Meal Plan 15th - 21st June 2015

Usually I'm quite organised, usually I have a few recipes (at least) already organised for the next week... but for some reason I was behind my game in regards to planning for the upcoming week. After a late night last night (Saturday) up till 2am, having friends over, and then a screaming 1 year old, my brain is in rather a 'brain fog'. But meal planning is complete for the week! I do apologise if there are any groceries missing from the list, I would not be surpised, I am tired!! 

After finishing planning this week, I see I have quite a 'meaty' week! My partner will be happy!!
Click to enlarge...
Grocery list notes: I have excluded lamb brains (not keen to try this, sorry!); sour cream, tortilla chips and red wine (due to the 'Whole Life Challenge'); and I have used venison mince instead of beef mince because we have venison mince in the freezer. In regards to the venison medallions, if you don't want to buy venison (we have it already, as my partner is a hunter), grab beef steaks instead.

Mum's shepard's pie

Chef Pete Evans Facebook Page – posted 19th March 2015 (From his Going Paleo book)
Serves 6

2 tablespoons coconut oil or other good-quality fat
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
600 g beef or lamb mince
2 lamb brains, soaked in cold water with 1 teaspoon salt for 1 hour, rinsed well and finely chopped (optional) or heart, liver or kidney (I am not game enough to add this!)
2 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
4 tablespoons dry red wine (such as shiraz) (optional)
375 ml (1 ½ cups) Beef or Chicken Bone Broth (if you don't have bone broth, stock works great too)
1/2 Pumpkin

Notes: Pete Evans, makes this with a cauliflower puree (the quantities are not shared on his facebook post, otherwise I would have shared with you; I am going to top my shepard's pie with mashed pumpkin)

1 Chop pumpkin into chunks, boil pumpkin pieces on the stove top, covered in water till soften, mash, then leave to cool.
2 Preheat the oven to 180°C.
3 Heat the oil or fat in a large, deep frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the cumin, onion, garlic, celery and carrot and cook for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown. Add the mince and brains (if using) and cook, stirring to break up any lumps, until browned. Add the tomato paste and thyme and cook for 1 minute, then pour in the wine (if using) and bone broth and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
4 To assemble, spread the meat mixture into the base of an ovenproof dish and level with a spoon.
5 Cover with the mashed pumpkin and smooth the top out evenly. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with a fresh salad of your choice or veggies and dent forget some fermented veggies on the side.

Shepard's pie

Seared venison with creamy mash and boysenberry sauce

New Zealand Healthy Food Guide. Yvonne Kerr (Editor). Healthy Life Media Ltd. Takapuna, Auckland. May 2015. Pg 61

venison medallions
4-5 potatoes, scrubbed and cut into even pieces (I will use kumara/sweet potato instead)
2 cups cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 cup red wine
425g can of boysenberries drained (reserve 1/4 cup syrup) (I plan on using frozen boysenberries, so I'm not using sugary syrup)

2 teaspoon oil
6 cups dark green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, silverbeet), roughly chopped
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 tablespoons sour cream

salt and pepper

1 Season venison with salt and pepper and set aside. Place potatoes and cauliflower in a medium-sized pot and cover with water. Boil until tender (about 20 minutes) and remove from heat. Meanwhile, add wine, boysenberries and 1/4 cup of the syrup to a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn temperature down and simmer until sauce thickens (about 10 minutes), set aside.
2 Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat. Cook venison for 2 -3 minutes on each side, until meat is browned but still medium-rare (take care not to overcook as venison is low in fat and best served this way). Set aside to rest.
3 Meanwhile, place greens in the same frying pan with the garlic and a good amount of pepper. Place a lid over the pan and cook the greens for a couple of minutes until wilted.
4 Add sour cream to potatoes and cauliflower, mash or blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Place venison on the mash with plenty of wilted greens. Top with boyensberry sauce and serve with chopped parsley and ground black pepper.

Seared venison on kumara/cauliflower mash with boysenberry sauce

Vegetarian chili with sweet potatoes
(click on the title to send you to the recipe)

Notes: I won't be serving this with tortilla chips & sour cream because of the 'Whole Life Challenge' I am still participating in. 

Lemon chicken casserole
(click on the title to send you to the recipe)

Notes: I plan to use almond flour instead of flour for this recipe

Lemon chicken casserole

Italian meatballs in mariana sauce 
(click on the title to send you to the recipe)

Notes: I plan to make this for with venison mince as we have some in the freezer.

Beef steak, kumara chips and grean beans

2 or 3 pieces of beef steak
2 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
2-3 kumara, peeled & chopped into wedges
1 - 2 tbsp Moroccan seasoning
250g green beans 

1 Half an hour before cooking, take your steak out of the fridge, as this will bring it to room temperature. Preheat oven to 200C. 
Toss the kumara wedges in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, pepper, and Moroccan seasoning. Lie them out on a baking tray lined with baking paper, ensure they are spaced out. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until nice and golden.
3 Heat a fry pan to a medium/high heat. Rub the olive oil onto the steaks. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Place into the frypan for 3 to 4 minutes each side for medium-rare/medium.
Let the steak rest for around 5 minutes.
Place the green beans into a pot of boiling water for 2 - 3 minutes, then drain the water, place the beans into a frypan with garlic and butter, and gently fry for two minutes (this step is optional, you could instead, place butter and garlic on top the green beans once served).

Reviewing the week...

I love this recipe for shepards pie, I make it with bone broth as suggested, it adds such a delicious flavour to it, I highly recommend making your own bone broth! If you don't have any though, a good quality stock would work as well. This recipe actually calls for the pie to be topped with cauliflower, however the Facebook post didn't give the quantities, so I tried pumpkin instead, and it is amazing! Pumpkin adds such a delicious sweetness to the dish. Next time the only change would be, to add less stock, this is rather watery, I would add a maximum of a cup.

As I have said before steak is not my favourite meal... a little too meaty for me... however this meal I LOVED! oh em geeeeeeee sooo good !! I used kumara instead of potatoes for the mash, you don't need to use 4 to 5 kumara, as the recipe states for the potatoes, as I did and it made way to much, I recommend 2 - 3 tops. I also used butter instead of sourcream for the mash, I used 1 - 2 tablespoons, delicious! I didn't make the sauce with red wine either, I used frozen boysenberries and cooked them over the stove top, and this turned into a delicious sauce, could not be easier!

Wednesday night, myself and the kids were sick, so there was no dinner for us! Well I gave the kids eggs, which they were happy with :)

Manu's lemon chicken, I used the slow cooker for this and it worked prefectly, I added an extra cup of stock for goodluck - well I didn't want the casserole to burn, I don't think the extra cup of stock was actually needed. I also served this meal with cauliflower rice and garlic green beans, yummy!!

Friday night, Italian meatballs, we have made this meal before with using beef mince and it was amazing!! However, this time around I had taken out venison mince, which I thought would still work great... Then I went to a friends place for a play date with the kids... she had nacho's on the stove top cooking, I could not get the idea out of my head about nachos for dinner, so that's what happened... I went to the diary, brought chips and sour cream. I got home, the meatballs were cooked, I dismantled these easily, and there we had it nachos! Delicious ;)

Italian 'nachos' ;)
For Saturday night, we had the vegetarian chilli, this was so tasty! I loved the spice in this meal, however, if you were wanting to serve this to your kids, maybe omit the chilli, as it was a little too spicy for them! Another vegetarian dish for you to try!

I hope you enjoyed this week's worth of meals!!

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