Meal plan 27th July - 2nd August 2015

This week, my partner starts a new job, working 1 hour 20 minutes away, which means early starts and late home for him - AHHHH, not looking forward to two to three months of this... 

So the 'great' plan is to have simple meals, and to utilise my slow cooker/crockpot! 

This weeks meal plan... 

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Mexican Beef 

For this meal, I want to serve it with celery sticks, to be used like spoons when eating, for a bit of fun for my three year old; will be interesting to see if he uses it or not!
I wont be buying already prepared potatoes, like the recipe calls for; I will roast up some kumara wedges instead.

Caramelised onion frittata

Oh my gosh - doesn't this look amazing!!  (Click on the title, to be sent to the recipe from My darling lemon thyme).

Thai Beef & Sweet Potato Curry
(This recipe comes from a newspaper clipping from years ago, that shows it is a goodie as I have kept it for so long, just cant reference it properly sorry!)

1-1.5kg quality mark diced beef
1 tsp each salt & ground black pepper

onions, peeled & diced
3 Tbsp thai-style red curry paste
2 tsp minced garlic
2 medium, orange kumara, peeled & diced
400g can coconut milk
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1-1 1/2 cups frozen peas
2 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander
shredded coconut

1 Season diced beef with salt and pepper. Brown the meat in a dash of oil in a hot frying pan; this is best done in 2-3 batches. With the last batch of meat, add onions & curry paste and cook until fragant. 

2 Put the beef mixture into the slow cooker with garlic, kumara, coconut milk and stock, and cover with the lid.
3 Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Stir in peas and coriander, re-cover and continue cooking on high for a further 15-20 minutes. 

4 Serve in bowls garnished with shredded coconut and accompany with steamed rice.

I am planning on serving this with cauliflower rice. 

Spicy Peri Peri Smoked Chicken 
(click on the title to be sent to the recipe)

Balsamic Roast Beef
I found this recipe ages ago, and have been waiting to use it, sounds amazing! Excited to try this!

I will serve this with Chelsea's amazing roast potatoes!
I hope you enjoy this week!


Meal Plan 20th - 26th July 2015

After missing a few meals last week, I am going to try again to be more organised, and maybe pick easier meals to make! OK, so I have three easy meals, and two 'easy' meals but they take awhile to prepare... Which is fine for me as I am a stay at home mum, so I will probably prepare those meals early in the day, come the end of the day there is nothing to do, bonus! 

I am liking the look of this grocery list.. its way smaller than usual! Hopefully I haven't missed anything, knowing me, that is totally possible! 

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Moroccan Chicken 

500-600g chicken breast

1 tbsp Moroccan spice
1 tbsp olive oil 

1 Cut the chicken into even sized pieces, toss with Moroccan spice. Heat a fry pan on medium/high temperature; add the olive oil then chicken. Leave the chicken to brown on one side and then turn over and brown the other side.

Curried Cabbage with Cashews

Healthy Fitness Recipes. Posted on Facebook 11 June 2015. 
Serves 6

1/4 cup butter or olive oil

1/3 cup raw (unroasted, unsalted) cashews
3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 small cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt butter (or warm oil). Add cashews, ginger, and cumin; cook, stirring often, until cashews and ginger are golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
2 Add cabbage and turmeric, cook, stirring often, until tender, about 10 minutes. 

3 Season with salt and pepper.

Lamb Osso Buco 

Chef Pete Evans from the Healthy Everyday cookbook; posted on Facebook July 14th 2015
Serves: 4 – 6

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 2 ¼ hours

2 litres Beef Stock
1 kg lamb shanks, cut in half (ask your butcher to do this)
3 ½ tablespoons coconut oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion, finely sliced
6 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and roughly chopped
1 long red chilli, split lengthways
1 carrot, roughly diced
2 celery stalks, roughly diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
300 g canned whole peeled tomatoes
250 g cauliflower, chopped into small florets
300 g cavolo nero (or Kale), roughly shredded
freshly ground black pepper

1 Preheat the oven to 160°C.
2 Place the beef stock in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over medium–high heat. 
3 Continue to cook until the stock has reduced by half and is now 1 litre (this should take 15–20 minutes). Using this reduced stock will make the final dish richer and more delicious.
4 Place a frying pan over medium–high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil. Add the lamb shanks and cook for 2 ½ minutes on each side, or until they are nicely browned. 
5 Removed from heat and set aside.
6 Melt the remaining coconut oil in a flameproof casserole dish over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, or until soft. Add the onion, rosemary, chilli and a small pinch of salt, stir well and cook for a few minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the carrot and celery, stir well and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Remove from the heat.
7 Place the lamb and the cauliflower in the casserole dish and pour on the stock. Cover first with a sheet of baking paper, then with a tight-fitting lid. Cook in the oven for 2 hours, or until the meat is just starting to come away from the bone. Add the cavolo nero (or kale) and return to the oven to cook for another 5 minutes, or until the cavolo nero is just wilted.
8 Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with some fermented veg.

