forum: Food & Drink

#1 Fri 23 Mar 07 10:55pm


From Northern Ireland
Member since Tue 30 May 06

Really busy housewife looking for healthy ideas for her whole family!

I'm run off my feet looking after 3 kids... one has autism, one has dyspraxia and ADD the other is only 3 years old and my husband has just been diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Time for shopping is limited so ingredients needs to be easy to get at and quick and easy to prepare... HELP!!!! 


Aileen help

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#2 Sat 24 Mar 07 1:06am


Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Really busy housewife looking for healthy ideas for her whole family!

welcome to the forums walail, you seem like you have your hands well and truly full.

I think that if I were in your shoes then I would cookup huge pots of things like cassoroles,stews, bolagnaise sauce and freeze them down into portion sized amounts (not forgetting to lable them!).
I used to do this at one time when my children were younger and it worked realy well.
You would then have a good amount of precooked stock items that you could use as and when you neded.
bolanaise sauce is very handy and can be made into all sorts of things...cottage pie,pastys,served with lovely mashed potatoe and fresh veg,minced beef pie,or with pasta.
Like wise for the stews and casseroles.

If things are frozen in small amounts it cuts down on wastage,makes preparing for unexpected visitors/childrens friends easy and is realy very flexible as you just get out of the freezer what you need.

I am so sorry about your husband being poorly, it is tough for you all.

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#3 Sat 24 Mar 07 3:11am

viviana mazzarella

Member since Mon 20 Sep 04

Re: Really busy housewife looking for healthy ideas for her whole family!

thinking of you, and looking for some ideas,  smile

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#4 Mon 26 Mar 07 12:21pm


From Northern Ireland
Member since Tue 30 May 06

Re: Really busy housewife looking for healthy ideas for her whole family!

Thanks vivian and mummza  smile

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#5 Wed 28 Mar 07 8:48am


Forum champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Really busy housewife looking for healthy ideas for her whole family!

Mexican Tortilla Pizza   
4 corn tortillas, or whole-wheat tortillas (6-inches in diameter)
1/2 cup Black Bean Dip, recipe follows
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1 cup shredded green cabbage
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the tortillas onto a baking sheet and spread 2 tablespoons of black bean dip on top of each tortilla. Top with tomato and cabbage and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pizzas from the oven and sprinkle some cilantro on each one. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into wedges.

Black Bean Dip:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Add onions and saute until they soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and jalapeno and cook for 1 minute more.

Put the beans into a food processor. Add the onion mixture and the rest of the ingredients and puree until smooth.

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-fry

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 2 breasts), sliced against the grain
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
About 1/3 cup chicken broth or water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 cups broccoli, trimmed sliced stalks (about 1/4-inch thick) and medium florets (keep the 2 cuts separate)
Serving suggestion: rice

Toss the chicken with about half the garlic and ginger, the soy sauce, sugar, 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the sherry, and the sesame oil in a bowl. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. Mix the remaining cornstarch with the 1/3 cup broth or water.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat. Add the broccoli stems, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the florets and the remaining garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons of water, and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper, to taste. Stir-fry until the broccoli is bright green but still crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Get the skillet good and hot again, and then heat 2 more tablespoons oil. Add the chicken and stir-fry until the chicken loses its raw color and gets a little brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Return the broccoli to the pan and toss to heat through. Stir in the reserved cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil to thicken. Add more water if need to thin the sauce, if necessary. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if you like. Mound the stir-fry on a serving platter or divide among 4 plates; serve with rice.

Quick Mediterranean Chicken

olive oil as needed
4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste
Greek seasoning to taste
1 (15 ounce) can green beans, drained
1 (10 ounce) can black olives, drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup Greek-style vinaigrette with feta
Heat some oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Place the frozen chicken breasts in the pan, and season with salt, pepper, and Greek seasoning. Cook until the chicken is lightly browned and has fully cooked. Add the green beans, olives, tomatoes, and vinaigrette. Cover, and simmer for 10 minutes to heat the vegetables.

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#6 Wed 28 Mar 07 9:28am


Forum champ
Occupation Registered nurse
From Australia
Member since Thu 24 Jun 04

Re: Really busy housewife looking for healthy ideas for her whole family!

Glad to provide some easy recipes....

Curry Chicken Soup

1 BBQ chicken
1 large onion, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
2 sticks celery, diced
½ red capsicum, diced
½ cup frozen peas
Garlic, optional
1 tsp curry powder
½ tsp tumeric
Chicken stock

Sauté the onion, garlic, and spices in a large pot. Tear meat (including skin) off chicken, add to the pot and stir to coat in spices. If chicken is stuffed, eat stuffing while preparing the soup lol Throw in the remaining veges and cover with plenty of stock. Simmer for about an hour. Serve with crusty bread rolls.

