Monday, April 14, 2014

Meal Planning Mondays April 14th - April 20th


Well I have to say that last week's plan to use what I have worked really well! In total I spent approximately $35 on fresh fruit, a few vegetables, some eggs and butter but that was it. Everything else came from the fridge, freezer and pantry! Total result! Of course now it has got me motivated to do that every week which obviously makes sense, although there is one down side.... If you literally eat everything you have then when it does come time to restock you are faced with one mammoth shop and grocery bill to boot! So with taking that into consideration I won't quite cook us out of house and home but I will be better at using what we have. There is also the fact I am a complete food hoarder so seeing my shelves slowly dwindle doesn't make me happy so I am working on achieving a happy balance!

I am so excited that this weekend is Easter and although it is as late as it possibly can be this year it has still managed to sneak up on me! That being said I have managed to come up with a meal plan for the weekend featuring my favourite traditional Easter meal of Roast Lamb and my husband's family tradition of their favourite, Roast Turkey. Both will be served with seasonal Spring Veg to keep it lighter and the perfect meals for celebrating Easter. And of course it means lots of leftovers for the following week! 

Today I am also going to be making a pot of my Year-Round Creamy Tomato Soup which will be perfect for lunch for a few days and some Cheese & Spring Onion Scones to go with it which are great for enjoying straight out of the oven and then I can pop some in the freezer and take them out individually whenever I fancy. And since it's Easter coming up I can guarantee there will be a few batches of surprise baking coming out of the kitchen! If you are looking for some inspiration why not try my Chocolate Easter Nests (perfect for making with children) or my Double Chocolate Easter Cupcakes, and if you are really wanting to make something special how about making your very own Chocolate Easter Eggs.

I hope you all have a great week and Happy Easter! x


Monday April 14th - Sunday 20th 

                                  Monday  -      Pierogies & Salad
                                  Tuesday -      Thai Chicken Laksa with Mildly Spiced Noodle Squash Broth
                                  Wednesday - Spaghetti with Garlic, Lemon, Kale & Parmesan
                                  Thursday -     Ginger-Poached Chicken Noodles
                                  Friday -         Good Friday! TBD but most likely Fish.....
                                  Saturday -     Roast Lamb with Red Wine & Redcurrant Sauce; New Potatoes with                                                           Mint & Grilled Asparagus with Lemon & Olive Oil
                                  Sunday -       Easter Sunday! Roast Turkey with Gravy & Bread Stuffing; Mashed                                                             Potatoes; Peas & Carrots and Broccolini with Lemon & Parmesan;
                                                      Lemon Meringue Pie

  As always don't forget you can add links to your Weekly Meal Plans in the comments section below.   

Monday, April 7, 2014

Meal Planning Mondays April 7th - 13th


Last week I went a little crazy with food shopping! It was a combination of re-stocking things I was out of, hosting Cook Club and some definite impulsive buys that I didn't need but couldn't resist! Needless to say the budget's not looking great until the middle of the month, so this week's Meal Planning Mondays is all about using what I have! That's right - other than essentials like milk, fresh fruit and vegetables I am not allowed to buy anything else. To be honest it should be easy as I am a complete food hoarder and have enough food in our home to rival a small grocery store!

The Vietnamese Pork Noodle Soup on Monday is perfect for using up vegetables left over from Cook Club including Bok Choy, Bean Sprouts and Green Beans. All I need to do is defrost some Pork from the freezer and it will be the perfect start to the week. Tuesday's Spanish Tortilla is based on the fact that I always have Eggs and Potatoes in the house and it's a quick and easy meal that we all love and will provide plenty of leftovers for packed lunches the next day. Wednesday's meal is courtesy of Jamie Oliver and with lots of peppers, spring onions and fresh herbs in the house it is the perfect dinner to have midweek. Again the freezer will help me out with the Chicken as I have lots and I always have plenty of couscous and other grains on hand. With 3 pots of Greek Yogurt in the fridge I am good to go! Thursday and Scott will be home late so it will be a simple pasta dish for Ben and I....I'll update once I have decided if it will be our classic Tomato Pasta or something a little different and of course I'll need to see how the contents of the fridge are doing! (Update: I decided to make a Hearty Pasta Soup from BBC GoodFood - link below- which looks delicious and I know I have all of the ingredients for!) Friday is a Gorgeous Fish Stew taken from The Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food & Lose Weight which I am really excited for! The fish and seafood are all in the freezer just waiting to be gently cooked in a mildly spiced tomato sauce. Thankfully for me I also have a French baguette tucked away in the freezer which will be perfect for the crostini. The weekend is definitely going to a bit more challenging as I generally like to take more time over dinner and either make a roast, slowly cook a stew or of course opt for the bbq or smoker so it will be a case of raiding the freezer again to see what I can come up with!

So there you have it - a week (almost!) of meals and an attempt to spend as little money as possible! How many days could you cook for you and your family based on just what you have in your house? Why not try it out and let me know how you get on! Have a great week!


