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Sunday, 14 January 2018
I struggled to find my meal planning mojo this week, we've all got colds and it's been the first full week back to routine.  Our older three daughters were back to school/college which means before and after school clubs, and our 3yo had his first week of  three hour morning sessions at Nursery.  By Friday evening we were all completely knackered.

This week will still be tiring but hopefully less so as we've deliberately had a fairly quiet weekend to rest and recharge.  I've kept the meal plan simple, and full of our family favourites so at least dinners should be fairly stress free.  Lunches are easily made the night before, as there's two early morning starts midweek to content with.

Breakfasts will be porridge or overnight oats with homemade mixed berry and apple compote.  On the weekend I will probably make pancakes for a treat Saturday, and we'll probably have Cinnamon and Raisin Soda Bread on Sunday morning.

Packed lunches this week will be Wholemeal Savoury Swirls and crudites with herbed yoghurt dip and a piece of fruit for afters. I will probably make two large batches and flavour one with Vegemite and cheese and one the usual way.

Weekend lunches

Spicy Roast Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

500g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into batons
500g carrots, peeled and cut into batons
2 large onions, peeled and roughly diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
1 Tblsp curry paste, use mild or hot
1 litre vegetable stock
400g tin chickpeas, drained

Put the sweet potato and carrot batons on to a lined oven tray and spray with a little oil to coat. Roast at 220C/200C fan/ gas 7 for about 20 minutes until cooked though and tender.

In a saucepan over a moderate heat, spray a little oil and cool the onions until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and curry paste, cook for a couple of minutes or until the curry paste is fragrant. Add the vegetable stock, chickpeas and cooked carrot and sweet potato. Simmer for about 10 minutes then take off the heat, cool slightly, and blend until smooth. Serve in bowls with a bread roll or naan bread on the side for a tasty lunch.

Quick and Easy Nachos

1 onion, finely diced
2 peppers, finely diced, any colour will do
325g tin sweetcorn, drained
2 tins chilli beans
300g cherry tomatoes, quartered
200g pack tortilla chips
150g grated mature cheddar cheese, or more if you fancy

Mix the onion, peppers, sweetcorn, chilli beans and tomatoes together in a bowl. Put half of the of tortilla chips, in a single layer, into the bottom of a large ovenproof dish. Dollop with around half the vegetable and bean mixture then top with a good handful of grated cheddar. Repeat the process until all the chips, vegetable mixture and cheese have been used up. Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F/Gas Mark 6 and bake the nachos in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling and everything has heated through. I served ours with steamed mixed vegetables on the side.


Meatfree Monday Chilli 

1 Tblsp oil 
1 large onion, finely diced 
2 garlic cloves, minced 
½ tsp ground cumin 
2 tsp paprika 
500g meatfree/soya mince 
400g tin chopped tomatoes 
500ml vegetable stock 
200g sliced peppers 
2 carrots, grated 
2 x 400g tins chilli beans 

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and peppers then cook for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and spices, cook for a couple of minutes until the spices are fragrant. Add the meatfree mince and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add the chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock, and grated carrot to the pan, bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chilli beans and cook for 5 minutes. Should the chilli sauce need thickening, mix 1 - 2 tsp of cornflour with 1 - tablespoons of cold water, then add it to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes. Serve the chilli with flatbreads, sour cream, and grated cheese.

Mixed Vegetable Pearl Barley Risotto - using 300g sliced frozen peppers instead of mushrooms.

Easy Orzo Bake 

200g chorizo, finely diced
300g diced onions
300g frozen sliced peppers
500g frozen mixed vegetables
500g orzo pasta
500g pasta sauce (store bought or homemade)
750ml vegetable or chicken stock

Put a large casserole pot or saucepan onto a medium-high heat. Add chorizo and cook, stirring until the oil is released and the chorizo is almost cooked through. Add the peppers and onion, cook until totally defrosted and starting to soften. Add the frozen vegetables and heat through. Add the orzo, pasta sauce, and stock. Stir to thoroughly combine everything.

