As the summer holidays come to a close and we fall back into a normal routine, it can be stressful trying to get dinner on the table!

Some weeks I try and plan ahead for each meal, but trying to get the groceries bought with two small children is a serious challenge! Inevitably I come home missing the essential ingredients for the recipes I planned to cook.

I’ve found a better approach is to prepare a few things in advance that can be stored in the fridge or freezer and be improvised into quick meals during the week.

Here are some suggestions:

1. A batch of chicken or vegetable stock – use this in risottos, to boil vegetables in for a fuller flavour, or to wilt greens with and complement with some tofu.

2. Boiled eggs – keep boiled eggs in the fridge during the week and add to sandwiches or salads.

3. Cooked quinoa – add some quinoa through cooked beans tossed in butter or shapes into patties to pan-fry.

4. Pizza dough – keep pizza dough in the fridge and pull off clumps as you desire to roll out and top with passata and cheese for quick weeknight pizzas.

5. Baked sweet potatoes – roast them in their skins and put in the fridge. Cut into chunks and reheat with some chickpeas or halve and top with black beans, tuna and grated halloumi.

6. Buy a couple of tins of chickpeas and whip up some hummus. I can’t overstate how handy this is when trying to fend off starving children at the end of a long work day!

Here’s a round-up of some of our recipes to help you get through the week and keep an eye out for some more time-saving ideas here soon:

  • Tuna and beans for a week >>>
  • Vegetable stock >>>
  • Baked sweet potatoes >>>
  • Hummus >>>

Victoria Thaine,
Recipe Contributor