dinner after work

Jaimie - posted on 01/14/2011 ( 26 moms have responded )

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I am a single working mom and have very little time to make dinners in the evening. I was going to start making meals on weekends and freezing them...does anyone have any good ideas or recipies? Nothing too difficult or with too many ingredients. Thanks

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Jenna - posted on 01/19/2011

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Do you have a slow-cooker? On the days I work I always put together a slow-cooker meal in the morning and dinner is ready when I get home! It's even faster than having to re-heat freezer meals. I just started posting my weekly meal plans online and there are usually 2-3 slow cooker meals a week, and they make so much that you will most likely have leftovers to last you through the other days, too :) Check it out at www.52mealplans.com.

Seiko - posted on 01/18/2011

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When I don't have time to cook dinner, I usually dump veggies and some meat (of your choice, I like chickens or stewing beef) into slow cooker in the morning before i leave. I cook white stew with chicken, brown stew with beef. Sometimes, red pasta sauce with chicken, too. When you come from home, it's done!! just serve with bread, rice, or pasta, whatever you like!
Oh, and my children love it.

Louise - posted on 01/17/2011

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When I was a working mum I used to do a mass cook up at the weekends to carry me through the week.

Sausage Pasta

500gr dried pasta (any type)
Large bag of spinach
Large onion sliced
Cheese for topping any type
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
mixed herbs
tomato puree
Milled Chilli powder to taste or can be left out

Cook sausages and onions add tomatoes mixed herbs and puree and simmer add spinach and cook until spinach is wilted. Cook pasta as instructed and drain add to sausage mix and sprinkle with cheese and serve straigh away or bake for 10mins to melt cheese.

Tuna Pasta (very quick to make in 15 mins)

500gr dried pasta
2 cans of tuna in brine
dried thyme
300ml sour cream
440ml chicken soup
1 large onion.

Cook pasta and chop and fry onion. add tuna to onion, add soup and sour cream, 1 tsp dried thyme, salt and pepper and heat through. Add cooked pasta to sauce and serve sprinkled with cheese or put in the oven to bake to melt the cheese.

Sheperds pie.

Ground minced lamb or beef 500gr
1 large onion sliced
tin of tomatoes
beef stock cube
potatoes
milk and butter to make potatoes into mash

Fry beef and onion until cooked through add tomatoes and stock cube add any herb that you like and set aside to cool.Place meat mix into an oven proof dish. Cook potatoes until soft and drain make into mashed potatoes and gently place ontop of the meat mixture. Cook for 40 mins from cold in an oven of 180 degrees sprinkled with cheese. This can be frozen for 3 months.

Morrocan Lamb

500gr cubed lamb
2 courgettes
onion
2 peppers
2 tins of tomatoes
cinamon
chilli

Brown lamb and onions add all other ingredients and let stew for two hours in the oven. Serve with cous cous.

There is no reason that you could not put this in a crock pot.
Hope some of this helps.

Diane - posted on 01/22/2011

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One thing you can do to speed up dinner prep is to cut up your meats and veggies ahead of time and put them in the freezer and then when you get home it's just the actual cooking that needs to be done since the cutting and chopping can be the most time consumiong part in many cases. Also slow cooker meals are great because you throw stuff in in the morning and it's ready when you get home.

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Clare - posted on 08/22/2011

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I make lasagna roll ups instead of lasagna. Very easy to make and you can freeze individually. Just cook lasagna noodles as directed on the package. Make your cheese mix as usual. Then lay a noodles out. Spread the cheese mixture on the noodles followed by your favorite topping. Then roll it up and freeze for future use. When ready to serve just add sauce and bake (oven or microwave). My kids love these because we each get to make it our own way.

Kirsten - posted on 02/16/2011

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My fastest meal is tuna cous cous.
Cous cous, tin of tuna and either cold veg for a salad or cooked frozen veg if I want it warm. When warm, I sometimes heat the tuna in a little pasta sauce or tin tomatoes.

Julie - posted on 01/28/2011

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I made a pan of lasagna and then froze it into 4 dishes, because only my son and I like it. So when I put it in the refrigerator in the morning and then heat in oven or microwave at lunch or supper time.

I make mine easy -- 1 lb hamburg cooked and drained, 1 jar of sauce, mozzarella cheese, cooked lasagna noodles, cottage cheese. (some people use ricotta cheese, I like cottage cheese) Only 5 ingredients!
Layer in pan and bake covered, then uncovered for a few minutes, maybe at 350 for 1 hour.

