Foodlovers Foodtalk Forum

Menu planning

Posted by cantabcook 
Menu planning
July 20, 2019 01:00AM
Morning all. I've gone back to the good old menu planning to get a semblance of organisation into the daily routine (and work around sports practices, meals that need to reheat etc). But I'm finding it hard to get inspired lately and seem to keep choosing the same old meals again.

Do you have a menu plan for the next week and what do you have on it? If not, what did you have last week? I think I need to try some new dishes again so maybe I can get some inspiration from you all. School starts again next week so I should have more time to get creative in the kitchen. If you don't menu plan, perhaps you could recommend your favourite dishes from the Foodlovers recipe bank and I could try a couple of those.
Re: Menu planning
July 20, 2019 01:27AM
I minimally menu plan. I look at what I have in my fridge and freezer then make at least one recipe that will use up those things before buying anything else, and what I buy is usually on special. I use the search function in my recipe 'book' to find recipes with those ingredients. Then I browse my recipe 'book' and/or the web for new, tasty looking meals for the coming week, buying only what I need for the next week's meals.

Last night I made a meal from Jamie Oliver's "Quick & Easy", Sausage & Apple Bake. For a recipe with only 6 ingredients plus a bit of oil and seasoning, it was stunningly flavoursome and only took about 15 minutes to prep and get into the oven for 30 minutes.

I have created my recipe 'book' on my computer using OneNote and have literally thousands of recipes at my fingertips. I haven't tried them all, of course, but anything that sounds nice to me while I'm reading the food sections of newspapers and magazines online, I will copy into my book, complete with a picture and any relevant comments, all of which is fully searchable.
Re: Menu planning
July 20, 2019 01:40AM
I do try to use up what I have as well Lorna. Ooohhh lets put your system to the test please and see what you come up with for me! Things I have at the moment that need using up - pumpkin, onions, kumara, eggs, chicken drums, smoked chicken, celery, spinach, frozen cherry tomatoes. Fairly well stocked pantry and freezer too. smiling smiley

From those I would usually do a smoked chicken, spinach and lemon risotto. Potentially I'd make a roast vege frittata (but only myself and daughter would eat that). Some other ideas would be much appreciated from anyone.
Re: Menu planning
July 20, 2019 01:49AM
I don't so much plan a menu as work with what is available from the garden and our small supermarket, and try to incorporate any leftovers as I go along. I will try to remember the past week's dinners. I normally try to have tuna or salmon at least twice a week but the quality wasn't good last week.

Sun. Steak and kidney stew from freezer, mashed potato, frozen peas, carrots with butter.

Mon. Sirloin beef, sautéed potatoes with garlic and tarragon butter from freezer, broccoli.

Tues. Gratin of left over mashed potato, tinned red salmon, gruyére, chives, parsley and egg; broccoli with butter.

Wed. Meatballs of minced beef, feta, Baharat (spice mixture), baked pumpkin, salad of red onion, olives, blood oranges and parsley. Plenty left over.

Thurs. Curry of chicken legs, wings and thighs (from a whole free range chicken which I dismembered), tomatoes and yoghurt. Cabbage with pumpkin, ginger and whole spices, Japanese rice, kimchi

Fri. Free range chicken breast in teriyaki sauce (mirin, sake, soy sauce), left over rice, bok choy with sesame oil and soy sauce, kimchi

Sat. Tonight I will heat the left over beef and feta balls in a mixture of tomatoes, onion and eggplant from the freezer, serve with another salad of red onion, olives, blood oranges and parsley.

Sun. I will make a kind of fried rice/kedgeree using leftover rice, chicken breast, broccoli, spring onions, hard boiled eggs.