Eggplant Parmigiana with Kale & Broccoli Salsa Verde

Posted on Facebook July 10th 2015 by What the Fat? 

2 onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
2 cans tinned tomatoes (400gms)
olive oil, 30ml (2 Tbsp)
salt to taste
1 tsp dried oregano

4 eggplant (aubergine)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup parmesan (or strong cheddar)
6 - 10 basil leaves (optional)

2 cups, parsely chopped

1 tbsp capers (optional), chopped
zest from 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, chopped or crushed"
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cups kale stalks removed, 200g
2 cups (about 3 heads) broccoli in florets

1 Add your diced onion and garlic to a large sauce pan with the olive oil. Add a pinch of salt to help the onions soften. Cook on a medium to low heat for 5 minutes before adding the tinned tomatoes. Cook the sauce for about 20 minutes then season with salt, cracked pepper and some dried oregano, (you can blitz sauce to be smoother if you like or leave it chunkier) sit to one side. 

2 Slice the green stalk off the eggplant and slice the eggplant lengthways into 1cm slices. Heat a large pan with some olive oil and carefully place the eggplant into the pan. Cook for 30 seconds on each side until the eggplant begins to soften and remove them into a plate with some kitchen paper or a clean tea towel to drain any excess oil. 
3 Begin to assemble the parmigiana by placing the eggplant onto the baking dish and spoon over a thin layer of your tomato sauce followed by a sprinkling of parmesan (and/or another cheese as you prefer) and some basil if using. Repeat these steps until you have used up your ingredients or you have filled your dish. Ensure your top layer has some cheese scattered on it, but not the basil (if using) as it will burn. 
4 Bake the parmigiana in the oven, 45-60 minutes at 180C.
5 While the parmigiana is cooking chop the parsley for the salsa verde. Mix the parsley with the rest of the salsa verde ingredients to form a loose green dressing. Leave the salsa verde in the bowl until the vegetables are ready. 
6 Bring the pot of water to the boil then add the broccoli florets and picked kale. Cook on a boil for 2 - 3 minutes then drain well and return the vegetables to the pot. 
7 Season with salt and pepper and dress with a generous amount of the salsa verde until the vegetables are nicely coated. Bring the bubbling parmigiana out of the oven and serve with your vegetables and more salsa verde if you like.

Steak, kumara chips & garlic green beans

2 - 3 pieces of beef steak
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

Kumara chips

2 - 3 kumara
olive oil 
(or coconut oil)
salt pepper

Garlic green beans

250g green beans
2-3 garlic cloves (finely chopped or crushed)
1 tbsp butter

Take your steaks out of the fridge, to bring them to room temperature while you prepare the kumara chips.
Peel and chop the kumara into good sized chips or wedges. Toss the kumara in olive oil (or coconut oil). Place evenly on a lined baking tray, and bake for 20 minutes at 200C.
Place a griddle over a medium/high heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides, then rub the olive oil over the steak (not the pan). Place the steaks into the griddle and cook for 3-4 minutes each side for medium-rare/medium steaks. Let the steaks rest for around 5 minutes.
Trim off the ends of the beans and place into a pot filled with boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes. Put another fry pan on the stove top and fry the butter and garlic for 2 minutes, then add the drained beans to the fry pan, fry for 2 minutes.

Bacon, spinach & mushroom casserole

1kg good quality smoked bacon, cut into medium sized strips
3 big handfuls of fresh spinach, stems removed
450g button mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp butter

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Heat a large casserole over a medium heat and cook the bacon, making sure it’s still soft.
2 Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
3 Add the garlic and cook for about a minute, until fragrant.
4 Add the mushrooms and cook for about another 8 minutes, until soft.
5 Add the spinach and butter, cover and let cook for another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is well cooked.
6 Season with salt and pepper and serve.

I might also serve this with tortilla wraps for my partner... As I have a feeling he will want something else with it... Or maybe just some potato wedges would keep him happy - will keep you posted!!

Hope you have a great week!!


Meal Plan 13th - 19th July 2015

Oh emmmm geeeeeee I am quite excited for this week's meal plan!! Beef Wellington -  what the! How lucky are we!! We were gifted a large piece of eye fillet ages ago, and forgot about it... so this week we are going to use it - maybe we should be keeping it for a special occasion, as its such an delicious (and expensive) piece of meat, but that's OK! Me and my partner use to watch Hells Kitchen, where one of their signature dishes is beef wellingtons, so we have both always wanted to try it! Wish me luck, I'm not quite at Gordon Ramsay's level ... yet ;) 
There are two recipes this week from the paleo grubs website, I highly recommend this website, the recipes look amazing!! And from my lovely friend Jamie Oliver; his baked white fish recipe is mouth watering!! And I am yet to try this chilli con veggie, but the reviews said it was great, so I think we are in for a treat! 

