Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Meatza - a grain free pizza alternative

The original recipe we had for Meatza was on a blog that is no longer there.
In fact we adapted it to suit us, so it seems reasonable to put up that recipe.

Meatza (feeds 4 adults)

800 g minced beef
1 egg, beaten
herbs of choice
Pasta/pizza sauce - tomato, onion, peppers, mushrooms, courgettes, spinach etc
[we use 400g tin of tomatoes, 1 pepper, 1 onion, 1 courgette, 100g mushrooms]
220g mozzarella/cheddar cheese (we go for half and half)

  • Preheat oven to 220 C
  • Prepare pizza sauce - you want it to reduce it so it is quite thick, allow up to 30 minutes
  • In medium bowl, mix beef with egg and herbs until incorporated
  • Spread into a greased cookie sheet (12 inch square with a lip), press into the bottom of the tray.
  • Once oven is up to temperature, put meat into oven and cook for 12 minutes until most moisture has cooked off.  It will reduce in size by quite a bit!  Make sure it is cooked enough, it should be pretty solid.
  • Remove from oven and drain off excess fat.
  • Spread vegatable sauce over the 'crust' and top with cheese.  You may want to add extra raw vegetables for extra crunch.
  • Put back into the oven for 5 minutes to melt and brown the cheese.
  • Remove and let cook briefly, slice and serve.
  • Serve with salad or vegetable sticks

Monday, 30 December 2013

Menu planning 30 December - 5 January

Christmas and school holidays are hard as there is no real structure.

Since I have discovered that I am gluten sensitive, I have found that whereas before I could get away with the odd biscuit, I now know when I've eaten something that I shouldn't!  At Christmastime, this isn't easy to control.  And sugar is even worse!

We have a very quiet Christmas mainly because of all that goes before - Christmas fairs and Santa trains particularly.  Teenagers don't want a lot of fuss and are happy to spend extra time on the computer, so we have Christmas day on our own, a Christmas meal with my parents some time between Christmas and New Year ad then spend New Year with my husband's family.  Nice Christmas dinner, not so good meal out!

So this week:

Monday - tuna

Tuesday - Meatza

Wednesday - in Tunbridge Wells with family - meal out and teatime buffet

Thursday - needs to quick to prepare as we will be travelling back from Kent - Pork burgers

Friday - Fish pie

Saturday - Honey apple ginger pork

Sunday - taking elder son back to uni, so likely to be meal out (hope it is better than last weeks!)

It will be good to get back to only one child and the structure of school time!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Menu planning 23 - 29 December

Menu planning provides some structure to this week!

Monday - plan says 'fish' - will have to be salmon, as one packet of tuna will not feed 4 of us!

Tuesday - Beef stew

Wednesday - Christmas dinner! (gammon)

Thursday - Honey mustard chicken - with some lovely mustard from the farmer's market!

Friday - Fish?!

Saturday - Meatza

Sunday - Sunday lunch with my parents (?carvery)

The target for next year is to get more photos!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Menu planning 16 - 22 December

Well, the countdown to Christmas is serious now!

Trying to keep a structure to the days with this being the last week of term.

Having to cater for 4 again means buying bigger packs of meat and more vegetables - I don't think he is too impressed with hall catering at uni!

Monday - Boys are at a Explorer/Network Scout Christmas dinner, so we will be going freezer diving!

Tuesday - Boys are helping at a Scout Bingo night, so need to eat early; we will drop them off and go out for dinner

Wednesday - Chicken not-pie

Thursday - Shepherd's pie

Friday - we have been invited next door for dinner - boys can have frozen burgers!

Saturday - Bacon wrapped meatloaf

Sunday - last day for the Santa Special trains at the SC&R, so dinner in slow cooker needed as there is no knowing what time they will get home -  Honey, apple & ginger pork

Sharing as usual with Menu planning with Mrs M

Monday, 9 December 2013

Menu planning 9 - 15 December

Well, last week did go fairly well, so much that when I got in on Thursday evening to an email asking did I want a table at a two-day craft fair at short notice, I decided to go for it!

I did find a good 'meatloaf' recipe on Pinterest that worked well from hiking in stilettos which we used on Sunday

So this week

Monday - Spiced up salmon

Thuesday - Citrus pork chops

Wednesday  - Coconut chicken curry

Thursday - Pineapple chilli

Friday - Fish pie

Saturday - Curried meatloaf

Sunday - Coconut curry pork

Looking at this, it looks rather curry-dominated, but larger child isn't keen, so seems reasonable to do it all before he comes home!

I have my last Christmas market on Sunday - an outdoor street market, so I hope the weather is kind. Older child comes home from uni this weekend, and various end of term things start happening.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Menu planning 2 - 8 December

Well, I think I am still spinning after this weekend's fairs!   I barely know what we are eating for the next couple of days, let alone what needs to be bought!

