I've never really used a weekly meal plan before but I've decided to give it a go this week, get organised and plan ahead. I always have a rough idea of what I'm going to cook throughout the week, depending on what we've bought in the weekly shop, but it's always a last minute decision on a day-to-day basis which results in a mad rush when I get home from work and the school run and need to sort out dinner while supervising homework. This is my new initiative to make it all run more smoothly by knowing well in advance what I need to defrost or buy. It will also be useful as a food diary to see why I have (or haven't) managed to lose weight in a certain week. I'm not sure I'll stick to the plan, because I often end up changing dinners to accommodate leftovers in the fridge, but it will be interesting to see how it works out and whether or not it makes my life easier. If it does, it may become a regular feature on my blog.
Lunchtimes, I eat at the school canteen most weekdays and Sophie and Madhouse Daddy Mike fend for themselves, usually using up leftovers, so it'll be good for them to have lots of things ready to zap in the microwave to choose from.
OK, here's the rough plan for the week.
lunch - our twice monthly trip to McDonalds so the kids can let off steam in the soft play area - seafood salad for me, Happy Meals for the kids, burger and chips for Madhouse Daddy Mike
dinner - Madhouse Daddy Mike's homemade vegetable soup, with a toasted slice of homemade bread if there's any left. (This menu planner is working already, it's just reminded me to go and check the bread situation!)
lunch - roast chicken, cooked on a bed of roast potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and onions, possibly with some stuffing balls, gravy
dinner - nobody's usually hungry after a big roast dinner so just a snack like a ham sandwich, a bowl of cereal or some porridge, a yogurt and a piece of fruit
dinner - fresh grilled salmon fillets with garlic pepper and lime juice, rice or boiled potatoes and green beans
lunch : schools on strike so everyone home for lunch but need something quick for Madhouse Daddy Mike - not sure yet, either risotto or Spanish omelette probably, but it might be fajitas, depending on our mood !
dinner - something in the slow cooker, probably Beef Carbonnade or Beef Bourguignon (made with a cheap cut of beef, carrots, onions, mushrooms, a tin of chopped tomatoes plus seasoning) with mash or rice, if there's any leftover from last night. I'll probably have it with just extra vegetables from the slow cooker.
lunch - probably a Madhouse Daddy Mike special of beefburger and pasta (it's a half day at school so everyone is home for lunch, but it's a mad rush so needs to be quick, Madhouse Daddy Mike gets home before me so he sorts it out!)
dinner - I think I might have a go at making homemade pizza with the kids because I haven't done that for ages - they all choose their own toppings, but it usually ends up being a combination of cherry tomatoes, cheese, ham, sweetcorn, red pepper, mushrooms, onions, olives ... I may go for Mouse-shaped pizza again, if I have a Cheestring kicking about in the fridge ! Served with a side salad and some sliced tomatoes.
dinner - Tartiflette because that cheese will be getting well stinky if I don't use it up soon ! Reblochon cheese on top of sliced baked potatoes, onions and bacon, baked in the oven until it melts, served with mixed salad (lettuce, sweetcorn, tomato, gherkins, cucumber, olives ...)
dinner - something with chicken fillet - probably a Bake & Shake, maybe with courgettes, red peppers and tomatoes like this Italian Chicken one because it was lovely, but it might turn into a curry or something Chinese-inspired instead, depending on our mood and what's left in the vegetable drawer of the fridge - served with spaghetti, rice or couscous, depending on what we go for, or just with the vegetables if they don't go too mushy
Writing this has reminded me that I have a couple of menu planning books that I should dig out - I quite like the idea of jumping in and following someone else's meal plan for an entire week, because it sounds like a great way of discovering some new recipes and maybe trying ingredients we don't normally use. Definitely on my to do list for the school holidays :)
So what about you? Do you already know what you'll be eating next week?
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