Meal plan: 4 March 2012

Oh dear. My good intentions to post my family’s meal plan at the end of each week have gone to pot recently.

I blame my mother. She came to stay for four days and distracted me with shopping trips for clothes and perfume and drinking lots of red wine.

So I have two week’s worth of meals to share with you now. I promise I’ll be good from now on.

The Highs

Chicken thigh Yakitori from Belleau Kitchen has to have been one of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever eaten. You’ve got to try it. Salty, sticky and scrumptious. Even better, my husband cooked it. So, simple too.

Roast vegetable lasagne – lovely

Roast vegetable lasagne is a bit of a family favourite; really satisfying and so full of flavour. I’ve entered this recipe into the Pink Whisk Challenge to raise awareness of Save The Children’s No Child Born to Die campaign. Why don’t you submit one of your family favourites?

I was surprised at just how good my Chinese style soup turned out

I had a go at creating my own Chinese style soup using Chinese sausage, noodles and Savoy cabbage and it was surprisingly good.

For a quick and cheap mid-week supper we tried  a recipe for creamy bacon and leek linguine from the fantastic Gourmet Mum. I didn’t have any linguine so used penne instead. It was very simple and very tasty.

Chicken and pea risotto. The perfect way to use up leftovers from a roast dinner.

And my final high of the fortnight was another very simple dish – chicken and pea risotto, using leftovers and stock from a roast chicken a few days earlier.

The Lows

It’s been a very good fortnight for food but there was one big fat dud. I tried making a goat’s cheese and onion tart and it was simply terrible. Bland and boring. I’d bought a cheap goat’s cheese on ‘special’ and it tasted of absolutely nothing. I won’t be doing that again.

Right then, time for the full breakdown…

Monday 20 February
Lunch: rice salad
Dinner: mutton casserole and rice (F)

Tuesday 21 February
Lunch: hummus and cucumber rolls
Dinner: Pancakes (cheese & ham and lemon & ricotta)

Wednesday 22 February
Lunch: chicken and pea risotto  
Dinner: Chinese sausage and noodle soup

Thursday 23 February
Lunch: cheese and pickle rolls
Dinner: baked Portobello mushrooms with garlic butter, baked potatoes and salad

Friday 24 February
Lunch: pasta salad
Dinner: creamy leek and bacon linguine

Saturday 25 February
Lunch: beans and cheese on toast
Dinner: beef casserole with celeriac mash

Sunday 26 February
Lunch: Chinese chicken, spare ribs, pak choi and egg fried rice
Dinner: Bread, cheese and salad

Monday 27 February
Lunch: ham and salad rolls
Dinner: chicken madras and rice (F)

Tuesday 28 February
Lunch: cheese and salad rolls
Dinner: ratatouille and rice

Wednesday 29 February
Lunch: olive and mozzarella muffins (F) 
Dinner: roast vegetable lasagne

Thursday 1 March
Lunch: scallion and sweet potato soup
Dinner: chicken thigh yakitori

Friday 2 March
Lunch: rice salad
Dinner: left over lasagne

Saturday 3 March
Lunch: OUT
Dinner: carrot, beetroot & apple salad and wraps

Sunday 4 March
Lunch: sausages and winter vegetable colcannon
Dinner: left over chicken and colcannon

F = from freezer

Meal plan: 19 February 2012

Meals are getting better and better in the Bangers & Mash household.

Firstly I put it down to the meal planning, which has made me think much more carefully about what and how we eat.

And secondly, it’s due to writing this blog, which I’ve been doing for almost three months now. It’s certainly helping to keep me on my toes, forcing me to be more creative in the kitchen, try out lots of new recipes and even develop my own dishes.

This week, I think, has been a particularly good one mealwise. Lots of highs and not a single low.

As it was the half term holidays, we got to enjoy some big meals at lunchtime with lighter meals in the evening. I much prefer eating this way. We even had roast chicken for Friday lunch, which is always such a treat.

The first high has to be our romantic Valentine’s meal, once the children were tucked up in bed. We enjoyed a scrumptious pan-fried duck breast salad with mixed berries and walnuts from a recipe by the wonderful Karen Booth over at Lavender & Lovage.