I have not even got out the Christmas cards, let alone written them.  No presents are wrapped, and I have no idea when the tree will go up.  The only arranged thing is New Year's Day with my husband's family, and we do have accommodation booked for that.

We have another busy week - I'm out for an evening fair on Thursday, my husband has a meeting on Friday, so needs to leave by 6.30pm and I'm so pleased that my son didn't volunteer to be a technican for the school concerts, which are on 3 nights this week.  Oh, and they are selling Santa tickets at the heritage railway one day each weekend up to Christmas.

Monday - Cheesy fish fillets, abandoned from last Friday

Tuesday - we have a Christmas lunch, so it will just be Butternut squash soup for dinner

Wednesday - Coconut turkey stew

Thursday - I'm out, so they can have frozen burgers

Friday - Spiced up Salmon

Saturday - Pulled pork

Sunday - Meatloaf

I am sharing as usual with Mrs M

Monday, 25 November 2013

Menu planning 25 November -1 December

Well, last week was 'sort of' to plan!

I never made it to Messy Church on Thursday, which did give a little flexibility to the evening and I didn't track down any plantains to put in our Curried fish chowder on Saturday.  I can only buy them in the large Asda in Swindon and they didn't have any.

I am continuing the Get Cooking Challenge, but at present I don't have time to blog daily, which it what is needed, as I'm in the throes of Christmas craft markets - I had two last weekend, and I have 4 this weekend.  After that I only have my regular weekly ones which tend to be quiet, and two on the weekend of 14th & 15th December.

So the menu:

Monday - Baked tuna

Tuesday - Pork burgers

Wednesday - Coconut chicken curry

Thursday - Meatza

Friday - Cheesy fish fillets

Saturday - Honey, apple & ginger pork

Sunday - Gammon joint

Sharing as usual with Mrs M

Monday, 18 November 2013

Menu planning 18 - 24 November

Last week seems to have gone to plan, but I'm not sure about the next couple of weeks as I have several craft fairs, including a couple in an evening.  Extra planning is going to be needed there!

Monday - Spiced salmon

Tuesday - Stuffed peppers

Wednesday - meal out for son's 16th birthday

Thursday - Pineapple chilli as I'm helping at Messy Church during the afternoon

Friday - probably burgers, Aldi do 99% beef burgers

Saturday - a fish dish?

Sunday - Slow cooker beef stew as we are all out before 9am

Get cooking challenge - day 6

Thursday is grocery shopping day, we nearly always use Aldi as our first choice food shop, with a quick dash into Asda for particular things.

Breakfast - Bacon, scrambled egg and mushrooms

Lunch - Ham salad with 85% chocolate bar

Dinner - the challenge of fitting in dinner between son returning from band practice and me going out to meeting, dropping off an order first!
Bacon wrapped meatloaf based on a recipe from Mrs Paleo

I was on the 'meet & greet' at a Scout Leaders meeting, but I didn't eat any of the biscuits!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Get cooking challenge - day 7

Friday is an early start morning and I leave before our son goes to school.  I try and have my breakfast and be out of the kitchen before he comes down.

Breakfast - Blueberry and banana paleo muffin

Lunch - (have no idea!)

Afternoon snack - coffee and paleo chocolate mug cake

(I found this recipe on Pinterest)

Dinner - Paleo fish pie

Get cooking challenge - day 5

Wednesday is the day I do a regular weekly market - recently it has been very quiet and we tend to drink coffee and nibble on the samples - not ideal, but at least I'm not bringing them home

Breakfast - bacon, scrambled egg and mushrooms

Lunch - Smoked salmon salad and a small 85% chocolate bar

Dinner - Chicken not-pie and vegetables based on Chicken pot pie from Mrs Paleo - we have it without the pastry topping, as we weren't that keen on it

Supper - Greek yoghurt, flaked almonds and a drizzle of honey

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Get Cooking Challenge - day 4

A day at home day today - meant to be clearing a pile of orders, although not a lot got done due to a couple of long phone calls

Breakfast - bacon, scrambled eggs and mushrooms

Lunch - leftover Coconut curried pork with a side salad

Dinner - Citrus marinaded pork chops with vegetables

Supper - raspberries with greek yoghurt and flaked almonds

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Get Cooking challenge - day 3

Today was a mad day - pub lunch, dentist, AGM - so meals had to be juggled a little

Breakfast - bacon, scrambled egg and mushrooms

Lunch - Pub lunch (no photo)
We go to a monthly lunch club in our local village pub. It is aimed at getting the older people out, and I'm generally the youngest there.  It is a set menu, unless you ask for a vegetarian option.  They probably could cope with special diets, but it is so complicated that I often go the veggie choice.

Yesterday the set dish was chicken casserole with dumplings, with vegetable curry as the alternative.  The first time I had the curry it came with a side salad, so when I signed up for this one I didn't think to say 'with salad', so it came with naan bread.  I gave that away and had extra beans instead!

