Friday, 4 September 2009

Meal Plan: Autumn 2009

New school year, new season, new meal plan.


Monday - Yoghurt and fruit
Tuesday - Scrambled eggs and hash browns
Wednesday - Porridge or cereal
Thursday - Pancakes
Friday - Banana milk shake
Saturday - Croissants
Sunday - Cereal or toast

WEEKDAY LUNCHES (2 week rotation)

Week 1
Monday - Wholemeal roll with cold meat
Tuesday - Tuna pasta salad
Wednesday - Chicken salad in pitta
Thursday - Pizza fingers
Friday - Smoked salmon sandwich

Week 2
Monday - Cheese roll
Tuesday - Houmous wraps
Wednesday - Chicken salad baguette
Thursday - Pasta pot
Friday - Tuna sandwich

DINNER (4 week rotation)

Week 1
Monday - Sausage, mash and onion gravy
Tuesday - Spaghetti bolognese
Wednesday - Chicken stir fry
Thursday - Baked potatoes and cauliflower cheese
Friday - Fish fingers and chips
Saturday - Vegetable soup
Sunday - Roast chicken

Week 2
Monday - Shipwreck stew
Tuesday - Mushroom risotto
Wednesday - Lazy chicken and potatoes
Thursday - Grilled meat or fish with potato wedges
Friday - Pasta bake
Saturday - Leek and potato soup
Sunday - Roast lamb

Week 3
Monday - Beef stew and dumplings
Tuesday - Egg fried rice
Wednesday - Chicken pie and root vegetable mash
Thursday - Baked potatoes and chilli
Friday - Fish fingers and chips
Saturday - Minestrone soup
Sunday - Roast chicken

Week 4
Monday - Cottage pie
Tuesday - Pasta with pesto
Wednesday - Chicken and mushroom casserole with rice
Thursday - Cod in breadcrumbs and potato wedges
Friday - Baked potatoes, cheese and tuna
Saturday - Chicken noodle soup
Sunday - Roast beef

Monday, 11 May 2009

Chicken and Mushroom Casserole


4 chicken pieces (or 1lb chicken breast chunks)
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 oz flour
1/2 pint chicken stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons worcester sauce


Brown chicken and onion in the vegetable oil.
Add flour and cook over low heat for 1 minute, stirring.
Add stock, mushrooms, soy sauce and worcester sauce.
Simmer for 1 hour, or cook in oven at Gas Mk.4, 350 deg F or 180 deg C for 1 to 1 1/4 hours until chicken tender.

Serve with rice and a green vegetable.

Serves 4

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Honeyed Welsh Lamb

This was the nicest lamb recipe I have ever cooked. The honey-cider gravy was delicious!

Leg of lamb (4lbs served 6)
4 tablespoons runny honey
1/2 pint dry cider (hard cider)
1 tsp ginger
Salt and pepper
2 sprigs rosemary

Rub lamb with seasonings (ginger, salt, pepper)
Place in baking dish and spoon honey over the top
Pour cider around lamb
Place rosemary on top
Bake at 425deg / Mark 7 for 30 minutes
Cover lamb with foil and turn heat down to 400deg / Mark 6 and cook for a further 20 minutes per pound (we like our lamb well done and I rounded it up to 2 hours total cooking time for our 4lb part-boned leg - this was perfect)
Remove foil for last 15 minutes to crisp up
Skim off any fat from the gravy and serve.


6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large swede (rutabaga), peeled and cut into chunks
1-2oz butter

Boil swede and potatoes separately for around 30 minutes until soft.
Mash together.
Add butter and enough buttermilk to give a creamy consistency.
Add salt to taste.

Serves 6.

We ate this with the honeyed Welsh lamb and roasted leeks. The original recipe used turnips, but suggested swede as an alternative.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Menu Plan 2008

It's been a long time since I last posted on this blog, but January is the time of year when my thoughts turn to menu planning and food ... nice warm, comfort food.

Since my last menu plan things have become a little more complicated as Star (aged 9) has decided to become vegetarian, though she is still eating fish. (Yes, I know that is not technically vegetarian, but at least it means less family meals she can't eat!). Tevye does not eat cheese, which the rest of us love, so that requires more adjustments.

I read Jenn's post on homemaking earlier in the week, and liked the way she simply allocated a theme to each day (chicken, fish, beans and so on). I have done the same, but then broadened it into a four week rotation with specific recipes. I want to keep it flexible though, as I'm trying hard to cut my expenditure on food and work to a strict budget. If I find bargains I want to be able to work them into my plan; and I also need to be able to adjust according to the contents of my organic vegetable box. I am usually doing grocery shopping on a Saturday, so each weekend I can tweak the next week's plan to factor in any budget-driven purchases.

