Inspired by Amy at Feasibly Fit Mom, I decided to post this week's meal plan.
I've previously mentioned how I use technology to plan my meals and write my shopping list. Of course, not everything is digital - I still have handwritten, scribbled notes and many favourite, sauce splattered and annotated cookbooks.
Try something new
I like to try at least one new recipe a week, and this may come from a cookbook, an idea posted on another blog, or something I invented in my sleep (this happens fairly often). This meal is usually scheduled for a weekend or a day I'm not in the office. I like to make things as easy for myself as possible.
Keep it fresh
My planning also takes into account my access to fresh produce. I prefer not to freeze steak or seafood for example, so I will always plan those meals around when I can buy fresh.
Save time with bulk cooking
I also like to ensure that at least one meal a week is something that can be doubled or tripled. I prefer not to have the same meal twice in a week but instead will use the extra from the first meal to make something a bit different. Alternatively I will prepare something and freeze it so we won't starve if I'm sick or I get home late.
This week I spread out some cookbooks and clicked through some favourite foodie websites. My husband chose Jill Dupleix's Angelhair with crab and lemon as the new recipe on this week's meal plan. He gets extra bonus points for choosing something quick, easy and light. He usually doesn't!
My planning system also includes recording each day's meals on our synchronised google calendars. It avoids the mid-day phone call, "what are we having for dinner tonight?" And here it is for you.
Garlic and chilli king prawns stir-fried with onion and still crispy red capsicum, green beans and broccoli, lightened with oodles of fresh parsley, served on steamed Basmati (I use Basmati a lot as it is lower GI than other types) rice. I'd prefer brown rice but I haven't won that battle in my household yet.
Home-made chilli and herb crumbed chicken schnitzels (oven baked), with macaroni cheese, roast grape tomatoes, baked herb field mushrooms, steamed greens. For some reason unknown to me, my macaroni cheese provokes bizarre reactions of rapture amongst my friends and family. My husband regularly begs me to make this, and due to the fact it is so insanely easy, I do indulge him. My version isn't too heavy either - the sauce is a roux enriched with mustard, cheese and herbs and lightened with low-fat milk.
This meal will give me leftovers - extra cooked chicken schnitzels to go into the freezer (I can then pull them out later, defrost in the fridge overnight, then top with a tomatoey sauce and cheese, then chuck under the grill) plus leftover macaroni cheese to have with a salad for lunch on Wednesday.
Angelhair pasta with crab and lemon plus a simple garden salad. With any luck I'll be able to buy some fresh pasta from the Italian place down the road, but if not I have some decent quality dried pasta in the pantry. I don't mind making my own pasta but I'm better at ravioli or lasagne sheets that don't need as much precision!
I'm not in the office on Wednesday so I can skip over to the fishmonger and then the butcher for tomorrow's dinner.
Seared beef and rice noodle salad. I can make this one in my sleep and it is lovely and fresh and flavourful.
My grandmother, my sister and her boyfriend are coming over for dinner to have my famous risotto. This one will have prosciutto, tomato, basil and baby spinach. We'll go heavy on the carbs with some home-made bread and a few simple salads. Dessert is likely to be sorbet and fruit or perhaps some cupcakes if I get time.
Duck salad with rocket and baby spinach, just warm slow-roasted tomatoes, red onion, capsicum and snow peas, drizzled with chilli jam.
On Sunday nights we usually have dinner with my parents or in-laws. Otherwise it'll be a quiet night at home with takeaway Thai or a wood-fired pizza with a few glasses of wine.
Check back later in the week for recipe reviews and results!
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Tags: baking, beef, cooking, cupcake, dinner, easy, favourite, foodie, freezer, fresh, garden, garlic, idea, italian, leftovers, meal, noodle, oven, pantry, planning, prawns, quick, recipe, risotto, roast, salad, simple, wine