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Food & Drink Quick, Healthy Meals For The After School Rush

You've finally got the kid's back to school after a long hot summer... but now the big issue is what to cook for dinner?

The stress of having to think of something new every day to suit the kids and their ever-changing dietary preferences. The madness of the after-school rush (which we'd sort of forgotten!) as you throw together a family dinner. But it doesn’t have to be that hard! Make your evenings easy by trying out these quick, healthy meal recipes at home.

We've put together a selection of different recipes, from classic meaty dishes to fresh vegan recipes.

Deliciously Easy Healthy Meals for the Family
  • Spaghetti Bolognese It’s a classic. But bear in mind that the ragù tastes better when it cooks for longer, so prepping it on a Sunday for a Monday evening will offer a quick-fix solution for an after-school dinner. All you have to do is boil up some pasta, reheat the Bolognese and serve! Find our easy Spaghetti Bolognese here.
  • Chilli con Carne As with the Bolognese, if you throw this together the night before or during the day, it’ll be ideal to serve up when the kids get back from school. Mix up your Chilli con Carne recipe by serving it with tortilla wraps or even nachos for a Friday treat. Top tip: Use Quorn mince for a vegetarian alternative to your chilli or spaghetti Bolognese.
  • Fajitas Quick, easy and super tasty. Check out our quick Chicken Fajitas with Homemade Salsa recipe for inspiration. Serve with all the trimmings, from guacamole and salsa, to sour cream and a light sprinkling of grated cheese. You can even make it veggie-friendly by adding some slices of grilled halloumi for extra flavour and texture.
  • Anything in the slow cooker It may not be quick exactly, but if you get it going before you go out, then by the time dinner comes around, you can serve up in just a few minutes. Check out our slow cooker recipes for some dinner-time inspiration help lighten the load of the after-school rush.
Quick Dinner Ideas for Vegetarians
  • Easy pasta recipes - try our Creamy garlic mushroom gnocchi for a deliciously quick meal to whip up while keeping an eye on the kids. It’s a one-pot wonder and has an estimated cook/prep time of 30 minutes – you really can’t go wrong.
  • Veggie omelette – a veggie omelette is a quick and easy family meal to make at home – and a great way to get in their 5 a day! Better yet, it’s super adaptable so you can include whatever you fancy – from broccoli and peppers to potato and onion. It’s an ideal way to use up those leftover vegetables in the fridge.
  • Sweet and sour “chicken” – useQuorn chicken pieces, bell pepper, onion, garlic, cider vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup and sugar. Simply cook the chicken pieces and in a separate pan fry the pepper, onion and garlic with a drizzle of oil. Add your wet ingredients and sugar to make the sauce, and then stir in the “chicken”. Meanwhile, put your rice on to boil (or use some microwavable rice pouches for a quick fix).
  • Cauliflower wings – coat your uncooked cauliflower heads in batter and panko breadcrumbs and cook in an oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. Then, take some buffalo sauce and mix in some melted butter. Pour the mixture over the cauliflower and stick it back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Or, try our Honey & Garlic Cauliflower Bites recipe for a different spin on cauli wings. 

Top tip: Make it vegan with a dairy-free batter (using onion powder, garlic powder, seasonings of your choice, flour and plant milk), and switch out the butter for a plant-based alternative.

Easy Dinner Ideas for Vegans
  • Vegan curry – Try an easy curry recipe made with sweet potato, onion, pepper, courgette, peas and spinach (whatever veggies you have lying around, really!). Use a jar of curry sauce for ease or make your own if you have the time – the choice is yours. Or you could take our recipe for an easy Thai green curry as inspiration – minus the chicken, of course!
  • Veggie traybake with vegan sausages – filled with goodness and easy to make, everyone will love this one. Throw some root vegetables, peppers, onions and meatless sausages into a tray, lightly drizzle in oil. Mix in your seasonings of choice (salt, pepper, paprika, Cajun), and bake in the oven. And by using vegan sausages, you get the added benefit of less fat. 
  • Mushroom and leek risotto – now this may sound crazy but making a risotto with vegetable stock and vegan parmesan can be just as tasty as the real deal – and much healthier for the kids. Fry up leeks and mushrooms (with low-calorie cooking spray) in a frying pan. Put your risotto rice in a separate pan and add boiling vegetable stick, bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes – stirring it as you go. Add the veggies and simmer for another 10 minutes (you may need to add more stock). Sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese and this tasty family meal is ready to serve!
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