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Dinner ideas that won't spoil
if eaten hours apart.


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#1 More than a Mother

Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:19 AM

We generally eat dinner at 6pm. Hubby is now working longer days, meaning it'll be 7pm before he can eat dinner.

7pm is too late for DS to eat, so I thought DS and I would eat at 5.30ish. I can then go and exercise when hubby gets home.

I don't want to start cooking two meals when I get home from work, so what are your suggestions for meals that will either keep from 5.30 to 7, or will require minimal additions to be ready for 7pm? Should I par boil veg and then finish when we're each due to eat?

Anything requiring too much effort will result in hubby not bothering with a proper meal and eating rubbish instead.

We don't have a microwave.

#2 laridae

Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:26 AM

Whatever you cook for 5:30 will be cold by 7.  Is you DH ok with eating cold food?

Maybe get a microwave?  Or you could leave food in the oven on low to keep it warm.  Or get a slowcooker and leave that on.

#3 CharliMarley

Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:30 AM

You really do need a microwave, or you are going to be in a mess. sad.gif

#4 MrsLexiK

Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:30 AM

I was going to say nuk it.  Other then that just reheat in the oven.  Also do you have a slow cooker? serve your portion up and ensure it is switched to low and you are good to go.

#5 lucy12345

Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:36 AM

Stirfry is a good standby only takes a few minutes to cook up. I prep everything and leave it in the fridge so it is still fresh when cooked at a later time.
Salad and meat is another good one, as it only takes a little while to cook things like sausages, chicken steaks, kebabs, grilled fish etc.
things like lasanga and stew can just be put back in the oven 30 minutes before it is due to be served.
Id would also invest in some foil take away containers you can freeze and pull out to defrost in the morning then whack in the oven.
Have you checked gumtree for a secondhand microwave?

#6 halcyondays

Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:39 AM

I'll be watching this thread with interest- I haven't found a fool proof way and have been having staggered dinner times for 5 years now! Does my head in sometimes.
DH gets to eat left overs most of the time, which is OK when it is pasta or stews. But reheated steak or roasts aren't much fun, same with fritata, pizzas, stir fries.

So far we do pasta occasionally (no one except DS aged 5 likes pasta), stews and curries, stir fry noodles, fried rice. I nuke in microwave for DH.

I often change the order though, and cook for DH and myself at 7.30 or 8pm dinner, and the kids eat the left overs the next day. This works well when kids are going through fussy phases and aren't eating much of my lovingly prepared meals anyway. Works well with pumpkin/roast veg dishes, pies, pasta sauces, cous cous, risotto.



#7 MrsLexiK

Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:50 AM

I reread your post OP, I wouldn't be going out of my way to make something for DH so he didn't eat rubbish.  He is a big boy. It is not hard to cook some meat and chuck some veggies in a pot and steam them, if he doesn't want to do this he can eat the rubbish.  (And this is coming from someone who does all the meal planning, at present we have changed our roles up and I am probably doing 90% of the cooking as well. )

#8 PrincessPeach

Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:58 AM

Invest in a microwave.

Things like casseroles & spaghetti in sauces & even stir-fry reheat in as little as 3 minutes (for a single serve) - nice & easy.

And if you are doing the nice & easy meat & veggies - I'd do the prep work when you do your own meal & leave his portions aside.

Get the veggies into the microwave when you know he is on his way home & then the meat can grill off nice & quick.

I steam my root veggies in about 10 minutes in the microwave - things like broccoli & snow peas take 2 minutes. Frozen veggies take between 3 & 4 (depending on how much is in there).

#9 Feral timtam

Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:14 AM

I do roasts, casseroles, pasta dishes and risotto in the slow cooker and just flick it over to the "Keep Warm" function to keep it warm for DH.

Alternatively it's grilled meat and salads. We're currently without a microwave, I 'fried' our microwave last week.  Microwaves rarely last longer than 6 months in our house so this one did pretty well.

#10 SnazzyFeral

Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:17 AM

QUOTE (MrsLexiK @ 05/02/2013, 11:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I reread your post OP, I wouldn't be going out of my way to make something for DH so he didn't eat rubbish.  He is a big boy. It is not hard to cook some meat and chuck some veggies in a pot and steam them, if he doesn't want to do this he can eat the rubbish.  (And this is coming from someone who does all the meal planning, at present we have changed our roles up and I am probably doing 90% of the cooking as well. )


It is ok for partners to acknowledge each other’s failings and help them. I forget to eat when I have a big essay due and DP makes me a packed lunch in the morning so that I don’t eat crap. I see that as evidence of a loving and respectful relationship. I also don’t think that it is an issue for the OP to cook for the family rather than just herself and child that is normal in most families surely? She is looking for meals that keep for an hour not suggesting cooking two different meals.



