Many parents and grandparents work, plus have other activities to fit in after school. I do the gymnastics run on a Monday evening and time I get in from work and then go back out to do this run and get back home again it is 6pm, and I really have no notion to start cooking anything much.
For me I feel half the battle is forward planning for when you know you will have a few busy days rather than finding yourself heading to the take away on your way home. Better to save money and spend the time in the house with a simple meal cooking away in the oven rather than a queue in your local takeaway.
I often do this by bulk buying in the supermarket and preparing and cooking food when I am not so busy and utilising the freezer. One of my favourite bulk preparation is vegetables. Prepared vegetables can be used for a variety of quick dishes. One of my favourites is oven cooked vegetable chips. Peel and chop potatoes, sweet potatoes and parsnips into chips. If using straight away pop into a roasting bag, add a tablespoon of oil and some flavouring. My flavouring of choice was barbecue chicken, added about half the packet, give the bag a good shake around, then pop them into an oven tray and cook for approx 30 minutes at 200 oC.
Once the vegetable were cooked we popped the chicken in the microwave and the bun into the toaster then reassembled it on the plate, added some of the vegetable chips a tomato and some coleslaw and serve with a drink of milk. The bun makes a great addition to a quick easy meal and the peppered mayo adds a great tang, you could always leave it on the side of the plate and dip the chips in it if you don't fancy it on the bun.
If you are not using them all the vegetables at the time you prepare them they will freeze in the oven bag and then just need taking out of the freezer either in the morning you plan on using them if you have time or take them out as you need them and cook from frozen, they will take a bit longer but if you have children you can be helping with home work or bathing thee children, spending some quality family time while the food is cooking.
I always cook extra so that I then have them available for another meal or a packed lunch. If you throw chicken portion or some sausages in the oven at the same time the vegetable chips are lovely cold the next day with the sausage or chicken added. Or why not make another evening meal out of it and add the cold cooked vegetable and meat to some cold cooked pasta? The pasta can be cooked at the same time as the vegetables.
Have to say I am partial to a pan of soup made with the oven cooked vegetables, I think it adds extra flavour. I use them with some stock and either lentils or for a change add a tin of tomatoes and a tinned of drained chick peas and then puree when ready for serving. Great with some crusty bread. Another win win of having a meal for another night, again the cooked soup will freeze.
I finished off the meal with a sugar free jelly made with soya milk and some tinned peaches.
This post is an entry for the Britmums "Rustlers Burger Hacking Challenge" sponsored by.Rustlers