Today is Meal Plan Monday.
I’m going to share with you my meal plan for the week in the hope that you get some kind of inspiration from it. I get the impression many of you find the whole getting dinner on the table every night to be a challenge and so do I at times! Sometimes sharing ideas with others in a similar situation can help…so here goes…
Firstly, I just want to make it really clear that I am just a mum! I am not a nutritionist or dietician. I am not amazingly organised or any kind of super mum. I’m just a normal mum wanting to provide the best food for her family.
Food that is simple.
Food that is healthy.
Food my kids will actually eat!
I don’t believe it is necessary to get all creative and original in the kitchen – save that for the weekend! During the week, I like to keep it easy on everyone – who wants to be doing dishes half the night? So on a Sunday night, I take a good hard look at what is already in my fridge and pantry and then nut out some ideas of what I might make with it.
We try to keep things gluten and dairy free most of the time but you will see spelt pasta and some cheese on my meal plan. Usually I will provide an alternative for Frankie who is my main concern when it comes to intolerances.
Breakfast and Lunches are just suggestions. We don’t always stick to that part of the plan but it is good to have an idea and some ingredients on hand – I find being prepared is the best advantage of this whole meal planning deal! I have also neglected to add the soy latte I grab down the street most days and the bit of mint raw choc I eat after dinner each night…I can’t be giving away all my secrets!
I use mostly organic, good quality, fresh food and I do spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I am Italian and I love to cook so I find a balance between clean eating and thoughtful indulgences. If you don’t have as much time as I do to cook (I don’t work while my husband is away at sea working, which he is at the moment) you can certainly take some short cuts – buy a good quality dip instead of making one…things like that. Take what you like and leave the rest…
This week I got a lovely organic cauliflower in my Co-op box. This is what we did with it…
Cauliflower and Gruyere Soup
I LOVE Gruyere cheese. When I do use cheese, I go to my deli and get a good one! Gruyere is mild but tasty, firm but smooth. Great cheese for melting so delicious for a toastie or open sandwich melt.
1 T organic butter
1 leek washed and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 Cauliflower, roughly chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
I bay leaf
About 4 cups of stock ( I use home made chicken stock but you can use vegetable too)
1 cup (about 60g) grated Gruyere cheese
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season if necessary
What to do:
Put the butter in a good soup pot along with the leek and garlic and saute for a few minutes before adding the rest of the veggies and bay leaf. Cook stirring regularly for about five minutes, then add your stock.
Cook with the lid on but ajar for about 20 minutes, until the potato is soft (you can stop at the point and let the soup sit for a few hours, heat turned off).
Use a stab blender (or blender in batches) to puree the soup. Bring to a simmer, the stir in the Gruyere and keep stirring until it has melted, just a few minutes. Taste before seasoning in case the stock and cheese are enough.
Serve with some chopped chives and thick buttered sour dough toast.
- The Gruyere can be substituted for 1/2 cup of grated parmesan or 2 T of cream – or leave it all out if you prefer a dairy free option.
- Soup can be frozen but better (not essential) to do so before the adding the cheese stage.
- Leftover soup can be used to replace Bechamel sauce in Lasagna.
Cauliflower and Gruyere Mini Quiches
Defrost 2 sheets of shortcrust pastry and use a large glass to cut four circles from each. Press these into a well greased muffin tray.
For the filling, into a bowl add 1/4 cauliflower broken into little florets and lightly steamed, 3 eggs, a dash of milk, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese, some chopped chives and a pinch of good quality salt. Whisk up.
Put the filling into the pastry lined tin and bake at 18oC for about 15 minutes, until golden brown and puffed.
These are nice with soup, great in lunch boxes or even served to the kids for dinner with some peas and carrots.
- If you don’t like using frozen pastry, you can make your own or even go without to make mini frittatas.
Still got Cauliflower?
This Jamie Oliver Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry is easy and delicious and great warmed up for lunch the next day. I have also made Rosa Mitchell’s (My favourite Sicilian Chef…you might have been to Rosa’s Kitchen in Melbourne?) Cauliflower Fritters and the kids love them.
What else am I making?
Delicious Honey Spiced Chai Cookies from Marinya Cottage Kitchen
Carrot and Coconut Flour Muffins from Comfy Belly
Well…I hope this has helped inspire you to get productive in the kitchen. I would like to continue this series and I have lots of ideas I’d love to share with you. I would also love your feedback – let me know if you have any questions or would like to talk about anything in particular.
Have a great week!