Food: Family Meal Plan Inspiration

It's been a busy week over half term (not that that means anything with non school age children during lockdown) with the Carnivore taking a couple of days off work and planning an important birthday celebration so our meal planning went a bit out of the window. Instead we were rolling with it and snuck in the odd takeaway. But the start of a new week means trying to get organised and back on track with meal planning.

I tend to find we return to the same sorts of things on about a 3 week rotation but then we add in the odd new thing from recipe books. The kids don't always eat the same as us, as little one is still dairy and egg free and our preschooler is not so keen on spice (yet) but we're working on it.

We actually have a date to see a dietician after 14 months of waiting for allergy tests for little man so here's hoping we have some next steps to follow soon. Although sleep is still a bit iffy and unsettled nights are a symptom of food intolerances so I'm a bit reluctant to be honest. Anyway it's progress!

So here's what I'm planning for meals over the next couple of weeks. There's bound to be a takeaway one night and an easy tea of leftovers if we batch cook a bigger version of one the below meals.


Halloumi mushroom burgers - I lurve this recipe as it feels so indulgent whilst still being fairly healthy for a burger meal. We grill sweet potato wedges in a little oil and paprika, whilst frying off the giant mushrooms and halloumi. I then add salad instead of a bun and some hot siracha sauce. For the kids who are not keen on shrooms, I'll substitute for a homemade bean burger.

Homemade Pizza - we have plans to fire up the pizza oven one evening as nothing beats freshly made and fired pizza. The kids have a half an half pizza, with one half cheese and the other without and both have pinapple and sweetcorn. We will keep it simple with mozzarella, basil and maybe some mushroom. They work so much better with simple toppings and a little garlic butter.

Sausage and mash pie - we have sausage and mash every couple of weeks in some form as its a fave with the whole family but sometimes we want to change it up a bit. To make it a pie we create a large yorksbire pudding in a baking tray, then set in the sausages and potatoes with leeks, cranberry sauce and some pigs in blankets and thick gravy. All of this is generally using meat free sausages, so that we can all eat it. The Carivore sometimes cooks off some meat sausages for himself but the kids eat vegan,

Blue cheese mushroom bake - a slight change to our usual pasta dish by making a roux and adding blue cheese to the sauce and then lots of mushrooms. Then its baked for 25 minutes on 180 for a crispy topping. Again the kids don't like shrooms and littlest can't have cheese so I do a couple of different versions of this. Itreally is soooo tasty though and the blue cheese adds so much depth.

Enchiladas - we usually have a mountain of tins of bins in the house or every kind, so chilli is a regular fixture around here, but sometimes we turn it into enchiladas for a change. Adding butternut squash is a real game changer and wrapping up the tortillas, smothering in chopped tomato sauce and baking with a moutain of cheese on top is lush! Serve with a green salad.

Lentil Spag Bol - this is generally a main stay in most households but we make it with tinned green lentils to make it a meat free recipe and you really don't miss the mince (quorn or otherwise). Adding a base layer or onions, garlic, a bit of puree and lots of herbs makes it so tasty. I the serve over spaghetti or courgetti if I'm trying to go low carb.

Jambalya - a great option for those who like rice dishes and also spice this west african dish is so full of flavour and lots of different kinds of veg can be added. Sweetcorn, red pepper and peas are favourites with the kids. You can either buy the premade sachet spice mix or otherwise it's easy to make up with a combination of pantry spices. Cayenne, galic granules, onion powder, paprika, thyme and others all make this so tasty. The Carnivore likes to add prawns to his at the end. Keep stirring this dish to ensure the rice doesn't stick of become stodgy and a bit of veg stock doesn't go amiss.

Terriyaki chicken - You can either use a packet stir fry sauce or make your own terriyaki with seasme oil, soy sauce, spring onions, salt, garlci and honey. Cook your chicken (or meat free equivalent) in a wok and pour over the sauce. Serve with pak choi and noodles.

Thai Green Curry - this is the dish the Carnivore used to woo me so is always a welcome addition to the meal plan. It also means he is cooking so winning! He makes his own paste with ginger, lemongrass, lemon juice, brown sugar, onion, garlic and coriander. Then he fries off cod for him and tofu for us in the paste before adding coconut milk. Serve with rice.

Jerk kebabs - we love spicy food but have had to tone it down a bit with the kids meals, but this is one were we can add to it later and ramp it up. We have a premade caribbean spice mix but also add in a few of our own favourites, like cumin and cayenne. This is good with chicken, quorn or even with halloumi as a veggie alternative. We serve with a big salad and some flat breads to mop up the sauce.

So what's on your menu this week? 

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