Time poor parents – this one is for you! 7 great ideas to add to your mid-week meal repertoire!

5 min noodles

My 5 Minute Tahini and Beef Noodles are easy to also serve deconstructed. You can make these with spiralised zucchini (Zoodles) along with some soba noodles for a speedy dinner prep. They both just need some boiling water added to them in a side bowl. The tahini stir-fry sauce is made from pantry items: tahini, maple syrup and soy sauce.  You could easily substitute the tahini with another nut or seed butter. To spice it up, I put out a bottle of sriracha sauce for self-service. 

Beef and Tahini Zoodles by Play with Food

My 5 minutes Beef and Tahini Noodles

Construct your own bowl

Good Food Week’s Spiced Chicken and Quinoa Bowl is great for fostering a sense of independence and offering a rainbow of colourful options. Hint: if you make the quinoa ahead of time this recipe could be done in under 10 mins!

7 family friendly meals in under 20 mins

Spiced Chicken and Quinoa Bowls by Good Food Week 


My Simple Fish Soup is a great one for spreading out a single fillet of fish across 2 – 3 portions. I love serving this with some flat breads, sour dough or some of these ideas to encourage kids to enjoy more soup.


Chicken, Broccoli and Almond Stir-Fry with Rice Noodles uses our “go to” sauce again; tahini (or peanut butter), soy sauce and maple syrup. I just wanted to include it again here to show the versatility that using the same sauce has across different proteins and vegetables. Having a “go to” sauce is convenient, cost-effective and the added advantage of knowing what exactly goes into it.


Chicken (or Ham off the Bone), Pineapple, Capsicum and Cheese skewers with a salad of your choice or baked sweet potato circles. This is a simple meal that the whole family can construct and eat at the table together. Sweet potato sliced into thin rounds, doused in olive oil and sea salt flakes takes between 15 – 20 minutes to bake in the oven. Cook through some diced chicken and lay all the ingredients out on the table for self-assembly. My article on why skewers have this amazing lure for kids also includes more skewer recipe inspiration too.


Choosing a restaurant fave and making it at home can be easy, like these crumb free chicken parmigiana’s. They are pushing the 20 minute mark to make though (maybe more if you have some witching hour distractions.) Serve them with some crusty bread and salad to make it easy on you too.  The kids love getting involved in this recipe!

Travel Inspiration

There is nothing like a mid-week meal to pretend you are on vacation (just for a moment). This recipe Vietnamese inspired chicken and noodles is easy and versatile.

Vietnamese Style Chicken Soup

Course: DinnerDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 2-3 deboned chicken thighs

  • 1 tbsp oil (peanut, rice bran or olive oil)

  • 1 clove chopped garlic

  • 1 packet of vermicelli noodles

  • 500ml low sodium chicken stock

  • 1/2 tsp white pepper

  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander

  • 2 carrots

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 2 sprigs of fresh coriander


  • Brown the chicken in oil within a large pan that fits a lid. Once brown on both sides, add garlic, ginger, white pepper and ground coriander
  • Cover with chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, peel the carrots into strips to make thick noodles (or you can use a spiraliser).
  • Once the chicken is cooked through, shred it with two forks. Add the carrots, peas, noodles and fresh coriander and replace the lid. Add a touch more water if it is drying out. Stir every now and then for 2-3 minutes until the peas are warmed through and the noodles are cooked.
  • Serve from the middle of the table.
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