Meal Planner (Archive)

Week Starting 13th February

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After the excitement of our kitchen takeover at Our Kid on Saturday and, well, just generally also having a full time job and 2 young kids it feels like I need to take it a bit easier this week on the cooking front. So apologies if the meal planner doesn’t provide much exotic inspiration but this is what our week looks like when we’re kicking back a little.

That started today with our easiest pasta dish – pasta and pesto (well it was particularly easy for me since I’ve only just got back from London and I didn’t actually make it…). My husband and I are so used to knocking up pesto now that we don’t rely on recipes anymore and we’ve made it from scratch in less time than it takes for the pasta to cook. Plus it’s just always always welcome. The 5 yo has actually been counting down the days until today so he could have it!

Tomorrow is taking ease a bit of a step further as we’re having fish finger sandwiches and I’m not making the fish fingers either. I think I will throw some corn on the cob onto the plate as well however to make sure we’re still getting a reasonable veg quota this week.

This week I’m also going to take my own advice and cook up a stock of roasted veg that we can add to meals and also make into soup at the weekend. It’s literally peeling a load of veg (carrots, squash etc.) and throwing them into the oven for 40 minutes covered in olive oil. On Wednesday I’m going to serve them with jackets and cheese.

On Thursday we’re going to have baked salmon and mash as we need something relatively hearty after swimming lessons. Again, the salmon just needs a quick 20 minutes in the oven while the potatoes cook and we’ll also have a load of green veg on the side.

Friday is sausages and chips and then I’m going to finish the week with a slightly more taxing chicken katsu curry. This went down a storm last time I cooked it, with the 5yo in particular so it’s back again this week. Hope he hasn’t changed his mind! If you want to cook along I used this recipe from the Ocado site but didn’t use gluten-free breadcrumbs as we’re not gluten intolerant.

https://www.ocado.com/webshop/recipe/Gluten-Free-Chicken-Katsu/89207?selectedCategories

Have a good week!

Emma xx

Life with the Littles

Feed the Team is about three mothers, eight kids, and their experiences of family meal times. We want to share how family eating is for us and how we’ve tried to make mealtimes fun (or at least bearable).

So the next step we’re taking is a little more sharing and maybe even helping by conducting a case study. We have been tasked with making mealtimes more enjoyable and hopefully a little less stressful for the Little family. Just a couple of meals a week aimed to take away the habitual monotony of having the same meals week in week out and encourage eating something a bit different once in a while. So let’s introduce the Littles…

Steve and Ellen have been married for 13 years and have three young kids. Steve is a bit of a high flyer (so he tells me) and is often away during the week doing high flying things. Ellen is a busy working mum, juggling the kids as well as the accountancy practice she owns with a friend. The kids are Rosie, 6, Daniel, 4, and little Molly who’s two.

In terms of eating, Steve is from Cumbrian farming stock so meat (as long as it’s good meat) is generally welcome and Ellen will eat pretty much anything apart from cucumber, which she will go to great lengths to avoid. Rosie is a good eater and Molly is too young (and usually too hungry as she has to wait until all after school activities are complete before she gets fed) to be fussy though we’re sure that will come in time. Daniel though, cute as he is, definitely does not like his veg or indeed a lot of variety in his diet.   Not so unusual at his age but something his mum worries about and so is well worth trying to help with. Oh, and delving through the usual family meals there was a noticeable absence of fish (other than the breaded finger variety) so that is something to address.

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So here it goes. Based on the above ie a lack of veg and fish in the diet, we have come up with a suggestion of one fishy meal and one veggie meal for each of the next four weeks. At the end of each week, and well in time for the weekly supermarket order, I’ll suggest two meals to incorporate in the family’s meal planner for the coming week.   After that I’m afraid Ellen will have do the hard work.  For week one we’ve suggested the following:

  • Fish (or seafood more specifically) – egg fried rice with prawns. There are endless recipes for egg fried rice but BBC Good Food is a good one for this. Ellen should aim to add some peas and green beans for veggies as we’re aiming to offer at least two vegetables per meal even if the kids don’t eat them.
  • Veggie – hidden (or not so hidden) veg pasta sauce. To be honest I recommend just making a ratatouille (aubergine, courgette, pepper and tomatoes) and leaving it chunky for the adults, but blitzing for the kids. I’d mix with pasta although as Ellen is also trying to avoid to much refined sugar in her diet I’d maybe choose a spelt pasta or mix with courgetti for the adults.

I’ll keep on providing Ellen with recipes and in a couple of weeks we’ll have a catch up with the Littles to find out how they are getting on and whether it’s working for them.

Good luck!!

