Every now and again I inadvertently remind myself how big a difference menu planning makes to my life. This week, somehow, I only planned for four days out of the five. With nothing suitable in the freezer I was left with a gap in my menu, and I spent far more time than I like to worrying about what to cook for dinner.
I find it easier to plan my menu all at once, surround by a pile of cookbooks, rather than on the fly. The gap in my meal plan saw me sitting outside the butcher, frantically flicking through a few cookbooks I had managed to grab as I raced out the door to drop The Princess at school. Not my preferred way to plan a meal.
Despite the glitch, this week we ate:
There is no real recipe for this. I use a simple risotto recipe, and stir chopped asparagus in for the last few minutes. Just long enough for the asparagus to cook.
Skinny Carbonara, Smoky Bacon, Peas Almonds & Basil from Jamie Oliver’s Everyday Super Food.
This was far more successful than last week’s recipe from the same book. Thank goodness.
Fish pieces, tossed with paprika and smoked paprika, then pan-fried with broad beans. An all-in-one dish that I had intended to serve with flatbreads. Unfortunately The Princess chose this night to exhibit her supreme powers of disorganisation, and we were home much later than I anticipated. So we had cous cous instead, much to the dismay of the family.
Cold Sesame Noodles from Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School.
Wednesday was supposed to be hot, but the sea breeze came in early, resulting in a reasonably cool evening. We ate this dish anyway, and loved it. These cold noodles will be perfect for dinner when the weather does heat up, so expect to see this on my menu again.
Gingered Beef with Bay from The Ultimate Slow Cooker. Served with simple boiled potatoes and green salad.
This was the missing dish. Thank goodness for the slow cooker.
I originally bought beef cheeks to put in the slow cooker for my missing meal. Then I realised this would result in two asian-based meals in a row. Whilst this wouldn’t bother Mr Grumpy or I, I wasn’t in the mood to deal with The Princess’s moaning. To avoid complaints, I froze the prepared meat in it’s marinade. With all the preparation done, I can just defrost the meat and place it straight into the slow cooker. All I will need to do on the day I cook this is steam some greens and cook some rice.