Menu planning is one of the key tools available to create an organised household. It will save you time, money and stress amongst other benefits. If you are not currently meal planning I suggest you check out my post about how to find the right meal plan system for you.
Menu from the previous week: August 22 – 28
Monday: Chicken, pumpkin, mushroom and zucchini risotto in the rice cooker, (picture above)
Tuesday: leftover risotto + steak wrap + salad
Wednesday: Cornish pasties (from freezer, above) + salad
Thursday: White Chicken Chilli in the slow cooker, served with corn chips, sour cream, jalapeños, and shredded cheese
Friday: grilled cheese sandwich + salad with Balsamic dressing + sautéed asparagus (this is where flexibility in meal planning comes in… We had a curry planned, but neither of us were very hungry so simply changed the plan)
Saturday: Family pasta night : Fusilli pasta+ sauce/combo of choice = cheese sauce (Alice), meatballs, olives and Parmesan (Lulu), Puttanesca + meatballs (grown ups). To make this work for us I bulk cook cheese sauce and freeze in an ice cube tray (use 2 cubes per child) and bulk cook meatballs to freeze for later use as needed.
Sunday: Family meal – Chicken Tikka, lentil curry, rice and homemade naan bread by Mr HLS, supplemented with sausages and plain chicken for the girls which they had with rice and bread
Pasta Puttanesca - amazingly found in 2007 in a promotional ad/article for Hoyt’s Kalamata olives (Table magazine). This is one of the simplest, yet most flavourful pasta sauces you could ever make. It can be quite spicy (I often substitute a couple of pinches of red chilli flakes for the fresh red chilli), but if you omit the chili it would still be a great dish as the sauce itself has such a depth of flavour.
The recipe says serves 4, but my husband and I eat the whole batch of sauce between us rather than having it be a bit drier. So if you are serving 4 and would like a lot of sauce I suggest you double it.
300g pasta (calls for bavette or linguine, but I use almost any pasta)
1/4c (60 ml) olive oil (I use less, more like 2 TBS)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
400g can diced tomatoes
1/2c (60g) kalamata pitted olives (I use a lot more than this!)
1 birdseye chilli, finely chopped (or substitute 1-2 pinches red chilli flakes)
1 TBS French capers, chopped
1 TBS finely chopped oregano (or substitute dried just fine)
3-6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1/2 c (40 g) grated Parmesan (use your own judgement – to taste !!)
Cook pasta in a pan of boiling water and then drain
Meanwhile, heat oil in frying pan on medium. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, olives, chilli, capers and oregano. Season and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Stir through anchovies.
Add pasta to sauce and toss to coat.
Serve immediately with Parmesan.
Chicken Tikka- from The Food of India – a journey for food lovers
1/2 TBS paprika
1tsp chili powder
2 TBS garam masala
1/4tsp tandoori food colouring (just used few drops red and yellow liquid)
1 1/2 TBS lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
5cm (2 inch) piece of ginger, roughly chopped
15 g (1/2c) coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
125ml (1/2 c) thick plain yogurt (we use Greek)
500g (1 lb 2 oz) skinless chicken breast fillets, cut into cubes
wedges of lemon
For the marinade, blend all the ingredients together in a food processor until smooth, or chop the garlic, ginger and coriander more finely and mix with the rest of the marinade ingredients. Season with salt, to taste.
Put the chicken cubes in a bowl with the marinade and mix thoroughly. Cover and marinate overnight in the fridge (we only did a few hours and it was still delicious).
Heat the oven to 200C (400F). thread the chicken pieces onto 4 metal skewers and put them on a metal rack above a baking tray. Roast, uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and browned around the edges. (We cooked the skewers on the BBQ.) Serve with wedges of lemon to squeeze over the chicken.
There was enough marinade made that we will make chicken Tikka Masala on Tuesday – recipe will be on next week’s post.
About my meal plans:
I post my meal plan from the previous week so that I can review any new recipes and ensure you know if one of my meals was a failure and also highlight the best recipe(s) of the week. This way I can help you save even more time by only steering you to recipes that I can vouch for along with sharing any of my cooking notes.
Please note that most of my meals are not being eaten by my kids so I will indicate if a meal is one for our whole family. Between our desire to eat foods with a lot of spices, and our kids desire to eat foods that don’t touch or freak them out, we only eat the same foods an average of twice a week. We are working on this so you will see more family style meals in the next 6 months. My husband (Mr HLS) is also an amazing cook so sometimes I note meals he has made that do not have a written recipe.
Find your simple,
I am linking up with: