Generally I like to plan my meals, but every now and again I drop the ball and by the time the witching hour comes round I'm left scrabbling for something to feed my kids that is still healthy and nutritious (or just edible will do) and more importantly, something that I can knock up in less than ten minutes. Of equal importance, I'm needing something that relies upon the ingredients of my pantry so I don't have to do the mad dash to the supermarket with two hungry and cranky kids in tow, let's face it, I'm not that brave.
Photo: Stuart Miles, Freedigitalphotos.net
Over time, I've come to rely on the following 5 quick and easy meals and now ensure that I have some key ingredients in my pantry at all times.
1. Super quick pizzas When I've got no time to make the dough, I will grab a wholemeal pitta bread or Lebanese bread from the freezer and top with pasta sauce, cheese and whatever veggies or meat I might have in the fridge. Simple, cheap and the kids love them.
2. Savory Pancakes I beat together a batter of 1-1-1 combo of one egg, one cup of plain flour and one cup of milk and then the pancakes area ready to go. Easy fillings are tuna and cheese, spinach and ricotta or cheese and ham. There is no end to the types of filling choices you can use and kids seem to love them.
3.Scrambled Egg on Toast This is a really easy one that you can have on your kids plates within 5 minutes. If you're feeling guilty for the no vegetables inclusion, then grate in some carrot, or add in some diced vegetables. A favorite in our house is scrambled eggs with spinach and feta. There's a lot you can add into the eggs if you've got time.
4.Frittata Carrying on with the theme of eggs, if you've got 4 eggs in your fridge, some cheese and some veggies, then frittata is a simple meal to have on the table in less than 10 minutes. All you need to do is cook up some vegetables in a frying pan until they are soft. Easy options include mushrooms, onion, capsicum, tomatoes, spinach and pumpkin and leftover veggies such as already roasted potatoes and roasted carrots are a dream to use. Once the vegetables are soft, add to the pan 4 already beaten eggs, and a good handful of cheese. You can also add things like diced ham or cooked chicken; see what your fridge is able to provide for you. Cook for about 4 minutes on the hob, and then transfer to a preheated grill for a further 4 minutes. Hey presto, a meal is made.
Photo: Stockimages, Freedigitalphotos.net
5. Pasta There are so many pasta dishes to choose from which are delicious and quick to cook. When I am really stuck for time I use the fresh pasta which takes only 3 minutes to cook. Easy options for pasta include macaroni cheese, pasta with pesto and leftover chicken and super quick pasta Alfredo. Pasta is easy to cook, a great vehicle for vegetables such as spinach and broccoli and kids seem to love it.
What is your go to meal when you are in a hurry but you want to still put something decent on the table?