meal plan and recipes – February week 1

meal plan

February is here – how can you not love a month that includes valentines day and (for Brits) Pancake day? And this year they are smack bang next to each other. Next week’s meal plan will have all my pancake recipes and some Valentines dinner ideas. We also have a week off school so I’m scurrying around trying to get everything done before my boys are off for a week. It feels like yesterday they went back after Christmas but I’m looking forward to a week with less of a routine.

Remember you can find my previous meal plans and recipes here. And be sure to sign up for my newsletter so that you get them sent to you every two weeks. Book one of my UK or US classes if you’d like to learn some new skills, get inspired and become more confident in the kitchen this year.

Monday

One pan meatballs, gnocchi, tomato sauce, pesto and broccoli.

I had some uncooked meatballs in the freezer, get the recipe here. If you don’t have time to make meatballs, you could easily make this with sausages – just squeeze the innards out of the skins into golf ball sized balls.

This was so easy – I just put the meatballs and gnocchi in a ceramic lasagna dish so they were in a single layer. I poured tomato sauce (this recipe, I keep a stash in the freezer) over them. If you don’t have sauce to hand, try this no cook sauce. The sauce should come half way up the side of the meatballs – so the top will get brown. Some of the tops of the gnocchi should be peeking out too.

I covered the dish with foil and baked it for 40 minutes at 180°C (160°C fan) or 350°F. Then I took the foil off and put it back in the oven for a further 10 minutes. I grated Parmesan over just before serving.

I made a big batch of pesto – to use up a few half-eaten, slightly wilted bags of rocket (arugula), watercress and spinach. I stirred some of the green-packed pesto through steamed broccoli just before serving. A sure fire way to turn broccoli haters. I held some pesto back for tomorrow night’s pizzas.

We usually eat later than the boys so I just re-heated ours and served it with a rocket (arugula) and balsamic salad.

Tuesday – Flatbread pizzas with mushrooms and pesto

store cupboard pizzaI know Tuesday is a bit early in the week to be resorting to pizza but this isn’t the usual pizza. It is such a handy recipe to have in the bag. I was teaching a cooking class in the evening so I didn’t want to mess the kitchen up with too much cooking for us. And pizza worked as a great bribe to get my boys to go to bed early so that I could start teaching! Here’s the pizza recipe.

Wednesday – Swimming, soup and sandwiches

mushroom barley soupAs always – I’ll grab some soup from the freezer in the morning, heat it and put it in wide-mouth flasks. I’ll make cream cheese and avocado sandwiches on our favourite seeded Vogels bread to dunk. This week we’re on the mushroom and barley soup that I just added to my site. It is so comforting and hearty and a great freezer-filler. I’ll have the same soup with avocado toast and a large glass of wine after they go to bed.

These flasks are such a lifesaver for eating on the go. They are wide necked so I use them for soup, pasta or stews. They keep food hot (or cold) for hours so I usually make the boys picnic when I’m making my own lunch. You can buy them here in the UK or here in the US.

Thursday – Goan fish curry

I taught this in my class on Tuesday so I had all the ingredients to hand. I’m afraid this recipe is one I keep for my classes but you can use this curry recipe instead. My boys love curry – I just add less chilli as I cook it and we add extra chilli at the table so that it suits everyone. We ate it with spinach, chapatis and brown rice from the freezer.

Friday – Lasagnalasagna

 

I’m still tinkering with my lasagna recipes – I’m yet to find one that lives up to what I have in my mind as the perfect lasagna, which is unfortunaately one I had in Italy and have no way of getting a recipe for. Tonight I’ll use a bolognese sauce from the freezer to speed up the process. As soon as I’m happy that the recipe has ticked all my boxes I’ll share it. If you have an amazing lasagna recipe please send it over!

Saturday – Steak, salad, celeriac and potato wedges

I’ll make some of these oven cooked fries – to be a bit healthier I add some finger sized chunks of celeriac to the potatoes and roast them together. I’ll serve them with a really good steak from our local farm shop which I’ll pan fry, leave to rest and then cut into slices to make it easier for the boys to tackle. I’ll make a baby spinach (or watercress or rocket) salad that I dress with mustard, oil and vinegar or one of these dressings.

Sunday – Roast chicken dinner

We’ve had such crazy weekends this year that I’ve not had much time to do a roast. This week we’re planning a quiet Sunday afternoon so I’ll roast a chicken, make my shatteringly crunchy roast potatoes, mashed carrot and swede and some steamed, buttered greens. I may even make some Yorkshire puddings. We’ll have plum or rhubarb crumble after.

I’ll make sure we keep a bit of the chicken and the carcass for a noodle soup next week. Any leftover veg will be re-purposed in the coming week too.

How I’ll share my weekly meal plan and recipes this year

I hope you’ve found my meal plan 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 meal plan each week with the recipes and meals you love. Some of the recipes will be from my site, others will be going into my book.