Family life is busy. Between getting ready, packing bags, lunches, the school drop off, work, after school activities and other commitments, days can feel full and rushed! Phew! When it comes to dinner, some days you’re lucky to get food on the table at all. However, just because we’re caught up in the chaos of life, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy tasty and nutritious dinners. Here are 5 quick and easy dinner ideas to refuel your family and keep them powering on.
1. One Tray Bake
Roast dinners are a great go-to in winter. They are hearty and warm, however, the best part is they are super easy! Check out this one pan salmon and vegetables recipe. All you need to do is cut up the veggies, chuck them in a pan with oil and salmon, walk away, help your kids with their homework or tackle one of the other 50 tasks on the to-do list. Come back 20-30mins later and voila! Beautiful, delicious and healthy dinner is served.
2. Slow Cooker Meals
Another winter favourite. Simply chop up and place your chosen veggies, herbs or spices, and meat or legumes on a low setting in the slow cooker, go about your day as usual, come home to the smell of a hearty home cooked meal with minimal effort! Alternatively, you can cook it on a higher setting for a shorter amount of time when you get home in the afternoon. Amazing! Check out this easy chorizo and fennel recipe, and who doesn’t love a chicken korma curry!
3. Grazing Plate
Who said platters are just for parties? A grazing plate can be a quick and balanced family dinner and a great way to finish off all the random leftover bits and pieces in the fridge. There really are no rules, but here are some ideas to get you started.
- Fruit: Cut up any fruit from the bowl/fridge that you need to use up including apples, grapes, berries, pears, figs, oranges, you name it!
- Vegetables: Cut up your family favourites or any leftover bits of veggies from the fridge draw into snack sizes. Some classics are carrot, capsicum, celery, snow peas and beans.
- Protein: That random ¼ packet of ham that’s sitting at the back of the fridge, yep bring it out! And any other leftover cooked meat, cold meat, smoked salmon or even some boiled eggs.
- Carbohydrate: Pick a carbohydrate of your choice to be the all-important vehicle of the grazing goods. Choose wholegrain bread, crackers or wraps for a higher fibre option.
- Flavour: Finish off that leftover dip from Saturday night to add a little flavour! For a protein-rich option choose hummus or yoghurt-based dips such as tzatziki. Add on a side of nuts and seeds for some added protein and healthy fats.
4. Convenient Supermarket Meals
Quick, cheap, convenient and most likely more nutritious than a drive-through meal. Having a repertoire of convenient supermarket meals can be a dinner time hero for those jam-packed weeknights when there really isn’t much time to spend in the kitchen. We’ve compiled a list of 7 ideas to try.
5. BBQ dinner
Quick, easy and the kitchen remains clean – winning! BBQs aren’t just for the weekend and don’t have to be complicated. Grill your meat, vegetables such as capsicum or corn and even some haloumi cheese on the BBQ hotplate, crack open a packet of pre-made slaw or salad mix as a side and dinner is ready! Try this Moroccan chicken with cous cous for a fresh and tasty flavour idea.
See our article on healthy meals for busy people for more ideas and tips.
If you’re looking for more help with quick and easy family dinner ideas, need some extra inspiration, or would like some individualised advice on healthy eating, book in with one of the experienced dietitians at The Healthy Eating Clinic or call us on 6174 4663.