On Mondays, our church runs a little coffee shop - in our village we are limited to where we can walk to, so we do like to go to support this, as it is only across the road.  This is now the only place that I eat grains, and I suffer later because of this, so I need to think about a solution which will probably mean taking my own cake!  My husband left early to go to the dentist.

Dinner - Baked tuna with carrots and broccoli
We had to do early dinner , as my husband had an AGM to go to - tuna is simple and you can do other things while its cooking!

Supper - raspberries with greek yoghurt and flaked almonds

Monday, 11 November 2013

Menu Planning 11 - 17 November

Well, last week almost went to plan!

I got to Wednesday to find we had no spinach to make the Coconut turkey stew, so it was a case of using the turkey mince in a different way!  So turkey burgers made from turkey mince and cranberry sauce.

Then on Saturday evening I discovered that the pork joint was still frozen - to do the pulled pork you coat the meat with a blend of spices and leave overnight, but I was too sure about doing that to a piece of meat that was still defrosting.  So on Sunday morning, I made the coconut sauce for Coconut curried pork

So this week

Monday Baked tuna - quick and easy when you are in a  hurry to get out!

Tuesday Citrus pork chops

Wednesday Chicken not-pie

Thursday Bacon wrapped meatloaf

Friday Fish pie - uses up the ends of packets of fish

Saturday Mozzarella meatballs

Sunday Pulled pork - easy to prepare and get in the slowcooker quickly when we have to out by 8am

As usual I'm linking with Menu planning with Mrs M

Get cooking challenge - day 2

Remembrance Sunday today which means the boys have Church Parade, and now they are at Explorer Scout age those who turn up to church get to go karting later in the day - this in fact means a second trip out!

Breakfast - Bacon, scrambled egg and butter fried mushrooms
This is a normal breakfast for myself and my husband - we cook a packet of sausage or bacon which will do a couple of days, then he will scramble the eggs in the microwave while I fry the mushrooms.  We sit down for breakfast together 5 -6 day a week, as we eat after the children have gone to school.

Lunch - Ham salad bowl
The salad bowl will have 'bistro salad' which is mixed leaves with grated beetroot, then chopped spring onion, radish, cucumber, celery, sprinkled with mixed seeds and sultanas.  Pour over a vinaigrette made from olive oil and wine vinegar.  Top with chopped meat (or fish)

Dinner - Coconut curried pork
A pulled pork recipe done in the slow cooker.  I tend to pull the pork while the vegetables are cooking, and put it all back into the sauce to serve it.
[the blog I got the recipe has been taken down, so I intend to load up my recipe shortly]

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Get Cooking Challenge - day 1

Bill from Real Food for Real Men threw down a 'Get off the Couch and Get Cooking' challenge.
He is promoting a healthy lifestyle of good clean food and staying active

So for the next 3 weeks, the target is home cooked meals that are grain/gluten free.

So these are today's meals

Breakfast - Blueberry and banana paleo microwave muffin (I can't find the recipe, but it has no added sugar with the sweetness from half a banana and about 25 blueberries)
This is the breakfast when I have to be up and out before the rest of my family are ready (once or twice a week) as I can eat this with a mug of hot lemon, and check my emails and facebook at the same time.

Lunch - Curried broccoli soup from Nomnompaleo, chunks of chicken  and 2 satsumas as I was at a craft fair.  When you no longer eat grains, it can be challenging to take a packed lunch and I have found this the most successful.

Dinner - Curried meatloaf with Hungarian sauce and steamed broccoli - the sauce is standard tomato sauce with a teaspoon of curry powder and one of paprika to give it a bit of a kick!  The meatloaf has a tablespoon of curry powder, as well as onion and egg added to the minced beef.  I don't eat dessert.

Unfortunately, the walk/run is not likely to happen, especially coming up to Christmas as this is my busy time as people are buying their Christmas presents.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Menu planning 4 - 10 November

Well at least this week, I know what is going on!
Over the last weekend, I didn't know what was happening  from one meal time to the next.

Younger son is still home this week, although he has to be in school tomorrow morning for a English GCSE exam, but evening meals are as normal.

Monday - Baked tuna

Tuesday - Not stuffed mushrooms

Wednesday - Coconut turkey stew

Thursday - Shepherd's pie

Friday - Salmon

Saturday - Curried meatloaf

Sunday - Pulled pork

I'm linking up with Mrs M's Meal planning again - come over and see what others are doing!

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Sunshine soup - easy butternut squash soup

All the recipes I 've found for butternut squash soup, start with you having to chop it up - as anyone who has tried this, it's really hard!

So, this is a simple way of making a tasty soup, the easy way.

Stab the butternut squash with a fork all over

Stabbed with a fork

Put it into a preheated oven at 180C for about 25 minutes - you can cook your dinner at the same time.

This should enable you to be able to peel and chop it with ease (although a little messy).  You will also need to remove the seeds and the fibrous bits with a spoon.  The chunks should be about an inch square, but it doesn't need to be precise.
and chopped

Monday, 28 October 2013

Menu Planning 28 October - 3 November

Well, I think that last week went to plan, but I already have doubts about this week!