Annamariaa - posted on 01/27/2011

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Another helpful thing to do is buy meat in bulk especially hamburger or turkey fry it basic seasoning separate in one or two pound packages now you are ready spaghetti night add prego and boil noodles ten minute meal same with taco's or chile add season pack beans and ready to serve in ten minutes. Another idea make mini meat loafs and freeze come come throw in microwave make pototoes and a veggie another meal in ten minutes

Aenea - posted on 01/27/2011

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Hi Jaimie
I have alot to choose from and they are fabulous take a look www.tastefullysimple.com/web/ntuttle

Renae - posted on 01/26/2011

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If you like baked beans put some on a piece of bread with some chopped up bacon and cheese on top and and put it in the grill.....it's so simple and yummy!

Diann - posted on 01/26/2011

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Lasagna the easy way. noodles boiled. ground beef, (I use turkey burger) with "Prego" or "Ragu", and shredded cheese. Frozen veggies boiled till JUST DONE! (I microwave them.) noddles, meat, cheese veggies, repeat. do this two or three times bake for 15 minutes and serve. Or freeze and re-heat as time allows. You can find a whole bunch of great ideas on www.kraft.com too!

Annamariaa - posted on 01/26/2011

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Use a crockpot anything you cook in an oven can be cooked in your crockpot. There is lots of online recipes.

Becky - posted on 01/25/2011

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I have the same time restraints and started looking online for quick and easy recipes. I get the majority of mine from kraftrecipes.com, allrecipes.com and tasteofhome.com. They do have a lot listed that are pretty involved but they also have a lot of recipes that take very little time and only have a few ingredients. Kraftrecipes.com is one of the best for that.

Heather - posted on 01/24/2011

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diced chicken breast, tins of tomato and pasta, i have a few in freezer now, make a lovely dinner with side salad, freeze cheese and potato pie

Bri - posted on 01/22/2011

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Use your crockpot!

When you do make something, make a full recipe or double recipe and freeze some. A mini loaf pan works great to make "meal size" portions for smaller (2-3) families. Loaf pans are good for larger (3-4) families.

Chili, soups, etc. can be frozen in quart freezer ziplocks- toss in a pan of hot water to thaw or just put in microwave bowl to thaw/heat. (you can thaw and reheat in a pot of boiling water but you have to watch it to make sure the ziplock doesn't touch side of pot to melt and/or zipper stays closed).

Elize - posted on 01/20/2011

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I have a menu for 5 weeks - I buy accordenly and only spend money on the fresh stuff - it helps not to have to think what to make or defrost the morning I wake up. I went onto the BBC website there are hundreds of great recipes and most are very easy especially the guy I dislike the most - Jamie Oliver! I even started a menu for school lunches - on mONDAY'S FROZEN PIZZA WITH GAUVA ROLL PIECES AND MORE FRESH FRUIT WITH CASHEW NUTS.Then another day chicken fingers and fishballs with carrot sticks and yogart.Hope this helps

Jill - posted on 01/19/2011

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For a quick and easy crockpot recipe that carries me for days... I like Italian Beef.

3 to 4 lb rump roast
3 C water
1 8oz pepperoncini juice ( save peppers for on top of sandwich)
1 tsp red pepper
1 T basil
1 T oregano
1 pakg dry onion soup mix

Throw all ingredients togetherin the crock pot in the morning and it will be ready for your evening meal!! You can also bek covered 3 to 4 hrs in a 350 oven but i've never done that.

I then freeze the leftovers in gladware for quick meals down the road.

Erika - posted on 01/19/2011

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One that I make is called Oven Hashbrowns:
take a frozen bag of hasbrowns, add one of the medium containers of Sour Cream, cut up 1 medium size onion, add a can of Cream of whatever soup (your choice), grate 1 cup of cheese and add to mixture, add 1 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Mix all together. Bake in a 9 x 13 pan at 375F for 45-55 minutes.
Hope that you enjoy.

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i always make meatloaf ahead and freeze, mostly because it is so much easier to make with fresh hamburger than trying to defrost and make it. i will put was paper in my loaf pan and form my "brick" in that and then wrap it in the wax paper and stick in a freezer bag. I will make a couple of those a time, and then it makes dinner really easy on nights i don't feel like doing much. Lasagna is a good make and freeze too. or beef stew. Make a huge batch of whatever on your day off, and then you will have several dinners all ready. One of the biggest helps I have is to make a calender of dinners, or even just have a list of what dinners I have the stuff to make and stuck on the fridge door, then I know that morning if I have what I need, or what to fix, and I will know a couple days in advanced if Im running low. then just cross out what you have already cooked...like a grocery list for shopping in your own kitchen. But any time of casserole will work pretty well. there is a website, www.momswhothink.com its really great and they have meal plans and recipes and all kinds of good stuff. Good luck!