Pan-fried duck salad from Lavender & Lovage

I can’t plan a romantic meal without chocolate featuring on the menu, so we followed the duck salad with a gorgeous chocolate and raspberry mousse, adapted from a recipe I found on the Riverford website.

Chocolate and raspberry mousse

Later in the week I cooked a delicious celery and blue cheese soup. I don’t mind admitting it was out of this world. I know soup isn’t normally something to get excited about, but there was something really quite sexy about this one. Again I promise to post my recipe in the next few days.

Celery and blue cheese soup with crispy smoked pancetta

I tried out some lemon and ricotta pancakes as a mid-week pudding, ahead of Shrove Tuesday, and these were a fantastic success. I adapted a recipe I found in The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook, which I borrowed from the library at the weekend. I look forward to testing out and playing with more recipes from here in the coming weeks.

Lemon and ricotta pancakes

And my final legal high of the week was a spicy chorizo and butter bean soup I made for a light supper on Saturday evening. I wasn’t really expecting much but it was packed full of gutsy flavour. Yet again, recipe to follow shortly.

So here it is then. Last week’s meal plan in its entirety…

Monday 13 February
Lunch: butternut squash soup (F)
Dinner: tortilla and salad

Tuesday 14 February
Lunch: ham salad rolls followed by love heart jam tarts
Dinner: (kids) beef casserole and baked potato (F) (adults) pan-fried duck breast salad with mixed berries and walnuts, followed by chocolate and raspberry mousse

Wednesday 15 February
Lunch: hummus and salad wraps
Dinner: pumpkin & parsnip cassoulet with homemade garlic bread

Thursday 16 February
Lunch: celery and blue cheese soup followed by lemon and ricotta pancakes
Dinner: chilli con carne (my husband made a mild version for the children)

Friday 17 February
Lunch: roast chicken, roast potatoes and steamed vegetables
Dinner: leek and potato soup

Saturday 18 February
Lunch: baked potatoes and salad
Dinner: Spicy chorizo and bean soup

Sunday 19 February
Lunch: mutton casserole and spicy corn bread (F)
Dinner: Bread, cheese and salad

F = from freezer

Meal plan: 12 February 2012

Another week, another meal plan. And some rather tasty meals. Here’s the week that was in the Bangers & Mash kitchen…


My other half has requested that I let him cook more often. Since I’ve been meal planning, I’ve tended to choose dishes I’ve fancied cooking and my husband is feeling a little left out when it comes to happenings in the kitchen. His wish is most definitely my command, in this instance anyway.

For ages he’s been talking about having a go at a chicken tikka massala. You know, like they do in Indian restaurants. It took him three days but he got there. And it was bloody gorgeous. Thanks to The Curry Guy for the recipe.

Chicken tikka massala

Another high was a delicious pasta and aubergine dish I read about on Feeding Boys and a Firefighter, Pasta alla Norma; one I’ll definitely be making again.


I felt such a domestic goddess on Saturday night, when the rest of the family were tucked up in bed, stirring up the mixture for  spicy corn bread to bake in the morning for breakfast. While it was very tasty, the corn bread just didn’t work first thing in the morning with our bacon and eggs. Just too stodgy. So we decided it would be best to eat the remainder with a meaty stew later in the week.

Spicy corn bread

So here is a day-by-day guide to our last week of food…

Monday 6 February
Lunch: cheese and chutney rolls
Dinner: salad wraps with haricot bean and garlic dip

Tuesday 7 February
Lunch: ham salad rolls
Dinner: squash risotto

Wednesday 8 February
Lunch: hummus and roasted vegetable wraps 
Dinner: Pasta alla Norma

Thursday 9 February
Lunch: cottage cheese with pineapple rolls
Dinner (kids): fish fingers, chips and peas (adults): ham & cheese omelette and salad

Friday 10 February
Lunch: olive and mozzarella muffins
Dinner: ratatouille with garlic bread

Saturday 11 February
Lunch: chicken tikka massala
Dinner: sausages and mustard mash

Sunday 12 February
Lunch: AWAY
Dinner: Bread, cheese and salad

F = from freezer

Meal plan: 5 February 2012

It’s been a rather good week for food in our house. Plenty of pies, bakes, soups and stews to keep us warm. Plus there was the added bonus of some rather tasty meals at my sister-in-law’s at the weekend whom we visited to help celebrate her 50th birthday.


