Tuesday 17 January 2012

Menu plan madness

I'd forgotten how hard it can be to get to a computer with an in-arms baby around; 2 older kids with homework, and cuddling, and playing, and it gets even trickier.
My meal plans have really changed as I have only a small window of time to cook in the day with a nursling in my arms, and it's important to me to savour every moment of every stage, and to respond to his needs as much and as quickly as possible. We won't die from a few months of speedy meals. I'm also using lots of pre-prepped veg once or twice a month as I get Healthy Start vouchers for fruit and veg, which I can't use with my organic box or with online shopping, so I use the vouchers to reduce my prep time in the kitchen, but still give the kids a variety or fruit and veg every day. My weekly plans reflect the shifts of Papa, and whether GodPapa is around to hold the baby or chat to him in his chair or similar.
For example, Wednesdays are often toast and toppings, because I'm relying on the girls to keep Baby entertained while I put things out, and they usually clear the table while I feed him during and after they eat. On weekends I try to indulge my cooking creativity a bit more when there are more people around to keep him entertained for longer, tho if it's a feed he wants, obviously, no one else can substitute!

On Tuesdays I should also have time to cook, but Papa and I like to spend the day together and often have errands to run and shopping to do, or even cleaning and organising of the house to do together, so we actually often end up with a fast meal, or even taking the kids to eat out! I'm talking Ikea, or the chip shop, not McD's, or KFC, nor posh restaurants either!

This week, we had a lovely impromptu visit from a lovely friend on Sunday, and I stretched the meal to make sure there was enough, but otherwise, here is the meal plan as I wrote it on Saturday:

Saturday: Pizzas from the supermarket, with salad and garlic bread.
With multi buy deals and varying toppings, this was a nice, inexspensive compromise between take away and home made.
Sunday: jeera chicken in a hurry (not marinaded, but cooked in the spices and with yoghurt added at the end), pulao rice (with peas), creamy spinach and sweetcorn, and Littl'Un's fave raw cauli/broc salad.
Monday: cheat's mac & cheese, using creme fraiche instead of making a white sauce, and this was using up ends of cheeses from Christmas cheese platters too.
Tuesday: Swedish meatballs, spaghetti and cream sauce and veg. (Tho we may sneak to Ikea for similar instead!)
Wednesday: toast!
Thursday: sausages and Smash and mixed veg (from the freezer). I'm not ashamed!
Friday: Jamie Oliver fish cakes (which were on offer) for me and GodPapa, tuna mayo rolls for the kids.
Saturday: roast gammon which was half price in Morrisons, which will give us plenty for left overs too. :D


  1. I find buying pizzas from the supermarket when they are on special offer way cheaper than making my own. I bought some lovely ones the other week that worked out at £1.50 each! A really cheap dinner.

    Thanks for linking up!

  2. I pretty much always use frozen veg. From what I understand it's the small nutritional value with no pressure of it going mouldy & pre-chopped etc. Seems like a win win to me!

  3. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to link! I shall definitely try to link more often!
    I do love my frozen veg, but I have quite a small freezer and so can't keep a wide range of types in. Maybe I should suspend the organic box deliveries while the baby is such a tiddler and stick to frozen for a bit... :)