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Thread: Help with Meal Planning.

  1. #1

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    Red face Help with Meal Planning.

    I need to do this for a number of reasons.
    1, I am so lazy, I have no motivation to get up & cook
    2, We have just moved & take away is no longer an easy option.
    3, DH is a vego & our meals are soooooooo boring
    4, I need to get a healthy eating habbits into my kids. We are all grazers & snack all day. I really don't think this is a healthy way to eat.



    Help me!

    DH is hard because he doesn't like alot of foods. He is also a vego. He doesn't like any thing spicy or hot (curry etc). He likes alot of food that use spices & curry just can't handle the heat.
    I would like to make cassarols & stuff that I can make alot of so we can have left overs tomorrow or frozen.

    At the moment our dinners are basically Boiled veggies, pasta side dish things & chips!

    Please I need some help to get this into action. Menu idea's, recipes easy stuff to start with.

  2. #2

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    Hi Fiona

    Does your DH eat fish? And do you and the kids eat meat or would you prefer all-vego ideas?

    Fiona

  3. #3

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    Sounds like you need to have a bit of a freezer cookup - things that i think that will work that freeze nicely and can be done in either a veggo or a meat-eaters version:
    lasagna
    cannelloni
    ratatouille (this is good as you can have it on the side with meat if you're cooking it or eggs if you're veggo)
    frittattas (with lots of roast veggies, feta, pinenuts, etc in)
    white pasta sauce (cheese mushrooms peas, etc)
    veggie mornay (my mum always added sliced boiled eggs so you could omit or include the tuna/chicken depending on who's going to be eating it)
    roast capsicums stuffed with couscous (you cook the couscous in stock and then add yummy things like semidried tomatoes and feta and herbs then sprinkle cheese over and bake the lot)
    and I could go on...

  4. #4

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    FJ, I'm sure time is precious in your household, but here's what I do (I like to be fairly organised when it comes to cooking).

    The night before I'm going grocery shopping I sit down and work out what we're going to eat for the next week for dinners. Sometimes that's easy, I have plenty of inspiration, sometimes I struggle with it. That's when I get out the cookbooks, magazines, or hop online for ideas. Once our weekly menu is done, I compile a shopping list for all of the ingredients, plus everything else I need from the supermarket. That way I have no excuses not to cook, there's always something to make! I put the menu on the fridge cos DH likes to know what we're having, he says it gets him through his work day knowing what dinner he's coming home to LOL.

    Do you get any of the magazines like Good Taste or Super Food Ideas? They are both good for easy family dinners, and have a few vego recipes too. They also have alot of freezer recipes, with instructions on how to freeze and defrost. Or try the website Taste, it has all the recipes from those mags plus some more

    Another thing I find helpful is to have a list of your standard fare, everything in your repertoire so when you're struggling for ideas you can just find something on the list!

    I know it sounds like alot, but it makes the dinner thing night after night so much easier. If you do it, allow for when you think you'll have takeaway eg. make Friday night your set takeaway night, and maybe plan something fun and easy for Saturday or Sunday night. It sort of breaks up the monotony a bit.

    Good luck, let us know how you go.

  5. #5

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    Fiona - With DD #2 on the way I have decided to do up a meal planner. I have been doing a meal plan each week before I go grocery shopping for the last year but now I am getting bored of that and I struggle to remember what meals I can actually cook. Therefore I have started and excel spread sheet with the titles: Beef, pork, chicken, salads, soups etc. I have listed all meals that we each for these categories. Eg: under beef: spag bol, steak and veg, sheppards pie etc. Now I can see what our selection is and I will go to step 2 and do up fortnightly menus.

    As for the vego issue maybe try and introduce a "new" vego meal once a fortnight. Test it out on the family and if they like it add it to the list.

    Meal ideas for vego:

    Mixed vege stir fry and pasta. I use mushroom, zuchinni, carrots, baby corn. Marinate veges with soy sauce, chinese 5 spice, oyster sauce and garlic. Chuck veg in wok. Boil spag pasta. Add pasta to veg and stir in some grated cheese.

    Spinach and ricotta pie or filos.

    Red lentil mild curry stew.

    Home made falafel kebabs.

    Creamy mushroom sauce on pasta.

    If the rest of the family are meat eaters invest in a slow cooker and do some stews or caserols. Double the normal quanity and freeze some.

    To increase your meal ideas ask friends to give you a copy of their family meals.

  6. #6

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    Oooooh yeah Bek, that's another thing I do, try to introduce a new recipe every fortnight or so

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the replies girls. Some great tips there. I think I will start buying a foood mag, I don't have that cooking flair in me. I need to look & go mmmm that looks yum. I have about 5 different vego books but they all look so complicated & use all those meat substatutes & DH doesn't (nor do I) like those. Not a fan of soy either. He really is the most complicated Vego around I think!

    Well I will start off with some mags & go from there.

    Now to ring the furniture shop we bough the desk from as the key board draw just fell on my lap!

  8. #8

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    FJ, definately planning ahead is the way to go. I actually like cooking (pre-Flynn I used to put on 6 course dinner parties for friends LOL!) but I find if I haven't planned I actually hate having to think about dinner. You will be surprised in your turn around in approach if you follow the tips above

  9. #9

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    Yep totally agree with planning ahead. And also have some "from the pantry only" options for those nights that you really can't be bothered. The cook ahead thing is a great idea. We do this often. I also recommend doing bigger batches of dinner so you can freeze portions for those nights you just don't feel like cooking. We do this often with vegies or pasta for the kids that way if Marc's working late, or I can't be bothered they get the nutrients even if I end up having cheese on toast

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