Menu Plan - week commencing 17 August 2015
Lots of warm roasted, but relatively light meals are the focus of this week's menu. The evenings are still quite cold and some of the cloudy, gloomy days of winter are still hanging about (it is August!), but spring is beginning to break through, so it's time for food that is winter comfort food - light!
The usual factors also affected this week's plan - how busy I am as well as what's in season and what's on special.
The greatest trauma about this week's menu plan is that I couldn't really work out a way to fit in a lot of meals based around red capsicum - another 'luxury' vegetable as it is often so expensive, but is under $3 kg this week. You will find a lot of fish though! Atlantic Salmon (frozen) was on special for $22 kg and even fresh was down to $26 kg so I made the most of that.
This week, I will be home at a reasonable time, but will be busy when I am at home, so quite a few of the meals I have planned are based on roasting - satisfying both my need for winter comfort food, and something that requires minimal time in the kitchen. The total cooking time may be longer, but the preparation is relatively limited. Friday though, I've gone with Salmon Patties, a favouorite, but one of the more time consuming meals to make. I'm still on a bit of health kick, so in my version I don't coat the patties in breadcrumbs - but absolutely feel free to add that step.
Vegetables in season include some of my all-time favourites: brussel sprouts, broccoli, parsnip, carrots and cauliflower. Beetroot, English spinach, pumpkin and leeks are also in season.
Budget friendly specials
Across the supermarkets this week, some of the specials that interested me most were red capsicum, broccoli and sweet potato. Whole cauliflowers are also still a great price and weirdly blueberries are reasonably priced. What I can't fathom is that parsnips are still $11.95 kg. I still can't comprehend that this vegetable that I kind of feel I am doing a favour by liking, seems to have become a luxury item. Same as brussel sprouts - I adore them, but to my mind they are priced like a luxury vegetable.
Modifying the plan to suit your schedule
I schedule what meals to have when based around easy and quick meals for when I know I will be home late or won't want to spend long in the kitchen and the meals that require slightly longer preparation for evenings when I know I will be home relatively early - so take this into account when looking at the plan, and modify what to make when based on your own schedule.
Meeting your vegetable quota
For those (that would be me!) who want to know if they are meeting their vegetable quota, this is an estimate of the number of serves of vegetables in each meal.
The spinach overkill...
Even a quick glance at the menu plan shows that there is a bit of an obsession with spinach. I caught the 'super food' craze a few years back ..... - and the obsession with spinach has stuck! It is so high in nutrients and so easy to incorporate into virtually any meal that I normally do!
The shopping list below includes quantities for vegetables - just remember you can modify to take into account what you really like, and what you don't - more of one and less of the other - e.g. not everyone has to be quite so heavy on the sweet potato and brussel sprouts as I am!
It's also worth taking a look at the notes on how to modify for both budget and taste. Additionally, if you decide to follow up on any of the suggested variations or options, make sure that you add those items to the shopping list.