Hope you’re all having or have had a fab fab half term! We have been so lucky to be at my parents house and my mum has certainly looked after us all on the cooking front! Full tummies all round!
We’re heading back to the UK in a couple of days so just looking ahead and meal planning!…Taking a bit of time out to work out what you’re feeding the family can save so much time, and money during the week so it’s definitely worth doing. It takes the daily stress out of trying to decide what to cook!
I can’t believe there’s only about 6 weeks of this term left and then next term both my babies will be at big school!! Crazy!..but until then it’s back to doing lots more lunchboxes for Alfie and lots more meal plans! So here goes…
Monday – Picnic tea
Perfect time for another fridge raid and a good time to use up leftovers from the weekend! If you tried the slow cooked pork from the previous meal planner there are lots of things you can do with the leftovers here…lettuce pork wraps, pork quesadillas..
Tuesday – Minty Lamb burgers served with tzatziki
Wednesday – Baked cod wrapped in Parma ham
This is a great tray bake, minimal washing up and tasty for all the family! You can vary this to include any veg your kids will eat! For this recipe I actually used some frozen Mediterranean veg I had in the freezer and added some additional courgettes, garlic and red onion. I also popped in some sweet potato rounds.
For the fish I used cod and wrapped in Parma ham and then topped with some breadcrumbs, lemon zest and flat leaf parsley. You could also top with a little Parmesan too if you fancied!
Place the veg into the oven first at around 180ºC for 15 mins and then add the fish and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
Thursday – Grilled chicken burgers
Such an easy and quick meal! Simply griddle or fry some chicken steaks and use any seasonings of your choice, you could fry simply in some mixed herbs, salt and pepper or try adding smoked paprika.
If using chicken breasts and not chicken steaks then cover with cling film and gently beat with a wooden rolling pin until slightly flattened. This will tenderize the meat and also reduce the cooking time. I also find it’s easier for smaller mouths!
Pop into a bap. You could try topping with some bacon rashers perhaps…or just some some lettuce and tomato, depending on your child’s taste! Serve with some roasted diced sweet potato and veg of your choice…no doubt there will be some ketchup involved too! For the adults perhaps try making a tomato relish?
Friday – Salmon Yakatori
Here’s the link for the recipe ( Salmon yakatori ) which I pretty much followed. I didn’t have any Sake so I simply added some rice vinegar instead and i used unrefined caster sugar. This tasted yummy and Alfie had two skewers!! He couldn’t get enough of this one so it’s definitely one i’ll be trying again…and again!
Saturday – Spanish night!!
It’s always quite fun to do a themed night…Mexican, Italian, Indian…get the kids involved, you could even decorate the room to go with the theme!!
I studied Spanish at University and as part of my course I lived in Spain for a year and went to University there. I lived in Santander which was a lovely place to be, i’m still in touch with my landlady who I lived with, wow, around 15 years ago now! Anyway, i used to live on tortilla baguettes. Yep carb loaded up! How times have changed in our household on that front!..we are much healthier now, or i’d like to think we are..but more about that another time! For this themed meal I tried to create a little piece of Spain in our home and cooked things which reminded me of my time out there….so we have Spanish Omelette, Albondigas (Meatballs to us!) patatas bravas and chorizo as well as garlic prawns and then some asparagus wrapped in Parma ham and some olives!..and its not too tricky to do! Well if i can do it…you can too!
- Spanish Tortilla:
Tortilla traditionally only uses potato and onion but you could add anything you wanted. I topped this one with some ham. It’s also great cold for lunches or lunchboxes so make a big batch and it will hopefully help with filling those lunchboxes next week! Jamie Oliver has a simple and easy to follow recipe if you need: Jamie Oliver Spanish Tortilla
- Albondigas with spicy tomato sauce
Make a big batch of meatballs as you can use the leftovers in next week’s meal planner! You have been warned, it will save you cooking these again!
You can make your own meatballs ( Pork or beef mince or a mix of the two, breadcrumbs, splash of milk, salt, pepper and paprika) or if you’re running short of time and want a quick fix you can purchase some pretty tasty ready made meatballs. Fry these off in a pan and then leave to the side. In the same pan add a glug of olive oil and heat:
- 1 big onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic – crushed
Once the onion has softened you can add the remaining ingredients:
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tins of tomatoes
- 1tbsp tomato puree
- Dash of red wine
- 1tsp chilli powder plus some fresh chilli finely chopped (depending on how hot your kids like it, you can adapt!)
- big glug of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt and pepper
Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes and then add back the meatballs and warm these through. Serve with some flat leaf parsley as garnish.
- Patatas Bravas
Simply roast some diced potatoes in the oven for 30 minutes at 180 until crispy and cooked through. Then add your tomato sauce which is made from the following ingredients:
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 400ml of Passata
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- Pinch of sugar
- Flat leaf parsley – finely chopped, 1tbsp in the sauce and some remaining to garnish
Fry the onion first, then add the garlic and saute for a few minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients and season well. Allow to simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. Pour this over the potatoes and then garnish with some of the remaining parsley.
- Asparagus in Parma Ham
Take the ends of the asparagus and then wrap with parma ham and pop into the oven for 15 mins or so. Then add salt and pepper and finish with some Parmesan. Simple yet yummy!
- Garlic Prawns
Place 1tbsp butter and 1-2 crushed cloves of garlic, depending on how garlicky you like it, into a pan and fry over a low heat. Add some chopped parsley and then add the prawns until they are cooked through and have turned pink! Serve
So many other amazing Spanish dishes you could try…Would love to hear your comments on a themed night as i might try a few more of these for the planners if you’re interested…let me know! Leave a comment below.
Sunday – Roast chicken
Now the weather is looking a little brighter outside why not make your Sunday roast a little lighter! Serve with some yummy roasted cauliflower, which is my new favourite vegetable…simply season with some salt and a drizzle of olive oil add some turmeric and cumin as well. So good! Roast in the oven for 25 – 30 mins.
Make a delicious salad and serve with some French bread…Happy Sunday!
See you all next week…I hope! xx