In this article, I’m going to give you some easy dinner recipes for the family that everyone will enjoy. If like me you find cooking evening meals a bit of a chore, especially after a busy day at work, then my quick and easy recipes for dads are a perfect solution for you!
What Makes a Dad-Proven Recipe “Special”
Personally, I’m not a big fan of spending hours in the kitchen preparing dinner. When I’m looking for new recipes, I try to make sure that they fulfill the following dad-friendly criteria:
- must be healthy
- should be loved by kids and adults alike
- must be prepared in less than 30 minutes (worst case: 1 hour)
- should not require more than two (worst case: three) bowls/pans/pots (I hate cleaning them afterward)
- preparation must not mess up the entire kitchen (I’m good at that part but I’m terrible at cleaning it afterward)
Shrimp Curry with Noodles
This is an ideal kids introduction to mild curry flavors, with an oriental influence. It’s super-fast to make too.
Preparation 15 minutes, cooking 10 minutes, ready in 25 minutes.
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons of white sugar
- 3 tablespoons of peanut oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of mild curry powder
- 1 garlic clove grated
- A thumb-size piece of fresh root ginger grated
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 4 scallions (green onions), chopped into ½ inch pieces
- 12 ounces of fresh cooked and shelled cocktail shrimp (frozen ones are fine to use too)
- 1 1/2 cups frozen baby peas
- 12 ounces of dried rice noodles
- Soak the rice noodles in warm water for 15 minutes to soften.
- In a bowl, combine chicken stock, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium to high heat.
- Add the curry powder, garlic, and ginger to the skillet and stir-fry for 10 seconds.
- Next add the peppers, onions, and scallions to the skillet and stir-fry them for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and gently pour the chicken stock mixture in. Replace on the heat and bring to a boil.
- Add the shrimp and peas, cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the noodles and cook for a further 2 minutes or until the dish is thoroughly heated thoroughly.
- Serve immediately in bowls.
Lemon Chicken Rice Bowl
This is a delicious lemony chicken treat that leaves you feeling full and satisfied. If you want you can add other vegs to the rice mixture such as stir-fried bell peppers, peas, or sweetcorn.
Preparation 10 minutes, cooking 20 minutes, ready in 30 minutes.
- 1 cup of basmati (or easy cook) rice
- 5 tablespoons of sunflower oil
- 2 cups reduced-salt chicken stock or broth, warm
- 10 ounces of fresh broccoli florets
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 2 pounds chicken breast, skinned and boned, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- ½ cup scallions (green onions), chopped
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Put 2 tablespoons of the oil into the bottom of a steamer pan and turn to medium-high heat.
- Add the rice to the pan and stir thoroughly, coating the rice with oil, cook for 1 minute.
- Remove the pan from the heat and gently add the warm chicken stock (cold stock will cause the pan to spit).
- Replace the pan on the heat and bring to a boil, stirring continually with a wooden spoon.
- Turn down the heat to low, add a steamer section to the pan and put in the broccoli florets, cover and cook for 10 to 12 minutes until broccoli is cooked and the rice is tender. Carefully check the rice a few times while cooking to ensure it isn’t sticking. Drain any excess liquid and put the pan to one side.
- Heat remaining oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; add the onions, scallions, and garlic powder and cook, stirring regularly until soft and translucent. Using a slotted spoon scoop them all out and add them to the rice.
- In the same skillet, sauté the chicken for 5 to 7 minutes until completely brown all over.
- Spoon the rice and onion mixture into the skillet with the chicken and cook gently for around 3 minutes.
- Add the broccoli to the rice mixture and add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir thoroughly.
- Serve immediately in bowls, topped with Parmesan cheese.
Chicken and Mushroom Pot
This is a hearty dish perfect to bring comfort to all the family. It can be served with rice, or potatoes and veg of your choice. To reduce washing up and retain the vitamins in the veg, try using a stacking steamer saucepan.
Preparation 15 minutes, cooking 30 minutes, ready in 45 minutes.
- 1 cup of chicken broth or stock
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 garlic clove, crushed or grated
- 4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 cups of fresh mushrooms, sliced
- Combine the broth/stock with the tomato paste, ground black pepper, oregano, and garlic in a medium-size pan. Mix well and set aside.
- Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl and coat the chicken well.
- In a large skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the chicken until lightly browned all over, turning regularly.
- Add the broth mixture and the mushrooms to the skillet and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce the heat to low, put on a lid and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
- Remove chicken, wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm, and set it aside.
- Bring the broth mixture back to a boil stir continually and cook for 4 minutes, or until reduced to the desired thickness.
- Plate up the chicken, pour over the sauce, and serve immediately.
It can be tempting to turn to ready meals or takeout for an easy life. But these are often high in fat, salt, sugar, preservatives, and other chemicals that are not good for health or the waistline. If possible, try thinking ahead and spend a little time working out weekly meal plans. There are 1000’s of easy, quick, and simple recipes available both online and in many publications. Not only will your body thank you, but your wallet too, as you only need to buy the ingredients you’re going to be using.
Also, look at one-pot meals and those that freeze well. If you make food in batches and store it in the freezer, you’ll always have delicious homemade food available when you need a day off of cooking.
Don’t forget that the kids love helping and getting involved too!
Happy cooking and even happier eating! If you enjoyed my “dad-simple” meals or you would like to add your favorite on, please share it with us in the comment section below. I’m looking forward to reading from you and adding your suggestions!
P.S.: Did you ever ask yourself how to put an end to all those exhausting power struggles that can stand between our kids and us as moms or dads? If so, then make sure to read my FULL REVIEW of “Positive Parenting Solutions” HERE. You won’t regret it! I promise!!!