We are just starting a two week break (10 days school holiday, plus 3 Teacher training days) - throw in setting up and manning a Halloween grotto, as well as a huge Firework display on Saturday and it's hard to work out what is going on!

The plan is

Monday Salmon

Tuesday Caramel Pork Chops

Wednesday Honey mustard chicken

Thursday Bacon wrapped meatloaf (probably will need to be at lunchtime due to Halloween grotto in the evening)

Friday  no idea - my husband and younger son have a volunteer day at the local heritage railway during the day, but need to be back there before 6pm to run the grotto; throw in older son coming home for the weekend - his train gets in at 9pm

Saturday all three of them will be out all day, setting up and then supervising at the fireworks display in Swindon; I will probably find something in the freezer and make a big pot of soup for when they get back, I think they often get free burgers after the public have left

Sunday still undecided, I will be at Wood Street Market all day, and older son will be driven back to university - I suspect that my husband will eat with him before returning

Monday, 21 October 2013

Menu planning 21 - 27 October

Well, last week was reasonably successful on the menu planning, with just a few amendments.
On Thursday we had no children, as the older one is at university and the younger one was on a GCSE Geography field trip, so we went out to the Toby carvery - a review will follow I think!
On Saturday, we decided that it was silly to make a stew as my husband was out volunteering at the railway, dash in to change and straight out again to a swimming gala, before I came back from a craft fair.  A bit of freezer diving was done, which gave me back some food boxes!
Sunday was wet and another quick turnaround, I had a market during the day and then we went to a Rural Arts performance in the evening - I'm afraid that we did use frozen burgers, but the Aldi Aberdeen Angus ones are 98% beef.

I obviously got organised last week, as I had written up a menu plan on the calendar already!

Monday - Spice up salmon
Tuesday - Not stuffed mushrooms
Wednesday - Coconut chicken curry
Thursday - Mozzarella meatballs
Friday - Baked tuna
Saturday - Meatza
Sunday - Coconut curried pork - photo only, as link not working

Linking again to Menu planning Monday with Mrs M

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Alternative to Leek & potato soup?

When you have gone low carb, it sometimes is difficult to find lunch food that is portable.

Many years ago, I bought a thermos flask with a wide neck - it's great for soups and stews when you are at work in the winter.

I have been looking for a soup that is easy, freezes well and tastes good.  I do a lot of craft markets and when I do a whole day one, I need a portable lunch, so soup is good.

I have tried Asda's pre-chopped soup mixes, but it be honest they weren't great when you balance the time against the price.  This year they have a new butternut squash soup, but if you follow the directions it is not cooked in the time they say, and if you continue to cook it, it reduces the liquid by a third.  It costs £1.

Asda have just bought out a spicy parsnip soup mix - it tastes really nice, and you roast the vegetables in the oven before boiling it, which gives it a lovely texture - but it costs £1.50 for the pre-chopped veg!

Last year, I tried a broccoli soup and I remembered it was good - it also uses the broccoli stalks, so is ideal to finish off the leftovers!  She calls it 'garbage soup', but it is better than that.  My husband was happy to have this as an alternative to leek and potato soup, as it does have bit of a kick!

So Curried cream of broccoli soup is the way to go!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Menu planning 14 - 20 October

Monday again!

Monday - Baked tuna
Tuesday - Citrus pork chops
Wednesday - Turkey spinach stew
Thursday - only the two of us tonight as younger son away on field trip
Friday - Fish pie - good to use up the end of packs of fish!
Saturday - Beef stew
Sunday - Homemade burgers

Sharing on Menu planning with Mrs M

Friday, 11 October 2013

Paleo French Toast

Mix together

1 egg
2 Tbsp flax meal/ground almonds
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp raisins (optional)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp olive or coconut oil
[you can also make this with coconut flour, but use extra 2 Tbsp liquid]

We then pour it into a shallow 'lasagne' dish and microwave for 1 minute - if it isn't set, cook a little longer.

My son makes this with ground almonds without raisins, and tops it with a little maple syrup.
I prefer it with flax meal and topped with butter, which melts in.

It really does smell like French toast (eggy bread)

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Honey mustard chicken - a review

I found a recipe for  Honey mustard chicken on Paleononpaleo and thought I should try it and then review it.

We have tried a couple of different recipes for honey mustard chicken as it is a simple and tasty meal.

This recipe uses oil to coat the chicken and so makes a less 'gloopy' mixture - it isn't 'Chicken Tonight'!

This recipe says to marinade it for 4 hours plus, but that wasn't going to happen!  I think I managed 30 minutes.

I always chop my chicken into cubes, about an inch square, as it makes it easier to serve them.  This does mean that the meat is well covered with the sauce.

The recipe didn't say how long to cook it for, but I would normally cook a chopped chicken casserole for about 45 minutes.