Mel

x

Meal Planner (Archive)

Week Starting 5th February

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It’s a bit of an understatement to say we’re having an exciting week. Today Edie turned 3 with a day of Sylvanian Families and Peppa Pig cake (which she wouldn’t eat) and all this week we’re going to be preparing for our Our Kid x Feed the Team kitchen takeover. On Saturday 11th Feb we’re going to be running the kitchen at Our Kid in Chorlton for the day, serving up a menu of tapas for families to enjoy together whilst also partaking in some Spanish-themed activities. Then to top it all off, a family party for Edie and Henry on Sunday. I’m guessing I might need a drink by then too.

With our kitchen takeover in mind I’m going to be serving up a week of Spanish-themed meals to get us in the spirit for Saturday’s fun and games.

Starting with a fairly simple (and actually originating from Mexico) dish of quesadillas given I’m going to be in London for most of the day… The great thing about quesadillas is that you can fill them with whatever you and the kids fancy, they’re easy to adapt for everyone’s taste. But if you’re looking for inspiration this is where I started when I first started making quesadillas a couple of years ago.

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/cheese-recipes/quesadillas-with-guacamole/

On Tuesday I’m going to be cooking a dish that we’ll also be cooking up on Saturday for our paying guests – meatballs. Or albondigas as they’re known in Spain and on most tapas menus. We’ll be using a Claudia Rogen recipe on the day but they are loads out there to try including this one from the Tesco site which looks fab. Serve with rice, pasta or whatever you fancy frankly!

https://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/meatballs-albndigas.html

Wednesday will be chorizo carbonara for us, a recipe from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals and therefore an ideal one for a midweek meal. I have to say chorizo is one of my favourite Spanish ingredients and hence I’ll be using it again on Thursday to make this Spanish rice and prawn onepot from the BBC Good Food site. I’ve made this one before and it’s quick, simple and tasty.

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/11640/spanish-rice-and-prawn-onepot

On Friday we’ll be in the midst of prep which gives us a good opportunity to try another one of our dishes for next Saturday – patatas bravas. Or potatoes in a tomato sauce (often spicy but not so in this case!). I’m going to serve them with some pan-fried cod and greens

And that’s my recipes for the week. On Saturday we’ll obviously be serving up our wares at Our Kid (love to see any of you there if you can make it, do see their site at http://www.our-kid.co.uk for more details) and on Sunday we’re partying with shop bought pizza as there’s only so much cooking these mamas can handle!

Have a good week!

Emma xx

Meal Planner (Archive)

Week starting 30th January

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Well I’d like to say that the sickness has left our house behind but it’s lingering just like this nasty, wet and cold month. On a more positive note it’s February in a couple of days which means Winter is close to over and we can start contemplating a world of sunnier days, bare toes and holidays. Just writing that has cheered me right up!

We’ve started this week with green (pesto) pasta due to much pressure from the small, militant members of the household. They would literally eat this everyday if I let them and cannot understand why I limit it to every few weeks. (I’ve tried to explain that I want them to grow up with varied tastebuds and a love for food but I’m not sure they’re thinking that far ahead).

Tomorrow I’ve managed to schedule in a winter warmer just in time for the weather to warm up and hit about 12 degrees. Typical. But it is always really nice to stick something in the slow cooker at the start of the day and then, hey presto, you come home 8 hours later and there’s something delicious and melt in the mouth waiting for you to eat it. It’s like a little piece of magic in your day (told you I’d cheered up). Also, beef stew and Yorkshires is just a classic that never gets old.

On Wednesday I’m keeping it extremely simple. Max will be out celebrating his best friend’s 6th birthday and I’m going to London for the day for the first time since I got laid up with this awful virus so I’m not sure I’m going to be capable of much more than baked potatoes at the end of the day. So baked potatoes it is.

On Thursday it’s going to be prawn curry and rice. There’s a curry recipe that is always a bit of a failsafe with my kids so I thought I’d add it to our recipes page this week in case you’d like to have a go. The original is from the Ella’s Kitchen Red One cookbook but I always mix it up a bit. It’s supposed to have chicken in it but I always find that curry is a good opportunity for seafood or veggie meals so this week I’m switching up the chicken for prawns.

On Friday I’m going to do homemade fish cakes with chips (oven chips as well, I bloody love oven chips) and then on Saturday I’m trying out the moroccan tagine from my Spicery subscription. Frankly not sure how this one will go down with the kids but I’m going to be brave and give it a go with some couscous.

And last but not least, Sunday. On Sunday my girl, my little baby girl, turns 3. Feeling slightly weepy about it because she’s my last baby and she’s getting bigger – “I a big girl mummy.” Clearly pasta is the order of the day given it’s birthday girl’s choice so I’m going to do a big old carbonara and make an equally big Peppa Pig cake. I use the carbonara recipe below for mine and it’s always totally delicious.

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1052/ultimate-spaghetti-carbonara

Have a great week!

Emma xx