the great big meal plan / no. 3

cookbooks

81/365 ~ so what's for dinner tonight

Sometimes it’s good not to reinvent the wheel when it comes to meal planning every week.

I often fall into the trap of trying new things, flipping through the array of magazines and finding new recipes and filling the week with those.

But this week, we’ve gone back to some basics and some old favourites to pepper the weeknight menu to keep little tummies hungry.

Pearl Cous cous "risotto"

Last week was another success in that we used everything up and, for the most part, it was well received. The pearl cous cous [above] was the loser for the week ~ not quite garnering the praise I thought it would. Although I thought it was quite tasty.

It’s great to be able to keep a list of plans here for easy referral in the weeks ahead and I encourage anyone to do the same ~ not necessarily on a blog but in a folder on your computer or wherever, even Instagram works well for finding meals! When you’re stuck for an idea it’s then easy to go back and find ideas that worked.

On to this week:

Monday: Chicken stir-fry with noodles ~ the Mr makes this up out of his head and always does  a bang-up job. Everyone loves noodles and it’s a great way to get some veggies into the smalls at the start of the week!

Tuesday: Tacos and nachos ~ the two are often confused in our house for the other but a 12-pack of shells doesn’t go far with two hungry boys [and 24 is too many] so some nachos on the side makes it go a little further. This week it will be vegetarian fare with some spicy beans in the slow cooker making it easy to prepare that evening.

Wednesday: This is our free afternoon of the week so there’s a little more time to prepare dinner without the rush of taxiing children around. On the menu is Planning Queen’s Mexibake. This is a delicious and hearty meal loved by the whole family here. If you haven’t tried it yet get on it!

Thursday: This will be a follow-up chicken dish ~ perhaps some schnitzels or burgers. We will be winging it with the leftovers.

Friday: I like to keep this open as the youngest has a late soccer training session which means a later than normal dinner. So we will see how we feel come the end of the week.

Planning Queen also has some great meal planning resources here if you want more ideas and benefits of being organised.

Bon appetit.

 

 

the great big meal plan // no. 2

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Leftover lasagne for lunch today. #delish

Last week’s meal plan was a huge success, although sadly it yielded few leftovers for lunch.

We swapped Tuesday night’s chicken out for a chicken stir-fry, easy to do with a mix of fresh and frozen veggies and some pantry staples.

The Mr made a delicious homemade lasagne for Friday night which kept us going through the weekend as well.

Thanks @whatkatieate for the dinner inspiration. Steak with lemon, caper & dill butter, potato and sweet potato crisps, and beetroot and blue cheese salad. #vscocam

On Saturday night I tied on the apron and made steaks with lemon, dill and caper butter, salt and vinegar potato and kumera crisps and a beetroot, blue cheese and walnut salad [pictured]. The recipes were by Katie Quinn Davies out of the February issue of delicious magazine and were exactly that, delicious! The perfect weekend meal with a glass of red and a more simple salad for the smalls.

Beetroot crostini with goats cheese to start Sunday night dinner. The Mr's specialty. #vscocam   Main course Camembert and Brussels sprouts quiche for us, ham and cheese for the smalls. With salad. #nom #delish

Last night we had the Mr’s speciality, beetroot crostini with goats cheese using up the leftover beetroot and then I made savoury tarts ~ a brussel sprout one from delicious magazine for us and ham and cheese for the smalls ~ paired with the leftover salads. This also gives us some fodder for lunches this week.

And coming up this week:

Monday: Hitting taste magazine a couple of times this week. First-up for meat-free Monday is roast vegetable and white bean enchiladas. The great part about this recipe is using up some leftover veggies in the crisper.

Tuesday: Chicken always seems to make multiple appearances on the menu and tonight it’s a curry and yoghurt roast chicken from here. Hopefully I can convince the Mr to make some homemade naan to go with it!

Wednesday: The Mr will take the reins tonight and whip up something with beef, most likely some spicy beef wraps.

Thursday: The Mr will be off to football training so I’m trying something a little new with pearl cous cous. This is a chicken and tomato “risotto” made with the grain and is also from taste magazine.

Friday: Leaving this open as the Mr and I will be at the local races and then the youngest has football training. Takeaway or leftovers will be on the menu.

Bon appetit.

 

 

 

the great big meal plan

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Meal planning. You either love it or hate it. It either works for you, or it doesn’t.

I must say, when I’ve “planned” a week or meals, things do run that little bit smoother.

I say “planned” because things don’t always go to plan, particularly at the end of the week, but as long as everyone is fed and happy, then it’s all OK.

