help me to meal plan please?(21 Posts)
not really for financial reasons although if i can tighten the belt a little that would be great. more because i want nutritious, filling meals for a large family but without having to spend hours in the kitchen. i am going to asda tomorrow, and want to buy enough for a week. i have 2 adults, 2 older children who eat almost adult portion, and 2 younger ones who only eat slightly less. no one excessively fussy, although dd1 who has AS tends to have moods where she wont eat certain things like mash, certain veg etc.
I think you can probably do an internet search for some basic family meal plans to start you off, then adjust them for your needs.
Either that or write a list of your family's favourite meals, then fit them into a weekly timetable that suits you best.
For example, on a Thursday DS1 doesn't get in from music theory class till 5 and then needs to get to his youth group by 6.30 so I do something like a lentil dhal that can be ready in the slow cooker.
i wouldnt have a clue where to look. the only day there is a club is beavers for the girls on wednesdays. they finish at 5.45 and get home approx 6pm.
A fairly simple way to start is to think along the lines of:
a meal with rice (curry, chilli, risotto)
a meal with potatoes (baked potatoes and ratatouille, sausage and mash, wedges and eggs)
a meal with pasta (lasagne, pasta pesto, pasta with tomato sauce)
a quick and easy meal with salad - omelettes, qaesadillas, falafel and pitta)
a slowcooker meal (soup and bread, stew and dumplings)
that could be a plan, i could do with some recipe ideas or links if any around please?
Or I tend to do
Sun - Roast
Mon - Cold meat
Tue - Pasta
Wes - Fish
Thu - Rice
Fri - DC choose from freezer
Sat - something from freezer but a family meal.
What would you like recipes for? I'm a veggie, so can help with vegetarian stuff if there's anything specific you want to know.
no idea really. have never done this before. we are not veggie, but will eat some veggie food just not every night. just food that is simple to prepare but nutritious and filling. doesnt have to be hot food every night as the dc's all have hot meals at school, but a nice array of winter warmers would be good. all the ones i know cost a fortune to make and take ages.
Well if the dcs like eggs, try googling recipes for Spanish omelette - easy and yummy.
Pesto is really easy to make and much nicer when homemade. Can have with pasta with various 'bits' stirred into it - rocket leaves, halved cherry tomatoes, cooked vege, bits of chicken, feta cheese, whatever really.
Cut up some root vege - potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, peel some shallots or use wedges of red onion. Warm up some oil in a big roasting dish then stick the vege in and roast it. Dead easy and lovely with sausages for instance.
Here's a list of things I cook:
Prawn and courgette pasta
Meatballs & pasta, tomato sauce
Potato green bean and ham salad
Beans on toast
One pan spicy rice
Chicken & cannelini beans
Chicken w/chilli lemon mint
Stir fry w chicken
Chicken & wedges
Thai green curry
Chicken & sweet pot curry
Tortilla (Spanish omelette)
Stir fry w prawns
Stir fry w salmon
Chorizo & chickpea stew
Pork and apricot burgers
Spicy sausage pasta
Tomato fennel chickpea soup
Puy lentil soup
Roasted veg & couscous
Couscous, roasted squash spinach salad
Ultimate winter couscous
Stir fry w cashews
Vegetable pasta bake
Pea & pancetta risotto
Green veg risotto
Red lentil and aubergine curry
Cauli and chickpea curry
Chicken pie & veg
Roast mackerel & veg
Sausages & mash
Toad in the hole
Veggie rogan josh
I try and cook a big batch of something on Monday that can be heated up quickly after swimming/clubs another night.
I usually try and pick one red meat, one or two veggie, one chicken or fish etc. HTH!
I started a thread on meal planning earlier today too! How funny! I was amazed by how organised some people are.
I'm going to try it too, good luck to us both, CherryMonster!
I ask the family what dinners they would like in the upcoming week.
We tend to do...
