Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Do you cook the same meals week in and week out?

I heard about an interesting food survey today. It suggested that most Mums (no mention of Dads I'm afraid) end up cooking the same meals for their families on a regular basis. In fact it goes as far to say that most Mums rely on just 9 different meals which they serve up time and time again.

I know that it's definitely true for me, because like most people I'm a) often in a hurry and sometimes need a quick meal solution; b) I have two fussy eaters to cater for and I try to avoid making different meals for everyone; and c) if I try new meals on my two girls they usually turn their noses up at it - "what's that? Can't we have a Maccy D?"

According to the survey, carried out by Merchant Gourmet, the most popular meals cooked on a regular basis are:

1. Spaghetti Bolognese
2. Roast dinner
3. Shepherds Pie/Cottage Pie
4. Pasta dish
5. Meat and two veg
6. Pizza
7. Casserole/stew
8. Sausages and chips/mash
9. Indian/Curry

My list looks slightly different, and these would ony normally be cooked in autumn/winter:

1. Scouse - I use my Mum's recipe and it cheap, healthy and the girls love it.  Yum!
2. Nearly Cottage Pie - The Teenager likes a lot of mash and just a bit of the mince, the Tall Daughter likes a lot of mince and just a bit of mash (did I mention they are fussy?)  so instead of cooking it in the oven, I just dish it up out of the pans and call it this.
3. Tuna Pasta - quick and a favourite with all of us.
4. Pizza
5. Chicken Kiev, jacket potato and veg
6. Spaghetti bolognese
7. Homemade soups - current favourites are tomato and red pepper; leek and potato; bean soup; vegetable mulligatawny.
8. Fish cakes and chips -  cooked straight from the freezer
9. Lasagne

In really desperate measures I will even take the girls to the McDonald's drive-thru and where they can get their junk food fix - but I do this reluctantly and only when time is really at a premium, or we are on route back from somewhere and I haven't got the energy to cook a meal. 

I occasionally cook different things but only if I know they are dead certs to be eaten. New recipes with unusual ingredients don't get a look in I'm afraid, nor do recipes that start with an instruction such as 'peel and chop 6 tomatoes'.....forget it!

Is this survey right?  Do you rely on the same meals for your family, or are you an adventurous lot and think nothing of rustling up a banquet every night?  Do tell...


Weston-super-Mum? said...

Most definitely and I'm aware of it every time I food shop but still never buy anything different.
Mine are
Spag bol
Chilli con carne
Tuna pasta
Curry (fish or lamb mince)
Home-made burgers
Fish Pie
Sausages or fishfinger with mash and beans
Corned beef hash
Pancakes with fruit and choc spread
as a treat. Or with cheese and ham

When she's had a decent lunch or I really, really can't be bothered, porridge with lots of seeds and dried fruit

I must try your scouse though, do you know I don't think I've EVER had it?

Happy to have found you :0)

Dan said...

Scouse? Isn't that cannibalism??

We cook three meals at our house. and one of those is "ice cream, and don't tell your mum".

notSupermum said...

Weston Super Mum - welcome! Your list has some similar dishes to mine - we also have sausage and mash quite often. Try the scouse recipe, ignore Dan's comment (!) it's delicious and so easy to make.

Dan - ha bloody ha!

Anonymous said...

pop over to our new food blog www.foodforus.wordpress.com and you will see what we eat - on Sundays anyway! We don't exactly have the same stuff week in week out but we definitely go through 'phases'!!

Anonymous said...

My husband does all the meal planning and food shopping for us, and the nanny does all the cooking for the children. That said, we absolutely fit with the survey results and pretty much eat the same meals, with the odd variation.

Anonymous said...

Our list is even shorter than that. It should be longer of course and it's something I'm working on with my daughter. This post is a great reminder to keep going.

Imogen Lamport, AICI CIP said...

Yes I cook the same things over and over most of the time.

Tends to be meat of some sort plus salad frequently.

After that it changes

Diney said...

I think of myself as a good cook but, looking at the list, I churn out the same things time and again. Good to know I'm not the only one!

BNM said...

See we just feed them what they want to eat:

Macaroni Cheese
Spaghetti Bol
Meat Balls and Spaghetti (new recipe using sausages!)
Tuna Pasta
Pesto pasta when nothing else in!
Roast Dinner (Sundays)
some kinda fish
Home Made Nuggets

Meals always seem to have mashed potato (cheesy mash) or broccoli with as girls love it!

I tried being creative in October and having a month plan but it was just the same old stuff recycled.

And when you do cook something new, they most times turn their noses up at it.


notSupermum said...

ourprivateblog - thanks, will do that. I suppose we also have phases, but generally end up with the same ones again.

MTJAM - could I borrow your nanny? It's the boring meals for my fussy children that get on my nerves.

Rosie, I think we all tend to go with what works - I'm the same as you, I keep thinking I should include more variety but then they won't eat it!

Imogen, we don't eat a lot of meat -not for ethical reasons, but because the Teenager doesn't like the taste of most meats. And she doesn't like fish either.

Diney - thanks for visiting and commenting. I used to think of myself as a good cook (pre-children and fussy ex) and occasionally I can still cook something nice for visitors, but it's the routine meals that bore me rigid.

Tessa - 'some sort of chicken' - can you send me the recipe for that :-)

BNM - thanks for visiting! Why do kids love pasta so much? And what did people cook before pasta? And I know exactly what you mean about them turning their noses up a new dishes!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Having fussy eaters is the killer. I'm trying to expand their reportoire, but there is a fine line between being adventurous and having me throw the lovingly cooked food across the room in frustration as no one even tries a tiny morsel of the ever so slightly differently cooked chicken.

That looks like my list pretty much although no sausages here (grrrr).

notSupermum said...

Brit/Fraught - know what you mean, I hate throwing food out because they won't try something new. Although now we have a dog she usually eats the leftovers...

No sausages in Bosnia? Isn't that a crime?

La Belette Rouge said...

Lately I haven't been cooking a lot. Lots of salads, soups, Lean Cuisines and dinner out. Sometimes I miss having a real meal but at this phase of my life something has to give and for now it is food.

Amy said...

here's my list

spag bog
homemade pizza
beef stew
steak pie
chicken pie
cheese and bacon pasta bake
fish finger sandwiches
beans/spaghetti/eggs on toast
chicken soup
lamb hot pot
sausages beans and mash

sometimes the odd chicken dipper creeps in there :) xxx

notSupermum said...

La Belette, nice to see you around here again...although it sounds like you're not on top form. You really need to look after yourself x

Amy...fish finger butties, a very guilty pleasure! Yum.

Emma @ Notsuchayummymummy said...

That's so true for us! I've made a real effort the last few weeks to make some new dishes so I now rotate between
macaroni cheese
curry (from a jar, I'm not a great cook)
Tatty hash
spag bol
chicken in a sauce
sausage & potato casserole
lamb hotpot

Trust me, that's virtually restaurant food compared with the frozen stuff & crappy 'fresh' pasta I used to cook. I find cooking therapeutic, I just wish I had more time to do it!