Favourite 30 minute/weekday family meals.?

I am looking for some inspiration for quick family meals (children 11 & 9) What are your favourite quick fix/30 minute/weekday meals. ? I'm thinking not just the normal meat and 3/4 veg, and not pre-pack mixes. I'm trying for healthier options. Thanks in advance :)

Chef_diy-bloke, Apr 22, 1:00 pm

Stir fries
Pancakes
Baked potatoes( precook in microwave ) before baking ,topped with anything
Hearty soups and scones
Omelettes
Spaghetty bolognaise

Chef_lilyfield, Apr 22, 1:04 pm

You watched Rachaels Rays 5 in a day? Good ideas there. I've done this for years, especially as I used to do a 4 day, long hours shift. although my difference to her, she uses the same main ingredient then does 5 bases for meals.
I used to do it with different base ingredients.
Same idea though, a basic thing, freeze then just doing your 0 min finishing the recipe off type thing at meal time.

Chef_lythande1, Apr 22, 1:14 pm

Vegetarian nachos: just mix a tin of black beans together with a tin of chopped tomatoes. Add your favourite herbs and spices and heat it all up. Dollop onto corn chips spread out on a roasting pan, top with grated cheese and pickled jalapenos and grill it. For something a bit different top the hot nachos with shredded iceberg lettuce. Serve with drained or Greek yoghurt instead of sour cream if you want to be healthy.

Chef_dk33, Apr 22, 3:22 pm

Theses are popular in our house
http://www.veggiebelly.com/2012/10/singapore-rice-noodles-recipe.html
Add cooked chicken, if you have leftovers. I add brocc and mushrooms, which I stir fry first.

Sweetcorn chowder, 2 large potatoes peeled & cubed 1 large onion chopped, 2 tbsp butter 2 cups water 2 tsp maggie green herb stock 1 400g tin creamed corn 1 cup corn kernals (frozen) 1/2 cup water 1 cup milk, 2 tbsp basil pesto salt and pepper pinch cayenne 1/2 cup sour creamSaute the onions in butter until soft and golden do not brown, add the cubed potatoes water and stock powder and cook potatoes until just tender, add the creamed corn, water milk, sour cream, and gently bring to a boil, then simmer until heated through. Add the pesto and seasonings.

Kebabs is another fav, have bowls of shredded lettuce, grated carrot and cheese, hummus, tatziki, we use falafels or leftover meats, optional chilli sauce. Spread wrap with hummus, top with salad items add meat/falafel drizzle sauces, wrap in foil, and pop into sandwich press. You could serve with a herb,spiced couscous.

Chef_ruby19, Apr 22, 3:29 pm

Wraps/burritos
Homemade fish and chips
Gourmet toasted sammies
Homemade pizza
Ratatouille
Adult mash
Steak and salad
Chicken salad

Chef_twindizzy, Apr 22, 4:34 pm

Butter chickpeas with rice. Yum.

Chef_chips5, Apr 22, 4:47 pm


Have you a recipe you could share? Sounds yummy and cheap!

Chef_dibble35, Apr 22, 4:54 pm

I couldn't think of much worse than Rachel ray, cheese and more cheese . her meals are boring.
stirfrys are great, as are quiches
boilups - you select the meat and vege, I used to love chicken thighs and potatoes, silverbeet and carrots
meat and vege mixed and roasted with herbs
Mexican. make your own flat breads, kids can help

Chef_motorbo, Apr 22, 5:35 pm

I will come back with that later tonight - about to have my dinner :)

Chef_chips5, Apr 22, 6:25 pm

All the above. but have you looked at Healthy Food Guide magazine and their website?
In the mag they sometimes do a feature on cooking ahead for the whole week. where they do a big cookup of various basic recipes, then freeze and refrigerate the mixes, ready to use during the week in different guises, no two the same. They also have great "5 PM Panic" recipes. At around $6-7 a month its a good source of new ideas.

Chef_punkinthefirst, Apr 22, 7:27 pm

Alison Holst has a 'barbecued beef' recipe in one of her old books. Its a regular favourite, fast and tastes great. I tried doing a google search, but couldnt find it. If you want the recipe, I can post it for you.

Chef_baalamb, Apr 22, 10:04 pm

To make life easier I try to "double batch" as much as I can - If I make a cottage pie - its just as easy to do 2, same with Devilled Sausages, chilli con carne, spaghetti Bolognaise, Lasagne.
I brought about 4 Pyrex style dishes at op shops (about $4 each) - its great that I can make the second cottage pie or Lasagne in the dish its going to be heated up in. I also have been known to put a frozen Cottage pie in the oven in the morning and set the ovens automatic timer and walked in to it just about ready.
I also find frozen vegetables good for a no fuss night - just add boiling water - no prep. I prefer fresh but sometimes its nice to just tip in some from a bag and the nutrition is good.
I love my rice cooker. I can come home - flick it on - start heating "whatever" through and prep the veg. either fresh or frozen - easy as.

Last night while the home made burgers and wedges were cooking - I got grating and made a zucchini pie. Tonight I just have to throw a quick salad together and dinner is handled.

