Family Meal Planning and My Cookbook

I’ve been meal planning for a while now to an extent.  It’s one less thing to think about.  I’d find I’d get to 4pm and I’d be scrabbling around trying to find something to cook, thinking if only I’d picked up x while I was on the high street today.  Finding meals to cook was more stressful than cooking itself, so I started to plan.

Since Henry started school I’ve taken it up a gear.  I’m planning meals for the week over the weekend.  My husband cooks at the weekend so I don’t worry about that unless he asks me to buy something specific.  It’s weekdays that I need to concentrate on.

My old school cookbookThis year I resoluted (Is there such a word?  I don’t think so, but there should be.) to try to cook something either new or vegetarian one day each week.  First up I’m going through my recipe cuttings to make sure I’ve tried everything.  My old school cookbook is packed full of cuttings collected from magazines and never tried.  I’m slowly working my way through trying them out.  The plan is to stick successful recipes into the cookbook to join other old favourites.  Others may need some adapting, before they join the canon. Some will be tried and discarded.

So this week I’m planning to cook one regular favourite, one old favourite that I haven’t made for a while and 3 new things from the cuttings collection.

Monday is Mackerel Kedgeree Day. This started off following a Delia recipe from ‘The Complete Cookery Course’. Along the way I’ve exchanged the haddock for tastier, healthier (oily fish points), cheaper mackerel.  I’ve added peas to provide a bit more veg (5 a day and all that).  Delia tends to be a little frugal with spices, so I’ve bumped up the curry powder measure.

Tuesday is Courgette and Fennel Pasta Day. This scores points for being both new and vegetarian.  It’s got fennel in which I have a bit of a fancy for this week.  I’m hoping it will be a useful dish for dealing with courgette gluts come the summer.

Wednesday is Braised Pork and Apple Day. This is another Delia recipe, this time from The Winter Collection.  I can’t remember when I last did it, but it’s been a while.  I’m hoping there will be enough to freeze a portion for another day.

Thursday is a Hot Smoked Salmon and Mascapone Day. One from the cuttings collection – it promises to be quick to cook which is useful after Henry’s swimming class.  It sounds quick similar to another meal I cooked last week so I’ll be interested to compare.

Friday is a Aubergine Parmigiana Day. Another experiment and another vegetarian dish so lots of brownie points.  This is also from the cuttings collection.






  1. Maya Russell says

    What do you do with leftovers? Doesn’t it throw your plan out if you can eat yesterdays food? Then, you’ll have bought ingredients for that day’s meal which has to be left longer in the fridge for another day.
    My sister does meal planning and says it’s much cheaper. I’d love to be so organised!

    • Erica says

      You’re right leftovers can throw out a meal plan and I hate wasting food. It depends how much is left. Enough for another meal usually goes in the freezer. If it’s a small portion it’s usually my lunch. Otherwise I make a judgement call on what ingredients can be left until early the next week.


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