Menu Plan - Week starting 18 January 2016

This week I sound like the cooking grinch - as my opening line is 'this week’s menu plan has definitely been a grind to prepare'! WOW - what a welcome to my first blog of 2016!!

Unfortunately, for someone who is writing a cooking blog - I have started the new year completely over cooking....

I cooked a lot of meals over Christmas for family and friends and whilstthis is normally a joy, and I relish the opportunity to cook for more than one (!) and show my love of family and friends by thinking of and cooking great meals, it came on the back of a very exhausting year, so I am basically over cooking.

BUT - that means this blog is more important than ever - since it's all about trying to prevent the pitfalls of not bothering to cook.

In reality I am using this as a sort of detox / re-set my eating habits week - full of green juices, broccoli soup and the like. I am one of those people who can happily eat the same thing for several nights in a row, particularly when I am doing and thinking about other things, so I thought instead of sharing my 5 nights of Broccoli soup plan, I would put together what I will cook next week, or what I would be cooking if I wasn't trying to do a bit of an 'intervention' to arrest the very bad eating habits I developed in December and January - think lots of cream, sugar and carbs!

I'm not yet back in the full swing of the year, so this menu plan includes meals which are slightly more complex than usual, e.g. one involves using the food processer, which is not something I would normally do. But as it is the beginning of the year I am:

- keen to expand my repertoire and add some new 'go to' recipes for 2016

- actually cook, vs just keep hoarding the recipes I cut out of newspapers and magazine

- try cooking with and adding more seafood to my diet.

It's also pre making my 2016 budget - (she says as if she does this religiously ever year!!), so it's a bit more on the lavish side, with the inclusion of a few more seafood-based meals.

And finally, the topic I can never stay away from - this week’s vegetable count!  I think this week contains fewer vegetables than I would normally try to include. However, I can’t stay away from greens altogether, so I have bolstered several recipes with beans and broccoli.

Too complicated - check out recipes in the Desperado Dinners series.

If all the meals on this week's plan seem a little complicated, check out the recipes for what I call Desperado Dinners - meals to make when you really can't be bothered, and / or have nothing to cook with, eg. very little food in the house.

Can't be bothered menu planning - join our nightly Blab for ideas of what to cook

Didn't menu plan, or havent' been shopping, but still need to eat - but have no idea what to cook, or want some advice on how to turn what is currently in your fridge and pantry into a meal, join one of this week’s Blab’s – where you can show me the contents of your fridge and freezer and we can do a live brainstorm of what might cook tonight. (Find out more about Blabs)

Menu plan for one person, for week commencing 18 January 2016

Monday: Steak with walnut romesco & chickpea mash, served on baby spinach, with steamed broccoli & green beans

Tuesday: Coriander Prawns with sweet corn and coconut mash, served with steamed green beans

Wednesday: Chicken and sweetcorn soup / (Smoked Salmon and Broccoli Pilaf)

Thursday: Steamed Barramundi Fillet with Asian Greens

Friday: Sweet Potato & Salmon Curry (With broccoli & beans)

Saturday: Lemon grass beef

Sunday:  Salmon & steamed vegetables or salad

This week's menu plan was devised based on:

What's in season

Apples, Apricots, Asparagus, Avocado, Beetroot, Blueberries, Broccoli, Broccolin, Carrots, Cauliflower, Capsicum, Celery, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Endive, Fennel, Figs, Garlic, Grapes, Kale, Kiwi Fruit, Leeks, Lettuce, Lychees, Melon, Mangoes, Mushrooms, Spanish Onions, Oranges, Parsnips, Paw Paw, Peaches, Pears, Pineapple, Plums, Potatoes, Raspberry, Rockmelon, Tomatoes, Watermelon, Zucchini.

What's on special

Pumpkin, stone fruit, carrots

What I'm inspired by

Not much!  Planning meals and cooking is definitely a chore at the moment, and none of latest issues of the cooking magazines inspire – all too salad / health inspired!  So I have gone back to my file of recipes torn from newspapers and magazines. Dishes that have inspired me in the past, but I have never got around to cooking.  So I’m kind of hoping inspiration might creep up that way.

What I'm craving

Well despite my lack of interest in food, I am craving, good, crunchy, colourful, nutritious, low calorie food. I feel that eating well will be the key to turning around my motivation and inspiration levels. So my menu plan is based on having enough protein / meat, but supplemented with delicious vegetables and salad. However, my ‘can’t be bothered’ phase, means I am simpligying my meals and adding fewer vegetables than normal. They are still pretty well balanced, just not quite as obsessively based around getting 9 serves of vegetables each day.

I'm also craving Romesco sauce - or at least trying to make it. I keep tearing out resicpes, that feature this sauce based on red capsicum, so this is the week to give it a go!

Reference Recipes - see below

Menu Plan - week commencing 18 january 2016

Vegetable Count

Food to use up from previous week

Shopping List


Reference Recipes

This week, I used a lot of actual recipes to plan my meals. Most I will modify slighty to accoutn for using uptins of things, getting in extra serves of vegetables, using up vegetables to hand etc as well as modifying recipes intended for 4 - 6 people for one person, but the original recipe writers definitely need to be acknowledged and the creators, my source and where found link to the recipe are listed below. (Note as this site is still in draft form, not published, and only being made available to a few friends, I have included some of the pictrues from teh recipes. Prior to this site being shared more widely, or being published, I will check out the legal and moral rights of using images - and seek permission before using any image that is not my own - SOOOOO - please don't this site further, as I do not have any of those permissions at the moment, and am still trying to work out the laws relating to copyright re sharing recipes that have been published ) Below is the list of recipes that I will modify and use as the basis for this week’s menu plan.

Sunday Telegraph, Body and Soul liftout: Steak with walnut romesco and chickpea mash (date unknown); Taste Magazine - December 2014 , Page 40Recipe by Katrina Woodman

Coriander Prawns with Sweet Corn & Coconut Mash -  Taste Magazine - April 2014 , Page 36 Recipe by Katrina Woodman

Sunday Telegraph, Insider section; Matt Moran’s column, October 19 2014, page 109 “Steamed Barramundi with Asian Greens”

Sunday Life Magazine, Page 24, Date unknown, Karen Martini recipe for Beef, mint and lemongrass salad with rice vermicelli -

Sunday Telegraph, ‘Sunday Magazine’, date unknown, Donna Hay recipe for Lemongrass Beef -

Food,, Sweet Potato and Salmon curry.


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