#11 GreenEgg

Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:25 AM

Can you purchase a microwave?  They are less than $50 at kmart?

Otherwise stews, grilled meat and steamed vegetables where the preparation can be done earlier and the cooked quickly.

#12 dolcengabbana

Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:35 AM

Pasta sauces then your only cooking the pasta for the serves required and takes minimal effort to boil water cook pasta and serve a second sitting later for your DH.

I find that stirfries with rice or noodle are easy espicially if you have a rice cooker to keep warm.

Slow cooker meals or casseroles, curries one pot meals that are just reheated stove top or oven.

Salad and bbq meat are great for us the nights sports have us eating from 5-7pm huge salad made and just grilling chicken steak or sausages quickly keep kid and DH happy at home.

Tonight we have 6 people and a meeting at 5 and DS sport til 7 I am cooking a roast chicken roll from Leonards veg and greens they will keep in oven on warm i put a little dish with water in there so the meal doesn't dry out too much.

#13 MrsLexiK

Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:35 AM

QUOTE (SnazzySass @ 05/02/2013, 12:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It is ok for partners to acknowledge each other’s failings and help them. I forget to eat when I have a big essay due and DP makes me a packed lunch in the morning so that I don’t eat crap. I see that as evidence of a loving and respectful relationship. I also don’t think that it is an issue for the OP to cook for the family rather than just herself and child that is normal in most families surely? She is looking for meals that keep for an hour not suggesting cooking two different meals.


I do agree with you, I cook/make my DH breakfast alot because he won't eat otherwise.  But I am doing it right then and there whilst I make my own, putting 3 eggs in the pain instead of 1 isn't an issue.  Essentially cooking 2 meals (even if it is the same meal) because her DH will be home later every night when she gets home from work because he would eat rubbish I was suggesting maybe he try and cook his own dinner.  It seemed the fact the OP was talking about part steaming some veg already he wouldn't/couldn't be bothered/able to steam his own veg from the get go.  She doesn't have a microwave so reheating is going to be a problem as not everything reheats in the oven great and also takes a lot of time.

#14 Funky Cold Ribena

Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:37 AM

We have the same problem in our house in that DP isn't home till 7-7.30pm.
The summer, we eat lots of salads and DP will grill up his fish or meat when he wants to eat. That's pretty easy.
In winter, I use the slow cooker for stews, soups and curries, they'll keep well on a low heat. If I do jacket potatoes, I wrap his up and put it in the bottom of the cooling down oven but rice, you do need a microwave to warm it up. A serve of cous cous is quick and easy though.

I agree with pp, you may well need to invest in a microwave just to make life easier for yourselves.

#15 jks91

Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:37 AM

Honestly I would just buy a microwave.  Couldn't survive without mine!

#16 More than a Mother

Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:04 PM

Thanks for the suggestions.

We're luddites when it comes to microwaves - whenever I've used one at work, the food always tastes odd, so we've never wanted one at home.

Am I just doing it wrong?

And hubby isn't lazy - he cooks on his days off. It's just whoever is home first cooks, which on the 4 days he works, is me.

#17 Crap Napper

Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:18 PM

We never cook anything in the microwave, I agree, it's not a nice change from "normal" cooking. But, we do use ours for reheating, and provided the food tasted normal in the first place, it reheats just fine.

If he is ok with cold food in summer, other ideas are chicken or beef salads, quiche, zucchini slice... In winter, soups and casseroles are lots more forgiving of long, slow cooking.

#18 ComradeBob

Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:31 PM

I don't cook in the microwave either, but it's great for reheating things without them going dry. Other things we do are setting aside a portion of salad and salad dressing so that DH only has to mix it when he gets home, leaving DH's chicken/meat/burger pattie to be grilled/bbq'd when he gets home dishes like pasta salad that don't need to be reheated.

#19 Wahwah

Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:45 PM

All our meals have to be staggered-serving friendly. The kids eat at 6, I eat at 7.30, and DH eats anywhere between 7.30-10 depending on when he gets home from work.

I rarely use the microwave other than defrosting. Do use the rice cooker and occasionally the slow cooker

Our regular meals are:
- Roast vegetable salad with chickpeas, feta and grilled lamb (nice cold or hot)
- Chicken salad or roast chicken with salad
- Cous cous salad with some kind of meat
- Frittata or quiche
- Lasagne
- Casseroles and curries
- Stir fry
- Cold asian noodle salads
- Pie
- Wraps

Pretty much all the salads are a grain base or vegetable with a bit of baby spinach. Or coleslaw type salad which is fine if not eaten immediately. I rarely do a green salad with regular lettuce to avoid it going soggy.

