Thursday, 1 March 2012

Menu 05-03-12

Some people give me a strange look when I mention that I make a weekly menu plan. Did I say some? I meant all. It's a habit which is born out of necessity, rather than a desire to be insanely over-organised. I work 9 hours a day. Combined with daily yoga practice and my commute I'm out of the house for 12 hours per day minimum, so when I get home I don't have the time or energy to ponder what I'm going to make for dinner or go to the supermarket. What I need is a piece of paper which tells me what I'm going to eat, and the ingredients in my cupboard and fridge to make it right away. Did I mention? I get really grumpy when I'm hungry, which R can testify!

So, every week I look online for new meal ideas and recipes (Tastespotting is my favourite site for this). By Friday I have a bunch of recipes to try. I organise them into a menu (as below) then make a shopping list with every ingredient I'm going to need. I then go one step further (this is where it gets crazy, be warned) and organise the shopping list into the order of the supermarket - fruit and vege first, then meat, dairy, and dried foods at the end. It makes our supermarket trip go smoothly and as quickly as possible, and we're not constantly doubling back to get something we forgot, or getting lured into the junk food aisle by mistake.

Lunches Monday-Tuesday

Gruyère, red pepper and spinach quiche
Fruit salad

Lunches Thursday-Friday
Chick-pea and lentil salad with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette
Banana and chocolate chip muffin (home-baked)*
Fresh berries

Dinner Saturday
Caribbean chicken and rice (freeze left overs for emergency meals!)

Dinner Sunday-Monday
Baked penne with eggplant, zuccini and tomato

Dinner Tuesday-Wednesday
Marinated tofu with vegetable stir-fry and noodles

Dinner Thursday - out

Dinner Friday
Home-made burgers with hand cut spicy potato wedges (no recipe - I just make it up as I go along!)

Banana split with vanilla ice-cream and warm Mars bar sauce (melt a chopped-up Mars bar in a small pot with a splash of milk... that's it!)

*A note on the baked goods. Every time I do any baking I make a large batch - 24 or so biscuits, slices or muffins. I leave a few out for the coming week and freeze the rest for lunches. This way one batch of baking can easily last for three weeks worth of lunches.

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