I’ve made some big changes in my life over the last couple of months. Not only have we upsticks and moved over 100 miles away, I’ve also made the move from full time employment to freelance working. As you can imagine, initially this means a big pay cut. With less certainty on how much I’ll be earning each month, now more than ever, feels like the right time to be getting back to meal planning, batch cooking and generally being a little bit more frugal with what I eat.
So I sat down yesterday with a pen and paper (and some felt tips – yes I know… I’m 31) and worked out what I could cook with what we already have in.
I started by listing everything edible in the house and crossed things off as I found a meal I could cook with them. All that needs adding this week is a few fresh bits – salad, milk, bread. I’m pretty chuffed at the amount I’ve managed to carve out of our existing supplies – 11 meals in total. It just shows that if you give it some thought, meals can come from almost anything.
Monday – sausages with sage & butternut squash
I love leafing through old Olive magazines and often find things I want to make. This dish was in the April 2014 magazine but it’s also online here. I have a pack of 10 sausages in the freezer which I’ll split down to make two meals from.
|Image from Olive Magazine|
Tuesday – salmon in coconut broth
Wednesday – puttanesca pasta
I cook this type of pasta quite often and love Nigella’s description of it as ‘Slut’s Spaghetti’. I always thought it was food cooked by poor Italians because you didn’t need anything fresh but actually, the translation is closer to Nigella’s description: “the sort of dish cooked by slatterns who don’t go to market to get their ingredients fresh, but are happy to use stuff out of jars and tins”. Either way, it’s a good one – spicy and full of flavours from the black olives and anchovies. Plus, I love capers, the more the merrier. You can find Nigella’s version here.
|Image from Nigella.com|
Thursday – paruppu dhal curry
I just about have the right ingredients to make this delicious looking curry from one of my favourite books, Green Kitchen Travels. This book has some stunning photography in it and if you’re looking for vegetarian recipes with a world flavour, it’s the one for you.
One of the fortunate things about having an embarrassingly large selection of spices, herbs and other condiments is that you can create a good curry without having to buy too much.
Friday – fishcakes, broad beans & minty peas
This is a freezer dinner if ever you’ve seen one. Fishcakes make a fab quick weeknight meal and the melt in the middle ones from Waitrose are really tasty. Broad beans and peas are staple freezer vegetables and this easy recipe is a great way to serve them. I’ve got some new potatoes to go with this too. Yum!
I’ve teamed up with the Meal Planning Monday linky hosted by Mrs M’s blog. Head over there to see a whole load more meal plans for this week!