I’ve come up with a 6 day meal plan that will help you to use everything in your fridge. My aim is for you to cook on the days that you have time and then to make slightly different meals from the original meals by simply adding a few extra ingredients. My aim is for you to create less food waste, but what you will hopefully find is that you are spending less time in the kitchen cooking from scratch and (fingers crossed) making your weekly shop more economical.
6 day meal plan for a family of 4
Lemon & Rosemary Roast Chicken Traybake, with potatoes & shallots
1 large Chicken
400g new potatoes
4-5 echalion shallots - peeled
6 cloves garlic - whole
1 lemon - cut in half and one half sliced
5 carrots - chopped into large chunks
1 whole celery - chopped into large chunks
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Add everything to the pan drizzle with oil and season generously. Cover loosely with foil and into the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 1-1hour 15 depending on the size of the chicken.
Bolognese Double up the quantities if you are making a lasagne & chilli
400g lean mince beef / vegetarian mince
300g chestnut mushrooms chopped ⠀⠀
3 red onions finely chopped ⠀⠀
5 cloves crushed garlic ⠀⠀
1 tin tomatoes or passata
1 glass red wine ⠀
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato purée ⠀⠀
1 carrot grated
2 stalks celery finely chopped⠀⠀
Sauté the onions in olive oil, slowly on a low heat for approximately 30 minutes until caramelised, but not burnt. This is worth doing as really adds flavour to the finished sauce.⠀⠀
Add the garlic for 2 minutes. Now add the beef, season and turn the heat up slightly. Break up the meat until brown and there are no lumps. Pour in the wine and balsamic and let the alcohol evaporate. Now add the mushrooms, carrot, celery, tomatoes and purée. Season and taste. Simmer on a low heat for 2-3 hours. ⠀⠀
If you think it’s too thin remove the lid to thicken.⠀⠀
Using the carcass from Sundays roast to make stock and any leftover chicken go into the risotto
3 onions finely chopped⠀
2 cloves garlic crushed⠀
250g pack chestnut mushrooms, thickly sliced⠀
300g arborio risotto rice⠀
150ml dry white wine⠀
1.4l hot chicken stock⠀
140g cooked chicken, pulled into chunks ⠀
50g grated parmesan ⠀
½ small pack flat-leaf parsley ⠀
Heat the butter in a large pan. Sauté in the onion and fry for 10 mins more until the onion is soft but not coloured. Stir in the mushrooms and continue cooking, stirring, for about 5 mins. Now add the rice and cook over a medium heat for 2 mins until the rice has started to turn translucent. Pour in the wine and allow it to evaporate the alcohol. ⠀
Add the hot stock ladle at a time until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through. You may not need all of the stock. The texture now should be creamy, like rice pudding. Stir through the cooked chicken, warm briefly, then turn off the heat. Stir through the Parmesan and parsley, cover and leave to rest for 5 mins to allow more liquid to be absorbed into the rice. Season with salt and pepper.
Lasagne - using the Bolognese.
60g plain flour⠀
Salt and pepper ⠀
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.⠀
Stir in the flour. Whisk in a little of the milk at a time, stirring continuously until you have a smooth, slightly thick sauce.⠀
Remove from the heat; seaon with salt and pepper. Add bay leaf for additional flavour.⠀
Frittata - Chorizo, Potato, veg
8 eggs mixed (seasoned)⠀
100g chorizo - sliced
5 small new potatoes - cooked and sliced
10 cherry tomatoes - halves
1 onion finely chopped ⠀
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Sauté the onion until soft, add the chorizo and cook a little to release the oils. Add potatoes and tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the egg and stir like you would when making an omelette. Transfer to the oven for 10 minutes.
add 1 chopped pepper,
1 tin drained black beans,
1-2 teaspoons mild chilli powder, a chilli,
80g chorizo - sliced,
to the leftover Bolognese and simmer for 30 minutes.