I have to say I’m not entirely sure how long I will keep this up BUT when I asked about meal planning and sharing my weekly meal plan over on Instagram where I tend to loiter during my procrastination moments, the response was huge!
Apparently we’re all hardcore fans of a meal plan and it’s easy to see why – I get stuck in the day to day repeating of several recipes, over and over and I can find it really tedious so I think there is a real bonus in planning ahead with a few family faves chucked in and the odd wild card. This week’s extreme excitement during our meal plan which sparked off this series (boldly calling it a series when I’m not known for sticking to blog series) saw my 15 year old chihuahua shun leftovers of a lentil chilli con carne that I thought was rather delicious and raised the debate over whether or not cauliflower cheese is actually a side dish or a main event (82% said side dish – but google says either so who is to say). I know. What a thrilling life I lead – try not to keel over in envy.
Anyway, I figured with such mass enthusiasm and since it’s my “mish” this year to try and diversify my content a bit away from “look at the fruit of my loins”, I’d run with it. It’s also worth noting that I have made a “plan” to try and force feed my family more veg. I’m not going to go so far as to say we are making the change to flexitarian but as a family that *never* appears to eat a meal that doesn’t contain some kind of meat, I think it would be nice to try and eat some vegetarian meals and see if anyone notices or cares (FYI, everyone noticed and everyone was HORRIFIED apart from Toby). So here we are, week one of the meal plan series, week commencing 11th Feb 2018 and this is what we will eat this week. If you’re interested last week we had:
- Monday: Vegetable Tikka Masala – I chopped up sweet potato, butternut squash, peppers, onions and courgettes and threw them in the slow cooker with a jar of tikka masala. The kids weren’t inspired, though Reuben ate some, Adam and I loved it. My mum point blank refused to speak to me for a day for offering her anything so filled with veg.
- Tuesday: Lentil Chilli Con Carne in soft shell tacos – I loved it, you can find the recipe via the link. I was the only one that loved it by the way and even the dogs were like “where the fuck is my meat woman?”
- Wednesday: Soy Honey Garlic chicken stir fry – a bunch of veg (courgette, peppers, spring onions and carrots) with a soy, honey and garlic chicken marinade for 10hrs for the chicken. I added around 400ml of stock to make sauce and some cornflower – done! Served with egg noodles.
- Thursday: Vegan Beefless veg stew – honestly SO much nicer than it sounds. I’ve never done a beefless stew and my husband *hates* mushrooms so I thought this would be a problem but I eased up on the mushrooms and added extra root veg – everyone’s a winner.
- Friday: Take out and movie night in our house!
- Saturday: One pot puttanesca – this recipe actually came from a Gousto cooking and I love it!
- Sunday: Cauliflower cheese – The cause of much angst. I always thought of cauliflower as a side dish and always ate it with sausages or bacon, until a tonne of vegetarian followers told me it is 100% a main event. I love it, the kids love it and I added some potatoes and broccoli (much to Adam’s horror) to make it a bit more of a bake. Served with garlic bread. WIN.
So that was last week, but what about the actual meal plans this week?
Well, I decided to include a wee bit more meat this week, largely because my husband was spending a fortune on meat based snacks like sausage rolls, scotch eggs and pork pies, just to keep himself and the biggest boy in a manner that they had become accustomed. The stress was real at the thought of too much green stuff for the big man.
Anyway, I aimed for a little bit more meat but still trying to pack as many veggies as possible into everyone!
Monday :: Pork Casserole
We’ve got carrots, we’ve got apples and we’ve got celery. I have a pork tenderloin in the freezer so I figured there is no time like the present to eat it up. I’ve chosen this recipe and I think it’s super similar to one that I used to do all the time with cider and cream, so hopefully everyone will be happy, especially me with my additions of apple and carrot. I think I will serve with crusty bread.
Tuesday :: Halloumi Bake (v)
I LOVE halloumi and I’ve been wanting to do a Halloumi bake for AGES, just to see what everyone would make of it. I’m not sure if I will serve it with bread or if I will go for some potatoes again. I’m going to think on that one. Here is the recipe from The Cook Report.
Wednesday :: Cottage Pie with extra veg
We all love cottage pie here – even Edith (ahem, on her good days) will eat cottage pie so it’s something I don’t want to keep off the menu. I did think about mixing half lentils and half beef but I think last week indicated that lentils are a no in our home. We’ll try again but in a different way I think. Anyway, I’m sticking with beef, but this time I will be adding maximum veg. I always grate a few carrots in and scatter peas in like some green confetti, but I’m also adding some really finely chopped peppers and adding sweetcorn as well. I’m thinking about serving broccoli on the side but genuinely unsure whether I can be bothered to eat my body weight in broccoli leftovers when Adam, Toby and Edith shun the green beast.
Thursday :: I’m not here so they are on their own.
I had grand plans to do a stew but I’ll be honest, the last time I did this before heading off to London for a work day, my mum and Adam both decided to shun my efforts and instead left the stew on the side and bought fish and chips. It’s not the first time I’ve left food or prepped food and no one seems to give a toss so what is the point? God knows what they will eat, it will no doubt involve chips, but I can safely say I don’t care – tis all about balance.
Friday :: Takeaway and movie night
Let’s be honest, I could cook a meal that would see Gordon Ramsey himself propose to me and this would still be everyone’s favourite night. FFS.
Saturday :: Homemade pizza
I used to make this pizza dough all the time with the kids before they went to school and preschool but slowly we stopped doing it (I think a few occasions where the dough was a bit meh didn’t help). I will either make the pizza dough and let them add toppings or – more likely – I will use the pizza’s in the freezer and get them to add their own toppings. It’s Saturday, sue me.
Sunday :: Sunday Roast (going out)
I’ve been saying since well before Christmas that I would like to go out for Sunday dinner to a Toby Carvery or the like and no one has taken me up on the offer – so that is what is happening, we’re doing it and they will have to love it.
So that’s it – my plan for the week, will I stick to it? Most likely. I did last week, but there is always the potential that I will get thrown a curve ball, I will let you know next week if that happens.
H 🙂 x