Anything that can be left on the stove top in a pot or wok is easy enough to heat up. Grilled and roast meat is yummy cold.

#20 Ice Queen

Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:46 PM

I use the slow cooker for what you talking about.  I make dinner at lunchtime, put it in slowcooker and then dinner can be eaten by whoever at whatever time.  You could make your mash potato, use your portion and leave it in the non stick saucepan for it to be reheated on the stove an hour later.

Make a big salad, dont dress it and leave his portion.  Leave out dirty fry pan and just cook his meat when he gets home or he could do this while he has his winddown glass of wine.  Actually i would use it as a great excuse to palm off the kids to him while you 'cook' his dinner.......'stand in kitchen on your own with glass of wine while staring at cooking sausage'.

Pasta - i just boil everyones pasta and make the sauce as normal.  Mix the sauce and pasta for his portion, leave on the stove in non stick saucepan (say the one you used to make sauce) then just reheat on the stove when he gets home.  Yes, it wont be perfect but my dH is usually so hungry and tired he doesn't care.  Works best with tomato sauce or bolognaise.  Would be a but gross and dry with carbonara.

Fried rice or noodle type dish I would leave his portion in saucepan/wok and reheat when he gets home.

Soup with crusty bread.  A nice filling one like lentil and bacon is good.  Or minestrone

You are not going to kill anyone by reheating food an hour after cooking it.  Take it up to temperature and heat through.  Just dont wash the pans until he has had his so no extra work.  I have a microwave but I wouldnt really use it for the purpose you are talking about, I agree food tastes yuk.  
.

#21 bluedragon

Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:46 PM

You don't need a microwave, we've never had one and nerver had any trouble reheating on the stove or in th oven. To reheat rice (wether from the friged or just an hour or so later) out the rice in a saucepan with enough water to cover the bottom. Once the water is just about boiling, give it a good stir then turn the heat off and put a lid on to keep the steam in for a while, only takes a few mins.

OP I'd put some salad aside for him in the fridge and then do things like pasta (reheat sauce and pasta all together, super easy) curries kept warm in a very low oven, soup, homemade pie or pastie.

#22 Funnington

Posted 05 February 2013 - 04:42 PM

This happens at our place on a regular basis.  We both work full-time so we're lucky if dinner is served before 6.300- 7.00 pm.  My husband, daughter and son will eat at this time and I would prefer to eat when everything's done (reader's, washing, cleaning up, getting school bag etc. organised for the following day).  

I just cling wrap my meal and heat on 70% heat in the microwave.  It turns out fine and tastes exactly the same as if were just cooked (even things like roasts with crispy potatoes - they're still crunchy a couple of hours later).  

Back in the 'olden days' rolleyes.gif , I remember my Mum putting my Dad's dinner covered in tin foil on the top of a pot of simmering water on the stove (no microwaves then).  So, you could try that - I never have so not sure whether it's affective or not.

#23 mumto3princesses

Posted 05 February 2013 - 05:48 PM

I couldn't survive without our microwave. DH gets home 7:30pm most days and my girls have 2 days per week with after school activities where they don't get home until very late.

One day will be a cold dinner. Like a chicken rice salad or something and the other will be cold sausages or snitzel with a cold pasta salad. Other days are either a slow cooked meal or DH will heat his up.

I would absolutely invest in a microwave. I don't cook anything in the microwave, just re-heat things or defrost and reheat.

#24 katrina24

Posted 05 February 2013 - 06:01 PM

It would definitely be easier with a microwave.  For DH, if it's something that reheats well we just microwave his portion (from fridge) when he gets home.  If it's meat and veg/salad I just put his meat in the fridge and it gets cooked when he comes home.  His veges get nuked then or the plate of salad comes out of the fridge. Quiche reheats OK but for pizza I just make home a separate one and put in the oven when he gets home. If I'm having a very busy or lazy day he just has to nuke whatever we had or be happy making himself toasties or noodles.

#25 FeralFemboside

Posted 05 February 2013 - 06:04 PM

QUOTE (ssorrrento @ 05/02/2013, 12:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We're luddites when it comes to microwaves - whenever I've used one at work, the food always tastes odd, so we've never wanted one at home.

Am I just doing it wrong?


Without wanting to imply bad things about your coworkers, a workplace microwave is usually pretty gross, people don't clean up spills as they happen, and as a result they stink. I suspect your lunch is being tainted by the smell of other people's food.




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