Chef_toadfish, Apr 23, 6:12 am

Try and make one meal run on from another. The kind of thing I do.
Have an easy meal tonight - but. cook a whole chicken for the next night. This can be had as roast dinner the following night heated up with gravy. Then that night when the vegies are cooking maybe cook some rice and take the rest of the chicken off the frame - refrigerate overnight. The following night make chicken fried rice - for ease use the frozen stir fry mix - if you have the fresh and more time use those.
By now you have Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday handled - just Thursday and Friday to go - Friday being the end of the week is always more relaxed in our house and we seem to get in the habit of home made burgers and wedges.
I buy a couple of kilos of good quality mince and make a stack of home made patties for the freezer.
To 2 kgs of mince I would put 1 cup dried breadcrumbs 2 good dollops of chutney, 2 finely chopped onions, 2 eggs, sat and pepper and mix well - I have a cheap hamburger shaper - so its nice they are all uniform. Makes about 15-20 patties - A very easy no fuss meal. And for an occasional treat have a bag of oven fries in the freezer - Just pop them in the over prep the bun with salad and bobs your uncle!

Chef_toadfish, Apr 23, 6:23 am

http://www.trademe.co.nz/home-living/kitchen/other/auction-720232643.htm Similar to this - but mine cost me 50c at a school gala - use it all the time as it makes nice uniform patties that I stack with a small piece of glad wrap between, then depending on who is home or whether we have extras just take as many as you need out in the morning.

Chef_toadfish, Apr 23, 6:29 am

PS -
Get the 9 and 11 year olds involved - we all come in shattered at the end of the day. I always told my children we worked as a team and more hands make light work. They can peel the potatoes, prep the veg and maybe they want to be in charge of Burger night. One preps the home made wedges and the other does the salads in the buns. I went back to work full time (worked part time school hours before that) when my girls were 15 & 17 - they started by prepping the veg, and now they are 19 and 21 years old they can hold there own in the kitchen and we have a rule - first one home starts dinner. Fabulous in Uni holidays as I get spoilt with being last home more often than not!
DH is lucky 1 of his 3 girls make him dinner each night lol

Chef_toadfish, Apr 23, 6:41 am

Butter Chickpeas

2 small or 1 large onions, diced
grated fresh ginger
grated fresh garlic
1 dsp curry powder OR cumin, coriander and chilli powder
1-2 cups cooked chickpeas (I use a tin of Delamane as it has a high chickpea %), dried is cheaper though
1 can chopped tomatoes
1/2 can coconut cream (you can freeze the other half can)

Fry onions, garlic, ginger and curry flavourings.
Pour in can tomatoes and chickpeas, cook down slightly, then add the coconut cream.
cook till reduced to a thick creamy consistency (will depend on your coconut cream, I've had massive variations between brands and even cans).
Season with salt if necessary.
Serve over fluffy rice.

Another way is to do the frying off, chuck in the chickpeas in the slow cooker, the tomatoes in the frypan with the spices etc, then tip the lot into the slow cooker.
Do it on standard slow cooker timings. 5hrs high or 8 hours low and add the coconut cream near the end.
(I havent tried it in the slow cooker myself - that bit came with the recipe. We prefer a tin of Delmaine chickpeas - don't touch the watties ones, they are so firm!)

Chef_chips5, Apr 23, 8:42 am

We make naan bread as well as rice to have with butter chickpeas but it takes a bit longer. http://reallifedinner.com/how-to-make-naan-bread-step-by-step-instructions-and-pictures/

Chef_chips5, Apr 23, 8:43 am

Thanks! Keep the ideas coming. People have mentioned lots of things I do/have done but just forgot about :) more please.

Chef_diy-bloke, Apr 23, 4:58 pm

Had roast chicken last night and there's enough left over to make chicken fried rice tonight. Just prepped veg and boiled up some rice which is now cooling. ah all set for a quick whip up/easy tea tonight!

Chef_diy-bloke, Apr 26, 1:28 pm



Good for you - I picked up 2 kg of prime mince on the way home last night ($8.99 kg mad butcher ) so tonight I will make a big batch of patties - 4 for tonight and the rest for the freezer

Chef_toadfish, Apr 26, 4:21 pm

One I threw together last night quickly was a thai curry. On my day off I bash up a thai curry paste - great stress relief:-) I use motar and pestle.

This keeps in the fridge for a week. In a large frypan/wok, cook thai paste, add coconut milk with a few veggies and tofu. Just simmer until veggies tender. I use broccoli, carrot strips, mushrooms, and red peppers. Cook rice in microwave about 12 min. Very tasty easy meal
Here is the curry paste recipe. http://thaifood.about.com/od/thaicurrypasterecipes/r/greencurrypaste.htm

I keep frozen lemon grass, ginger on hand. I don't add shrimp paste or basil, and use 1&1/2 cans of ceres coconut milk - freeze other half for next time.

Chef_ruby19, Apr 26, 5:12 pm

Jamie Oliver has a 30min cook book. I have his 15min cook book. The recipes are fast, fresh and easy

Chef_kumerakid, Apr 29, 8:32 pm

some great ideas .

Chef_bev00, Apr 29, 8:51 pm

Alison holsts sausage and potatoe pie. or anything in a crockpot.

Chef_tonsta2, May 2, 4:57 pm

That was a whoopsy

Chef_rainrain1, May 22, 11:00 am

We do lots of wraps, tacos and stir frys.

Chef_clareo, May 22, 11:19 am


Her food is all beige or brown.

Chef_eljayv, May 22, 11:54 am

Im going thru a baked potato stage at the moment, having them 2-3 times a week. I make extra and have them for work lunches as well. Microwave for 5-8mins and then finish off in an oven. Bit of spinach for greens (frozen spinach is actually quite nice). Ive used tuna - tastes quite nice, baked beans, sweet corn, Probably not very healthy as I love the sour cream and cheese on top.

Chef_dibble35, May 23, 7:30 am


Thnx for recipe, ill make it one day soon, I have a nephew(and myself) who are big butter chicken fans and always on the lookout for good/different recipes to try

Chef_dibble35, Jul 18, 6:00 am

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