Easy Weeknight Family Meals

Hey guys. Hope you’re having a great week. Dinner times used to be my least favourite time of the day. I would struggle to think what to make and often ended up doing the same thing all the time. As our family got bigger and food prices continued to rise I realised that I needed to be more organised and to plan our family meals to save money and work. Here are my favourite easy weeknight family meals.

Spag Bol

I’m sure this is on everyone’s list. Over time I have added a few extra bits in and personally I think I make THE BEST Bolognese.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Ingredients

  • Mince beef
  • Bacon
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin plum tomatoes
  • Tomato puree
  • 2 onions
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Grated carrot
  • Beef stock cube
  • Basil (fresh is best)/oregano
  • Paprika
  • Worcester sauce

Method. Dry fry the mince with the onion and garlic in a large frying pan. Sprinkle over the stock cube. When mince brown and onions soft add bacon, mushrooms and carrot, herbs and a dash of Worcester sauce. Stir through until the bacon and mushrooms start colouring. Transfer to a large saucepan. Add tomato puree. Stir through and then add tin tomatoes. Stir to break up the plum tomatoes. Simmer on a low heat for approximately 25 mins. I don’t specify amounts of ingredients as I just throw stuff in. Add them in quantities you like. Trial and error is the best way to find how you like it. To make it healthier use 5% mince. To make it cheaper use higher fat mince and you can pour the fat away before adding the stock cube. You can also throw the whole shebang into the slow cooker and have dinner cooking while you are out. 8 hours on low should do it.

Chicken Tray Bake

This one pan meal is so easy and useful for using up leftover vegetables. It’s never exactly the same each time I make it but I will put on the ingredient list my favourite combination. You can add in anything you like really.

Chicken tray bake

Ingredients

  • 1kg chicken thighs
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Red onion
  • Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Soy sauce
  • Honey
  • Chilli (optional)

Method Chop all the vegetables roughly and place in a oven pan. Drizzle small amount olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the thighs on top of the veg and season. Get a mug fill it half full of honey and add a few shakes of dark soy sauce. You’re looking for a treacle colour. You can add some fresh red chilli if you want. Spoon over the chicken thighs. Cook on a medium heat (Gas 6) for about 1 hour. The meat should be cooked thoroughly and not pink. Serve with roasted potato wedges or rice. This is a very cheap meal. If you want you can swap the thighs for breasts to make it a bit leaner.

Fiesta chicken

I first discovered this recipe when we ordered our first Gousto box. I have always been a fan of Fajitas. I used to buy the Fajita kit and all the sauces which would work out quite expensive and quite high in fat. This recipe is leaner and so much tastier and much less fussing which makes it perfect for a weeknight. This one is my absolute favourite.

Fiesta Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 4tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 red onions
  • 32g tomato puree
  • Chicken stock cube
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 spring onions
  • 80g cheddar cheese
  • Natural yoghurt
  • Tortilla wraps

Method Combine the spices. You can leave out the chilli flakes if needed. Slice the pepper and onion into strips. Next cut the chicken into strips and mix with the Fajita seasoning. Throw in a frying pan and cook. Dissolve the tomato paste and the stock cube in 150ml boiling water then add to frying pan. Simmer for 5 mins until chicken is cooked. While chicken is cooking. Finely chop tomatoes and spring onions. Grate the cheese. Serve on the tortillas.

This is a Gousto recipe. If you would like to try Gousto I have a referral link here

https://cook.gousto.co.uk/raf?promo_code=CATH34208696&utm_source=androidapp

With this link you get 50% off your first box and 30% off your first month. On delivery of your first box I will receive £15.

Pizza Stuffed Chicken

This is from the Pinch of Nom book. Chicken and pizza…you can’t go wrong. I love pizza but it’s not the healthiest option so this gives me that pizza fix without all the dough. I have put my picture and the one from the book. Mine is just as tasty but doesn’t look half as good!

Picture from the Pinch of Nom book
My pizza Stuffed Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breast
  • 20 thin slices mushrooms
  • Red pepper 20 thin slices
  • 20 strips bacon (I prefer ham)
  • Red onion thinly sliced
  • 8 slices tomato
  • 80g reduced fat cheddar
  • Dried Italian herbs

Method Cut each breast widthways 5 times approx 3/4 way through. Don’t go all the way through. In each slot place a slice of mushroom, pepper, bacon/ham and a couple of slices of onion. Cook on a baking tray in the oven on gas mark 7 for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. When cooked pop the tomato slices on top then the cheese and a pinch of the herbs. Finish off in the oven until the cheese is melted and golden brown (about 5 mins). Delicious on their own or with rice or wedges.

Feel Good Fish N Chips

Another firm favourite from when we had our Gousto box. We have made this several times since because it is so easy!

Feel Good Fish N Chips

Ingredients

  • 4x 100g Basa fillets
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Tenderstem brocolli
  • Chives
  • Lemon
  • 60g panko breadcrumbs
  • Mayonnaise

Method Cut the potatoes into chips with the skin on. Add them to a baking tray with some vegetable oil and some salt. We use our airfryer to do ours so if you have one definitely use it. They make the best chips. Chop the chives and combine with the breadcrumbs and a drizzle of olive oil. Top the fish with the chive crumb pressing it into the fillet with the back of a spoon. Cook in the oven on gas mark 7 for about 15 minutes. Get your veggies on to boil. Add lemon to the mayonnaise to serve. That really makes it for me. I hadn’t tried basa before and it’s easily one of my favourite fish now.

This is a Gousto recipe. If you would like to try Gousto I have a referral link here

https://cook.gousto.co.uk/raf?promo_code=CATH34208696&utm_source=androidapp

With this link you get 50% off your first box and 30% off your first month. On delivery of your first box I will receive £15.

Hope you liked my favourite easy meals. Please let me know if you try any of the recipes or even send me pictures to my Instagram and I will share to my stories. I also need to know your favourite weekday meals so I can give them a try.

http://www.instagram.com/th3secretlifeofme

Love and peace xxx