Wednesday 19th January 2022

Quick Meal Ideas. 43/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.108.

Quick Meal Ideas. 43/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.108.

There is so much on-line about “quick meal ideas” which anyone can access, along with some new to me ideas such as pre-planned meals and incredients that you can order on-line & have delivered each week. Then of course there is ‘take-away’ as we in Australia call it. However, I see that you can order this via an Uber thingy too. And around here, Red Rooster delivers.

My post is about none of those.

I am offering what helps ME get by these days – after cancer in my mouth & living a retirement life for two.

My husband has some health issues which prevent him eating large meals for dinner and we occasionally eat the same meals but he is a very early diner, at 5 p.m. and I prefer around 6.p.m. so socially we miss out on that connection with food.

We do, on occasion have a main meal together which is not a ‘quick meal’ but more like a baked dinner or chicken schnitzel or lamb cutlets.

My Quick Meals.

I am someone who began freezing meals in bulk when I was teaching full-time and when we lived in isolated parts of N.S.W. as teachers. Fresh ingredients did not come too often, so we made do with what we could freeze or have dried versions (Deb mashed potato and surprise peas, anyone? No? I agree).

I prefer a bake a lot, then freeze in batches and here are some of my examples.

Sweet & Sour Chicken On Rice.

I use chicken fillet and cook up bite sized pieces (when I had no upper teeth, I used chicken mince) then I add Kanton Sweet and Sour Cooking Sauce with Pineapple, and when all cooked together, put it on a small bed of rice (see the packetI always have in my pantry) and freeze in small meal-sized for me containers:

Spaghetti Bolognaise.

Yes this was my go-to meal for around 12 months but I have become sick of it. However, it fitted the bill for health (iron in red meat). I use good quality minced beef, a range of pasta sauces including passata and cook thin spaghetti to go with it. Again, once cooked, this becomes mini meals for moi, with some tasty cheese on top.

My Fried Rice.

I call it this because I adapted it from a recipe long ago. All I need is one or two of the rice above, 2 eggs, some packet or shaved ham, shallots or chopped onion. First, beat egg, make as an omelette, then when cooked in pan, remove, and add diced ham and shallots to fry up, add cooked rice then diced egg to mix on hot stove, and once all together, add soy sauce to taste. Keep moving it around. You can add more veges to it or some cooked chicken as well. It is a meal in itself that way. Freezes very well.

Meal Ingredients or  Made Then Frozen.

I make up small zip lock bags with steak in each so only one has to be taken out if that is a preferred meal.

I do the same with chicken breast, cut it uncooked into strips, and only bring out what I need.

Recently I made mini meatloaves from 3 types of minced meat (beef, lamb & turkey) added a packet of rainbow slaw, egg and tomato sauce and then added the mix to patty cake pans. These were on the way out…so this became ‘the last thing I cooked in them. I add barbecue sauce to the top of each ‘patty’ and some grated cheese, and whack in the oven. Keeping an eye on them, the meat cooks well, and I freeze 4 in a small bag for use with veges, or cut it up for sandwich or mini burger.

That is a wrap for me, on quick meal idea…what about yours?


Today I link with Alicia here: for Open Slather and Kel here for Mummy Mondays. Do visit them too and link up!

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Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 44/52. I Want This. 29/10/18.




  1. We freeze leftovers into single meals – mainly for Sarah for when we’re away. She takes leftovers for lunches too. Quick meals for us are usually a steak and salad, although last night we had Vietnamese Bahn Mi – using the leftover roast pork from Saturday night & some sambal and salad. Yum.

    • Sounds like you are great planners- ahead too.

      The freezer is such a boon and I rarely cook every night as a result.

      Your meals always look amazing. I am more ‘plain and traditional’ but envy your versatility.

      Denyse x

  2. I have ALWAYS wanted to do the batch cooking then freeze portions thing for as long as I can remember, but I’m never organised enough! It would be such a time saver though!

    Di from Max The Unicorn

    • It so is. I ‘hated’ the what’s for dinner’ every night mantra from years ago so batch cooking and freezing in portions is my go-to. I then have some meals I take to my Dad. I got very sick of spag bol over the months of no teeth, so Dad has a few now in his freezer.

      Denyse x

  3. SNAP!!! This fits perfectly with my post this week, Thanks!

  4. Love the fried rice idea!

    • It came from a Low GI recipe years ago and that’s how versatile it is. The advent of prepared rice makes it even better!

      Denyse x

  5. You’re so organized with your meal planning and prep, Denyse. I tend to think of what to make on the day before or the day of even though I shop groceries for the week.

    • I think I was made to be like that when we lived in rural NSW and had to shop in bulk for the months ahead. I can still cook via ingredients I buy that day but I am also more like to be able to make the meal a ‘double up’ too.