Monday April 7th - Sunday 13th 

                                  Monday  -     Vietnamese Pork Noodle Soup ( From Kitchen by Nigella Lawson)
                                  Tuesday -      Spanish Tortilla with Roasted Red Peppers and a Green Salad
                                  Wednesday - Gorgeous Greek Chicken with Herby Vegetable Couscous &Tzatiki
                                  Thursday -     Hearty Pasta Soup
                                  Friday -         Gorgeous Fish Stew with Crostini (from the Hairy Dieters)
                                  Saturday -     Friend over for dinner: Chicken Panang with Steamed Bok Choy &                                                             Jasmine Rice
                                  Sunday -       TBD

  As always don't forget you can add links to your Weekly Meal Plans in the comments section below.   

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spaghetti with Broccolini, Garlic & Chilli




Tenderstem Broccoli, Broccolini and Broccolette - all names referring (as far as I can tell) to the same wonderful thin, long-stemmed variety of broccoli. It is one of my all time favourite vegetables and when it comes into season I am always so happy!

This is by far one of my favourite ways to enjoy it, as a quick and simple delicious pasta dish ideal for knocking up for a midweek meal that is filling but light at the same time. The amount of time needed to cook the broccoli will depend on how thin the stalks are but as a guide the latest bunch I had were almost pencil thin and therefore needed no more than 1 minute for the stalks and 30 seconds for the florets, but if they are a bit thicker the stalks might need up to 2 minutes.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Meal Planning Mondays March 30th - April 6th


It's unbelievable how quickly the weeks seem to be flying past just now! Not that I'm complaining - I am so ready for it to be Spring after what seems like a really long Winter. Thankfully for us the sun is shining today and hopefully it will stick around for a good few days before those April Showers make themselves a little too familiar for my liking! Of course with the change of the Seasons comes yet more colds to our house and this time we are all full of it, which is thankfully a pretty rare occurrence. It did however, mean that yesterday's 'Best Ever Ribs' were postponed as understandably Scott didn't want to spend 5 hours smoking them to not be able to taste the final delicious result, so instead we opted for Grilled Fish Tacos with plenty of Fiery Roasted Red Pepper Salsa which was just what the doctor ordered!.... Although I have a confession to make......I recently impulsively bought some pans for making Tortilla Bowls. Honestly I was really hesitant as to whether they would work or not so I decided to give them a go for the Chilli Salad Bowls that we had on Saturday, fully expecting the worst. Instead I was completely surprised because they worked perfectly! A little too perfectly to be honest because now I have a new obsession with putting everything in Tortilla Bowls!... I am not joking! Thankfully Scott and Ben loved them as well so they were delighted for Sunday night's Fish "tacos" to be served in bowls instead of typical tacos. For now though I am putting them away and vow not to take them out for at least another week......maybe!

This week we have Cook Club to look forward to so Saturdays menu will be a surprise for the time being but I will update first thing on Sunday morning with what we had and whether it was a success or not! If you are interested in checking out our previous menus you can have a look here.

And finally as promised I have a few more links to this week's Meal Plan so that if you fancy it you can easily find the recipes and join in. I hope you all have a great week x


Monday March 31st - Sunday April 6th 

                                  Monday  -     Thai Red Curry with Chicken & Bamboo Shoots & Jasmine  Rice 
                                  Tuesday -      Sausage, Olive & Tomato Pasta with Salad
                                  Wednesday - Leftovers
                                  Thursday -     Crustless Pizza from Nigella Kitchen (p.26) 
                                  Friday -         Mustard Pork Chops with Crispy Gnocchi and Salad
                                  Saturday -     Cook Club here - Theme = Street Food! (See Cook Club Menus to                                                            see what we had)
                                  Sunday -       Best Ever Ribs; Coleslaw & Salad 

  As always don't forget you can add links to your Weekly Meal Plans in the comments section below.     

Monday, March 24, 2014

Meal Planning Mondays March 24th - 30th


A little late in the day but finally here is this week's menu for Meal Planning Mondays! After a fantastic weekend which included lots of wonderful food I have been a little stuck for inspiration this week so I have a couple of days that have still to be decided. In an effort to be more budget conscious I am trying to use what we have in the freezer without overloading us with the same meats! I also let Ben pick a meal for one night this week and it was no surprise that he chose Chicken Strips - one of his all time favourite meals!

Apologies again for the lack of links - I'm working on coming up with meals that have links either to my blog or other websites but at the same time trying to work on some new recipe ideas. Next week I will be a lot more organised.....honestly!

Monday March 24th - Sunday 30th 

                                  Monday  -     Chicken Proven├žal with Brown Rice (don't ask!!)                       
                                  Tuesday -      Spaghetti with Broccolini, Garlic & Chilli (New recipe!)
                                  Wednesday - Leftovers
                                  Thursday -     Yellow Fish Curry with Jasmine Rice
                                  Friday -         Chicken StripsPotato Wedges & Salad (chosen by Ben)
                                  Saturday -     Chilli Salad Bowls
                                  Sunday -       Best Ever Ribs; Coleslaw & Salad (Updated recipe coming soon!)


As always don't forget you can add links to your Weekly Meal Plans in the comments section below. 
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