coloured-plates-of-food-design_23-2147563181Stuck for ideas for tea tonight? Have you asked around everyone you’ve seen today (your mum, your dad, the other parents at drop-off, the woman who makes your coffee) what they’re cooking, hoping they’ll give you an idea that won’t take ages or cost a bomb? Here are my five go-to ideas for last-minute, quick dinners, and some links to some good online recipes.

  1. Pasta – this is a great option because all you need is a tin of tomatoes and a packet of pasta, both of which you’ve usually got in the cupboard. If you want to get fancy, add some garlic, onion, Parmesan cheese and perhaps some olives or anchovies. It’s what my husband calls a ‘pantry meal’. Here are some other good pasta ideas:
    Orecchiette with pesto
    Tomato and caper linguine
    Posh Mac and Cheese
  1. Fried rice – this is also something I like to do when I feel like a treat, but it is kind of a pain because we don’t have a huge wok, which I think would make it easier. But the basic idea is very simple. Cook your rice in the morning and then fry it up with some egg and vegetables just before dinner time.
    Fried Rice Recipe
    How to cook perfect rice
  1. Eggs – another pantry meal. Eggs are great for using left-overs, for making a quick hearty meal for the kids or a comforting omelette with mushrooms and Parmesan cheese on a Sunday night.
    Jamie’s Spanish Tortilla
    How to Boil an Egg (do you really know?)
    Perfect scrambled eggs
  1. Freezer – My mum always had frozen vegies and chicken tenderloins in the freezer for emergency situations, and it’s helped us out of a pickle many times. It might not be what you’d like to eat every night, but at least you know everyone is going to get a few vitamins and some protein.
  1. Pizza – I love to have pizza on a Friday night. It’s very easy to do and is always a winner with the kids. On a weekend, my husband likes to make the dough in the morning and cook with homemade dough, but I favour buying frozen pizza bases and working with them. Here are some pizza ideas:
    Pumpkin and Chorizo
    Heirloom Tomato
    Pizza with hidden vegetables