3 August 2011

Meal planning - heading towards healthy!

Can't see me ever achieving this!
This week's meal plan has, of necessity, something of a bias towards the healthy.  Only a bias, you understand - I've not gone completely mad and thrown out ALL the cream, or the cheese, or the pastry!

I decided that once my birthday was out of the way, I'd knuckle down to concentrating on making the meals a little lighter, healthier and better for us.

Now that doesn't mean that you won't find pastry, or cream, or cheese working their way in to the recipes, but what it does mean is that there will be rather less than there has been of late.

Also, (don't tell Son & heir) I'm going to be increasing the fruit and vegetable intake and trying to reduce the emphasis on meat.  I'll be trying to make the meat and vegetables work as a team, as opposed to the vegetables just taking up space on the meat's plate.

This first week, we're just going to be easing into the routine.  I can't just jump into it, because I've got foodstuffs in the cupboard and fridge that need using up.  I'm not going to throw away something that's perfectly good and that we paid good money for, just because I'm changing the emphasis of our meals.  However, hopefully, as we go along you'll notice a healthier trend (with the occasional "less than healthy" meal, just to create balance!).

So, here's how this week is looking :

Tuesday (Pizza night) : Son & heir is out, so hubby & I are having Tuna & lemon pasta.
Wednesday : Cheesey Parsnip Flan and salad.
Thursday : Smoked sausage, lime rice & succotash.
Friday : Devilled sausages and fruity quinoa salad.
Saturday : Beef & spinach pasta bake.
Sunday : Chicken & Sweetcorn Pie, roast potatoes, broccoli & carrots.
Monday : Crunchy fish (minus batter, for me), potato croquettes & peas.

I'm looking forward to that lot!

Well, today is Wednesday so we had the Tuna & lemon pasta last night.  It really is such an easy dish to prepare - and is almost a complete store cupboard recipe, except for the green beans.  The mixture of tuna, lemon zest, capers and chilli is just delicious - and keeps your taste buds interested!

Tonight's Cheesey Parsnip Flan and salad was a triumph, if I say so myself.  This was another recipe that was incredibly easy to produce.  I've tried to make all this week's recipes easy to make, in the belief that if I don't challenge myself too badly in the kitchen, I'll live to fight another day with a bit more energy than otherwise!

I'll be blogging both the Tuna pasta and the Flan immediately after this one, so I won't talk too much about them here, or I'll have nothing to say in their own dedicated blogs!  (That's how simple they are to produce!).

I'm intrigued by hubby's smoked sausage, lime rice and succotash idea for Thursday's dinner.  He's got a very definite idea in mind that he's trying to reproduce, he's been doing a lot of research via the internet on various recipes and it all sounds pretty good!

Friday's dinner is a meal of two halves, I'm afraid.  The devilled sausages are a pretty dead cert to be a Good Thing, but the quinoa salad is a completely new entity for all of us.  I'm dead keen to try quinoa and devised the recipe for this salad after doing extensive reading up on what other people have put into successful quinoa salads.  I'm hoping that the fruity aspect will go well with the curry/spicy aspect of the sausages.

I'm having a go at the Beef & Spinach Pasta Bake from www.foodwhine.com on Saturday.  Hubby has an extensive spinach patch developing at the bottom of the garden and it would be just fabulous to make a meal from it.  It's one of those recipes that is a cross between a pasta bake and a casserole, so I'm hoping the weather won't be roasting on Saturday, or you may find that this gets changed to a prawn salad!

Sunday sees the return of the home-made Chicken & sweetcorn pie.  I've been wanting to make a pie for ages and before we decided to upgrade the health value of our meals, had bought the double pack of frozen pastry.  Well I'm not about to let that go to waste - and making a pie gets rid of both packs at once, so it gets to stay on the menu!

One of our peas - the formative years
We were running out of time (and inspiration, if I'm honest) when it came to deciding what hubby was going to cook on Monday.  Hence the "crunchy fish" (aka fish in batter), potato croquettes (hideous things!) and peas.  I'm quite determined to de-crunchy my fish and so reduce the fat content, but I can't guarantee that either of the boys will be doing the same thing!  In truth, they probably don't need to, as they are both normally active people - unlike me who is sedentary at best!  It would be just fabulous if our pea vines were to yield enough peas to cope with feeding the three of us, but we'll just have to wait and see where that's concerned.  We had a sneaky taster of a couple of fresh peas from the vines just yesterday and they are truly gorgeous - so sweet!  Yum!



  1. Mmmmm, all sounds gorgeous as usual - I love the idea of devilled sausages! We tried quinoa once while going through a (very brief) detox phase and I can't remember being overly enamoured, but that could just be because we ate it with something like steamed veg and lentils. Will be interested to see what you think and maybe even tempted to give it another go...?


  2. Oh Seren, our devilled sausages are a firm favourite amongst the family here. :) They don't mind whether they're eaten hot or cold, they're brilliant to take on a picnic too. As for the quinoa, well, we'll see about that one. It'll be the first time I've tried it, but I suspect that it's like a lot of things (couscous being one), that it depends entirely on what you put on it/with it. Fingers crossed that I put the right things with it and we like it! :)


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