Something with mince - lasagne, burgers, spag bol
a pasta - carbonara, arrabiata, aubergine and mozzarella, lots of others
sausages - with mash, toad in the hole, chopped and fried and added to pasta with wholegrain mustard and fried onions
jackets with various fillings - tuna mayo, cheese + beans, chicken and bacon mayo or chilli
fish - prawns, salmon fillets with garlic butter and pasta, tuna steaks made into meatballs, monkfish tails are delicious
bacon hotpot (family favourite, cheap, easy to prep and cook when ready)
Anyway, we eat lots of other things too but these are the types of things we eat regularly. I ask what people want then make sure I spread them out over the week in such a way that we aren't eating the same things 2 nights running.
I make myself a big soup at the start of the week and it does me for 3 - 4 days as well as some for the baby and a light meal for the DDs on swimming night.
It's easy once you've started and if you plan well enough, you don't need to go back and forwards to the supermarket every evening and pick up any of those optional extras.
my meal plan always includes leftover type meals, so I can cheat in the second day iykwim.
so my week would look like this
Mon- slow cooker gammon with new pots and veg
Tuesday- ham (leftover from yesterday) and split pea soup, or ham risotto.
Wed- veg soup (any leftover veg, bendy carrots, dodgy parsnips, suspect swede all go in)
Thursday- seafood linguine (frozen mixed seafood or just prawns)
Friday- I will roast a chicken- make a squash or pumpkin laksa, add shredded breast at the end.
Sat- chicken and mushroom gnocchi with the chicken legs
you do have to consider sell by dates, so it sometimes makes more sense to eat meat at the start and veg meals at the end due to the meats shelflife. after a while this is less of a problem as you begin to optimize your freezer
most dinners are a salad, or omelette or something out of leftover ingredients - the remaining carrots from a bag, the rest of the spinach, potatoes etc again this helps reduce waste.
When dc are older I intend to get them to help, perhaps by looking through the cookbooks and picking what they might like? it may help to have every one involved?
OMG, Olivia I think I love you. I clicked on your meal planning link and what's the very first thing I see? Key lime pie. That's right key lime I'm-so-fricken-gorgeous pie. Only my most favourite ever dessert . And even better, the recipe looks easy.
<puts limes on shopping list>
sadly with the amount my lot
gannets eat, there are rarely leftovers. the only real exception is when i do a spag bol, i make tons and usually have the leftovers on chips for lunch the next day.
We're going to move this to the food topic in a mo, as we think the thread will get the best responses there.
To save time in the kitchen make larger quantities. If you have the freezer space, plan more than one week at a time.
With meals such as lasagne or shepherd's pie, make two and freeze one.
If you do shepherd's/cottage pie, make extra mash and freeze to have with a casserole or sausages or put in the fridge for the next day.
Print out a page of the days next week (I used outlook for this before treating myself to a new diary). Rule 3 columns down it. Then note if any meals don't need making or have time constraints (so Beavers, needs serving after 6, out of the house from 5.30). Then start of by thinking about what meals you can easily cook (spaghetti bolanaise, bangers and mash, pork chips with boiled potatoes, you get the idea). Pick a meal and write it in the second column.
In the third column, write what you need to buy for that meal (eg 4 chops) and take the whole page shopping. When you get home stick it on the fridge/notice board and refer to each day.
Once you get more ambitious you can think about adding new meals and trying to builds in leftovers, but trying to do everything at once generally leads to stress.
I tend to meal plan for the month. I pick a few cook books out and choose recipes there, same for the good food site, look on the sanisburys website to see what's on offer then look for ideas, for example if its chicken thighs ill look for recipes with those. I write a list of these meals, then add in the favourites, then order a months worth of meat and long life groceries then just top up.
Sunday lunch is always roast and I make something to reheat on Monday, Tuesday DP cooks something simple as I work late, Wednesday and Thursday ill try one of my 'new' recipes and cook for Friday, Saturday is either takeaway or a homemade version of a take away. Seems to work well for us. I always have a bag of frozen chips and some fish fingers/nuggets/fillets or whatever in case it all goes tits up.
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