Monthly Archives: January 2015

Mealplan 11/01

It’s been a good week but a busy one – so tough getting used work again after nearly two weeks off! We mostly stuck to the mealplan but ended up making a fry up for dinner last night when I burned the bottom of the planned curry (luckily just at the beginning of the sauce making stage so not TOO much wastage). Just to show that even people who cook all the time have kitchen disasters. Moral of the story: don’t cook while trying to make phone calls and return messages in the other room.

We bought a couple more things last week and did a ‘big shop’ today so I’ll get the spending page updated tomorrow. No time tonight, I’ve been rushing about making lunches for the next few days (noodle soup for me to use up leftover beansprouts, and sausage rolls for Dave for tomorrow to use up leftover sausagemeat).

As usual, FF on the mealplan means I’ve already made it and it’s from the freezer.

Mealplan

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Sun 11 – homemade hotdogs (yes I made my own sausages, post to follow on this!)

Mon 12 – Singapore-style noodles with pork mince and prawns

Tues 13 – baked potatoes and veg chilli (FF)

Wed 14 – spaghetti with walnuts, pumpkin seeds and spinach

Thurs 15 – soup and bread

Fri 16 – beef tacos (meat filling FF)

Sat 17 – hummous and salad and pittas

For breakfasts:

For me – porridge with apple or a banana chocolate milkshake

For Dave – cereal (Alpen at the moment) or sausage egg frittatas (if I get round to making them tomorrow night)

At the weekend – I didn’t make pancakes or beans last week so might this week. Bacon roll for Dave usually

For lunches:

For me – noodle soup x3, I have lentil soup in the freezer and have made cheese pastry rolls too for the other days

For Dave – homemade sausage rolls tomorrow, then tuna salad and tuna or ham sandwiches, with tinned fruit

Ham joint and meal prep

I know lots of people struggle with cooking after work, which is why it’s always a great idea to do some batch cooking and prep work when you have the time to spend a couple of hours in the kitchen. Tonight, I cooked the gammon joint I bought at the weekend for dinner tonight and prepped it for the next few meals.

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First I boiled the gammon joint – well, I actually cooked it in the pressure cooker for around 25 minutes, then smothered in mustard and a little maple syrup (no honey left) and roasted in the oven for around 45 minutes. Meanwhile, I roasted some carrots, parsnips and swede, and made some creamy mash to go with it.

For the sauce, I reduced down the ham stock made by boiling the ham (with the peelings from the veg chucked in while it bubbled away) for a bit. Once it had cooked away, I melted some butter in a small saucepan, added a spoonful of flour to make a paste and thinned with a couple of ladlefuls of the ham stock. I cooked it, whisking regularly, until thickened, then added wholegrain mustard and cream. Delicious 🙂

After dinner I had the following leftovers to work with:

  • About half the cream & mustard sauce
  • A small portion of mash and a tiny handful of roasted veg from dinner
  • Just short of 500g potatoes cooked in their skins (I’d cooked extra on purpose and put them aside before making the mash for dinner)
  • Most of the joint of ham
  • The leftover stock from cooking the ham

Here’s what I did with it:

  • I made gnocchi using a double batch of this recipe but with added defrosted and chopped spinach. My one fear is the gnocchi will fall apart because I added too much spinach, but I’m sure it’ll be nice anyway 😉 I froze half of it and left half in the fridge for later on in the week.
  • I sliced half the ham thinly. The sliced ham was individually bagged into 11 sandwich-sized portions, which will do Dave for the rest of the month (he had ham sandwiches 2-3x a week).
  • The rest of the ham I cut into small cubes. I used some of this with cooked pasta and cooked frozen sweetcorn, spring onion, mayo, a little of the leftover sauce for the ham and mustard to make two days worth of pasta salad for Dave’s lunches. The rest of the ham has been frozen to be added to pie fillings, fried rice or whatever else might come up.
  • Withe stock, I just boiled right down til really concentrated, then poured into an ice-cube tray to freeze as homemade stock cubes
  • Finally, there was a little bit of mash and veg left from dinner, so I mashed it all together with some of the ham cubes to make a potato cake and fried, to have as my own lunch with the rest of the leftover sauce and some salad tomorrow.

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So that’s what I’ve been up to this evening. Bit tired now after spending half the evening in the kitchen but it was definitely worth it to be organised 🙂

Does anyone else prep food for the freezer, or make their lunches in advance? I hate not having lunch ready the night before because otherwise it’s a total rush to make them in the morning.

New Year’s Mealplan

Soooooo, a New Year’s resolution: blog more! I’ve done plenty of exciting cooking and thrifty mealplanning since I last blogged, but have just struggled to get the time to post. I miss blogging though so I’m determined to make more time for it.

Like everyone else, I’ve been eating pretty randomly for the last couple of weeks – I’ve been lucky enough to be off work throughout Christmas and New Year so it’s been a mix of celebration meals and constant grazing. I have cooked the odd blog-worthy meal though. I got a meat grinder/pasta maker from Dave for my Christmas so got that out on Hogmanay to make my own fusilli 🙂

I’m really looking forward to getting back into regular meals, meal planning and generally healthy foods, so I was excited to come up with the first mealplan of 2015.

My focus this week was on using up what we already had and getting plenty of veg in. We’ve got loads in the freezer (everything with FF after it) so shouldn’t need a big shop to do the following:

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Like my new kitchen chalkboard? It was a Christmas present. If you can’t read the photo, the mealplan is:

Sun 4 – out for lunch so just lentil soup (FF) for dinner if we’re hungry later
Mon 5 – glazed ham, roasted veg and mash with mustard sauce
Tues 6 – veggie chilli (FF) and rice
Wed 7 – spinach gnocchi with ham and tomato sauce
Thurs 8 – lasagne (FF) and salad
Fri 9 – veg-filled mac & cheese bake
Sat 10 – chickpea curry and rice

For breakfasts the plan is:

For me – porridge with apple or banana, or a banana chocolate milkshake
For Dave – cereal or toast
At the weekend – I think I’ll make pancakes one day for brunch, and maybe some home cooked baked beans if I have time the other day

For lunches:

Me – lentil soup (FF) or veg chilli (FF) with veg sticks
Dave – homemade beef pasties (FF) or ham sandwiches

Instead of listing my spending in my Sunday posts like before, I’ve created a page where I can keep all the spending for the month together – I haven’t been shopping yet, but you can find it here and I’ll update it every time I get more food.