If you live in the UK you are doubtless feeling perplexed by our current weather. On Friday we had the most perfect sunny, spring day. They birds were singing, the insects were buzzing and all the daffodils were up. The following day we had snow!! As I have said in a previous post, I find meal planning essential. But it is hard to know the type of food to cook when the weather is so erratic and unpredictable.
Meal planning when the weather is weird
Do we go for warm, comforting soups and stews or is it time to make some salads to suit the longer, lighter days and (theoretically) milder weather? I have hedged my bets and done a bit of both.
I love a bit of meal planning. Using up as much what we have already saves time and money on shopping and encourages us to eat healthier meals. Meal planning also enables us to incorporate what is in season and what we may be growing in the garden (nothing yet except herbs!). Being organised stops those moments when you have a fridge full of food but no idea to do with it. That’s when the urge to get fish and chips and be done with it can hit your budget!
I have a whole post on meal planning here.
My meal planning efforts this week are focussed on things I can batch cook to save time and money. I have gone for:
Sweet potato and Quorn curry
I have a jar of tikka masala sauce and inexplicably about 4 packs of Quorn pieces. A couple of sweet potatoes and lots of other veg will transform this into a fine ‘fakeaway’. Some of this will go into the freezer to make a quick ready meal or two.
Coq au vin
There is half a bottle of red wine sitting around and some chicken pieces so I will make this for Mr S, whilst I have a veggie version. Yes, those Quorn pieces will make an appearance again!
Tuna olive penne with salad
This is a quick and easy dinner after work. I bought salad so we need to eat it. Mr S can have his with some of the garlic bread hanging around in the freezer. I will post this recipe later in the week as it is an old family favourite, cheap and healthy.
Omelettes, home made wedges and salad
Home made oven chips are so quick to do and so much more satisfying than the type you get out of the freezer. You can make the healthier with a little cooking spray. I like to add garlic oil to mine, or a sprinkle of paprika. There is a bag of spuds to eat this week, so these are a good way to use them up.
Spaghetti cheese casserole
Talking of family favourites, this spaghetti cheese casserole is another one. I have been making this for years. The addition of a little white wine in the cheesy, carroty sauce makes it very moreish.
A ping meal from the freezer
A home made one, though! Only me for tea, so I will have a bowl of hot veggie stew with some of my home made spelt bread and perhaps a sprinkling of grated cheese on top.
Steak and vegetables
I bought a cheap pack of 4 steaks a while back and there is one left in the freezer. Mr S will enjoy that for his dinner. I will be having a vegetable burger from Lidl. There vegetarian range is pretty decent and ideal after a hard working week. Sometimes you need a rest, not a fuss.
So these are my meal planning thoughts for the week ahead. Are you organised with your meals? I know that Ilona over at Life After Money eats around her yellow sticker bargains rather than rigidly meal planning. This is a great idea if it is just you and you have the time to hunt out the reductions. If I find any when I am out and about I build them in to my plan and change things around. I don’t think this approach would work if you have a family, though.
Have a great week and I hope you aren’t too cold or snow bound where you are.