Meal Planning 27th March

What a busy few weeks, no meal plan at all last week but things are a bit quieter for now.

Sunday – the traditional roast lamb
Monday – curry from a jar with the leftovers
Tuesday – Chicken in butter, wine and thyme sauce but with spinach this time!
Wednesday – Sausage and mash
Thursday – Out for dinner
Friday – pig cheeks, probably this Nigel Slater recipe

Any thoughts, ideas and suggestions are welcome in the comments below!


Slow cooked beef curry

The other morning small person declared she wanted beef curry for tea that night, as I hadn’t written a meal plan and was short of ideas I decided this was one of her better suggestions. Also I had a few days annual leave and the opportunity to cook beef on a low temperature all day presented itself.

This recipe is an amalgamation of several I read online and, because small person does not like hot spice, without too much heat in it.


500g beef (I used stewing steak)
1 onion
1 red pepper
200g mushrooms
2 garlic cloves
Tbsp fresh garlic
1 medium green chilli
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
Tin of chopped tomatoes
Small pot of natural yogurt
Handful chopped coriander

Add some oil to a pot and soften the chopped onions and pepper. Throw in the mushrooms stir well and leave for a few minutes to cook. Put the garlic and ginger in a professor with a little oil and make a paste. Add this to the pot along with the garlic-ginger paste, cook for a minute or so. Put in the beef and stir until browned, then add in all the slices. Again stir until coated and cook for a minute.


Now mix in the tinned tomatoes. I cooked this at Gas Mark 1 for 3 hours and added extra liquid by filling the tin with water and adding that too, in a slow cooker or on the hob you may not need additional liquid but keep an eye on it. After three hours I turned out the oven but left the pot in there for another hour.


Once ready to serve, heat on the hob and stir in yogurt and chopped coriander. I added extra crème fraiche to keep the heat to a minimum for small person. We had this with rice and naan bread.


Sweet Potato and Chicken Curry

A combination of left over sweet potatoes and needing a meal for the small person (which could be easily reheated at holiday Club) meant we decided on this dinner.

It has several advantages, not least of all is that it is very tasty, including being relatively quick and easy. This is based on a Great British Chefs recipe and I am fairly faithful to this one, I use less sweet potato (around 500g instead of 750g), no chillies and, due to a shopping error, no coriander this time. Oh and Very Lazy ginger instead of fresh, that was due to me forgetting to inform the procurement department (otherwise known as the Other Half) to buy it in the first place.

4-5 boneless chicken thighs
500g sweet potato (peeled and in smallish chunks)
6 cardamom pods
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp root ginger, grated
0.5 tsp ground tumeric
2 tsp ground coriander
1 can coconut milk
Juice of one lemon
Handful of chopped coriander

Using a large saucepan and heat up a splash of oil of your choice. Bash the cardamom pods the the flat part of a chopping knife, I find this integrates them into the sauce better, and fry in the oil for a couple of minutes. Add the onion and allow it to start to soften before also adding the garlic and ginger (add two chopped green chillies at this point if you don’t have a child that will complain) and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

Now stir in the coriander and tumeric and once all mixed through, throw in the coconut milk. Use full fat coconut milk, I’ve used low fat before and the sauce is far too thin and loses a lot of the taste. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat and nestle the chicken thighs in the sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes.


We served this with rice so this is when I started cooking it, the Other Half is usually in charge of this, cook slightly less than packet instructions, drain and rinse and then heat in microwave for 5 minutes.

Back to the curry and now add the sweet potatoes, stir well and cook, covered, for 10 minutes then uncover and keep cooking until sweet potato and chicken are fully cooked through, this should be about 10-15 minutes. Before serving, add lemon juice and coriander to taste. I also steamed some broccoli and leeks (both finely chopped) and mixed that through the rice.


I’d also cut the leftover sweet potato into chips, dredged in cornflour, then coated well in oil and baked on the oven for half an hour at Gas Mark 8. They were slightly overcooked but not as crispy as I hoped so I’ll experiment some more before writing them up in a blog post. They did taste nice though!