Our Real Food Meal Plan – Week 38

Real Food Meal Plan Week 38. Includes Spaghetti with Spicy Kale Pesto, Spring Roast Chicken, Lamb Korma Stew & Zucchini Fritters.

Do you ever get the feeling the Universe is trying to tell you something?  I’m thinking it’s telling me to slow down.  This week my oven blew up, which saw me traipsing to and from my neighbour’s house in an effort to cook trays of sausage rolls for The Princess’s various end-of-year parties.  Then I came down with a cold, and I can tell you that having a cold in hot weather is plain horrible.  Worse than having a cold during winter.  As things have not gone according to plan this week, some menu rejigging has been required to account for the lack of both an oven and the energy to cook. [Read more…]

Apricot and Coconut Nut Loaf

Wholemeal Apricot & Coconut Nut Loaf. Perfect for afternoon tea or tucked into lunchboxes.

In the days before new cookbooks would appear on bookshelves every other day, my Nan would write down her recipes in a faded notebook.  The well thumbed pages are stained with food splatters, and her handwriting has started to dissolve where the ink meets the grease stains.  At some point Nan began transferring the old recipes into another notebook, adding a few new recipes along the way.  For Christmas one year, I collated both of Nan’s notebooks into a single binder for my mother.  In the process, hidden somewhere between the never-fail chocolate cake and the 3-Day diet, I discovered [Continue Reading]

Our Real Food Meal Plan – Week 37

Real Food Meal Plan Week 37. Includes pasta in a sage butter sauce, san choy bow, homemade baked beans and a simple chicken curry.

Mr Grumpy has been away this week, so dinner has been about simple dishes that require minimal washing up.  We harvested our first zucchini this week, so I broke my unwritten rule and cooked pasta twice.  I like to keep variety in my menu plan, and usually only plan one pasta meal each week.  However sometimes things don’t go to plan, and pasta is the perfect quick and easy meal after a busy day.  The fish I had on the menu for Wednesday night has been moved to next week, which makes one less meal to work out next week.

Tomato and White Bean Salad

Tomato & White Bean Salad. An easy side dish that takes 10 minutes to make. Add some crusty bread and green leaves for a simple main meal.

The Princess has been peering into other lunchboxes at school, and has decided everybody’s lunch is far better than hers.  To address this, she has abandoned her standard sandwich in favour of salad for lunch.  However, those of you familiar with The Princess know that a simple lettuce and tomato salad is not going to cut it, and only a gourmet main meal salad will do. So this week she is enjoying my Tomato and White Bean Salad in her lunchbox.

Kitchen Basics: Quick Pickled Onions

Quick Pickled Onions take ten minutes to make, and are perfect for adding a little oomph to your meal.

I can’t stand raw onion.  So much so, that I’ve been known to meticulously pick out every last piece of raw onion in a salad before I will eat it.  I do not, however, seem to have the same problem with pickled onions.  This means that these quick pickled onions, which have all the taste of traditional pickled onions yet require far less labour, are perfect to keep in the fridge for adding a little oomph to a meal.

Our Real Food Meal Plan – Week 36

Real Food Meal Plan Week 36. Includes Shakshouka, Teriyaki Beef stir fry, slow cooker Moroccan Chicken Tagine and an all-in-one rice cooker fish meal.

The kale is fast coming to an end, and Mr Grumpy pulled most of it out last weekend to make room for the summer crops.  I have only a small bed left, which will give me enough kale for one last batch of kale chips.  After that, unless I can find an organic supply, we are without kale until next year.  It’s not all bad news though.  The first tomatoes are on the vines, and the zucchinis and beans are starting to flower, and it won’t be long before my menu starts to reflect these much-anticipated summer crops.

Baked Berry Spelt Doughnuts

Baked Berry Spelt Doughnuts are quick to make, packed full of berries, and are the perfect size to tuck into a lunchbox.

The Princess has decided she hates muffins.  This is quite an annoying development, as muffins are quick to make and are the perfect size to tuck into a lunchbox.  Thankfully this aversion does not seem to extend to doughnuts, which is good as these baked berry spelt doughnuts are just as quick, if not quicker, to make than the hated muffins.

DIY Smoothie Cubes

DIY Smoothie Cubes. A great way to preserve seasonal fruit, and perfect for super-quick smoothies.

Sometimes it’s the little things that excite me the most. Like homemade beef stock cubes, making my own yoghurt, or these DIY smoothie cubes.  I’ve seen smoothie cubes sold for extortionate prices at the supermarket.  I think I even bought a packet eons ago.  There is, however, nothing quite as satisfying or simple as making your own.

Our Real Food Meal Plan – Week 35

Real Food Meal Plan Week 35. Includes pan-fried Gnocchi, Sausage & Mushroom pot pie, slow cooker Teriyaki Chicken and Roasted Asparagus Pesto Pasta.

I had a slightly dummy spit towards the end of this week.  I didn’t want to cook, and there was nothing suitable in the freezer, so I picked up a frozen beef pie from my local butcher for dinner.  I think it is important to have a few ‘convenience’ meals for those days when you don’t have time, or are far to tired, to cook.  Having a few cheats in your dinner arsenal also means you are less reliant on take away.