Operation clear the cupboards is taking place, so this Meal Planning Monday is a little different. I’m not testing any new recipes this week and the recipes I am cooking certainly aren’t adventurous.
We are going on holiday soon so the fresh food needs eating and after some unexpected (but super fun) nights out we’ve found ourselves with less money in our wallets than we’d probably like.
So, yesterday afternoon I raided my kitchen, writing a list of everything we had in the fridge, freezer and our cupboards then decided what we will be eating for the next week. We do need to buy a few things for the house (like loo roll!) but hopefully we will be buying just one or two fresh ingredients for our dinners. To save money yesterday I even had Jon baking bread from scratch!
To show just how I came up with the meal plan I did I’ll start with the list of things I had in my fridge, freezer and cupboards.
- lots of onions, red and white
- 2 peppers
- red chillies
- spring onion
- fresh garlic
- sweet potato
- blue corn tortillas
- Quorn “chicken” pieces
- Quorn “beef” strips
- Quorn mince
- roasted butternut squash
- puff pastry
- mango chutney
- spice rack and dried herbs
- Dolmio beschamel for lasagne
- tinned bamboo shoots
- fajita spice mix
- black bean stir fry sauce
- rice vermicelli
- lasagne sheets
- 4 x tinned tomatoes
- hot Mexican pickles
- sesame seeds
So, now you know what I had to play with, what did I put on my meal plan this week?
Monday – Black Bean Stir Fry
Tonight we’ll be having a black bean stir fry. The mushrooms in the fridge are already looking a bit sorry for themselves so half of them will go in the stir fry, as will the spring onions and some of the pepper. Chilli, will also be used along with the stir fry sauce, bamboo shoots, rice vermicelli and sesame seeds.
Tuesday – Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry
Using the spices from my spice rack, onion and garlic I’ll create a curry paste. This will then get turned into a creamy sauce with tinned tomatoes and some yoghurt. The chickpeas, sweet potato and okra will all find their way into the curry too. I’ll serve this with rice and mango chutney.
Wednesday – Butternut Squash and Caramelised Onion Tart
I knew when I bought 3 butternut squash, roasted and froze them, that they would come in handy at some point!
On Wednesday I will caramelise some onions, defrost the butternut squash and throw this over the frozen puff pastry sheet to create a delicious tart. We will need to buy the goats cheese to go with it but it’s a small price to pay for such a quick and easy dinner.
Thursday – out for dinner
Towards the end of the week I am out to dinner with friends. Jon will be eating “freezer surprise” there’s a frozen tupperware of either spag bol, lasagne, maybe even chilli con carne. We’re not quite sure but he’ll shove that in the microwave leaving more room in the freezer!
Friday – Lentil Lasagne
Could we go a week without a lasagne?! No! We tend to bulk buy the lasagne sheets and Dolmio beschamel when it is on offer. I know I shouldn’t admit to loving a jar of the gelatinous Dolmio sauce but it is so, so good!!! Any leftover courgette, onion and mushrooms will go into the lasagne along with the other obvious ingredients.
Saturday – Fajitas
Although we are trying to clear the cupboards it’s still nice to have a fun feast on a Saturday night. I’ll be taking the blue corn tortillas out of the freezer and using up an old fajitas spice mix we found at the back of the cupboards. Onions, Q pieces and sliced pepper will all go into our fajitas.
Sunday – Spaghetti Bolognase
Last but not least, we’ll be chucking what’s left into a spaghetti bolognase along with the Q mince in the freezer. Depending on how we’ve managed our portions in the week it’s likely we will need to buy more mushrooms.
There are a few other bits and pieces in our cupboards and fridge but these will be used up for Jon’s lunches (lettuce, bulgur wheat, beetroot and falafel are just a few). He’ll probably end up living off of pesto pasta at lunch by the end of the week.
Hopefully mushrooms and goats cheese are all we will need to buy foodwise! Anything that’s left in the cupboards or freezer will be re-imagined next week so watch this space!
What are you planning on eating this week? Do you always try to clear out your cupboards before you go away?