Chris - posted on 01/18/2011

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Hi Jaimie,

Here is my family's favorite fast recipe. I also have a collection of recipes that are prepared then frozen, but it's rather lengthy--if you'd like it, please message me your email, and I'll send it on. Enjoy!

Zesty Ravioli Skillet

1/3 cup (75 mL) heavy whipping cream
4 cups (1 L) loosely packed fresh baby spinach leaves
6 oz (175 g) provolone cheese, grated
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 cans (14.5 oz/398 mL each) diced tomatoes with onions, undrained
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarsely ground black pepper
1 pkg (24 oz/700 g) small frozen cheese ravioli (about 65)
Halved grape tomatoes (optional)

Measure cream using Easy Read Measuring Cup. Wash spinach in large Stainless Mesh Colander; drain. Grate cheese using Ultimate Mandoline fitted with grating blade. Set aside cream, spinach and cheese.

Add oil to (12-in./30-cm) Skillet; heat over medium-high heat 1-3 minutes or until shimmering. Finely chop jalapeño with Food Chopper. Add jalapeño to Skillet; cook and stir 1 minute or until crisp-tender. Press garlic into Skillet with Garlic Press; cook and stir 15-20 seconds or until fragrant.

Add tomatoes, salt and black pepper to Skillet; cook and stir with Bamboo Spatula 1-2 minutes or until simmering. Add ravioli; stir to coat. Cook, uncovered, 4-5 minutes or until tender. Stir cream into Skillet. Cook, uncovered, 1-2 minutes or until simmering. Sprinkle spinach over ravioli; cook, covered, 1 minute or until spinach starts to wilt.

Remove Skillet from heat. Top with cheese; cover Skillet and let stand 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Garnish with grape tomatoes, if desired.

Michele - posted on 01/17/2011

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Some quick dinners we do are Mac N' Cheese with ham and broccoli all mixed together. We also do a hashbrown casserole that involves ground meat, hashbrowns, cream of (whatever you like) soup and cheese. We will change it up to what we are in the mood for with taco seasoning, or an italian seasoning on the meat.

Jaimie - posted on 01/16/2011

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Thank you Nicky I really like the bbq chicken recipie. :) I have a crock pot and need to put it into use. haha

Nicky - posted on 01/16/2011

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i have a few suggestions for you, hopefully they will help
we made pies in a piemaker and froze those, really handy as you simply get the pies out, zap them for a few mins then in the oven to crispen, throw on some veg and dinner done...
other options are my favourite bbq chicken, my husband loves this with a bread roll, and just add veges, we often have frozen veg at the ready if we dont have time to prepare
you'll need:
500g chicken breast (you can also use other parts but we usually just use breast)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup tomato ketchup, or tomatoes, or tomato soup, whatever you have on hand at the time
1 Tbspn soy sauce
1 Tbspn worcestershire sauce
1 tspn ground chilli (or more if you are daring)
salt and pepper
you can also add a few cloves of chopped garlic and an onion if you like
i think thats everything, i use a slow cooker but you could put on around 160 in the oven, but slow cooker is such a great investment for easy meals i'd consider getting one if you dont already have
literally throw everything in and keep it on low all day, when you get home you should be able to shred the chicken between two forks to get it combined nicely, then put it on high for about 30mins keeping an eye on it, then voila, beautiful chicken

stir fry veg
1 chopped onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tspn ginger
any veges that will stir fry such as carrots, zucchinni, mushrooms, celery, spinach, capsicum etc...
1 tbspn soy sauce
salt and pepper
brown sugar
put garlic into a cold pan, heat with oil, add onions, brown, add ginger and all veges (add hard things like carrots, celery, zucchinni etc first as they take longest to cook, add quick things like mushrooms lasy) add soy sauce salt and pepper and sugar, done
while it is cooking sort out your carbs whether it be rice, pasta noodles, egg noodles etc...
the whole thing should take about 40mins from whoa to go, although that is a vegetarian dish you can add diced beef and cook through before adding any veges

for a really quick dessert, grate or cut some apples , add some sultanas, walnuts, cranberries, 2 tbspn raw sugar, cinnamon, whatever fruit you want, and bake them in a dish topped with a crumble mix of 1/3 cup flour, 1 tspn cinamon, 1/3 cup rollet oats, 2 Tbspn brown sugar, press topping down slightly, cook on 180 till top goes brown , sorry i havent given many measurements it is really a throw together, you can mix up fruit like nectarines and pears with it too, so easy and versatile

hope that helps :)

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