As I was getting ready to sort out this week's menu plan, I realised that it was my 100th What's Cooking, so I decided to go right back to that first ever one to see if it might inspire this week's. It was interesting to read my introduction to the post :
"I've never really used a weekly meal plan before but I've decided to give it a go this week, get organised and plan ahead. I always have a rough idea of what I'm going to cook throughout the week, depending on what we've bought in the weekly shop, but it's always a last minute decision on a day-to-day basis which results in a mad rush when I get home from work and the school run and need to sort out dinner while supervising homework. This is my new initiative to make it all run more smoothly by knowing well in advance what I need to defrost or buy. It will also be useful as a food diary to see why I have (or haven't) managed to lose weight in a certain week. I'm not sure I'll stick to the plan, because I often end up changing dinners to accommodate leftovers in the fridge, but it will be interesting to see how it works out and whether or not it makes my life easier. If it does, it may become a regular feature on my blog."
It seems crazy now that I used to go shopping for ingredients before knowing what I'd be cooking. Even if I often veer away from the plan, if I see something that looks nice in the supermarket or find something in the fridge that needs using up, it's great to know it's there as a backup plan and that mad panic of "what am I going to cook for tea tonight?" when I get home from work is long gone. I'm sure we save money and cut down on food waste with a bit of forward planning too.
OK, here's the rough menu plan for the week. I've decided to stick to what I planned 100 weeks ago because it sounds rather tasty so I'm up for a repeat ! (Comments in purple are from this week)
lunch - our twice monthly trip to McDonalds so the kids can let off steam in the soft play area - seafood salad for me, Happy Meals for the kids, burger and chips for Madhouse Daddy Mike (no change there then!)
dinner - Madhouse Daddy Mike's homemade vegetable soup, with a toasted slice of homemade bread if there's any left. (This menu planner is working already, it's just reminded me to go and check the bread situation!) (that's become a weekly ritual too)
lunch - roast chicken, cooked on a bed of roast potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and onions, possibly with some stuffing balls, gravy (yep, same as usual here too)
dinner - nobody's usually hungry after a big roast dinner so just a snack like a ham sandwich, a bowl of cereal or some porridge, a yogurt and a piece of fruit (and snap !)
dinner - fresh grilled salmon fillets with garlic pepper and lime juice, rice or boiled potatoes and green beans (might go for ratatouille instead of green beans but I have everything in the cupboard/freezer for this)
lunch : schools on strike so everyone home for lunch but need something quick for Madhouse Daddy Mike - not sure yet, either risotto or Spanish omelette probably, but it might be fajitas, depending on our mood ! (hmm fajitas - I saw a pack of tortillas in the cupboard so that'll do !)
dinner - something in the slow cooker, probably Beef Carbonnade or Beef Bourguignon (made with a cheap cut of beef, carrots, onions, mushrooms, a tin of chopped tomatoes plus seasoning) with mash or rice, if there's any leftover from last night. I'll probably have it with just extra vegetables from the slow cooker. (I haven't used the slow cooker in a while so this sounds like a good idea but I'll switch over Monday (bank holiday so more time) and Tuesday)
lunch - probably a Madhouse Daddy Mike special of beefburger and pasta (it's a half day at school so everyone is home for lunch, but it's a mad rush so needs to be quick, Madhouse Daddy Mike gets home before me so he sorts it out!) (aww I forgot I used to rush home from work every Wednesday to find Madhouse Daddy wielding a frying pan with his tie tucked over his shoulder ! I think I'll have leftovers to use up, if not pasta and beefburgers it is, for old time's sake !)
dinner - I think I might have a go at making homemade pizza with the kids because I haven't done that for ages - they all choose their own toppings, but it usually ends up being a combination of cherry tomatoes, cheese, ham, sweetcorn, red pepper, mushrooms, onions, olives ... I may go for Mouse-shaped pizza again, if I have a Cheestring kicking about in the fridge ! Served with a side salad and some sliced tomatoes. (Yay, Mouse pizza - always good for a laugh and haven't had this for ages !)
dinner - Tartiflette because that cheese will be getting well stinky if I don't use it up soon ! Reblochon cheese on top of sliced baked potatoes, onions and bacon, baked in the oven until it melts, served with mixed salad (lettuce, sweetcorn, tomato, gherkins, cucumber, olives ...) (perfect winter comfort food, why not?)
dinner - something with chicken fillet - probably a Bake & Shake, maybe with courgettes, red peppers and tomatoes like this Italian Chicken one because it was lovely, but it might turn into a curry or something Chinese-inspired instead, depending on our mood and what's left in the vegetable drawer of the fridge - served with spaghetti, rice or couscous, depending on what we go for, or just with the vegetables if they don't go too mushy (perfect for the #KitchenClearout linkie)
***Click on my Menu Plans tag to see all my other weekly menu plan blogposts.***