These are my daily themes ...
  • Sunday - roast (chicken, beef or lamb)
  • Monday - crockpot
  • Tuesday - pasta
  • Wednesday - winter warmers
  • Thursday - vegetarian
  • Friday - quick'n'easy / leftovers
  • Saturday - fish
On Fridays Little Cherub and I usually go out for lunch with my mother and Angel likes to eat early before her ballet class, so something quick and simple for the girls and leftovers for Tevye works well.

This is the dinner rotation I am starting with, though I have a couple of gaps still to fill. Vegetarian alternatives for Star are in green; cheese free alternatives for Tevye are in red, mostly leftovers of the previous day's meal - if he likes something, he is always happy to have it two days running. Accompanying vegetables will mainly depend on what is in the veg box.

  • Week 1 - Roast chicken (vegetarian sausages)
  • Week 2 - Roast beef (cauliflower cheese bakes)
  • Week 3 - Roast chicken (vegetarian sausages)
  • Week 4 - Roast lamb (beanburgers)
  • Week 1 - Shipwreck stew (Quorn minced beef pie)
  • Week 2 - BBQ chicken (Quorn chicken-style burger)
  • Week 3 - Chicken with mushrooms and pearl barley (??)
  • Week 4 - Beef with mushrooms and potatoes (Vegetable lasagne)
  • Week 1 - Macaroni cheese (leftovers)
  • Week 2 - Spaghetti bolognese (Beanfeast or soya mince)
  • Week 3 - ??
  • Week 4 - Pasta with tuna and sweetcorn
  • Week 1 - Lamb hotpot or stew (??)
  • Week 2 - Chicken pie (vegetable pie)
  • Week 3 - Cottage pie (replace beef with Quorn or soya mince)
  • Week 4 - Baked potatoes and chilli (Beanfeast with chilli beans)
  • Week 1 - Savoury bean pot
  • Week 2 - Shepherdess pie
  • Week 3 - Bean hotpot with dumplings
  • Week 4 - Cauliflower cheese and baked potato (leftover chilli)
  • Week 1 - Pizza (leftovers)
  • Week 2 - Cheese and spinach tortellini (leftovers)
  • Week 3 - Eggy bread and baked beans
  • Week 4 - Pasta with creamy pesto
  • Week 1 - Fish and chips (takeaway)
  • Week 2 - Salmon
  • Week 3 - Kippers / smoked mackerel
  • Week 4 - Fish fingers and oven chips
On weekdays I need to pack lunches for the older girls and Tevye. Angel has a packed lunch everyday; Star has one on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday (she has a cooked lunch on Wednesday and Friday); Tevye needs one on Monday, Wednesday and Friday when he goes to the office. That means three lunches to prepare for Monday, and two every other day. What goes in them tends to vary according to where I shop and - again - what is on special offer at the time. I think maybe I should start making up lunch for myself and Little Cherub at the same time to save effort the next day. On Saturdays lunch is generally soup, burgers or omelette.

Friday, 6 April 2007

Passover recipes

The three recipes below are three of our Passover favourites. The matzah meal panckes are also good Lenten fare, while the cinnamon balls and coconut pyramids find their way into our Easter menu, as well as rounding off our Seder meal.

All three recipes come from The New Complete International Jewish Cookbook by Evelyn Rose.

Chremslach (Matzah meal pancakes)

I find these make a good light meal for Good Friday, though my family thinks they are a treat which may miss the point! The recipe says they are probably similar to the meal cakes offered as a sacrifice in the Temple at Jerusalem. The quantities given to serve four are far too small for us - even on a fast day - so I double the recipe.

Ingredients (these are the doubled amounts)
4 eggs
2 level tsps salt
5 fl.oz / 150ml (two-thirds cup) warm water
3 oz / 75g (three-quarters cup) fine matzah meal - I have not tried it, but I think fine wholemeal flour would work just as well
2 level tbsps caster (superfine) sugar

Beat the eggs, salt and 4 tablespoons of the water until thick.
Gradually add the meal and the sugar and enough additional water to make a thick batter that just drops from the spoon.
Fry on each side in 1/4 inch of oil, or a mixture of 2 oz (quarter cup) butter and 1 tbsp oil until golden brown and puffy.

Serve plain, with sugar, or with cinnamon sugar (1 tsp cinnamon to 2 oz / 50g / quarter cup sugar) ... or if you are Angel, with tomato ketchup!