I removed the chicken from the marinade and there wasn't a lot of sauce left - maybe 3 spoonfuls.

It didn't seem worth boiling this down, as there wasn't a lot left, although it was quite runny, so we just spooned it over our vegetables.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Menu planning 7 - 13 October

How come it's Monday evening again?

That might have something to do with getting a new car battery, visiting the mobile library, church coffee shop and a sixth form open evening!

I had intended to put some some recipes during the week, but somehow time just slips away

So this week's menu

Monday - Spice it up salmon
Tuesday - Caramel apple pork chops
Wednesday - Honey mustard chicken
[I intend to do a review of this, as mine doesn't tend to turn how the recipe implies!]
Thursday - Shepherd's pie
Friday - Coconut curry pollack
Saturday - Bacon wrapped meatloaf
Sunday - Honey apple ginger pork

I will be sharing again on At Home with Mrs M

Monday, 30 September 2013

30 September - 6 October

Monday - Baked tuna - they can be baked from frozen, just grind a little black pepper on before cooking

Tuesday  - Basil pork burgers

Wednesday - Chicken not-pot pie we prefer it without the pastry

Thursday - Stuffed Marrow - we tend to chop everything up together and bake it

Friday - Cheesy Fish Fillets  needs to be quick as my husband as a meeting

Saturday - Curried Meatloaf

Sunday - Pulled Pork  from Civilized Caveman You prepare this the night before and just put it into the slow cooker in the morning, great for early morning starts

Sharing again with Mrs M's Meal Planning Monday

Monday, 23 September 2013

Menu planning 23 - 29 September

Well, we are now 3!
I think there will be some adjustments, and not only with food.  Some meals will give us leftovers that can either be frozen as a 'healthy frozen dinner' or be used as a lunch.

Monday Spiced up salmon
Tuesday Not stuffed mushrooms
Wednesday Coconut turkey stew
Thursday Shepherd's pie
Friday Fish pie
Saturday Meatza
Sunday Honey, apricot & raisin chicken

Monday, 16 September 2013

Menu planning 16 - 22 September

This is going to be a bitty week - my older son goes off to university on Sunday, but we had already planned a 'catch up weekend' for this weekend, so trying to find everything in.

Monday  Baked tuna (grind a little black pepper on it to bring out the flavour)
Tuesday Citrus pork chops
Wednesday cocCoconut curry chicken
Thursday Out for a meal - it is our last meal together and he also has his driving test that morning
Friday ?Pork loin steaks (someone else is organising Friday evening's meal)
Saturday Takeaway, so no one has to cook
Sunday Burgers

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Spice it up Salmon

I use packets of frozen salmon from Aldi, but I know that Tesco do them as well.  They come individually wrapped, so you can use as many as you need.

Mix together:
1/4 tsp seasalt
1 tsp mxed herbs
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cumin
Add enough olive oil to make a paste - about 1 tbsp
[If you are putting this onto frozen fillets, you can make it a little more 'sloppy', as it freezes onto the fish]

This covers 3-4 salmon fillets.

Cook as the instructions on the packet

Monday, 9 September 2013

Menu planning 9 - 15 September

Boy, do we know it's back to school!
Evening activities, people needing to be in two directions, trying to work out what time to have dinner so everyone gets fed...
When you have two teenagers, one just about to go off to uni and a husband who is a trustee at a heritage railway - meals have to be flexible. At least we have passed the stage of having to do a separate kiddies' tea.

So the plan for this week

Monday Spiced up salmon  (need to be early so hubby can go to meeting)
Tuesday Basil pork burgers (elder son off to farewell dinner with school friends, and younger son has Explorer Scout meeting at a different location at an earlier time)
Wednesday Honey mustard chicken
Thursday Mozzarella meatballs
Friday Coconut curry pollack (husband has railway AGM, at unknown time!)
Saturday Honey, apple and ginger pork (Village fete, so we will be needed to help set up and clear away and I have a stall)
Sunday Beef stew (due to a scheduling error, we have  to set up a gazebo for my stall at the community market in Swindon Old Town, but my husband has a crossing keeper duty on the other side of town)

I will be sharing this on Mrs M's Menu planning Monday - lots of other menus there too!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Menu planning 2 - 8 September

Gosh, what has happened this week, how come it's already Wednesday?

OK, so younger child went back to school yesterday, but we still need to eat!

Monday Tuna
Tuesday Caramel apple pork chops
Wedneday Chicken not-pie
Thursday Bacon wrapped meat laof
Friday Cheesy fish fillets
Saturday Coconut curried pork
Sunday  Pineapple chilli

I intend to post some breakfast dishes as well as the rolling menu

Monday, 26 August 2013

Menu planning 26 August - 1 September

We have visitors this week, so although this is the plan, it may have to change to accommodate them - I know the little girl doesn't eat tomato, but I'm not sure if there are other things to avoid.

