tofu instead of chicken, but can’t seem to find a nice tofu. Any suggestions would be fab. Kids don’t like this meal or does Peter, all for me!
3. Crumbed chicken and veg
This ones the kids favourite. My butcher again has these amazing crumbed chicken thighs, bite size, gluten free! The kids love them, they think they are eating chicken nuggets (what’s with kids and nuggets) and I serve them with cucumber, carrot, broccoli (the latter a big struggle for the kids to eat) feta cheese and olives. Total winner.
4. Greek salad with chicken and mushrooms
This one is one of my favourites and very easy. For the chicken I just use breast chicken and sometimes I have it vegetarian with lots of feta and oregano. As you have guessed I eat a lot of feta/goats cheese.
5. Bolognaise with steamed sweet potatoes
One of my cooking up a storm meals on the weekend is bolognaise sauce with beef and pork mince. When I serve it during the week for Pete and the kids it’s with spaghetti. For me it’s with steamed sweet potatoes or just plain. To change things up I often make a lasagne too with the sauce and with gluten free pasta. No beshamel sauce as we all aren’t really fans. Sometimes I put sweet potatoes instead of pasta down the bottom with the sauce drizzled on top, topped with mozzarella and parmesan but that’s if I have a bit more time!
6. Egg omelette with goats cheese and vegetables
The amount of times I eat an omelette during the week I can seriously cook one with my eyes shut! Favourite ingredients with or without yolk include: mushrooms, Meredith goats cheese or feta cheese, red capsicum, oregano, zucchini, broccoli, baby spinach, oregano and chilli. Again not for the kids or Pete, just mua.
7. Homemade Pizza
This one is for the kids mainly on a Friday literally using the coles brand pizza bases, leggo pizza sauce, ham, perfect pizza mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, black olives and sometimes some red capsicum. So easy and a big winner.
8. Steak, vegetables, homemade chips and rice
Choice of cut is either eye fillet (my choice) or sirloin (Pete’s favourite) with steamed broccoli, cucumber, steamed corn, ice berg lettuce with salt, white vinegar and olive oil, red cabbage again with salt, white vinegar and olive oil, home made chips using the dirtiest potatoes, and sometimes some rice. The kids are very fussy (or spoilt) so I need to provide choice. Thankfully they love the meat, I am not so much a fan in my old age. Pete often makes this meal for us when he is home early enough.
9. Zucchini slice with goats cheese
This one requires prep but is yum and lasts in my fridge for days. Sometimes I make it the night before as soon as the kids are asleep. I use the recipe on taste.com.au and replace the onion (due to being a bit intolerant) with celery, the flour with almond meal, and bacon with feta or goats cheese. Kids don’t mind this one either.
10. Mixed roasted vegetables
Throw diced zucchini, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, mushrooms, eggplant into a pan and then the oven drizzle with lemon, olive oil, oregano and salt to cook for 20 or minutes. All for me and so filling.
11. Casserole – tomato based or Indian curry based – frozen pre cooked meal with rice
This one I have pre cooked in a slow cooker on a weekend, and has loads of vegetables- carrots, zucchini, celery, eggplant, whatever I can’t find, with some skinless thigh fillets and either red sauce or curry sauce that I buy from my gourmet grocer. Not for the kids as it usually has a bit of spice although they do taste it from time to time. Always eaten with rice either white or brown.
12. Souvlaki with lamb back strap
Use Jerry souvlaki pitas from coles, with tzatziki (Chris’s Greek dips as he was my godfather and it is the best) or hummus, iceberg lettuce, tomato and anything else I feel like usually mushrooms. Most times I skip the pita and enjoy it open. The kids love it with the pita, lettuce and tzatziki.
You have probably gathered, that I love to cook with extra virgin olive oil, salt and oregano and sometimes chilli if it’s just for me. Other spices I like to use are cinnamon, black chives, bay leaf and nutmeg. Being Greek, I also love a bit of lemon or maybe a lot! Olives and feta cheese is always in my fridge, and I like to keep it very simple. Would love to hear some of your go to’s if you are happy to share.