I make a huge effort not to waste food, we often have left overs with an egg for breakfast.
Re: Menu planning
July 20, 2019 02:02AM
Cantabcook, I'm trying to post 2 recipes, one for Kumara Pumpkin & Peanut Butter Soup that I got from the TradeMe Message Pages back in 2013, and another for Chicken with Anchovy and Garlic Butter from "Stuff" last year, but I keep getting a Phorum Message saying try again later.
Re: Menu planning
July 20, 2019 02:16AM
The only New Year’s resolution I make is to get my act together and make a meal plan for dinners, not detailed' but just to avoid having to think about it too much andto make sure there is no last minute rush to the supermarket. I have a reasonably well stocked pantry and we have a vegie garden so that I am guided by what’s at hand. Alas, every year I fail miserably. This post might just motivate me as we are half way through the year and the pressure of acting at the beginning of the year is off.,
Re: Menu planning
July 20, 2019 03:56AM
They both sound great Lorna. If it keeps not working is there any chance you could message them to me pretty please. It's cold and raining here and footy has been cancelled so I could get cranking in the kitchen.
Re: Menu planning
July 20, 2019 05:57AM
Tpandav your menu looks fantastic. I would eat every single one of those dishes and your side dishes are all unique sounding too. We tend to have the same steamed veges on the side most nights (because I know the family will eat them all) and I just vary the main dish. You have inspired me to get my cooking books out and I might look for a kedgeree dish as I don't think I've made one before and from memory it has eggs in it? Plus I have lots of precooked rice in the freezer which I need to use too.
Re: Menu planning
July 20, 2019 06:27AM
Kedgeree was originally an Anglo-Ind*an dish with rice, lentils and spices, but it has evolved into a rice dish with hard boiled eggs, smoked fish, onions and peas. I always seem to have left over rice so I make it often, the fish component being left over home smoked salmon or cooked tuna, and sometimes cooked chicken! Any kind of green vege; what we usually have is left over steamed broccoli or cauli. I cook onions in butter with cumin and coriander seeds plus varying other Ind*an spices, add everything else and toss it around for about ten minutes until it is very hot. I serve it with kimchi but Ind*an pickles and chutneys are nice too and a bit more traditional.

This year we have grown very good pumpkins (Marina di Chioggia) and I have been roasting a big trayfuls of pumpkin pieces (skin on) to keep in the fridge for the week. It keeps very well. and can be gently fired to heat up or cut into chunks and added to lots of composite dishes. Breakfast of bacon, eggs, fried pumpkin and tomato is delicious.
Re: Menu planning
July 20, 2019 07:04AM
Cantab, there is a super-easy and very tasty recipe in the recipe bank for your chicken drums - Spicy Chicken Drumsticks. You can cook on the stove top or in the oven - serve with rice or mash and a green veg.


Barbara Anne
Re: Menu planning
July 20, 2019 07:53AM
I try to "plan" dinners, I find if I only plan a couple of meals and shop for these, i can freestyle for a couple more dishes so i use up all the fresh bits.

last week we had
Roast dinner, cauli cheese, mushroom risotto balls
Leftovers reheated next night
spinach feta mushroom pie,
veggie shepherds pie with cauliflower mash top.
Roast pumpkin from roast used in spinach salads with the risotto balls for lunches.
Also the spinach pie and shepherds pie for lunches.
Re: Menu planning
July 20, 2019 10:09AM
Cantabcook, you say "We tend to have the same steamed veges on the side most nights (because I know the family will eat them all) and I just vary the main dish." We used to do that too and although it does mean heating the oven up, we tend to cook our veg in the oven a lot these days because the flavour is tremendous. Pretty much everything - kumara, yams (cut in half lengthways), parsnip, potato, pumpkin, carrots (extra nice coated in balsamic vinegar), cauliflower (so delicious in the oven), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, corn, etc, etc........ I just prepare them, put them in a large bowl, pour some evoo in (probably equiv to 2 tbs), stir, put on oven tray, cook...

Chicken Pad Thai
500g chicken thigh meat, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 tbspn oil
3 tbspns (45g) Thai green curry paste
500-900g stir-fry vegetables, e.g., carrot, broccoli, cauli, mushroom, capsicum, green beans, leek, zucchini, carrot, corn
200g pkt of wide rice noodles (not the thin vermicelli)
2 tbspns fish sauce
1 cup coconut cream plus up to 1 cup of water or a bit more as needed

In a large pot, heat water for cooking the noodles. In frypan, stirfry chicken and onion for 2-3 minutes in oil. Add vegs and curry paste and stirfy until vegs are almost cooked and simultaneously cook the noodles for 6 minutes (in the pot of water). Then add the cooked noodles, fish sauce and coconut cream to the frypan and heat through (about 2 minutes).

