Why did I not do meal planning before? Yes, I’m only on day two but seriously, I really should have been doing this for the last 7 years! Having picked up our #LiveLAGOM products from IKEA, part of our New Year’s intentions are to waste less, particularly in the area of food waste. I have to admit that in the recent past, I have been bad. I haven’t used up veg in time, I’ve been lazy and not used meat that I’ve purchased with the best of intentions and I’ve relied on convenience instead of making nutritious meals a priority. This is not to say that we eat rubbish but I tend to run out of steam after Monday. I’m not overly motivated to cook, although I do enjoy the end result. So with new Fortrölig food storage containers and a rather glorious new casserole called Senior (£30, the Swedish equivalent of Le Creuset), I was determined to follow through on my “waste less” intention.
Sammy and I did the weekly shop yesterday after I had planned out in my head what we would eat each day for the week. I never do this! Usually, I think about what meals we might like throughout the week and get the necessary ingredients. Then, at around 5pm I think, “Geesh, I really should crack on with dinner” and wonder why we end up eating so late and why I haven’t made what I thought I might. Mark, at the moment, is home most days for lunch as well so in order to feed us both (and his business administrative assistant who also happens to be here), I feel the need to be cooking. My weekly menu, as now written on our kitchen white board, is as follows:
- Monday- Leek & Potato Soup (lunch); Beef Bolognese Bake with Broccoli & Garlic Bread (dinner)
- Tuesday- Roasted Tomato & Pepper Soup (lunch); Pot Roast with Mashed Potatoes (dinner)
- Wednesday- Jacket Potatoes w/ Tuna or Beans (lunch); Roast chicken, stuffing, mash & Yorkshire Pud + carrots and parsnips
- Thursday- Omelettes (lunch); Macaroni Cheese + Roast veg (dinner)
- Friday- Leftovers (lunch); Pizza (homemade GF for me/Pizza shop for Mark & kids)
- Saturday- Sausage sandwiches & chips (lunch); Chicken & Rice
- Sunday- DAY OFF
After Day 9 of Yoga Camp with Adriene this morning, I prepped my tomatoes, peppers, onions and herbs for roasting with the intention that I would combine the roasted veg with stock and a tin of tomatoes after the school run to simmer until lunchtime. Bingo! That worked! Later, after lunch I got the Senior casserole out again (last night it was perfect for my Bolognese sauce), seasoned and seared the Beef Brisket, added chopped carrots, celery and onion plus stock and popped it in the oven for slow cooking. After 3 hours of cooking, I added two handfuls of closed cap mushrooms, a bit more stock mixed with 2 tsp of gravy granules and let it cook for another hour. MAN WAS IT GOOD! It reminded me of the Pot Roast my Mom always used to make when I was growing up! YUM! And we have leftover beef for sandwiches for lunch later in the week. I imagine if I REALLY want to be wasting less, however, I would be using my slow cooker as opposed to my oven but let me get rolling with this slowly please. I will work on the energy savings next.
The best part of this meal planning malarky is that I’m not rushing around after the school run. The bulk of my cooking is done and I simply have to finish a couple side dishes and dinner is done. I like this very much. I am very much hoping to keep this up. My intention has been set…WASTE LESS FOOD, PREPARE MEALS WITH LOVE. I can do this.
The school run was slightly fraught today as Sam was REALLY wanting Mark to take him to school. Mummy wasn’t good enough. Sam is struggling to understand that even though for the short term, Daddy is home in the mornings, he’s still WORKING from home. Sam was very sad and tearful and cried the entire walk to school. Thankfully, the frost on the school playground was enough to distract Sam and brighten his mood. I spent a very busy day working at home and trying to find worthy things to share with my work market. The torrential rain that began 30 minutes before the afternoon school run thankfully let up thus making the school pick up far more pleasant than I had anticipated. Ella and Sam played happily after school and I devised a writing exercise to do later with Ella to try to get at the root of her “tummy aches” that only seem to crop up in the run up to school time. I’ve still not entirely figured it out but I’m narrowing it down.
Is it Friday yet?? Wish me luck for tomorrow…jacket potatoes for lunch and roast chicken & all the fixings for dinner. Would you like to join us??