So, as part of Life at Lime Lane, I thought I might document our meal plans.

Now we are a family of two adults and two growing boys, that means lots of food.

We also closely watch our oil intake and sugar.

This is my “plan” for this week. I have to work late one day and we have visitors coming Friday so that’s not included this time around.

And I went shopping without a proper list, so it’s a little loose around the edge.

This week’s catch cry: “Make it work!”

Last night we had this roasted capsicum and tomato soup [pictured above ~ it’s a favourite for a couple of us and found via Angie] with some crunchy bread rolls and some fresh corn from the garden! That’s amazing in itself. And really, a great Sunday night meal.

On to this week.

Monday: I’m popping this coconut madras curry in the slow cooker. It will work for the smalls when they are ready and still be warm for when I get home late from work. And it’s delicious. It used to cause much envy around the workplace when I ate it, I’ve shared the recipe many times. Try it, you’ll thank me!

Tuesday:  Chicken. Most likely chicken wraps, possibly chicken schnitzel [we use this recipe, simple and delicious]. This will be the Mr’s night and is liable to surprise.

Wednesday: More chicken. Poor planning ~ this is what happens when you don’t armed with a proper list ~ but the week’s events are determining the menu. I drew a blank at the supermarket and grabbed a whole chicken as well. So a quick roast, some creamy potatoes and some greens. Done. Perfect mid-week meal.

Thursday: I would have preferred to have this on Wednesday to break up the week and a meat-free dish is in order. But if the Mr goes to football training tonight this is the better option. So in the morning I will pop some red kidney beans in the slow cooker with tomatoes, spices and liquid and we will have that with rice and baked tortilla strips.

Friday: We are having guests. The Mr made the invitation so he’s doing the cooking and planning.

Bon appétit.

Got some favourite meals to share? Meal planning, yes or no?

 

you say you want a revolution

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mealplanning

Today is Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day. I’ve obviously been living under a rock because I didn’t find out about this event until earlier this week.

Food Revolution Day on 17 May is a global day of action for people to make a stand for good food and essential cooking skills. It’s a chance for people to come together within their homes, schools, workplaces and communities to cook and share their kitchen skills, food knowledge and resources.

But timing is a funny thing.

Last week, with no forethought or planning, we had a Jamie Oliver food revolution of own.

On holidays and home for the nightly family dinner, I inadvertently cooked a Jamie Oliver recipe from Monday to Thursday [Friday doesn't count as it was the smallest's birthday party].

We’ve always been the cooking types. I love a new recipe challenge and enjoy cooking for others while the husband likes to fly by the seat of his pants and make it up as he goes along, with tasty results. And even the kids get involved ~ they make a mean steamed dumpling thanks the tutelage of Donna Hay. And we’ve been making our own bread for a few weeks now.

What I don’t enjoy is the monotony of the everyday dinner? So much so I went on strike the other week because I could not think of a single thing to cook to please the masses.

And that’s why I really enjoyed my own revolution last week with Jamie. I broke all the rules and went shopping every day but hey, I was on holidays, I had time and it worked.

Our menu for the week kicked off with satay chicken skewers and fiery noodle salad [pictured]  from the 30-minute book, followed by meatballs and basic tomato sauce from The Naked Chef, Wednesday was Happy Cow burgers [my boys love these, and not just because of the name] and Thursday we tried the lamb kofte, pitta and greek salad [pictured].

The meatballs and burgers we had had before but the other two were new. All were greeted with enthusiasm and chowed down. The community eating aspect of Jamie Oliver’s 15-minute and 30-minute meals really appeals to the smalls and certainly makes things smoother when introducing something new.

But all good things must come to an end and now it is back to work. And the inevitable “what’s for dinner?” returns this week. It’s time to get organised.

So I have a plan. A meal plan to be precise.

This week I wrote a long list of favourite family meals, that at least 75 per cent of the family like [there's four of us] and the other 25 per cent will tolerate. It’s the master meal list.

I’m putting it into Google Drive so I can access it anywhere for inspiration or to add to it. I will also have a meals to try section so we can find some new favourites.

Then it’s just a matter of looking at the list, deciding on meals for the week and writing a shopping list. And if I’m really organised I can do this all from the comfort of my home and get the groceries delivered at the start of the week.

Sounds like a plan, right!

So naturally I turned to my trusty computer and made up a sheet to plan out the week, and the groceries. If it works well I will probably laminate it and use it like a whiteboard, save printing it out all the time.

And naturally I have shared it with you. You can download it here.

Ready for a revolution.