Monday  Salmon
Tuesday  Not stuffed mushrooms
Wednesday  Coconut chicken curry
Thursday  Shepherd's pie
Friday  Fish chowder  I add shredded cabbage to the original recipe
Saturday  fresh beef burgers
Sunday  Pulled pork

School is back next week, so I need to start getting organised with lunch plans in advance

Monday, 19 August 2013

Menu planning - 19 - 25 August 2013

Well, that last week didn't really go to plan, as my men folk took it in turns to be ill!

This week is one where people are coming and going, and I have to think about how many people will be in each evening.  This is the first stab at a plan, but it may change!

Monday - Salmon
Tuesday - Citrus pork chops
Wednesday - Coconut turkey stew
Thursday (two) - freezer? I know that there was a box with two portions of something!
Friday (only me) - something from freezer, probably beef pumpkin roast leftovers
Saturday (three) - Honey apple ginger pork
Sunday (three) - something really simple as we have to be out at 7am, probably Meatza

My target this week is to try and load up some recipes and photos of things that we have adapted, as it is good to know what something looks like!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Menu planning - 11 to 18 August

The usual clearing up after camp - drying tents, doing washing and so on....  my excuse for being late for this!

Sunday  Beef stew
Monday Basil Pork burgers
Wednesday Honey mustard chicken
Thursday Shepherd's pie
Friday Coconut curry pollock
Saturday Curried meatloaf
Sunday Honey apple ginger pork

Monday, 5 August 2013

Menu planning 5 - 11 August

Well, my husband and boys have gone off to SAGGA camp (Scout and Guide Graduate Association), so I have the house to myself!

My target this week is to freezer dive every morning, so that by the time they come back the freezers are ready to be defrosted and then a big Tesco delivery to restock things.

I know that I have some chicken dishes that I bought in the Asda reduced section and there are a few single portion pots that are leftovers from the odd meal when a child was missing, so I'm sure that there will be some variety.

I'd also like to try out a few breakfast variations to get some ideas for school mornings - especially things that can be cooked in bulk and reheated in individual portions to speed things up.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Menu planning 29 July - 4 August

With all of us home every day, it can be challenging sorting out food, as well as who is going to around when and which child needs to be transported to wherever! Since my husband retired, we have always eaten our evening meal together, but the time is a little more flexible now the boys are older.
Menu plan this week
Monday 29th Spiced up salmon
Tuesday 30th Not-stuffed mushrooms
Wednesday 31st  Honey, apricot & raisin chicken
Thursday 1st Mozzarella meatballs
Friday 2nd Cheesy fish fillets
Saturday 3rd ?Beef in slow cooker
Sunday 4th Pulled pork in slow cooker from http://civilizedcavemancooking.com/

The target over the next couple of weeks is to get the freezers emptied, so they can be defrosted - maybe that will get us to Christmas?

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Pin it button

I thought that I had managed to put a 'Pin it' button onto the posts that had photos, but it seems to go to the same post which ever picture I click on. Looks like I will need to go back and try that one again!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Coconut Curry Chicken

Well yesterday didn't go to plan!

My husband is a trustee at a local heritage railway, and they have just had a change of caterers.  It then appeared that the previous ones had booked a party - at the time the new people were on holiday.  So to prevent the treasurer from having a complete panic attack, we said we would help.

So yesterday, we spent the whole day, preparing, serving and clearing up from 75 ploughman's lunches to a party of British/Dutch vintage motorcyclists!  By the time we got home, I really didn't want to start preparing anything complicated, so stuffed peppers turned into fresh pork burgers with left over french bread.

so today's
Coconut Chicken Curry
4 chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves
1 chilli pepper, chopped
1 can coconut milk
250 ml chicken stock/broth
2 tbsp curry powder
1tbsp olive oil

Chop chicken and brown in olive oil, remove from pan.
Combine onion, garlic and chilli in pan and simmer until onion is soft.
Add coconut milk, stock, curry powder and chicken.
Mix well and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
Serve over cauli rice or pilaff to soak up the liquid.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Menu planning 22 - 28 July

We are about to start the school holidays, but I intend to carry on menu planning as it is less stressful!

Monday 22 July - Baked tuna
Tuesday 23 July - Stuffed peppers
Wednesday 24 July - Coconut chicken curry
Thursday 25 July - meal out for my husband's birthday
Friday 26 July - Fish pie
Satruday 27 July - Meatza
Sunday 28 July - Honey apple ginger pork

Even if the weather stays hot, we will probably carry on with this menu because the boys don't eat salad, and eating later (nearer 7pm) isn't so much of a problem.

I will find the recipes for the missing dishes and add them to the blog

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Citrus pork marinade

You can make these in advance them when you first buy the pork chops and freeze them, and they will marinade as they defrost.  Alternatively, you can put the chops in the marinade in the morning - they are best with about 6 hours soaking.