Beef Chow Mein
1 tbspn oil
500g beef mince
1 medium brown onion (150g), chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbspn curry powder
1 large carrot (180g), chopped finely
2 trimmed celery stalks (200g), sliced thinly
150g mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
1/3 cup (80ml) oyster sauce
280g pkt thin egg noodles
½ cup (60g) frozen peas
½ small cabbage (350g), shredded coarsely

In a separate pot, cook egg noodles at same time you’re cooking the beef, etc. Heat oil in wok; stir-fry beef, onion and garlic until beef is browned. Add curry powder; stir-fry about 1 minute or until fragrant. Add carrot, celery and mushrooms; stir-fry until vegetables soften. Add stock, sauce and noodles; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add peas and cabbage; stir-fry until cabbage just wilts.

Lamb Chops in Coconut Curry Sauce
6 lamb shoulder chops
1 med onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 tspn grated ginger root
1½ tbspns curry powder
2 fresh chillies, finely diced
1 tbspn fresh thyme
½ tspn salt & ¼ tspn black pepper
1½ cups coconut milk
8 grape tomatoes or 1 med tomato chopped
2 spring onions, diced
2 tbspns chopped fresh coriander
2 tbspns chopped parsley

In a large saucepan, put the chops, onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder, chillies, thyme, s&p, and coconut milk. Bring to boil then reduce to very low (for gentle simmer), cover with lid and cook about 1½ hours, adding tomato, spring onions, coriander and parsley during the last half an hour. Lamb should be very tender and falling off the bones. If you wish the sauce to be thicker at the end, take the lid off for the last 15 minutes or so (plus thicken with cornflour paste [1 tb cornflour and bit of water] if wished).

Stuffed Rolled Pork Strips
6 pork belly strips (any bone pieces removed) (strips should ideally be quite wide and long)

small carrot (80g)
small kumara (100g)
pumpkin (100g)
small potato (80g)
20g grated fresh ginger root
1 dsp fresh thyme
1 dsp fresh coriander or parsley
1 dsp chopped fresh basil (or omit)
1 clove of garlic, crushed
s&p to season
1 tbspn oil to combine

Put all stuffing ingredients into a food processor and combine until no big lumps left OR grate all stuffing ingreds into bowl, mix well, add oil to bind the stuffing together. Lay pork strips out, put stuffing on them and roll up individually. Wrap in tin foil individually or if you don't like using tin foil, use baking paper squares 30cm x 25cm and hold with 6 pieces of cut string 40cm long so you can tie a bow. Put in roast pan (no lid) at 200°C for 1-1½ hours, opening packets to allow for browning in the last 20-30 minutes.

Sticky Chinese Pork Belly
1.3kg pork belly slices chopped in half (each piece being approx. the length of your index finger)
1 litre water
1 thumb sized piece of ginger peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
1 tbspn rice wine
1 tbspn sugar

2 tbspns oil
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger peeled and minced
1 red chilli finely chopped
2 tbspns honey
2 tbspns brown sugar
3 tbspns dark soy sauce
zest of 1 lemon plus 1 tbspn lemon juice

Put first 6 ingreds (i.e. not the glaze) in a saucepan. Bring to boil, put lid on, turn down heat & simmer for 45 minutes. Drain pork. Chop into bite sized chunks. Add 1 tbspn oil to a frypan. Mix remaining glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Heat the oil and add in the pork, frying on a high heat until pork starts to turn golden (takes about 10 minutes). Now pour the glaze over the pork and continue to cook until the pork looks dark and sticky (seems to only need 5-10 minutes). Remove from the heat and serve with rice and green veg.

Goan Fish Curry
½ cup (35g) shredded coconut, toasted
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 fresh small red chillies, chopped
2 teaspoons each coriander seeds and cumin seeds
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
2cm (¾-inch) piece fresh ginger (10g), grated
2 medium brown onions (300g), chopped coarsely
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium tomatoes (300g), chopped coarsely
1 cup coconut milk
500g boneless white fish fillets, chopped

Blend or process coconut, garlic, chilli, seeds, turmeric, tamarind, ginger and half the onion with the one cup of coconut milk until pureed. Heat oil in large saucepan; cook remaining onion and the tomatoes, stirring, until browned lightly. Add coconut mixture to pan; cook, stirring, until fragrant. Simmer about 10 minutes. Add fish, simmer, covered, about 5 minutes or until fish is cooked through. Sprinkle shredded coconut over when served on plate.