The award for my food highlight of the week has to go to braised pig cheeks.

Braised pig cheeks with celeriac mash

Most people I’ve mentioned this dish to have given the same rather squeamish response but it is truly an amazing meal. You’ve got to try it. And it’s so cheap too. I got six pig cheeks from my butcher for just £4 and that’s enough to feed four people.

You slow cook the cheeks in red wine and vegetables until they are sumptuously tender and practically melt in your mouth. Pure heaven on a plate. I’ll post the recipe on the blog very soon. I promise.

Another food highlight, a regular in our house during the winter months, was the sausage and cabbage bake. Savoy cabbage is particularly good this time of year and so I entered my bake into the In Season Challenge over at Bake It, Make It, where you’ll find more recipes using this marvellous vegetable.


It’s been a tricky task coming up with what I’d call a low this week. So I’m plumping for what was more of a disappointment. Not in the dish itself but in my daughters’ reaction to it. I baked Lorraine Pascale’s pumpkin and rosemary muffins. My husband and I thought they were delicious but the kids weren’t convinced.

So here’s what we ate last week:

Monday 30 January
Lunch: pasta salad
Dinner: sausage and cabbage bake

Tuesday 31 January
Lunch: carrot, coriander and ginger soup
Dinner: cottage pie

Wednesday 1 February
Lunch: pumpkin and rosemary muffins 
Dinner: braised pig cheeks with celeriac mash

Thursday 2 February
Lunch: butternut squash soup, ham salad rolls
Dinner (kids): spaghetti bolognese F (adults): beef stew and parsley dumplings F

Friday 3 February
Lunch: rice salad
Dinner: baked potatoes, garlic mushrooms and salad

Saturday 4 February
Lunch: stir fried spring greens and noodles
Dinner: AWAY

Sunday 5 February
Lunch: AWAY
Dinner: butternut squash soup and bread rolls

F = from freezer

Meal plan: 29 January 2012

It might have taken a day to prepare, but our Chinese new year meal was fantastic

I’m very happy to say it’s been a good week for meals in our house. Lots of old favourites and some new experiments too.


The outstanding highlight of our culinary week has to be the Chinese new year feast on Saturday.

Food is a great way to bring families together, and for me this was true despite my family being scattered across the world.

I’d sent out a plea to aunts and cousins and not only recipes came back, but a whole host of wonderful food memories.

It was quite special to know that both my cousin in Sweden and I were preparing the same soup for our families, and still eating leftovers several days later!

Jerusalem artichokes with bacon, leeks and sage

Another highlight were the Jerusalem artichokes for supper on Tuesday.

I cooked them with bacon, leeks and sage using a Riverford recipe and served them simply with big hunks of buttered bread. Truly gorgeous and very satisfying.

On Friday night we had a family favourite: beef stew and parsley dumplings, a perfect winter warmer, which went down well with my husband after an exhausting game of squash.


I’m feeling quite smug in being able to say there were no kitchen disasters this week. The only downside to our week’s eating was the morning-after windiness following the delicious artichokes!

It doesn’t really constitute a low but I wasn’t totally happy with my pizza muffins for the children’s lunch boxes. I think that recipe will need a little work before I publish it.

Monday 23 January
Lunch: healthy green soup and sandwiches
Dinner: spaghetti bolognese

Tuesday 24 January
Lunch: healthy green soup and sandwiches
Dinner: mutton curry F

Wednesday 25 January
Lunch: pizza muffins
Dinner: Jerusalem artichokes with bacon, leeks and sage

Thursday 26 January
Lunch: cheese and pickle rolls
Dinner (kids): minestrone soup F (adults): stuffed chicken breasts with beetroot and potato dauphinoise

Friday 27 January
Lunch: rice salad
Dinner: beef stew and parsley dumplings

Saturday 28 January
Lunch: bread, cheese and salad
Dinner: Chinese New Year meal

Sunday 29 January
Lunch: Chinese leftovers
Dinner: Hummus, bread and salad

F = from freezer