Monday, January 09, 2012

midlife monday: a month of eats

al fresco kitchen prep is the best
Before Christmas, an online contact expressed surprise I could say that, if organised, I only needed to visit the supermarket once a month, and wondered how. In the interests of full disclosure, it's only if I'm extremely organised that I can manage this but it's not impossible.

As I've mentioned previously, I now meal plan for a whole month. Before you send me hate mail, let me explain that I only provide family meals Monday to Friday; mr ebb takes over at the weekend (so he doesn't forget how to cook or loses his way in the kitchen). So, if I do one big shop for all the dry goods and freezables at the beginning of the month, then all I have to do is visit the greengrocer for fresh stuff. It frees up my time and has cut down on grocery bills. I also avoid that horrible 6pm what-on-earth-will-we-eat-tonight sinking feeling.

So while the blogosphere was conjuring up their year in review posts, I was thinking forwards to what my boys would be eating till the end of January.
And here it is!

Week One:
  • Monday = nachos with salsa and guacamole
  • Tuesday = meal out since I have a late class at college (IKEA!)
  • Wednesday = Panko Chicken Breasts (from the amazing Planning With Kids blog) plus coleslaw and dipping carrots with hummus
  • Thursday = chick pea and aubergine slow cook stew
  • Friday = lemony tuna pasta (if i can find the damn recipe)

Week Two:
  • Monday = lentil pie (similar to this recipe from Rose Elliot)
  • Tuesday = chicken soup with bread, cheeses, and salads
  • Wednesday = ravioli and sauce (from costco - open the jar/pack; heat and serve cheatery)
  • Thursday = slow cooker baked potatoes with cream cheese fillings, etc.
  • Friday = baked fish with tomato ratatouille (sauce prepared earlier in bulk then frozen)

Week Three:
  • Monday = lentil and spinach casserole, with fresh pasta noodles
  • Tuesday = caramelised red pepper flan with goat cheese
  • Wednesday = pan-fried lamb chops in cranberry sauce and balsamic vinegar
  • Thursday = slow cooker baked beans
  • Friday = salmon pasta bake (tinned salmon, cooked pasta, cheese sauce - baked)

Week Four:
  • Monday = macaroni cheese (or spaghetti and cheese bake, if I'm in a rush)
  • Tuesday = spaghetti bolognese (homemade, from freezer; again from the amazing Planning With Kids blog)
  • Wednesday = artichoke and anchovy pizza (bread dough from the bread machine)
  • Thursday = slow cooker pork casserole
  • Friday = out!
There are no desserts - I usually have cookies for ice cream, or yogurt with homemade granola, and there is always plenty of fruit.
You don't mention vegetables? - usually it's whatever I take a fancy to in the greengrocer's, or coleslaw as a standby. We also have edamame and mixed frozen veg. I cook extra beans or veg under a joint in the slow cooker then freeze the surplus.

Yes, sometimes we do have sausage, chips and tinned beans (I'm not a saint).

I'll try to scribble down more of the recipes. The vegetarian dinners come from Rose Elliot's excellent The Bean Book, a volume that's been in my kitchen library ever since I left home.
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