Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cooking dinner for my family every night of the week

To make the task of preparing dinner every single night for my family after being at work from 6:15am plus all the meals on Saturdays-Sundays-Mondays (the days that the children do not go to childcare), I have to be very organise, rely on meals that I can cook in advance and reheat and stick to my rules of Take It or Leave it.
Being organised
I do my weekly grocery shopping online and refer to purchases made over the last month so I don't have to start from scratch. That in itself saves time. Instead of spending an hour walking the supermarket isles, I only spend 15 mins shopping online and it gets delivered to my home on a day & time of my choosing. 
In addition to this, I also do a mini fruit & vegetable top up once a week with the kids in tow. My children eat A LOT of fruit. On average over 7 days, they eat {yes, just them alone without taking into account mummy and daddy}:
  • 12 oranges
  • 8 apples
  • 10 pears
  • 6 punnets of strawberries
  • 4 punnets of blueberries
  • 1kg of watermelon
They also get a daily cup of freshly squeezed vegetable/fruit juice  each after breakfast which consists of : celery, carrots, spinach, broccoli, apples, limes (yes. you read it right. Limes.).
Cooking / Marinating in advance
I do this on Sunday mornings straight after breakfast because it is the only morning in the week that we are not off to work / childcare / swimming lessons / morning outing. We are a typical family.
It takes roughly 30 minutes for me to put together 2 staple meals that we will have during the week and upon cooking, they are cooled on the kitchen island before placing them into the freezer:
  • Beef & Pork Bolognaise sauce with heaps of vegetables and lentils
    (All I have to do is re-heat and cook pasta.)
    AND / OR
  • Turkey meatballs in tomato sauce with heaps of hidden vegetables
    (All I have to do is re-heat and cook pasta)
    AND / OR
  • Chicken bulgogi with vegetables
    (All I have to do is re-heat and cook rice / noodles)
  • Chicken and vegetables Japanese Curry
    (All I have to do is re-heat and cook rice)
In addition to the above prepared meals, I also marinate two meats in advance and place them in the freezer. I leave them to thaw overnight in the fridge and cook them alongside with steamed vegetables for our dinner the next evening.
  • Marinated chicken thigh fillets for stir-fry noodles (click here for recipe)
    AND / OR
  • Marinated chicken thigh fillets on skewers (click here to check out the recipe)
    AND / OR
  • Supermarket prepared marinated chicken drumlets that is cooked in the oven in 40 minutes
    AND / OR
  • Using left over rice, I will cook up a quick fried rice (click here for recipe)
    AND / OR
  • Tuna Macaroni & Cheese with pumpkin, broccoli and corn
Friday night dinners comes out of a slow cooker. I get all the vegetables chopped up the night before and place them in the slow cooker. In the morning before I head to work, I add the meat, liquids, turn it on to "auto setting" and let it cook for me. Some of our favourite meals include:
  • Ox tail stew
  • Butter chicken
  • Slow cooked pork belly
Ultimately, being organised in this aspect allows me quality time with the children after I pick them up from childcare and on the days that I choose to cook, the meals are whipped up within 15 minutes so it is not a chore, so to speak.
Now, over to you. Please share with me how you do in in your family!!!!


  1. These are great tips and simple recipes. Thanks for sharing Magdalene. I love slow cooker recipes btw, the meats always turn out so tender!

    1. Hi!!!!!

      Thank you so much for your positive feedback!!!! What are some of your favourite slow cooker recipes? Please share! :-)