Top 5 Weekday Family Meals
Weekdays for most families can be really hectic. School, work, errands, extracurricular activities, chores; the list seems endless. And yet, the experts say we need to eat healthy, which means cooking meals ourselves. Well, now there’s no excuse. With the right ingredients and methods, making healthy meals isn’t as difficult or time-consuming as one would think. Here are 5 weekday family meal ideas.
In a world of cooking in ovens, the humble meatloaf has evolved into a gourmet taste sensation. It doesn’t have to be beef – many home cooks have used pork, chicken or turkey mince. You can add grated carrots, zucchinis, even eggplant so the whole family can get their daily veggie serves. There’s nothing easier than constructing the meatloaf and throwing it into your oven, especially an intuitive oven like the ones created by ASKO. Check out this website if you want to know more.
2. Spaghetti and Meatballs
There aren’t many kids (or adults, come to think of it) who don’t like spaghetti and meatballs. And with pasta sauce made primarily of tomatoes, the cancer-fighting lycopene content is really high. Meatballs can be made of lean beef, pork or chicken – or a mixture of these – and it’s easy to sneak in some grated carrots for added vitamin A and beta carotene. The kids won’t even know it’s good for them!
Now, before you think tacos are all about fatty meat and cheese, it’s easier than ever to turn them into a guilt-free meal. Use ground lean beef or turkey, which is naturally lower in fat. Not all cheeses are equal in fat and sodium content, so use the one that has the least. Then make sure the family pile their tacos high with more veggies than meat – it’s just as well the usual toppings are lettuce, tomatoes and avocados!
4. Stir Fries
Stir fries are quick and easy. Most of the work is in the prep – chopping vegetables and such. Once you’ve got all the ingredients prepared, it’s a matter of quick frying in a wok or pan. Meat first, then take it out and fry the veggies according to their cooking times – harder veggies like carrots will obviously take longer than zucchinis and capsicums, which take longer than mushrooms and bean sprouts. Experiment with flavours – garlic, ginger, oyster sauce, soy, hoisin, sesame oil. Mixing a few of these creates fantastic flavours.
5. Fish Burgers
Crumbed or battered fish is high on the list of kids’ favourite foods, and they’re not difficult to make (or find pre-made if you don’t have the time). Coat some fish fillets in flour, egg and bread crumbs, or make a simple batter out of flour, cornflour and soda water. Put them onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and slide them into the oven. You can use traditional burger buns, or for a healthier alternative, wholemeal or whole grain buns and load each burger with a good salad mix to ensure everyone gets their recommended number of vegetable serves.
Whipping up meals on weekdays doesn’t have to be a tedious task. It’s all about taking what your family likes and tweaking those into something healthy or more interesting. Some shortcuts along the way are perfectly fine too, but ‘shh’ – don’t tell anyone!
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