Take the stress out of mid-week meals

By Sarah Noone, and Caoimhe Clynch, Nutrition News   |   14th Mar 2019

Our expert dietitian Sarah Noone, and student nutritionist Caoimhe Clynch, share their top tips for stress free mid-week dinners.

Do you ever find that it comes to the middle of the week and you don’t know what to have for dinner, are too tired or just can’t find the time?

Read our six simple tricks that may help take the stress out of mid-week meals.

Have a schedule

At the start of the week sit down, decide on your meals for the week and write it on a planner. This is a great way to get everyone involved with planning and preparing for the week ahead.

Make a list and stick to it

Make a shopping list based on your meal schedule and buy what you need. Try not to do your food shop when you are hungry as it is easy to get tempted and stray away from your list. This is a great budget saving tip too.

Meal prep

Pick a day where you have some extra time perhaps at the weekend and do a little prep for the week ahead. This can be cleaning out lunch boxes, washing and chopping your vegetables, batch cooking and refrigerating every little helps mid-week.

Cook once, eat twice

Preparing double portions of food for dinner on days when you’re less rushed, and refrigerating/freezing them can be a great way to be thrifty and save time. Soups, shepherd’s pie, chilli, stew, casserole and pasta are all great options that can cooked in batches and refrigerated/frozen. You can then simply defrost them on days when you are pushed for time or too tired to cook.

Save on prep time

Buy frozen, canned, tinned, vegetables, fruit and beans not only do they save time, but they often tend to be less expensive.

Think meals in minutes

Something quick like a stir fry is a great option when under time pressure. Just cut up some chicken, stir fry with coriander, garlic, ginger, black pepper and a little lemon juice and add in some frozen Asian style vegetables and noodles.

Using tinned fish in spring water can also be a quick and easy option and a great way to increase your fish intake. It is already cooked so can be added straight to salads, omelettes, jacket potatoes or tortilla wraps.

Another option is to spruce up baked beans as a fun fast meal by adding some spice like paprika and chopping in some onions, garlic and mushrooms to help boost your daily veg intake. Something as simple as mixing onions, tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers into scrambled eggs and serving on wholemeal toast can work well, not only as a time saver but also to add variety to weekly dinners.

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