Monday, 21 September 2020

Meal Plan For The Week - 21st September

Well it's been a little while since I wrote a meal plan on this blog, but I write one out in my life planner every single week religiously as I absolutely swear by them for keeping family life ticking over smoothly and reducing food waste.

So once again, I'm going to try to start sharing regular weekly meal plans here on my blog. It's a good way to keep a record of recipes we've tried and loved, and I personally love to read other peoples meal plans for inspiration too.

For this week, I felt just as unsure about planning our evening meals as I do when deciding what clothes to pick out of my wardrobe each day - the weather seems to be switching from Middle Of Summer to Drizzly Autumn every other day right now, and I just can't decide if its time for salads or stews!

This week I went somewhere in between most evenings, and as this was our first week re-introducing our semi-structured Home Ed timetable I wanted to keep the evening meals pretty simple - lots of slow cooker and bung-it-in-the-oven jobs to keep us going with minimal fuss - hopefully next week we can be a bit more adventurous!

So without further ado, here are the planned dinners for this week:


Oven Baked Salmon, Brown Rice and Veggie Hash

This is something we tend to have once a week as a bit of a staple, it's probably my favourite dinner and it's so quick and easy too. 

The salmon is drizzled with some soy sauce and a bit of honey, then oven baked. The veggie hash is something Jon made on a whim one evening that I loved and we've stuck with since - it's basically just red onion, crushed garlic, mixed peppers, cherry tomatoes and potato all chopped up tiny into cubes - then drizzled with olive oil and roasted. It is SO DELICIOUS! It goes perfectly with brown rice too - yum!


Sweet & Sour Chicken with Egg Fried Rice

I'll be honest - this is a total cheat meal, but it is SO GOOD and so easy! It is the M & S Sweet & Chicken Dinner - it's not from the chinese read meal range, it's one that you oven bake separate from the sauce and doesn't come with any rice. It's basically tempura battered chicken mini fillets with a side of sweet & sour sauce - it is amazing! The batter is so light and crispy, the quality of the chicken is fantastic and the sauce is really yummy - served with some cheats micro egg fried rice, it is the perfect mid-week easy dinner without compromising on taste! The kids love it too.


Quiche, Jacket Potato and Baked Beans

Again, another really easy store-bought tea - you can see a theme this week can't you?!

We do usually cook from scratch far more often, but as I said - I wanted convenience this week, and in all honesty I have never made my own quiche and never intend to! I'm not actually a big fan of quiche or any egg-based dishes, but I do really like the M & S Tomato & Broccoli Quiche - so with some baked potato and beans, it's the ideal quick and easy tea after a busy day.


Chicken Fettucine Amalfi

Finally - a home made from scratch meal! This is my all time favourite comfort food - it is incredibly unhealthy but also incredibly delicious and worth every single yummy calorie!

It's a dish I first discovered at an Italian restaurant in Liverpool which no longer exists and one I've never managed to find on the menu at any other Italian restaurant ever since, so I tried my best to recreate it at home and although it's not exactly like the one from the restaurant - it's close enough and still gorgeous!

I prefer the texture of pulled chicken breast for this dish, so I roast a chicken first. Then to make the sauce, I fry some minced garlic (about 3 cloves) and a chopped white onion until soft, then add a handful of sliced white mushrooms until cooked. Then I throw in the torn chicken breast and a couple of handfuls of spinach until it wilts, pour over about a cup of white wine (more on that later!) and simmer for a few minutes before removing from the heat, adding about 300 mls of double cream and stirring through.

I then serve over fettucine, combine it all together, and top with grated mozzarella then pop it under the grill until it bubbles. 

Trust me - it's SO GOOD!


Slow Cooked Beef & Mushroom Pie with Mash & Broccoli Bake

This has become another firm favourite in our house lately and is a lovely meal for Autumn nights. We slow cook diced beef and mushrooms in gravy for about 8 hours so that it gets lovely and tender, then use it as a pie filling - topped off with some nice puff pastry and served with mash, and cheesy broccoli - so good and so easy!


Southern Fried Chicken Wraps, Chips & Peas for the kiddies and Haddock en croute with mash and boston beans for us!

I try not to do different dinners all that often if I can help it, but Jon & I are big fans of fish for dinner whereas the children don't really want to know unless it's fishfingers or salmon. 

I picked up some Haddock En Croute last time I was in Waitrose as they looked really nice, and they've been in the freezer ever since so I really want to get them used up.

The kids love having wraps for dinner, so I got some southern fried chicken fillets with this weeks shopping for them to have with some BBQ sauce, chips and peas. A nice quick tea that nobody will complain about!



This is always a winner in our house, and over the last few months my 7 year old has loved helping to make it. He now calls himself The Lasagne King and is constantly asking me when he'll be allowed to make it completely by himself - that confident is he that he has it mastered!

Although I won't be letting him loose on the oven any time soon, it is lovely that he likes to get involved in making this and its a dinner that everyone enjoys. We always have it with quorn mince as we just prefer it that way, so its a nice meat-free meal for us too.

Wine Of The Week

As something a little different, Jon & I have recently started getting quite in to wine and we've decided to treat ourselves to a nice bottle for the weekend on a weekly basis.

This week we went for the Malvirà Roero Arneis Renesio 2018 - we were browsing through the Independent Wines e-shop and noticed that this particular wine had won the Gamberro Rosso Tree Glasses Award, one of only around 2000 wines in the whole of Italy to win this prestigious award - so we decided to give it a go.

Now I must say that we are far from wine connoisseurs but we both really enjoyed this and found it to be light and very refreshing, with a delicate almost floral scent and a touch of citrus about it. It was dry with a hint of lemon and honey about it, and felt deliciously smooth to sip on. We've saved half of the bottle to have with our pasta dinner on Wednesday which we're really looking forward to - it would also be perfect paired with fish. 

We're using Independent Wine for our little weekly treats - they offer a hand picked selection of  Italian wines for those who want to find something special but don't have the time (or, in our case, the experience) to search for it. I find their knowledge base really insightful and informative for new Wine Tasters like ourselves, as it's packed full of information and articles from how to pick the perfect bottle of wine to how to pair it or even cook with it.

I'm really looking forward to trying some more from their collection. Do you have a favourite Italian wine you'd recommend?

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