Shanghai Chicken Stir-fry Noodles
150g dried egg noodles
600g chicken thigh meat (skinless, boneless), sliced thinly
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tbspns Chinese rice wine
1 tspn cornflour
2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1 onion, chopped
2 small fresh red chillies (de-seeded), sliced thinly
corn kernels
2 carrots, cut into thin strips
1 head broccoli, sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced thinly
3 tbspns hoisin sauce
3 tbspns light soy sauce
1 tbspn Chinese rice wine
1 tbspn brown sugar
1 tbspn fish sauce

Marinate chicken in soy sauce, rice wine and cornflour for at least a couple of hours.

Cook noodles in boiling water as per packet instructions (usually 10 minutes for dried) while you’re cooking the other ingredients.

Heat pan, add chicken, fry for several minutes until reasonably cooked through and golden, then add garlic, onion, chillies, corn kernels, carrots, broccoli and capsicum, cook for about 4 minutes. Add hoisin, soy sauce, rice wine, brown sugar and fish sauce, stir through. Add noodles, stir through and heat for a few minutes until everything is cooked.

Chicken Meatballs with Pumpkin
Meatballs (makes about 25):
500g chicken mince
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
half of a ¼ cup snipped chives
½ sprig thyme leaves
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1½ tbsp sweet chilli sauce
Zest of ½ lemon

½ a buttercup pumpkin (approx. 785g unprepared weight), seeds and skin removed, sliced into 1cm wide slices
1x 400g can chopped tomatoes (NOT drained)
2 tbspns sweet chili sauce

Toss pumpkin slices in a little evoo and arrange in single layer in high-sided roasting pan. Cook fanbake 180°C 20 minutes.
While pumpkin is cooking, mix meatball ingredients together in a large bowl. Form into small balls. Heat a little evoo in electric frypan and cook meatballs 5-7 minutes, turning to ensure even cooking. Turn pan off, put lid on, leave meatballs in there to keep warm. Mix the chopped tomatoes with sweet chili sauce. At end of 20 mins cooking time of pumpkin, arrange meatballs over the pumpkin and pour tomato mixture over top. Cook further 15 minutes, or until pumpkin is tender and sauce is bubbling.
Note: If you can't get chicken mince, you can easily make your own from chicken meat in the food processor.

Orange & Ginger Chicken
8 chicken thigh cutlets (bone in, skinless) (approx 1150g)
3 tbspns cornflour
zest of 1 orange
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
10g grated ginger
2 tspns sesame oil
1 tbspn each: sweet chilli sauce, orange marmalade, dark soy sauce, white vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar

Place chicken cutlets in an oven dish so they're in a single layer and ideally close together (e.g. a dish 28 x 18cm fits them well).
Mix cornflour with some of the orange juice. Combine with rest of ingredients and pour over chicken cutlets. Cook 180°C fanbake for 1 hour, no lid, turning cutlets over halfway through the cooking.
Re: Menu planning
July 20, 2019 12:36PM
Hi there,

I generally don’t menu plan until after I’ve done the grocery shopping.
But I use my pressure cooker at least 3-4 times a fortnight and slow cooker at least once. So I will buy meat that I can use in these.

Last night we had honey soy drumsticks in the pressure cooker. I just used 11 drumsticks and a jar of honey soy sauce, cook for 20mins, served with vegetable and potatoes. It’s a family favourite.

Re: Menu planning
July 21, 2019 02:49AM
Thanks everyone - lots of new options to look at now. I'm going to try a few of these dishes above and found another few out of recipe books to try.

J1 that orange & ginger chicken sounds right up my alley. I just made some quick marmalade to try that one this week. Also might try the Lamb chops in coconut curry sauce as I have lots of lamb chops in the freezer. We had a pad thai years ago (I think I made it as a weekly challenge dish?) and it had three ticks, which means awesome, but I don't think I've ever made it again. So that will be another one to redo.

Barbara Anne - spicy chicken drumsticks looks so simple and I have all those ingredients so that's another one on the menu plan thanks.

