As a parent there’s one question which I guarantee I’m asked every day. What’s for dinner? Sometimes I can be asked when I’m making the meal. On other occasions I can be asked even before breakfast when I haven’t thought past the cereal bowls! Every family will have their staple favourite meals that are requested each week. Adding in new dinner ideas will help to keep it varied and interesting and who knows you can create some new family favourites to add to your repertoire.
I feel most in control and confident that I’m doing a good job as a mom when I have an answer for them. I love it when I’ve had time to sit down and menu plan the week on a Sunday and do my online shop but sadly this doesn’t always happen and I’m caught off guard by the inevitable question. My response to this is that it will be a surprise
For me dinners have to be able to be prepared in advance and be ready to serve up quickly once we get back from our busy evenings of after school sports. Having a meal that is homemade and tastes good is great but what makes it even better is that it is quick and simple to prepare. On most days I don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen so quick and easy but delicious and healthy is what I’m looking for. Also being the one to do all the cooking having a varied menu provides interest for the chef too!
I try to have a 2 week rota for our family favourites so we don’t get bored of the same meal each week and I don’t tend to make the same meals on a regular day. My menu needs to be flexible so I can juggle things around if needs be.
My favourite recipe resources
I have compiled a list of my favourite resources for great family dinners. I hope you find something here to inspire your selection for next week’s dinner menu.
- BBC Good Food website and magazine
This has got to be my go to resource for recipe ideas. I have been a loyal Good Food magazine reader as long as I can remember and the website is a vast resource of recipes and ideas. Type in an ingredient you want to use into the search box and it will find you a varied selection of recipe ideas. There are lots of quick dinner recipes and ones that are designed for children to help with. Though maybe that’s better reserved for more leisurely cooking on a weekend rather than pressured weeknight meal preparation!
I still use this British website a few times a week even though I’m in the USA now. There is even an app available in the UK to make it even simpler!
The Christmas issue of Good Food Magazine is a highlight of the year for me with great Christmas recipes from the traditional to the new ideas that I can’t wait to try out.
My favourite family dinner from Good Food is:
(Too many to choose just one but this was a big hit with my family on Tuesday evening!)
2. Jamie Oliver – Super Food Family Classics
I feel like I’ve grown up with Jamie Oliver and have always enjoyed his food and found his recipes to always work and be easy to follow. Jamie Oliver is well known for his philanthropic approach to good quality great food for all. This family friendly recipe book has a fantastic selection of nutritionally balanced and healthy ideas which will have universal appeal. I will pick up this book when I fancy making something different that will have very fresh flavours.
My favourite recipe from Super Food Family Classics is:
3. Lean in 15- The Body Coach – Joe Wicks
At first this looks like an unlikely choice for family recipes but the recipes are all quick to prepare and taste great too! Most of them are to serve 1 or 2 so I just do the maths and multiply it up to serve the family. Anyone can appreciate super flavours and healthy meals so looking in not so obvious recipe books for family cooking can find some new dinners for your table.
My favourite meal from The Body Coach’s book is:
Turkey and Chickpea Pitas – The flavours of falafel are cooked into the turkey along with grated carrot to boost your 5 a day. This recipe is a firm favourite with my family. On days when I’m very short on time I will adapt this a little for the slow cooker.
4. Fix It and Forget It Big Cookbook by Phyllis Pellman Good
I can only describe this book as the slow cooker / crockpot bible! It is a vast tome of a massive collection of slow cooker ideas. Don’t be overwhelmed by its size and weight. The big selection of recipes means that you’ll certainly have the ingredients for a few dinners in your pantry.
I’m a little addicted to the slow cooker because it is my ally for late evening dinners after my girls have been playing sports games long distances from home. Dinner needs to be ready to be on the table the minute we walk through the door. This is to prevent children raiding the fridge and pantry as they are so hungry after their 12 hour day and not delaying getting homework started as everyone wants to eat before doing their work so it can get pretty late by the time we have eaten! There is a great Fix It and Forget It website for an incredible number of ideas – you’ll never be stuck with what to make!
My favourite recipe from Fix It and Forget It recipe is:
Lemony Turkey Breast – this recipe is so simple using a turkey breast joint, lemons and stock and creates the most beautifully tender turkey for dinner! It will look like you’ve spent hours making dinner when you serve this recipe up!
5. Karen’s Easy Dinner Tip
My own personal slow cooker crockpot tip is to make baked potatoes in there. Simply prick the potatoes with a fork. Brush with oil and wrap each potato individually in foil and cook for 8-10hours on low. I crumple up some foil to place on the base of the slow cooker to stop the potatoes burning. It’s easy to do sweet potatoes this way and they will cook much quicker maybe 4/5 hrs only! These are incredible I urge you to try them!
I hope I have inspired you to look for some new and easy dinners for your family this week!