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Beef wellington, with mashed potatoes and green salad

I found Gordon Ramsay's beef wellington recipe, but it is in video format

Served with:

Baked potatoes
This recipe of Chelsea Winter's is soooo good!!! I highly highly recommend you try it!

Green salad
I found this simple salad that sounds amazing!

Baked white fish
(Click on the title for the link to the recipe)  

Eggplant bolognese with zucchini noodles

Balsamic Chicken with Roasted tomatoes

Chilli con veggie

I hope you enjoy this week!!


Meal Plan 6th - 12th July 2015

Another late publishing of a meal plan, sorry!!! We had another wedding in the weekend, and the drive home should of taken 5 and a half hours, but took 9 whole hours... The joys of travelling with children ha!

So I won't chit chat about the meal plan I will just give it to you... 

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Crumbed weiner schnitzel 

I love this Chelsea Winter recipe for weiner schnitzel, its amazing, I highly recommend.

I made a few changes to this recipe...

  • I omitted the flour from the recipe. Dip the schnitzel in egg and then the crumb recipe below. 
  • Instead of using breadcrumbs, I made a mxiture of 1 cup almond meal, 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsely, 1 lemon zest finely grated, 3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. 
  • In the sauce, I used fresh oregano instead of dried - only because I have a oregano plant! And I added two more cloves of garlic than the recommended amount. 

Beef & Pumpkin Lasagna 
I use a recipe from Simon & Alison Holst, Best Mince Recipes, Hynhman Publishing, Amberley, Pg 33; and I make some changes to it... One big one if the pumpkin slices used instead of lasagne sheets. I have also taken out the can of tomato puree and 1/2 tsp sugar.

1 large onion (red or white)
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
500g minced beef
1 can diced tomatoes (or 400g fresh tomatoes chopped finely)
2 tablespoons tomato paste

red capsicum (my extra)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tsp dried basil)

1/2 pumpkin, thinly sliced

25g butter
3 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
grated nutmeg and pepper to taste
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups grated cheese

1 Preheat the oven to 180C on bake. Chop the pumpkin up into thin even sized pieces. Coat in coconut oil and sauteed for one to two minutes. Will need to be done in two to three batches. Place onto a large plate, we will use later. 
2 Using the same pan, heat the olive oil in a large frypan and lightly brown the chopped onion and garlic. Add the mince meat and cook, stirring frequently, until it has lost all its pink colour.
3 Stir in the tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and leave to simmer gently while you prepare the cheese sauce.
4 Melt the butter in a medium sized pot. Add the flour and seasonings and stir well over low heat for 30 seconds. Pour in half the milk and bring to the boil, stirring frequently. Add the remaining milk and bring to the boil again, still stirring, then remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the grated cheese.
5 Spread a third of the meat sauce in the bottom of a lightly oiled 20 x 30cm casserole dish. Put half of the pumpkin over the meat. Spread the next third of the mince mixture over the layer of pumpkin, add another layer of pumpkin. Repeat with the last layer of mince and pour the cheese sauce over top. 

6 Make sure the cheese sauce is spread evenly and the whole surface is covered. Sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese and dust lightly with paprika.

7 Bake at 180C for 40-50 minutes, until the pumpkin is cooked; then leave to stand for 15 minutes before cutting. If you are using lasagna sheets instead of pumpkin bake for 30-45minutes

Note: If you have some water/broth coming out of your lasagne, the trick is to take out a little piece of one corner, get a spoon and scoop it out. You can tip the lasagne up a little so it pours down into this hole you have made. The more you get out, the less soggier it will be! 
8 Serve with a crisp green salad.

I found a gorgeous looking coleslaw salad in the recent New Zealand Healthy Food Guide; that I thought would go nicely with this meal.

Winter coleslaw
New Zealand Healthy Food Guide. Edited by Niki Bezzant (Editor-in-chief). Published by Healthy Life Media Ltd. Takapuna, Auckland. July 2015. Pg78. 

1 1/2 cups finely shredded cabbage (red, white or a mix)
3 cups finely chopped broccoli

2 courgettes, grated
1 carrot, grated
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 tablespoons balsamic dressing (2 parts balsamic vinegar to 1 part olive oil)
black pepper, freshly ground

1 Mix all ingredients together. Chill and serve with the lasagna.

Unfortunately for me... I forgot to write the ingredients down on my grocery list, so I wont be enjoying coleslaw with my lasagna, hopefully next time!!

