For me, when it comes to cooking, sometimes getting the idea is half the battle. I have six hungry kids and want to get something good into them quickly. Here are some easy supper ideas to spark your imagination:


Spaghetti and Meat Sauce: Classic, and everybody likes it.  Brown up some hamburger and add in a chopped onion and maybe some celery or mushrooms.  Mix in your favourite jar of sauce and it’s ready before the noodles are cooked.


Meatballs and Rice:  Pop some ground beef into a bowl with an egg, some ketchup or bbq sauce and some garlic powder.  Use your (or your kid’s) hands to mix it up and make Timbit sized balls.  Put them in the oven and they’ll be ready when the rice comes out of the microwave.


Pot roast and potatoes: Heat up a pot and sear your roast on each side.  Season it with some steak spice and turn the burner down to low. Throw some chopped onion on top and stick some potatoes arounds the sides.  Add half a cup of water, put the lid on and go about your afternoon, looking forward to a nice supper.


BBQ steak: Enjoy that nice weather and grill those steaks to your liking. Pair it with a salad and you’re set. Try some kebabs for a change.


Beef Barley Soup: Chop up some leftover roast beef, and sauté it with chopped onion, celery and carrots.  Add some beef soup base and water, then a handful of pearl barley.


Beef Fajitas: Cut some steak in to strips and sauté it with some lime juice, fajita seasoning, bell peppers and onions.  Serve in tortillas with grated cheese, shredded lettuce salsa and sour cream.


Shepard’s Pie: Brown some ground beef with a packet of shepard’s pie seasoning.  Add some frozen peas and carrots to warm them up before transferring to a casserole dish.  Layer some mashed potatoes on top, sprinkle with paprika and bake until ready.


Hot Beef Sandwich: Warm up some leftover gravy or au jus in a pan and bathe the slices of roast beef in to warm them up.  Serve on a soft open face bun.


Hamburgers: These are great bbq’d, but try them on the George Foreman grill if the weather is poor.  Mix it up with cheddar cheese, hot pickles and tomatoes, or try bacon and mozzarella with mushrooms.


Beef Taco Salad: Just brown some ground beef and add some taco spice.  Serve on a bed of lettuce with grated cheese, salsa and a couple of corn chips.


Meatloaf: Easy as the meatballs: ground beef plus egg, chopped onion, bbq sauce, salt and pepper.  Arrange in a loaf pan and bake.  Have it with mashed potatoes or rice.  Use a tomato or mushroom sauce.


Liver and onions: Honestly, I have never made this.  I think we would have leftovers for 10 years if I tried.  But if you like it, we can supply it.


Hamburger Soup: Brown the hamburger with some onions and add in some beef soup base.  Toss in some chopped carrots and celery, a can of tomatoes and some cubed potatoes.  Add the water and let it simmer.


Beef Stirfry: Cut some steak into thin strips and saute with your favourite vegetables like cabbage, mushrooms, peppers and carrots.  The more colours the better.  Add in a bottle of Asian sauce like Pad Thai or Kung Pao or Ginger Sesame.  Enjoy over rice, noodles or quinoa.


Chili: I always keep some cans on hand because this goes together in a heartbeat.  Brown the hamburger, add some onion and celery.  Pop in a packet or 2 of chili seasoning, then plop in some canned diced tomatoes, kidney beans, bean medley and/or chickpeas.  How about corn or mushrooms to jazz it up? So good on a cold night.


Beef noodle bowl: Saute some strips of roast beef or steak until cooked, then stir in some carrots, celery, snap peas and bok choy.  I think cutting vegetables on an angle makes it more authentic, or at least look better.  In the mean time, make some broth with green onions and soup base.  Add some rice noodles to the soup, then portion into bowls, topping with the meat and vegetables.


Stew: If I have time I like to brown everything and do it properly, but I have also been known to throw stew meat, potatoes, carrots, peas, onions, maybe some canned tomatoes and seasoning into the crockpot and walk away until suppertime.  The kids only tell me I’m a great chef when we have Hamburger Helper anyways.