Karen - mushroom risotto balls sounds intriguing. Would you care to share how they are made please? The kids aren't mushroom fans but hubby and I love them.

Zeetra - no pressure cooker here but I do have a slow cooker that should be dusted off more often. When I was working I used it a lot but I havn't made as much use of it as I should.

Looks like we are in for some new meals this week, and hopefully will find some new favourites from them.smiling smiley
Re: Menu planning
July 21, 2019 05:10AM
Hi Cantabcook

I've sent the kumara soup recipe in a pm to you, and as suspected it seems to be the fraction for 1/8 - 1/4 that was the offending type that kept rejecting my message. I'll try here with the recipe for Chicken with Anchovy & Garlic Butter

100g butter, room temperature
5 anchovy fillets, chopped
A little oil from the jar
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 lemons, 1 zested
Small pinch salt & black pepper
2 red onions
4 chicken thighs
4 chicken drums
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh Parsley

Heat oven to 220°C. Line with foil & grease a suitably sized oven dish.
Using a fork, small food processor or stick blender, combine butter, anchovies and anchovy oil, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper.Spread the anchovy butter over chicken, including getting it up under the skin.
Cut onions into thick slices and scatter over a roasting tray. Add chicken pieces. Add thyme sprigs to the tray and season chicken well with salt and pepper.
Cut both lemons in half (including the one without zest) and add to the tray. Drizzle olive oil over and place in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Take tray from oven and give it a good shake. Using a fish slice, toss chicken and onions and check they aren't sticking to the bottom of the tray.
Reduce oven to 180°C and cook for another 30-35 minutes, basting a few times throughout. This will keep the skin golden and the meat juicy.
Serve straight from the tray, garnished with a little sea salt and some chopped parsley.
Re: Menu planning
July 21, 2019 05:13AM
And in case anyone else wants it, here's the recipe for Kumara, Pumpking & Peanut Butter Soup

1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons peanut butter
½ teaspoon each of curry powder
½ teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 - 1/4 tsp chilli powder
250g peeled and cubed pumpkin
250g peeled & cubed kumara
4 cups stock, chicken or vegetable

Cut the onion into quarters and peel the garlic. Chop finely together in a food processor or by hand.

Heat the oil, in a saucepan, add the chopped onion and garlic, and cook over a low heat, stirring frequently, until the onion becomes transparent. Add the curry powder, freshly ground coriander seeds, chilli powder and salt to the onion mixture on the stove and stir over moderate heat for at least a minute.

Add the vegetables to the saucepan with the water and instant stock, bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Add the peanut butter. Take care not to add too much, or the peanut flavour will drown the vegetable flavours. Purée the soup .

Garnish with a spoonful of lightly whipped cream or unsweetened plain yoghurt, a sprinkling of finely chopped peanuts and a handful of chopped chives, spring onion leaves, parsley or coriander leaves.
Re: Menu planning
July 21, 2019 05:58AM
I fail at menu planning, even though in other areas I'm very organised. I'm in a real funk with cooking this year and really would rather not have to bother with dinners at all. This has been exacerbated by a major knee injury 5 weeks ago (I got taken out by a charging ram and he landed on the outside of my right leg and pushed my knee inwards, completely tearing 4 ligaments in the process. Waiting for it to settle down and perhaps one day stop being the swollen to the size of a soccer ball before deciding on a surgical plan of attack, sigh). So I right now have energy for just about nothing. My family are being very tolerant, but we're all getting tired of my quick attempts at a meal, and while my nearly 16yo son can cook eggs in almost every way, his repertoire is otherwise quite basic. He's also too busy to really commit to much meal cooking, what with work, sports and school.

The upshot is, I've enjoyed reading this thread to see what suggestions others might have that would be quick and easy enough for me to prepare and cook before my knee has had enough of standing!