Bring the mixture to the boil and stir frequently for 10 - 12 minutes or until the orzo is cooked. You need to keep an eye on it and stir ir frequently as it has a habit of sticking to the bottom of the pan if you don't. If the liquid has all been absorbed before the orzo is cooked, add another splash of water and give it a couple more minutes.

Bacon and Egg Pie 

500g puff pastry
300g - 500g cooking bacon
8 large free range eggs
200g frozen peas

Preheat oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F/Gas Mark 6. Lightly grease a 24 x 20cm (10 inches x 8 inches) oven-proof dish. Cut the pastry block in half and roll out each half to the thickness of a £1 coin. Use one half of the pastry to line the bottom of the dish. 

Layer the dish with half the bacon and break the eggs on top. Season well with freshly ground pepper then sprinkling over the peas and the remaining bacon.

Brush the edges where the pastry will join with milk. Lay the remaining pastry over the top and press well to seal the edges. Brush the pie top with extra milk and cut a few small slits in the pastry to allow steam to escape. Bake tin the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.until golden and cooked through.  I usually serve this with mashed potato or sweet potato and steamed greens.

Baked Potatoes with Baked Beans and Cheese - quick Friday night supper

Homemade Fish and Chips with peas

Vegetable Stew with Dumplings 

2 Tblsp oil
25g butter
1 large onion, peeled and diced
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
2 large carrots carrots, peeled and diced
1 swede, peeled and diced
2 leeks, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp mustard
2 Tblsp plain flour
1 heaped tsp vegemite (optional)
500ml vegetable stock
400g tin haricot or butter beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper

250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
125g butter, diced
2 tsp diced mixed herbs
salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.

Put the oil and butter in a large flameproof casserole dish over a moderate heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for couple of minutes. Add the potatoes, parsnip, carrot, sweede and leeks. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring, over a moderate heat until the vegetables start to turn golden and soften slightly. Reduce the heat slightly and ad the garlic, thyme and mustard. Add the flour and cook for a couple of minutes, ensure the vegetables are well coated in the flour. Add the vegetmite, stock and tinned pulses.

Bring the mixture to the boil, cover with a lid then put in the preheated oven. Bake for 40 - 50 miutes. Whilst the stew is cooking prepare the dumplings. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. stir in the herbs and a little salt and pepper. Add a 1 or 2 tablespoons of water, just enough to form a stiff dough.

Divide the dough into walnut sized balls, cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge until ready to use. When the stew has baked for 40 - 50 minutes in the oven, remove from the oven and add the dumplings. Ensure the dumplings are partially submerged in the stew. Cover the pot with a lid and cook on the stove top/hob, over a moderate heat, for around 20 minutes until the dumplings have risen and are golden on top. I usually serve this stew with steamed greens.

Shopping List

50 items: £70.11 purchased from Asda

Packets and Cereals
1x   Mornflake Superfast Oats (2Kg)                                              £2.22
1x   ASDA Smartprice Plain White Flour (1.5Kg)                             45p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Self Raising Flour (1.5Kg)                           45p
1x   Jus Rol Puff Pastry Block (500g)                                            £1.25
1x   ASDA Seedless Raisins (1Kg)                                                £2.98
1x   ASDA Brown Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                                            79p
1x   ASDA Orzo (500g)                                                                  65p
1x   ASDA Good and Balanced Pearl Barley (500g)                        50p

Tins, Jars and Cooking
1x   ASDA Baked Beans, Reduced Sugar and Salt (4x410g)           98p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes in Tomato Juice (400g) 29p
4x   ASDA Chilli Beans in Chilli Sauce (290g)                                 £1.60
1x   ASDA Smartprice Sweetcorn in Water (326g)                          35p
1x   ASDA Chick Peas in Water (400g)                                          35p
1x   ASDA Stock Cubes - Vegetable (12x10g)                                43p
1x   ASDA Curry Paste - Balti (200g)                                             £1.00
1x   ASDA Bolognese Pasta Sauce (500g)                                     69p
1x   ASDA Haricot Beans in Water (300g)                                      40p

