Meal Planning

We got shopping for food twice a month now, we have in the past gone weekly and monthly but have discovered that every 2 weeks works best for us and ensures that we have enough fresh vegetables in to make it through until payday.

Before we got shopping I put together a menu of meals that I will make during each 2 week period. I remember my Mother doing this when I was a kid, she would shop monthly for 6 of us (topping up with fresh vegetables through the month) and fill 2 huge shopping carts with food! She would have a list of 30 main meals and 30 puddings and then a standard list of stuff for our school lunchboxes. I don’t include the puddings and I don’t have to worry about a lunchbox until September (I will be practicing things to put in it during the summer if I can!) but I do list out my main meals, where the recipe can be found if there is one and any notes, such as what we’ll eat it with or if I need to prepare a part of it in advance. I don’t list things by days of the week or anything, just one big list and then I pick what we fancy eating, have time to cook or what the weather suits in the afternoon and make it that night.

I prefer to make most things from scratch but the boys like to have some pre-packaged stuff like burgers or hot dogs in there so I try and get a balance. This menu for the first time I’ve listed some salads and dips that I want to try. I’m determined to get Little One off of eating sandwiches and crisps for lunch and onto more healthy food and snacks so the salads will be for lunches and the dips are for afternoon snacks when he gets in from school to go with bread sticks or crudites.

I thought it would be interesting to list my menus on here and then comment on the recipes as I make them. I don’t have time with a four year old yelling that he’s hungry to take photos of the food most of the time but I will give it a go and see if it’s possible to get a couple of photographs here and there.

So, without further ado, this is the menu that we’re currently working with.

Main Meals

Toad In the Hole – Absolutely Animal Free Cookbook (this is a very English dish, it’s sausages cooked in yorkshire pudding (very think pancake) batter, I have yet to get it quite right, mine never rises, but I’m determined to keep trying!). Served with vegetables of some sort.

Burger and Chips (we use Frys burgers and either buy chips (fries) from the shop around the corner or cook oven chips).

Curried Cauliflower Cheese Soup – Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons, served with ciabatta.

Home Made Pizza (I use the crust and sauce recipes from Vegan with a Vengeance)with pineapple and cheese.

Roast Vegetables served with rice.

Black Bean and Rice Burgers – Vegan Gourmet, served with some sort of potato.

Stir Fry served with rice or noodles.

Hawaiian Chicken – The New Vegan, served with rice.

Pasta Bake – The Glad Cow Cookbook

Lentil Soup – The Glad Cow Cookbook, served with bread.

Farmer’s Paella – The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen

Schnitzel with new potatoes and vegetables (we use Fry’s schnitzels).

Masoor Daal – Spicy Vegan with rice and chapatti.

Baked Macaroni and Cheeze – The Nutritional Yeast Cookbook

BBQ Buffalo Zings – The Nutritional Yeast Cookbook, served with potatoes of some sort.

Baked Potatoes with baked beans and cheese.

Salads

Three Bean Salad – Vegan Deli
Cold Sesame Noodles – Vegan Deli
Road Trip Quinoa Salad – The Glad Cow Cookbook
Marinated Lentil Salad – The Mediterranean Vegan Cookbook
Tabboleh with Chickpeas – The Mediterranean Vegan Cookbook

Dips

Cannelli Bean Yam Hummus – Viva Le Vegan
Baba Ganoush – Vegan Deli
Black Bean Hummus – Vegan Deli
Store bought hummus (I know Little One likes Hummus so thought it was a good place to start!).

So, I shall attempt to do a short review of each recipe as I use them and see if that can kick start this blog into life!

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