Lorna -- that chicken with anchovies looks right up my alley, will definitely be trying that one.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/21/2019 06:01AM by Jenna.
Re: Menu planning
July 21, 2019 07:57AM
Started menu planning several months ago due to work/meeting restraints and diet restrictions:

Monday: Corn taco shells heated over oven racks stuffed with pre-cooked chicken burgers or tenderloins finely sliced, lettuce, tomato, red onion, beans, corn, cheese, (opt salsa/sour cream) - quick and easy - everyone serves themselves.
Tues: Fried salmon fillets, potato salad, cheat KFC bean salad, green salad
Wed: Pan fried snapper from freezer (fish a lot) with salads from Tues
Thurs: Chinese stirfry (chicken and/or prawns/squid), cauli, broc, mung beans, teriyaki sauce) with noodles or jasmine/brown rice cups (1 min in microwave)
Fri: Naughty night - either homemade burgers, homemade pizza, spaghetti carbonara
Saturday: Mini roast - chicken or other/potato au gratin/kumara/cauli
Sunday: Fish (from freezer or freshly caught) & chips with salad

Find doing a weekly menu plan Sunday/Monday morning before shopping saves a lot of money and a lot of time in planning and prep. Easy quick meals on nights home late etc.
Re: Menu planning
July 21, 2019 11:11PM
Jenna, I can recommend that you have a look at Jamie Oliver's 5 Ingredients recipes. For so few ingredients they make surprisingly delicious meals and take only a few minutes to prepare, much of which could be done sitting down, such as peeling and chopping. Here is a link to some of them.

I recently made the Sausage & Apple Bake and was very impressed for such a simple meal.
Re: Menu planning
July 21, 2019 11:48PM
Excellent, thanks Lorna. I'll order it from the library today.
Re: Menu planning
July 24, 2019 07:10AM
Well I've been much inspired by all your suggestions so there have been multiple new dishes on the menu this week. Our son is not impressed as he likes the regular things but everyone else has been enjoying the new meals. Here's what we've had so far:

Sunday - Lamb chops in coconut curry sauce (thanks J1). Ended up cooking this for a couple of hours on really low in the oven after an hour on the stove because I had to go out. Really lovely dish and clean plates from 3 of us, a 6/10 from Mr12, 10/10 from Miss14
Monday - Chicken and prawn pad thai - fantastic flavours in this dish I modified from an online receipe and will definitely make it again. 4/10 from Mr12 and 10/10 from Miss14. Three more clean plates
Tuesday - Smoked chicken, bacon and mushroom pasta in a cream sauce. (made from more things needing using up and lurking in the fridge). Finally the jackpot 9.5/10 from Mr fussy, 10/10 again from Miss14 and clean plates all round. Hoorah!!
Tonight - Melting lamb with roasted garlic jus. A dish I've wanted to try for a while which is slow cooked in the oven for 5 hours. Currently smelling divine and will serve with a medley of roasted veges that need using up and some yams and carrots picked from the garden today.
Thursday - might have to defer to old habit and have homemade burgers to keep Mr unimpressed happy
Friday - tossing up between Orange and ginger chicken and the Spicy chicken drumsticks. The other one will carry over to next weeks plan.

So far its been most successful and I feel like I've rekindled my enthusiasm for new dishes. Please do keep posting your own weekly menus as I'm enjoying getting ideas from everyone else again.
Re: Menu planning
July 24, 2019 08:41AM
It's great to get the feedback cantabcook, thanks, because everyone's tastes are so different. Last night I made a Pete Evans paleo recipe (swede and spinach) and it was awful (imho).....but obviously Pete and probably other people like it....
Re: Menu planning
July 25, 2019 09:15AM
Cantabcook here is the recipe
I just sprayed muffin tins didnt line with paper.

I piled them into mini muffin tins to cook, would be great little nibbles too.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/25/2019 02:10PM by Karen.
Re: Menu planning
July 26, 2019 03:55PM
Cantabcook, I won' give you what I have on my menu plan as we are mostly vegetarian at home which isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I will pass on one tip. I always menu plan because I find it so much easier to spend fifteen minutes a week doing that than to worry about it every day, but I do always leave the day of the week before I go shopping fairly open in order to use up any leftovers that have sneaked in. The default for that day is always an omelette as I always have the makings of that, but we might have it with roasted vegetables or soup, or eat something else altogether depending on what's left in the fridge. I enjoy flexing my creative muscles once a week and it's not anywhere near as stressful as doing it every daysmiling smiley. It also means the fridge is empty at the end of the week - I virtually never have to throw food away.
Re: Menu planning
July 28, 2019 12:30AM
Thanks for this post, I need inspiration on this too.