Pesto, mushroom, and bacon pasta
(Serves about 4)

4 heaped tablespoons sundried tomato pesto
1 small can light evaporated milk
4-6 peices short cut bacon
2 large mushrooms, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed or sliced
1 large ripe avocado, cut into quarters and diced
Fresh grated parmesan cheese
Small spiral noodles (or whatever you like)
Olive oil

Saute the onion, bacon and garlic in a very small amount of olive oil until softened. Add the mushrooms and saute until softened. Add the pesto and saute for about 1 minute. Stir in the milk and turn down to the lowest heat until slightly thickened. You can add more or less pesto and milk if you think it needs it. Season with pepper. Cook the noodles in salted water until aldente. Put the noodles into the pan with the pesto mix and combine. Serve in large bowl topped with avocado and a small amount of parmesan cheese.

Mums Budget Salmon and Spinach Pie

1 bunch spinach or silver beet (about 10 leaves), chopped
1 can pink salmon, drained and bones removed
1 onion, finely diced
2 cups grated tasty cheese
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
handful italian parsley, chopped
Tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
Puff pastry

Grease a baking pan. Line with a single layer of puff pastry. Spread the pastry with tomato paste, as if it was a pizza. Not too thick though. Combine spinach, cheese, salt and pepper in a bowl. Roughly flake the salmon over the tomato paste. Sprinkle the garlic and some of the onion over the salmon. Place 1/3 of the spinach mix over the salmon. Sprinkle with more onion. Repeat with remaining spinach mix. Top pie with a sinlge layer of pastry. Poke a steam vent in the top. Bake until golden and cooked on the bottom. Yummy served with mashed potato or a nice salad.

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#7 Wed 28 Mar 07 10:53am


Member since Wed 28 Mar 07

Re: Really busy housewife looking for healthy ideas for her whole family!

Hi, im a mum of 4, on benefits, im looking for some simple recepies to get rid of my leftover veg, lasangne sheets, pasta sauces. We are tryin t eat a healthy-ish diet, i have lots of pasta, spagetti. could anybody help? help  wink

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#8 Thu 29 Mar 07 2:15pm

Senga B

Occupation Taxi driver, nurse,cook, cleaner-in other words MUM
From Malta
Member since Wed 14 Mar 07

Re: Really busy housewife looking for healthy ideas for her whole family!

This fish recipe is really quick, and you only get two pans dirty!! 

    I onion, sliced.                                               A quantity of cheese sauce
    1fennel bulb, sliced.
    Any white fish, ie: cod (The frozen kind)
    Potatoes, thinly sliced.
Fry the onion and fennel together and place in the bottom of oven proof dish.
Scatter the sliced potatoes over this.  Break the fish into pieces, and put this over the top of the spuds.  Smooth the cheese sauce over the top and bake in a hot oven elec. 180c for around 50mins.  Stick a knife in to check the potatoes have cooked.  Good luck and hop you are coping. xxx thumbsup  thumbsup

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#9 Mon 02 Apr 07 4:34am

viviana mazzarella

Member since Mon 20 Sep 04

Re: Really busy housewife looking for healthy ideas for her whole family!

hi,walail, it's good that even whit such a lot of family work, you feel like meeting people here! i think that pasta with vegs.(the ones you like,just cooked in a pan or steamed to keep healthy) could be a good idea, i'll look for some easy "lentil stew", one of my family favorites. sorry for my english, i'm really trying hard  hmm

Last edited by viviana mazzarella (Mon 02 Apr 07 4:35am)

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#10 Mon 02 Apr 07 3:03pm


Forum super champ
Occupation Mother of 2 working more than full time
From Wallerawang, Oz
Member since Wed 29 Jun 05

Re: Really busy housewife looking for healthy ideas for her whole family!

Hi Walail, Im sorry to hear about all your family health troubles.

I make a huge batch of tomato & veg sauce once every 6 weeks or so. I bottle while hot & keep it in the fridge, but you could freeze it if you like.

tinned tomatoes: about 6 big cans
any other veg you like: zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, squash etc
tomato paste
mixed dried herbs
tbls sugar

Peel & roughly chop the veg
Sweat in a little oil first if you have the time
Add tomatoes.
Simmer 1 hour
ADD: tom paste, sugar, herbs
Simmer 15 minutes

Now you have aprox 8-10 bottles of sauce you can:

simmer chicken in it to make a caserole
use it to base pizza
add chopped fried bacon to it & serve it with pasta
just serve it with pasta as it is
add olives, fetta cheese or meat of any description to it & serve with pasta.

It takes me 15 minutes to prepare a huge meal for 4-6 with this on hand.

I just put a big pot of water on for the pasta, while that is heating I fry some bacon & add the tomato sauce. Cook the pasta, mix it altogether & serve with grated cheese. Voila! thumbsup

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