January family meal plan week 3

Loads of you have been in touch to say how helpful you’ve found the new plans and recipes. So here’s my family meal plan week 3. If you’re new to the gang, here are the last two week’s of plans. For those of you living down under, you may find my meal plans from last summer more suitable at this time of year.

How are we all doing? Today is apparently ‘Blue Monday’ perhaps because today is the day so many people fall off their well-intentioned, but maybe not realistic, resolutions and feel fed up with themselves. Wine corks will be popped by the dry-Januaryers, wedges of hot buttered toast will be gobbled by the carb-avoiders and cheese will be snarfed by the veganuary brigade. As you’ve probably gathered, giving things up isn’t my bag, but starting new positive habits, like meal planning, being kind to myself and cooking from scratch more often, is. So don’t be glum, just cook some proper food this week and you’ll be fine.

Click on the links for these recipes for the family meal plan week 3

Monday – One pan pasta with rocket salad

one pan pasta

Meat-free Monday continues with this easy peasy pasta. Loads of you have been making this the last few weeks so if you’ve not tried it yet, have a go.

Tonight I have 2 of the boys’s friends over for dinner. On Mondays I pick up four muddy boys after football, bring them home, wangle them into their Beavers uniforms and feed them before we dash out again. This dinner is perfect as it is fast and works for children who may not be adventurous. And there is only one pan to wash. Leftovers can be made into a pasta bake later in the week or re-heated later in the evening if you’re eating in shifts.

Here’s the recipe. I’ll make extra of the pangratto (crunchy bread crumbs) for the cassoulet later in the week and a rocket (arugula), balsamic and Parmesan salad for us when we eat it after the boys are in bed.

Tuesday – Tomato, lentil and carrot soup with cheese on toast

This is one of the simplest, thriftiest and most popular recipes from my site. I’ve been sharing this recipe (my Mum’s recipe really) for years and love how many of you make this too.

It is the easiest soup to make and is packed with veg and lentils so it keeps everyone full and packs in the protein. Soup for dinner may sound a bit unsatisfying but this is really hearty, especially when you have good wholegrain bread to dunk in it. In our house we differ on the dunkables – I like cream cheese on toast, my husband and boys like mature Cheddar melted on toast. My Dad has recently taken up bread-making and give us one of his rye sourdough loaves each week – so we’ll be having that with our cheese.

Make a big pan of the soup and freeze it in individual servings and you’ll always have an easy dinner or lunch to hand. Here’s the recipe.

Wednesday – noodle bowls with salmon, ginger, veggies and sesame

salmon noodle bowl menu plan

Wednesday is swimming night. So I’m in need of something fast when we get home with a bag full of wet towels.

There are so many different ways to make noodles. But here are my two favourite ways.

Thursday – Turkey cassoulet with herby crumbs

Remember a couple of weeks ago when we made the homemade baked beans and I told you how handy they’d be to keep in the freezer? This is one of the ways you can use them as a base to make another easy meal.

I’m writing this before I’ve made it so there is not picture or detailed recipe yet. I’ll update it later this week once I’ve taken a snap and written it up. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and be sure to sign up here for my twice-monthly newsletter so you get it as soon as it is on my site.

The plan is to take some of my homemade baked beans from the freezer and put them in a ceramic lasagna dish. I have a the shredded meat from a cooked turkey leg, leftover from Christmas, in the freezer so I’ll defrost that too, stir it through the defrosted beans, cover the dish tightly with foil and bake it until everything is piping hot. You could use leftover pulled pork or leftover chicken instead.

Or you could pop some bone in, skin on chicken thighs on top of the baked beans, sprinkle the skin with sea salt and dried oregano, add about a cup of boiling water or white wine and bake the whole thing until the chicken is cooked through.

To add some crunch, I’ll add some pangratto – crunchy herby breadcrumbs – leftover from the one pan pasta on Monday.

Friday – Burgers for the boys, an Indian experiment for us

We have some homemade burgers in the freezer so the boys will have those. I’ll make some potato wedges and a quick carrot and white cabbage slaw for them too.

I’m trying a couple of new Indian recipes on Friday night, so if they make the grade I’ll share them soon. Here’s my go-to curry recipe if you can’t wait.

Saturday – Party night

I’ve got 10 friends coming for dinner and to stay to celebrate my 40th. Everyone thinks I’m mad for cooking for my own party but I never get all these people together at once so I want to cook for them. Selfishly it also means I get to have exactly what I want! I’ve not decided on the menu yet but given the amount of wine my husband has stocked the garage with I need to make something big to soak it up!

Sunday – Brunch and then dinner out

I am already a bit nervous about how I’ll feel on Sunday. So I’ll stock up on lovely bread and bacon from our local farm shop The Cheshire Smokehouse. Bacon sarnie making duties have already been delegated to my husband as he is the king of that particular hangover cure. I’ll make a big batch of my homemade granola during the week this week and we’ll have that with plain yoghurt and an easy compote made from warmed frozen blueberries with lemon zest and maple syrup.

How I’ll share my meal plans and recipes this year

I hope you’ve found my family meal plan week 3 useful. I’ll share my next meal plan and recipes next week on here so watch out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and be sure to sign up here for my twice-monthly newsletter.

Over the weeks you’ll start to see patterns of how my plans work so that you can start making your own plans with the recipes and meals you love. Some of the recipes will be from my site, others will be going into my book.

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