Ive just bought a slow cooker for this very reason and hope to make things like curries and mince dishes that we can pretty much serve up with rice/pasta ect at the end of a busy day.

Im terrible at planning meals, I usually ask what people feel like and look at what I have. i do however stick to the same old things for the family - just the kids 7 and 11and I.

They are
Mince - on pasta, on rice, with mash, curried, tacos/wraps/nachos - essentially savoury mince - sometimes with beans.
Chicken breast cut up and crumbed - they love this!
Teriyaki chicken with chicken thighs - I buy obento teriyaki sauce - it cheap and tastes very authentic.
Pizza - with homemade bases
Roast chickens - on the BBQ - they prefer this in a wrap.
Lamb steaks - my youngest loves this.
Prawns - in a curry or just pan fried
Calamari - another fav of master 7
Lasagna - Nanas ;-)
Watties Chinese Chicken soup and ciabatta bread
Crumbed fish and oven fries
Fried rice
Noodles - similar to the Shanghai ones posted above


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2019 12:31AM by Vanessa45.
Re: Menu planning
August 06, 2019 12:01AM
Barbara Anne - I made the spicy chicken drumsticks you recommended and was quite impressed! So simple but really tasty. I made them with baked potatoes (which the kids didn't eat) so I had leftover baked spuds with reheated leftover sauce and a dollop of sour cream for lunch the next day. A definite keeper thank you smiling smiley
Re: Menu planning
August 10, 2019 09:29PM
I write it out on paper. Old school, I guess. I learned to meal plan from my mother. She shopped every 2 weeks for a family of 8.
I write the days of the week down the left side. Under each day, I write what I will cook and where the recipe is, if I need the recipe. It's just templates like
Diner, not necessarily in order, a month looks like: tacos, spaghetti, tomato soup, chili burritos, homemade hamburger helper, hibachi rice and chicken, pork chops, chicken tenders, potato soup, beef stew, chicken noodle soup, lentil soup, mushroom stroganoff, Cornish hen, quesadillas, chicken chili... And in between that I will try to "pay forward" the leftovers and make a new meal: burrito bowls, chicken parmesan, fried mushrooms for a steak, chicken fajitas.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/2019 10:03AM by stream26.
Re: Menu planning
August 22, 2019 10:39PM
Loved this post such inspiring recipes to try but where to start, ha ha. Only two of us home now but have 7 on a Monday, gluten free & a vegan so glad it is only for one night planning. Thanks everyone for your time as a lot of effort has been put into this thread.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/22/2019 10:40PM by Lyn V.
Anonymous User
Re: Menu planning
August 27, 2019 12:38PM
judym Wrote:
> Started menu planning several months ago due to
> work/meeting restraints and diet restrictions:
> Monday: Corn taco shells heated over oven racks
> stuffed with pre-cooked chicken burgers or
> tenderloins finely sliced, lettuce, tomato, red
> onion, beans, corn, cheese, (opt salsa/sour cream)
> - quick and easy - everyone serves themselves.
> Tues: Fried salmon fillets, potato salad, cheat
> KFC bean salad, green salad
> Wed: Pan fried snapper from freezer (fish a lot)
> with salads from Tues
> Thurs: Chinese stirfry (chicken and/or
> prawns/squid), cauli, broc, mung beans, teriyaki
> sauce) with noodles or jasmine/brown rice cups (1
> min in microwave)
> Fri: Naughty night - either homemade burgers,
> homemade pizza, spaghetti carbonara
> Saturday: Mini roast - chicken or other/potato au
> gratin/kumara/cauli
> Sunday: Fish (from freezer or freshly caught) &
> chips with salad
> Find doing a weekly menu plan Sunday/Monday
> morning before shopping saves a lot of money and a
> lot of time in planning and prep. Easy quick
> meals on nights home late etc.

This menu of yours looks great. I started my planning just a month ago due to new working schedule. I'm experimenting for a while but think that it would be just easier to find someone's menu and adapt it to my needs. That's how I got here grinning smiley It's still hard to avoid stuff like spaghetti and pizza, even homemade ones. By the way, can you share your recipes? I don't have much experience in the pizza making and hope that getting and using one of these ovens, as pizzaovenradar suggests, won't be much of a problem for me. Anyway, thanks again for the menu!

Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 09/22/2019 10:46PM by helen.
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