Juice of 2 oranges (4 tbsp)
Juice of 2 lemons (2 tbsp)
Juice of 2 limes (2 tbsp)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp paprika
3 garlic cloves crushed
3 tsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
6 pork chops or loin steaks

Mix up the marinade
Place the chops in a shallow dish so that they can lie flat or use a large 'ziplock' bag.
Pour the marinade over the meat.

At this point, you can freeze them -better if in a bag!  They will marinade as they defrost.

Leave to soak in the marinade for the day - it is best if you turn them over occasionally, so the marinade can get to all parts, and then cook as usual, about 16-20 minutes, turning regularly.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Menu planning 8th - 21st July

Mon 8 July - Baked tuna
Tues 9 July - Basil pork burgers
Wed 10 July - Chicken pot pie (without the pie!)
Thurs 11 July - Bacon wrapped meatloaf
Fri 12 July - Scout BBQ, so burgers and salad
Sat 13 July - should have been lamb, but it was too hot so homemade beef burgers
Sun 13 July - Coconut curried pork

Mon 15 July - Spiced up salmon
Tues 16 July - Citrus pork chops
Wed 17 July - Coconut turkey stew
Thur 18 July - Pineapple chilli
Fri 19 July - Fish chowder
Sat 20 July - friend's birthday party
Sun 21 July - Crockpot beef stew

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Menu Planning for July

It seems sensible to create a weekly or monthly menu plan, as we tend to rotate the dishes from one month to the next.

Week 1 - 1st to 7th July

Monday - Cheesy Fish fillets
Tuesday - Caramel Apple Pork Chops
Wednesday - Honey Mustard Chicken
Thursday - Shepherd's pie
Friday - Salmon
Saturday - Pulled Pork
Sunday - Curried Meatloaf

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Honey mustard chicken

I am always looking out for new recipes, as even with a monthly rolling menu, some are less successful than others.  I was looking on Google for paleo chicken recipes, and the fact one came from a regular recipe board seemed good.

The recipe came from all recipes and was called honey mustard chicken.  The reviews had said that the honey needed to be reduced as equal measures of honey and dijon mustard was too sweet, so I halved the amount of honey.  It also said that it was better if marinaded for 30 minutes or so.  I cooked it covered, as I though it would dry up otherwise.

A quick and easy recipe using things you would have in your cupboard.  It would probably benefit from mash with it, to soak up the sauce as it was a little spicy.

Meatball muffins

I had read something on Pinterest about making meatloaf in a muffin tin, on the same day I found a new recipe.  The recipe from What I gather is called Stuffin' muffins which are essentially a meatloaf mixture cooked in muffin tins.

The recipe are alright, although the children complained that there was too much vegetable in proportion to the meat.   I think that another time, it would be better to put the vegetables through the food processor to shred them much smaller.  Making a less 'lumpy' mixture and improving the taste.

However, the idea of using a muffin tin is good as it cooks quicker and is easier for portion control.  Although we did need all 12 holes to feed three of us, so not sure how we would manage feeding four?
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Friday, 1 February 2013

Chicken drumsticks

It is quite easy to find packets of chicken drumsticks, thighs and quarters, as most people prefer the chicken breasts.  They are an easy dish to take to a 'bring and share' buffet meal or just for dinner.

Chicken can be quite dry as you have to cook it sufficiently to ensure that it is cooked all the way through, so if you can cook it in a way that prevents this, that is good.  I have found that lemon juice and herbs is a tasty variety that is quick and easy. 

I remove the skins as although they may be pleasant when hot, chicken skin on a cold joint is not so good!  Then 'slash' each drumstick or thigh to get the juice into the meat.  Sprinkle generously with lemon juice and a good pinch of dried herbs on each piece.  They need about 35 minutes for chicken thighs and 30 minutes for drumsticks.

Serve hot or cold.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Pork with pineapple salsa

I found some interesting recipes in the free Asda magazine, using pineapple.  It is unfortunate that they all seem to have sugar as well, which seems silly when pineapple is quite sweet anyway.

This one is using pork fillet or loin steaks; I replaced the sugar with honey for the marinade.

100ml pineapple juice
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp cider vinegar
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil
600g pork fillets/loin steaks
300g pineapple, fresh or tinned, cut into small pieces
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
3 spring onions, chopped finely
2 tbsp fresh coriander

Put pineapple juice, honey, vinegar, 1tbsp lime juice and oil in a bag. 
Add pork and toss to coat.
Leave to marinade for 2-3 hours, turning occasionally.
Mix pineapple, chilli, spring onions, 2 tbsp lime juice and coriander to make a salsa, and chill.
Preheat grill.
Take pork from marinade and grill, turning regularly.  Destroy marinade.

Serve with sweet potato mash and vegetables.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Fish cakes

We have tried different fish cake recipes that don't contain the usual bulking from potatoes, but to be honest they all seem to be missing something.  On the whole they all seem to be dry.

