Meal Planning Monday

I found out about Mrs M’s Meal Planning Monday’s through Nellys’ blog in January and have finally decided to give it a go as I have a new job and a very tight budget. Also as I am currently only cooking for one I really don’t want to slip into unhealthy food habits, like ready made pasta sauces and take-away’s. But, equally I don’t want to plan to make lovely exotic dishes because I know this is unrealistic as I am starting a new job and so likely to come home and be pretty tired each night.

I hope that doing this will prevent me getting into the habit of buying things randomly every week with no plan on what to make with them and then lots of fresh things going to waste.

Tuesday: Sausage casserole with boiled potatoes and vegetables

Wednesday: Tuna and peas with crème fraîche sauce and pasta

Thursday: Sweet chilli with rice

Friday: Pasta bolognase

Saturday: Chicken kiev with mash and green beans in white sauce

Sunday: Pork chop, roast potatoes, vegetables and stuffing.

This week I aim to also bake some kind of oat bar/biscuits. Do you have any oat based recipes that you would recommend?

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Chicken and leek pie

I leave for Edinburgh on Thursday and from there I go straight to starting my new job, so I have been cramming in more baking before I go. I decided to bake something savoury today as I have eaten far too many sweet things recently, and since there was a lot of leftover chicken from a recent roast I needed to find something to use it up.

The filling of this pie is delicious especially with the crème fraîche added as it added a lovely sharpness to the flavour rather than it just being over creamy. It was quite a runny filling which I enjoyed with mashed potatoes but if you want a thicker filling then I would recommend lowering the stock to around 200ml. The only problem with this dish that I found is my puff pastry failed to puff up like I expected it to, and I am not entirely sure why. It may have been because I ended up leaving it in the fridge for around 30 hours as it was eaten a day later than expected, or maybe too much egg wash….does anyone else have any ideas as to what could have caused it?

This recipe is adapted from one found here

Ingredients:

  • 1tbsp Olive oil
  • 1tsp Lazy garlic
  • 1 Chopped onion
  • 600g Leftover cooked chicken
  • 2 Large leeks
  • 80ml White wine
  • 142ml Double cream
  • 200ml Crème fraîche
  • 400ml Chicken stock
  • Tarragon
  • 200g Puff pastry
  • 1 Small egg

Serves 4

Preheat oven to 200C

Method:

  1. Sweat the onion and leeks in a frying pan with oil and garlic for around 4 minutes, or until they are soft and translucent.
  2. Add the chicken and wine to the pan and cook for a further 3-4 minutes to allow the wine to reduce slightly.
  3. Pour in the stock and leave this to cook for 10 minutes to allow a further reduction to occur, before adding the crème fraîche, double cream, tarragon and any other desired seasoning.
  4. This mixture now needs to be poured into the pie dish and left to cool for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Then roll the pastry out so it is large enough to cover the dish you are using, brush water around the edge of the dish and firmly apply the pastry. Trim the pastry edges and pierce a hole in the middle of the pastry to allow air to escape. The pie can then be left to chill until you are ready to cook it.
  6. Before baking, the pastry needs egg washing. Bake for 50 minutes or until the pastry is risen and golden.
  7. It is lovely served with creamy mash and fresh vegetables.

Falafel and sweet chilli wraps

Now while these don’t technically have to be baked, I thought I would post the recipe as I am trying to be a bit healthier; since I never stopped eating rubbish after Christmas! I decided to try and make these as a certain American fast food chain offers something very similar at the moment and I am slightly addicted, though I’m sure this home-made version must be healthier or at least less greasy. This is not the quickest dinner to make, so maybe it should be saved for a weekend, but they are yummy and the sweet chilli sauce really adds to the overall flavour.

Parts of this recipe are based on this BBC Good Food website recipe.

Falafel:

400g Tin chick peas
1 tsp Ground coriander
1 tsp Ground cumin
1.5 tbsp Red lentils boiled as per instructions
1.5 tbsp Plain flour
1 tbsp Sunflower oil
0.5 tsp Chilli powder
60g Breadcrumbs

4 Tortilla wraps
Lettuce
Cucumber
Sweet chilli dipping sauce

Makes 4 wraps/ 8 falafel pattys

  1. Put the chick peas, coriander, cumin, chilli and oil in a food processor until the chick peas are puréed, then add the flour. Remove this mixture from the food processor and mix in the lentils.
  2. Form this mixture into small burger like patty’s, and coat them in breadcrumbs – they should be slightly sticky so that the breadcrumbs stick without any need for an egg.
  3. Leave them to rest in the fridge for a couple of hours, where they will become slightly firmer
  4. Shallow fry them for around 8-10 minutes on each side, turning occasionally, but not too often or they will break up. Or bake them for 15-20mins at 180C, until the breadcrumbs become golden brown and they are hot throughout.
  5. Serve them in a wrap with the lettuce, cucumber and sweet chilli sauce.