Chicken Laksa 
New Zealand Healthy Food Guide. Edited by Niki Bezzant (Editor-in-chief). Published by Healthy Life Media Ltd. Takapuna, Auckland. July 2015. Pg84. 

200g vermicelli noodles (optional - Im also thinking of serving this with cauliflower rice)
olive oil spray

1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons laksa paste

500g chicken breast fillets, sliced
2 cups reduced salt chicken stock
1 x 165ml can coconut milk (recipe calls for reduced fat, but I will use full fat)1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon sugar (I will exclude)
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 x 3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, peeled, thinly sliced diagonally
4 cups bok choy, trimmed, leaves separated, reserved (I am using broccoli instead - it was on special)
150 snow peas, trimmed, halved (I am using green beans instead, again, on special)lime juice, to taste
1 1/2 cups bean sprouts

1 Put vermicelli noodles in a large heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2 Spray a large wok (or saucepan) with olive oil and set over medium heat. Add onion and stir until lightly golden. Add laksa paste and stir for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add chicken and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly golden. Add stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, lime leaves, sliced ginger and 2 cups water and stir well.
3 Increase heat to high and bring mixture to the boil. Add carrot to wok. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Add bok choy and snow peas and cook for 1 minute. Remove wok from heat and add lime juice to taste.
4 Divide reserved vermicelli noodles among 4 bowls. Ladle hot laksa over noodles, top with bean sprouts and serve.

Duck with bacon, & walnut & orange 

One from last week... I am making this recipe up, I am yet to decide how I am going to cook the duck, so I think I will be updating this recipe after I have cooked it! My current thinking is to wrap the duck in bacon, along with some garlic, ginger and chinese five spice - but unsure how I will cook it, or how long for... I will serve the duck alongside a very simple salad, consisting of baby spinach, orange segments and chopped up walnuts. Duck & orange go together nicely so this should work, fingers crossed!

Cauliflower & zucchini pizza bases, topped with lamb, kumara & rosemary

Pizza base
1/2 head cauliflower
zucchini/4 cups grated zucchini(courgettes)
garlic cloves, finely grated
eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup ground almonds (almond flour or almond meal)
1 tsp dried oregano
 & pepper

Caramelised onion
1-2 onion
25g butter
2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
Tomato sauce/pasteYou could either use tomato paste, or make your own sauce, for example simmer 1 can of chopped tomatoes, 1 finely chopped onion, 4 crushed garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, for 30 minutes, or until thicken.

Based on New
 Zealand Healthy Food Guide. Edited by Niki Bezzant (Editor-in-chief). Published by Healthy Life Media Ltd. Takapuna, Auckland. July 2015. Pg79. 

1/3 grated parmesan cheese
250g lean cooked lamb, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 kumara, cubed and cooked
1 red capsicum, diced
2 cups baby spinach
3-4 sprigs rosemary
fresh ground black pepper4 tablespoons natural yogurt 

Heat oven to 200C. Cut the cauliflower florets off the stalk. Blitz the cauliflower in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer all the cauliflower into a bowl, cover with cling film/gladwrap, and microwave on high for 5-6 minutes until softened. Tip onto a clean tea towel and leave to cool.
While the cauliflower cools, peel and grate the courgettes/zucchinis, place the zucchini into the food processor and quickly blitz. Tip onto a clean tea towel, scrunch up the tea towel and squeeze as much liquid out as you can, then transfer to a clean bowl. Once the cauliflower is cool enough to handle, squeeze as much liquid as you can out as well, following the same method as the zucchini. Place the cauliflower on top of the zucchini. Stir in the ground almonds, eggs, oregano, garlic, and a good seasoning of salt and pepper.
3 Line two 20cm pizza base trays (see photo below, it is not essential to use pizza base trays, but it does make it easier) with baking paper. Place half the cauliflower & zucchini mix into the centre of the trays, then using the back of a spoon, spread out the mixture evenly oven the tray. If you don't have pizza base trays, you can make the pizza bases by making two mounds with the cauliflower and zucchini mixture, then spread to form two pizza bases. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until beautifully golden brown.

Pizza base tray
Start with caramelising the onions, roughly chop the onion, place into a large frypan over a low to medium heat with the rest of the  ingredients and stir on regular occasions for around 30 minutes. Once cooked set aside.5 Keep the pizzas in the pizza bases/containers, to put the pizzas 'together'; start with the tomato paste or sauce. Sprinkle over parmesan cheese, lamb, vegetables (including the caramelised onion & baby spinach), and rosemary. Season with pepper. 
Bake the pizzas for 12-15 minutes at 200C. Top with a little yogurt. 

I hope you enjoy this week!! 

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