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It is a truth universally acknowledged that at the end of a long day of teaching, no one wants to spend hours slaving over a hot stove cooking dinner. But we all need to eat, preferably something healthy, delicious and, perhaps most importantly, easy. This week on School Stream, we are bringing you a list of 15 meals that tick all those boxes. You could consider this your midweek menu planner. 

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One-Pot Wonders & Traybakes

What’s so appealing about one-pot meals and traybakes? Nearly everything! Minimal washing up, minimal cooking, maximum taste. Sign us up.

1. Spanish Chicken with Chorizo and Potatoes. Nigella Lawson may well be the patron saint of the traybake. This recipe may take an hour in the oven, but the prep consists of simply dividing the ingredients between two trays and then popping them straight in the oven.

2. Hit and Run Traybake Chicken. Jamie Oliver strikes again with this super easy recipe that lets the oven take over all the hard work.

3. Crispy Sheet-Pan Meatballs with Salsa Verde. Three years on and this recipe has entered the realm of ‘cult recipe’ with 100% of reviewers giving it five stars.

4. One-pot Pasta with Asparagus, Tuna, Lemon and Capers. Dinner on the table in 15 minutes. 

5. Green Baked Eggs with Broccolini, Leek, Baby Spinach and Feta. This was one of the most popular recipes on ABC Life in 2019 and is a cinch to get on to the table. 

Plant-Based Meals for Meat-Free Monday

Easy and delicious meat-free meals for any day of the week.

6. Spinach and Butter Bean stew with Toasted Pine Nuts. If you love a plant-based meal, chances are you have already discovered Meera Sodha’s delicious recipes. She is famous for her 100% strike rate when it comes to the accuracy and taste of her meals. And best of all? Most of these recipes feature pantry staples so you don’t have to chase obscure ingredients. 

7. Satay Sweet Potato Curry. Minimal prep and 25 minutes on the stove with almost no supervision required? Yes, please! Because sometimes only a hearty vegetarian curry will do. 

8. The Best Vegan Burger. This super-straightforward recipe from Jamie Oliver utilises pantry staples to create delicious burgers you’ll have on the table in a heartbeat. 

Family-Friendly Meals

It is the great meal-time dream to find a dish that everyone can enjoy at the table. Here are some suggestions that won’t have you ‘playing restaurants’ at the end of a long day.

9. Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta Bake. The comments on this recipe page indicate that this is one of those very flexible recipes that lends itself to substitutions and omissions. It’s also great as is and very quick!

10. Beef with Chilli and Basil. Substituting capsicum or mild chilli for the traditional spicy birds-eye puts this dish by Adam Liaw within reach of any kid. His Kid-Friendly Japanese Curry is another tried and tested hit. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients; this dish comes together very quickly.

11. Tamari Chicken Drumsticks with Pomegranate Seeds. Much-loved UK presented Fearne Cotton released a cookbook of her favourite recipes back in 2016, with this recipe a clear favourite. It takes 10 minutes to prep the chicken the night/morning before and all you need to do then is put the tray in the oven when you get home. Feel free to use soy sauce and honey if tamari and maple syrup aren’t on your regular shopping list. 

12. Taco Tuesday 7 nights a week. Essentially tacos are protein, wrapped in carbs and then topped with veg, making them a perfect meal you can hold in one hand. These suggestions may not be strictly authentic – but they are delicious – and apparently everything is delicious when it’s wrapped in a tortilla. Pick up a cooked chicken and wrap it in a tortilla with iceberg lettuce, smashed avo, grated cheese, tomato and any other condiment you fancy for an easy meal. Another tried and true combo is crumbed fish, coleslaw, mayo and optional chipotle. For veg-friendly options, try roasted cauliflower and pumpkin or a mix of tinned kidney beans, tomatoes and lentils combined with your choice of fillings and sauces.

Soup your way to midweek meal glory.

Everyone loves soup. Here are some to try for a cosy midweek meal on a cool evening. 

13. Miso Carrot Soup. It’s earthy, it’s delicious, it’s a good way to use up all the carrots floating around the veg drawer, and no one will be able to tell if you use store-bought stock instead of the homemade option suggested here. 

14. Chicken and Corn Soup. 15 minutes is all you need to get this thick, warming and soulful bowl of soup on the table. Add some greens for a complete meal or omit the chicken to make it vegetarian. 

15. Hearty Lentil, Bacon and Vegetable Soup. Full of flavour and simple to put together. It’s likely you have these ingredients at home already.

We hope you found some inspiration in this collection of midweek meal ideas. 

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