1x   ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                              82p
1x   ASDA Meat Free Mince (454g)                                                £1.50
1x   ASDA Summer Berries and Banana Smoothie Mix (500g)         £1.75
1x   ASDA Smartprice Peas (1Kg)                                                 76p
1x   ASDA Scratch Cook Sliced Mixed Peppers (600g)                   £1.00
1x   ASDA White Fish Fillets (540g)                                               £3.30

Dairy and Eggs
5x   ASDA British Whole Milk 4 Pints (2.27L)                                  £5.45
2x   ASDA Greek Style Yogurt (500g)                                            £1.60
1x   ASDA Smartprice Low Fat Natural Yogurt (500g)                     45p
1x   ASDA Free Range Mixed Weight Eggs (15)                             £2.00
1x   ASDA Butter - Unsalted (250g)                                                £1.45
1x   ASDA Mature Cheddar Cheese (750g)                                     £3.75

Meat, Fish and Poultry
1x   ASDA Farm Stores Cooking Bacon (500g)                               57p
1x   ASDA Extra Special Chorizo Casero Sausage (225g)               £1.85

Fruit and Vegetables
25   ASDA Grower's Selection Bananas by Weight (200g)               £3.00
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Carrots (1Kg)                                  £1.00
2     ASDA Grower's Selection Sweet Potatoes by Weight (500g)    £1.00
4x   ASDA Grower's Selection Whole Cucumber                             £2.00
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Celery                                             55p
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Garlic (3)                                        60p
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Apples (1.2Kg)                                £3.00
4x   ASDA Farm Stores Pears (500g)                                             £2.80
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection British Parsnips (500g)                    59p
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Swede                                             50p
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Extra Trimmed Leeks (550g)           £1.00
3x   ASDA Farm Stores Kiwis (6)                                                   £1.50
1x   ASDA Farm Stores Brown Onions (1Kg)                                  59p
1x   ASDA Farm Stores Cherry Tomatoes (250g)                           53p
2x   ASDA Farm Stores White Potatoes (2.5Kg)                             £2.30
2x   ASDA Farm Stores Plums (400g)                                            £1.58
2x   ASDA Farm Stores Mixed Peppers (3)                                     £1.98
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Sweetclems (1.2Kg)                        £3.50

Snacks and Sweets
1x   ASDA Smartprice Tortilla Chips - Lightly Salted (180g)            46p

Prices and special offers reflect those of the online grocery website My Supermarket, and are correct as of 14 January 2018.  Prices may vary in different in-store locations.

I purchased our shopping online from Asda, via My Supermarket, on 14/01/08, and our grocery items cost £70.11.  

Had I shopped elsewhere our grocery list would've cost:

£78.46 from Sainsbury's
£82.21 from Morrisons
£83.45 from Tesco

My lovely blogging buddy Ciara from My Fussy Eater has created a fab Meal Planning Facebook Group so we can inspire each other.

And Katykicker, and Naomi from The Organised Life Project have a Meal Planning Linky full of fabulous Meal Planning posts with lots of tasty ideas.


  1. You've got some fantastic meals here and I love that you share all your recipes. I want to have more meat free recipes in our home!

  2. I really need to plan more of my weeks food to make sure I'm eating better and this has really inspired me. I want to make it all!

  3. I am so impressed with both your planning and managing your household whilst working so brilliantly well. The thought of stew and dumplings has made me so very hungry.

  4. What a brilliant meal plan! The difference between the supermarkets is impressive too - I always thought Sainsburys was the most expensive. Thanks for linking up.

  5. What a terrific meal plan. I'm in awe of your organisational skills! Those savoury swirls look delicious too. I must get more interesting with our packed lunches instead of just sandwiches all the time.

  6. You have got everything so wonderfully planned out. I enjoyed reading all of those recipes. I also liked the way you have perfectly balanced the taste as well as nutrition in the meal plan.


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