      Denyse x

  6. Looking forward to picking up lots of tips from everyone’s posts this week, Denyse. I’m a big fan of batch booking also and make many of the things you do. I like the sound of the meatloaves too – very versatile for use in future meals.

    It is true, as you’ve written, about how the quick meal prep industry has boomed in recent years here and it’s such a diverse group of options from frozen to meal delivery service to meal ingredient deliveries.

    SSG xxx

    • Thanks SSG. We are pretty traditional eaters here and with my past years of both anxiety and HNCancer I needed to have simple and small for my meals.

      Batch booking is the same as cooking every day anyway so it might as well be ‘do it’ and then we won’t have to for a while.

      Denyse x

  7. When I was working full time, I used to cook up double recipes on weekends, divide them up into containers as meals to feed 5 and freeze. It was so worth the effort because often I wasn’t home from work until 7pm and the last thing I felt like doing was preparing a meal from scratch plus it would have been way to late to be eating dinner! I cooked up meals and froze them when I had surgery in 2017. I don’t do it anymore – just for when extra help or preparation is needed. It’s always lovely though to have some meals tucked away in the freezer for ’emergencies’! 🙂

    • Yes I agree, having some meals to pull out already preparted is the best. I often did the Sunday afternoon cook up when I was working too. Sigh. Glad those days are over.

      My husband eats differently and is much restricted so it tends to be I am grabbing a meal for me from the freezer and he might have some ingredients in the fridge or freezer to suit his needs.

      I hope your new kitchen is proving its worth!

      Denyse x

  8. Hi Denyse, I don’t freeze ahead much these days but I certainly did when I had a family and worked full time. My daughter and her husband both work and now with two little ones it is difficult to always provide healthy meals during the week. However, they overcome this by using Sunday afternoon to prep meals for the freezer and it certainly makes life easier. I’m glad to be back and thanks for the link up. Have a great week! xx

    • Good to see you back and I hope the time away has refreshed you too.

      Sundays and the week ahead prep- yes I was like that with the family at home and now that is my daughter often too.

      It is good to not have to cater for as many but I do miss some aspects of family meals, e.g. a baked dinner!

      Denyse x

  9. Good to read your tips Denyse. My husband and I have different dietary needs too so meals are always a bit of this and that to suit us both. Cooking doesn’t really bring me much joy, except I know it as to be done!! I enjoy food others have cooked though 🙂 So, given that, I have linked up a new post about a great book and my review, as you suggested on my Instagram post. Thanks again for the linkup 🙂

    • Thanks Debbie, so we live parallel lives in the kitche! I admit, cooking is not such a great joy but when I am the only person who can cook what I know I can eat, then I do it. I am quite inventive as a result.

      Yes, looking forward to reading your thoughts on Leigh Sales’ book.

      Denyse x

  10. Our go to recently has been tacos. One of the few meals we haven’t had a to change a great deal (just left stuff out) for fodmapping. And we started buying grated cheese which is a good time and accessibility saver. It’s actually pretty nice cheese too, considering it’s cheap.

    • I know! I see tacos come up in your IG and think they look good. I made some in a bowl as I could not eat the shell.

      Grated cheese from Coles/Woolies on brand helps me with meal prep too and if it is to be melted over something it is fine.

      Denyse x

  11. Love these ideas and I’m sure I’ll have to start batch cooking and freezing if or when I get a job. Might need a bigger freezer though!

    • The freezer will be a great idea. We had and gave away a few freezers – to our family – over the years. This time, even though it is a nuisance to have the defrost it, we have a vertical one with drawers and it takes up less room that a chest freezer and you don’t nearly kill yourself trying to reach the bottom.

      So hope you do get a job soon too Ness.

      Denyse x

  12. Nice quick meals! I’m all for quick meals. My laziest and quickest lunch is frozen veggies, rice and tuna. 😛 But yes, this reminds me I need to get back to meal prepping and being motivated enough to cook again

    • Thank you!

      It is hard to be unmotivated when you still ‘have to eat’ . Good on you for that choice though. Healthy and gets you through.

      Denyse x

  13. I need to get back into batch cooking meals and freezing them. I like making a quick fritatta with leftovers in a big lasagne dish. Meat, veggies, cheese, eggs, milk, herbs. 45 mins in the oven and you have a hearty meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

    • Oh good idea.

      That sounds yummy.

      As your new working life continues you will be glad when you can reach into the freezer for a meal or two. Worth it!

      Denyse x

  14. Love your fried rice recipe. I tend not to freeze. Usually we cook enough for 2 days so cook only alternate days. And on very lazy days, eggs and soup are quick easy and tasty.