Kitchen Calling – Simple Cooking recipes for the Young Mum

New mums don’t have it easy. Imagine juggling a crying baby who needs 100% of your attention while trying to sort out a house that suddenly looks so messy. You’re sure there must be a goblin hiding somewhere whose sole purpose is to come out at night and turn everything topsy turvy. The last thing you want to worry about it what to cook! You’ve not even stepped into the shower, how on Earth are you going to come up with a great meal?

Don’t worry, young mums – here are a few simple dishes that are easy to whip up so you don’t have to get stressed out about cooking. If you’d like, you can pass these on to your loved ones so they can follow the basics to come up with dishes that will wow everyone, without taking a lot out of your time.

  • Lasagna: This is an easy option that doesn’t take up a lot of time, and if you’re worried about eating healthy, this dish had plenty of greens and veggies to ensure that your meal is balanced – like spinach, carrots and onion. This recipe uses only one pan – no layering so you don’t have to waste time getting those layers in correct.
Portion of traditional durum wheat lasagne with bolognaise sauce, beef mince and cheese in alternating layers on a white plate
Portion of traditional durum wheat lasagne with bolognaise sauce, beef mince and cheese in alternating layers on a white plate
  • Set the oven to 400°F and let it heat
  • Heat oil in a skillet, add beef and stir until browned for 5 – 7 minutes
  • Throw in tomatoes, carrots, onion and garlic in a food processor until coarsely ground
  • Pour out any oil residue from the pan and add the tomato mixture, stock, spinach and ricotta
  • Bury the noodles in the sauce, and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the dish
  • Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese has bubbled and melted and serve warm.


  • Gumbo: The Cajun flavors will make your mouth water, and this dish will leave you time to play with your young one or take that long deserved nap. All you need is a slow cooker. Add drained beans, canned tomatoes, frozen stir fry veggies, okra and Cajun seasoning and let it simmer on the stove for 6-8 hours or on high heat setting for 3 hours. Leave it, forget about it, and the dish will be ready before you know it! It just takes less than 5 minutes!


  • Fried Rice: You can make this into a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian dish depending upon your choice. If you have a batch of rice which is already cooked would speed up the process.
  • Crumble rice so it does not stick in clumps
  • Heat oil in a wok
  • Throw in some frozen veggies
  • After they have cooked for 2 minutes or so, throw in the rice
  • Add salt, pepper to taste
  • Add mixture of stock and soy sauce
  • If you want add a few pieces of chicken that would have to be pre-cooked or pre-boiled



  • Chicken Tacos: You don’t have time for that much needed vacation South of the border? Well, not to worry, this easy to whip up dish will make you think you’re there. Just heat up your leftover chicken with beans, grilled peppers and onion and serve with tacos and cheese to make a mouthwatering dish that doesn’t occupy your precious time.


  • Pizza: There is nothing like homemade pizza. Just use store bought pizza bases and top it over with pasta sauce, some veggies – like peppers, onions and mushrooms. Add chicken or beef mince for meat (it takes only less than ten minutes to brown). Sprinkle cheese over the top. Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is golden. Your dish is ready to serve. Just sprinkle some Italian seasoning or oregano over for a final touch and you’re ready to dig in!
A friend of mine gave me a few tips on how to manage my kids and cooking. You see in the long run, what you remember are the memories you make. You won’t remember the tiredness, or the sleepless hours, but you’ll remember tiny hands and young helpers that make your life easier in the kitchen.

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