Today we used the Crab cakes (using tinned salmon) from Everyday Paleo, but did not follow the recipe completely, as to make this dish would need a dozen eggs to make them for the four of us, as well as the tinned salmon, which does not makes them a sensible price.

I made up the fish cakes as the recipe says, but used a packet of hollandaise sauce - I'm not entirely happy about this, but I have to be realistic when I have to balance time against what my family are prepared to eat.  They haven't chosen to eat paleo, and forcing them is not likely to make them what to do it.

I will continue looking for a moister mixture.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Slow cooker beef stew

To make the best use of a weekend, we like to use the slow cooker.  Chopping vegetables at the same time as breakfast, means that there is only one lot of clearing away.

Today we had a tasty beef stew from Denim and Dots.  Adding mashed sweet potatoes and an extra vegetable took only 10 minutes, so it was quick to get everyone to the table to eat.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Low carb pizza = Meatza

We used to have pizza occasionally before, but my husband was not really keen.  Having meatza means we can make something is reasonably acceptable for everyone.

There are various recipes for meatza on the internet, but from a bit of experimenting we have worked out a good method. Ours is roughly based on one from Wellnessmama

The meat mixture needs to be cooked in a hot oven for about 12 minutes in a tray with sides.
It needs a hot tomato/vegetable sauce that is well cooked and thick, as it is only in the oven for the few minutes to melt the cheese. 

Edit: The blog this originally came from is no longer available, so I will try and load my recipe

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Not-stuffed mushrooms

Although we quite like the idea of Stuffed mushrooms from Everyday Paleo, we knew that realistically it wasn't going to happen!  It had been suggested that you can just add all the mushrooms to the meat mixture to make burgers, and we have done this before.  But after the enthusiasm of the mushrooms with the pork burgers, I thought this may be worth trying.
So, I prepared the meat mixure as the recipe says (with the exception of the sausage), up to point of making burgers, when I made a giant 'tray bake' of meat mixture, as the mixture was not going to fit on one tray as burgers.  Then I chopped the mushroom tops with onion and fried them off as a topping.
Served with vegetables, it makes a filling meal.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Coconut turkey stew

This recipe seems to have come from an e-book from Mark's Daily Apple, but I don't seem to be able find the link again!  It is quite simple and can be made from things that you could have in your freezer or cupboard.

Coconut turkey stew

500g turkey mince
1 onion, chopped
400g frozen spinach, defrosted and finely chopped
200ml coconut milk
salt and pepper

  1. Brown the turkey in some lard or coconut oil, and place in a bowl.
  2. Using the same frying pan, melt a little butter and lard, and fry the onion until slightly soft. 
  3. Add the spinach and fry until wilted. ( With frozen spinach, I just wait for it to warm through.)
  4. Return the turkey and stir well.
  5. Reduce the heat and add the coconut milk.  Mix well.  Add salt and pepper.
  6. Ensure all is warmed through completely.

It will need an additional vegetable to serve.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Caramel apple pork chops

There are times when you can get good deals on pork chops or loin steaks,  They are worth buying and putting in the freezer for meals when you don't want to spend a long time preparing a dish.  Just put them out to defrost in the morning, or even the night before in the fridge.

Todays we had Caramel apple pork chops from Cavemanstrong.  I would guess I spent more time preparing the vegetables than the meat.  We just grilled the pork, and cooked the apple slices in the frying pan.  I would guess that it takes about 10 minutes to cook the apple slices and a little longer to thicken the sauce (we don't bother!)

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Monday, 21 January 2013

Birthdays, snow and fish

I have found that birthdays and snow - both being cold and being restricted to how far you can go - lead to eating things that you shouldn't.  Whether it's the chocolates bought for birthdays, the cake made to pass the time when the children can't go out or the whole 'being kept at home, so I'll raid the cupboards', it has not been a good time for avoiding the bad things.  The one benefit has been that, once they've gone, they are not likely to be replaced.  Although I do still find it hard not to buy 'goodies' for the children when they are on special offer.  I know that it is unlikely they would choose to stick to a paleo diet when I am not feeding them, but I don't want to bend my principles too much!

However, today we had a fish dish that is fairly simple and because it is finished in the oven, the kitchen can be cleaned up as it's cooking.

Fish with Chilli

15g butter
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 chilli pepper, very finely chopped
1 kg fish fillets, defrosted if frozen
1-2 large carrots, peeled, diced and lightly steamed
1-2 courgettes, diced (peeled if prefered) and lightly steamed
115g fresh or frozen peas, lightly steamed
30g butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Melt the butter and saute the onions until transparent.  Add the garlic, cumin seeds and chilli pepper and saute briefly.  Remove from heat.
  3. Cut the fish fillets into cubes and mix with the onion mixure in an ovenproof dish.
  4. Arrange little mounds of carrrots, courgettes and peas around the dish, add 2 tbsp water, dot with butter and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the fish is cooked and everything is piping hot.

It looks good in the dish

Not quite so good on the plate!
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