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Sunday, 21 January 2018

I need a low fuss Meal Plan this week as I'm completely knackered. Our 3yo was poorly late last week and all weekend, and now I've got yet another cold.  Thankfully everyone else seems in fine health, touch wood.  

We've got the usual busyness and activities, not sure if 3yo will be at Nursery every morning this week, he only attended 3 days last week as he was poorly.  I've got rather a lot of work to do around the house, and blogging work too, so hopefully he'll be well enough for me to have my 3 child-free hours each morning.

As I type there's a batch of Simmered Mince bubbling away in the slow cooker for 3 days worth of dinners this week.  I shall turn it into three different dinners to help get ahead, and save my energy.  

Breakfasts will be Weetabix with fruit compote, or Breakfast Muffins with yoghurt and fruit compote on the two very early mornings my middle two have midweek.  I'll be using up oats from last week in the Breakfast Muffins.  We'll have pancakes one day on the weekend and probably crumpets on the second day.

Packed lunches will be Calzone with crudites and fruit. I'll make a double batch of Calzone and freeze half for later in the week.  My lunches will be Root Vegetable and Lentil Dhal with homemade flatbreads, 3yo will either have what I am having or the packed lunch Calzone and crudites. The Dhal will help me use up Balti curry paste leftover from last week.

Weekend lunches will be Cheese and Vegetable Puffs on one day, and Red Lentil Bake served with a poached egg and steamed broccoli.


Vegetable Stew with Dumplings

2 Tblsp oil25g 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, Swede 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 broccoli.

Baked Potatoes topped with simmered mince, served with steamed broccoli.

Chilli Con Carne, served with rice and mixed vegetables

Rice and Vegetable Bake

200g cooked white or brown rice
1 onion, finely diced
1 pepper, deseeded and finely diced
1 chilli, deseeded and finely diced (optional)
300g frozen mixed vegetables, cooked and cooled to room temperature
200g strong mature cheddar cheese, grated
6 free range eggs, lightly beaten
200g plain natural yoghurt
lots of freshly ground black pepper or a pinch or two of cayenne

Grease and line 23cm square cake tin. Preheat your oven to 190C/170C Fan.

Put the rice cooked rice in a large bowl with all the vegetables and mix well. Mix together the eggs, 3/4 of the cheese and yoghurt, pour over the vegetables and rice in the bowl then thoroughly mix until combined. Season well with lots of black pepper. Spoon the mixture into your prepared cake tin, sprinkle the leftover cheese on top, then bake for 40 minutes until the top is lightly golden and there is no wobble of the bake if you gently jiggle the tin. I'll be serving this with sweet potato wedges and steamed greens.

Homemade Pizzas 

Cottage Pie

Quick and Easy Butternut Squash and Lentil Curry

1 Tblsp oil
1 Tblsp curry paste, I used Balti curry paste leftover from last week
2 cloves garlic, crushed
500g butternut squash or sweet potato, cut into 1 inch chunks
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can lentils, drained and rinsed
400g frozen mixed vegetables
fresh coriander, to serve

Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add curry paste and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes until the curry paste is fragrant. Stir in the butternut squash and/or sweet potato and tin of chopped tomatoes. Using the can of chopped tomatoes as a measure, add half a can of water to the saucepan. Stir to combine everything then cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the butternut squash and/or sweet potato are almost soft. Add a little more water if needed. Add the drained and rinsed lentils, and frozen vegetables then cook for a further 5 - 10 minutes minutes. Spoon into bowls, sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve accompanied by homemade Vegetable Naan Bread and cooked rice.

Shopping List

45 items: £66.39 purchased from Asda

Packets and Cereals
3x   ASDA Smartprice Wheat Bisks (24x18g)                              £2.07
1x   ASDA Strong White Bread Flour (1.5Kg)                              75p
1x   Allinson Wholemeal Plain Flour (1Kg)                                   £1.75
1x   ASDA Smartprice Long Grain Rice (1Kg)                             45p
1x   ASDA Easy Bake Yeast (6 per pack - 42g)                           59p
1x   ASDA Dried Red Lentils (500g)                                            75p
1x   ASDA Scottish Porridge Oats (1Kg)                                     £1.20

1x   ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                           82p
1x   ASDA Meat Free Mince (454g)                                             £1.50
1x   ASDA Frozen for Freshness Broccoli Florets (1Kg)               95p
1x   ASDA Scratch Cook Sliced Mixed Peppers (600g)                £1.00
1x   ASDA Frozen for Freshness Berry Medley (1Kg)                  £2.75

Tins, Jars and Cooking
3x   ASDA Smartprice Chopped Tomatoes (400g)                       87p
1x   ASDA Butter Beans in Water (400g)                                     49p
2x   ASDA Chilli Beans in Chilli Sauce (290g)                              80p
1x   ASDA Smartprice Sweetcorn in Water (326g)                       35p
1x   ASDA Green Lentils in Water (390g)                                    55p
1x   Napolina Double Concentrate Tomato Puree (200g)              75p

Dairy and Eggs
5x   ASDA British Whole Milk 4 Pints (2.27L)                              £5.45
1x   ASDA Greek Style Yogurt (500g)                                         80p
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 Smartprice Mature White Cheddar (830g)                   £3.69

Fruit and Vegetables
3x   ASDA Kids Bananas (8)                                                       £3.45
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Organic Garlic (3)                        80p
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Carrots (1Kg)                               £1.00
1     ASDA Grower's Selection Butternut Squash (1.2Kg)             90p
3x   ASDA Grower's Selection Whole Cucumber                          £1.65
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Celery                                          55p
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Baking Potatoes (2.5Kg)               £3.00
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Courgettes (3)                              £1.20
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Spring Onions                              49p
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Sweet Potatoes (1Kg)                   £1.00
2x   ASDA Grower's Selection Apples (1.2Kg)                             £3.00
3x   ASDA Farm Stores Pears (500g)                                         £2.10
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection British Parsnips (500g)                 65p
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
2x   ASDA Farm Stores Plums (400g)                                         £1.58
1x   ASDA Grower's Selection Sweetclems (1.2Kg)                     £1.75

Meat, Fish and Poultry
1x   ASDA Butcher's Selection Beef Steak Mince - 5% Fat (1Kg) £5.50
1x   ASDA Danish Pepperoni (150g)                                           £1.00
Prices and special offers reflect those of the online grocery website My Supermarket, and are correct as of 21st  January 2018.  Prices may vary in different in-store locations.

Our groceries were purchased from Asda, had we shopped elsewhere our shopping would've cost:

£71.63 from Morrisons
£73.72 from Tesco
£78.71 from Sainsbury's

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. It is really helpful seeing a breakdown of the cost. I seem to have let the bill run away again this week.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing such a detailed meal plan. You've done fantastic here! I love making homemade pizzas! Such a great way to save money (and calories!). Thanks for linking up again x

  3. I love the idea of that rice bake - we ALWAYS cook too much rice, and this would be a great way to use it up. Thanks for linking up x


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