I used to think it was really difficult to pack a healthy packed lunch for my children because it is so easy to reach for the biscuits and crisps but this lunch box I made for my son is super simple and healthy. We are a family or meat eaters but he doesn’t really like things such as ham or other sliced meats that you may normally have for lunch.
Wow, what a busy month! Christmas is finally over and we are finally getting back to normal. Meal plans seem to have completely been forgotten over the last couple weeks. I have had the flu so the family have survived on easy to cook meals and Christmas leftovers. This year I have decided to put more work into my blog. I’m going to update old recipes and get rid of some of the embarrassing photos! I have lots of new recipe ideas too so keep your eyes peeled.
All meals are under £1 a serving.
Monday – Miso chicken noodles: We have had some miso paste in the cupboard for a while now and I really need to start using it so it doesn’t go to waste. I’m going to use it in this dish with leftover chicken from our Sunday roast.
Wednesday – Peri peri chicken baguettes: These are for our grown up meal this week so the children with have jacket potatoes which I’m sure they will be very thankful for!
Thursday – Homemade Pizza: Yes, another pizza! I’ve accepted that we have pizza every week. I don’t mind too much now as the kids love making it and they always eat it.
Friday – Spaghetti carbonara: This is a new recipe I have been trying out. No one in the family likes the creamy version so hopefully they like this one.
Saturday – Sweet and sour chicken: Another new recipe hopefully. The sauce is really cheap and easy to make so I would like to have this more often.
Sunday – Fish pie: This is made using tinned fish and frozen vegetables with cheesy mash on top. It is the cheapest fish pie I make and it tastes amazing!
Last week I fulfilled one of my all time foodie dreams, visiting and attending a Christmas feast at River Cottage. I was a little apprehensive as it was my first time driving out of Cornwall but thankfully I had some moral support from Choclette from Tin and Thyme blog.
In April we had our honeymoon in Disneyland Paris as a family and it was amazing! The food wasn’t great though and it was very expensive. Breakfast, lunch and a snack was included in the price but all the meals for dinner were out of our price range. We found somewhere that sold hotdogs which was great because we thought it would be something the kids would actually eat, they were pretty cheap compared to other meals and we could all eat them on the go. I had a chilli hotdog which was smothered in nacho cheese sauce… It was one of the most amazing things I had tasted!
When we returned home I made it my mission to recreate it myself. My version turned out just as tasty and you can have it with so many different ways. We have had it on hotdogs, poured over nachos and as a dip for nacho chips.
Here is our meal plan for this week.
I have tried to keep it simple since we have been really busy with school/nursery/work/snotty noses… We also took the plunge and removed the stair gate so whenever I go into the kitchen, my son goes straight up the stairs and digs through my make up bag!
All meals are under £1 a serving and are fussy toddler approved.
Monday: Macaroni Cheese – You can make it with any kind of pasta shape, a simple cheese sauce with two teaspoons of mustard and one teaspoon garlic granules, pour over the cooked pasta, top with breadcrumbs and cook in the oven for 20 minutes at 200C.
Tuesday: Toad in the hole
Wednesday: Tuna burgers – My daughter requested burgers this week. I managed to pick up some bread rolls from the reduced section in Tesco for 3P, perfect!
Thursday: Budget fishcakes – with homemade chips and salad.
Friday: Spaghetti and meatballs – I make these by taking the skin off of sausages, mash together with mixed herbs, roll into balls and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Saturday: Homemade Pizza – Yep, another pizza. One of these days I’m going to shock you all and go a week without pizza… I doubt it will be anytime soon though!
Sunday: Roast Dinner – I don’t often make a roast dinner because we like to spend our weekends outside exploring and cooking a roast is soooo time consuming! But I do like using the leftover chicken and vegetables for meals over the next few days.
What is on your meal plan this week?
It is no secret that I love making packed lunches for my kids, I think I must be in a minority! I’m able to make fun and healthy lunches by being organised and preparing a few things in advance. These cheese and sweetcorn muffins are great for their lunch boxes and can be frozen. I prepare the lunch before I go to bed so I’m not rushing around in the morning, the muffins defrost over night in the fridge so they will ready to eat by lunch time the next day.
My daughter has just started school, she has spent pretty much everyday with me for the last four years so it has been really tough for the both of us. There is a silver lining though, I finally get to spend some much needed alone time with my two year old son. It has been amazing bounding with him. We go on play dates with children his age rather than getting dragged along to his big sisters friends, we do arts and crafts, go to soft play, toddler groups and we go on many adventures.
Rice used to be my most wasted food, I don’t think I have every cooked the exacted amount so I always have some leftover. Some people can be a bit nervous about reusing cooked rice, this is what I do to prevent the spores from flourishing which can cause food poisoning:
- Run cold water over the cooked rice until it has completely cooled.
- Store in the fridge for a maximum of 1 day.
- Do not leave warm, cooked rice out on the kitchen side. The spores will germinate at room temperature.
These pancakes only require two ingredients so they are really simple to make. I use them as wraps, in the kids packed lunch, a side for almost any meal. They are especially good with a fried breakfast!
Makes 4 small pancakes
We have gone a week without anything expensive to pay for wooo! Obviously we are still sticking to a tight budget since there are nursery bills to pay for and my son has had a growth spurt so he will be needing some more clothes. I have brought some already in charity shops and I plan to sell his old ones on eBay to get a few more. We are already starting to think about buying Christmas presents too (sorry for saying the C word!) so hopefully December and January will be a bit better financially.
Here are our meals for this week, they are all under £1 a serving and we have one grown up meal a week which isn’t suitable for the kids (they look forward to their weekly fish fingers, chips and beans!).
Homemade Pizza: Yep my daughter picked pizza again just like every week! I don’t mind too much as they love making them and they are guaranteed to eat it.
Tuna flatbread melts: I used my two ingredient flat breads recipe with tuna, soft cheese and onion. It is a very cheap meal to make and everyone in my household loves them!
Chilli and rice: This is a simple chilli recipe, I purposely make a bit extra to have with tomorrows meal.
Butter chicken curry with rice and homemade naan bread: Butter chicken curry is my favorite curry, mostly because it’s mild and I can be a wuss when it comes to spice! My husband prefers his with a little more heat so I add more chilli powder once I have taken out portions for me and the kids.
Piri piri chicken wraps: Our grown up meal for the week. Would you believe that I have only ever had one Nando’s in my lifetime?! It was amazing so I thought I would try and come up with my own version.
I love food inspiration so let me know what’s on your meal plan this week!
As well as involving my children with cooking food that we eat, I also try and show them where their food comes from. We grow herbs on the windowsill, pick blackberries from the hedgerows, grow vegetables in the garden and go strawberry pick. So I of course said yes when GroCycle invited us to review one of their mushroom growing kits.