Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Menu Planning

Now that I am back at work full-time, I am finding that menu planning is saving me so much in the evenings, especially when I cannot be bothered to think anymore.

I am still only shopping once a fortnight and even though we are now buying nappies and formula and other baby paraphinalia our shopping bill hasn't risen too dramatically.

I thought that I would share how I do my planning for one meat, one meat-free and one baby meal every evening.  I know that in the past you may have seen my menu plans in the past with breakfast, lunch and dinner.   Now I only list what we are going to have for dinner.

I try to think of a dinner option that means only one extra "thing" to cook for my husband or myself.  I also try to save some of the meat he is having for a baby food concotion.  For example, if I am roasting chicken, then I will strip some of the meat off for a baby meal.

For all of the baby meals I cook in bulk.  There are a few options that he loves (anything with pumpkin is a winner) and to these I have started adding cooked beans, mince, roast chicken, yoghurt, cous cous, semolina or polenta to create a new meal.  I have also found if he doesn't like one of the new vegetable puree's I'm making - adding it to mashed pumpkin or potato is a great way to make sure he eats it.  We are up to beginning finger foods and so far skinny toast soldiers, cucumber and sticks of pear are the favourites.

Here is the dinner menu for this week to show how I set out all of the meals

Tuesday - Bruschetta - husband cooking (that didn't happen)
Wednesday - leftovers/dinner at my Grandma's
Thursday - Carrot and Almond Soup and sausages - steam carrots for a baby meal
Friday - Beetroot risotto
Saturday - Laksa with prawns
Sunday - Baked Eggs - roast some veggies for a baby meal while the oven is on
Monday - Burrito's (meat and bean/TVP) -

Tuesday - Nicoise salad
Wednesday - leftovers/dinner at my Grandma's
Thursday - Brussel sprout and caramalised onion soup - do some brussel sprouts for a baby meal
Friday - Baked potatoes with hot smoked salmon blue cheese and caramalised onion - roast veggies for a baby meal
Saturday - Chicken drumsticks/Quorn in terakyi sauce with sushi rice and edamame - save some chicken for a baby meal
Sunday - Home made pizza
Monday - Mexican burgers.

Captain Jack's Breakfast
Oatmeal with stewed apricots, yoghurt, pear and buttered toast

Captain Jack's Lunch/Dinners
Pumpkin and Cannelini bean mash
Chicken, Potato and Squash
 Penne with ricotta - blended
Apple and semolina - sweets

The last few weeks when I had extra things on in the evening we were ordering take-away so I didn't have to cook, but after bargining for 30 minutes and then having to wait another hour for it to be delievered and spening over $50 for the privlidge I have bought a few extra hings this week for the nights I don't feel like cooking.  Here they are:
  • Freezer Meals
  • Vacuum packed hot-smoked salmon
  • Pre-made curry simmer sauce thing
  • Frozen cut veggies in portioned bags
  • Frozen vegetable spring rolls (so easy to stick under the griller while you do something else)
  • Puff Pastry - so I can make pot pies with frozen chilli/stew in the freezer

Any ideas for easy and quick weeknight dinners?

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