How to make weekly meal planning easy

How to make weekly meal planning easy

Image

I spend way too much time planning my weekly meals. It currently takes me two days to plan and buy groceries.

This is before adding the time it takes to cook meals. As I cook from recipes, I often find that a recipe I’ve chosen takes longer to cook than planned, and has way too many ingredients.

I need to become more time efficient with this task. I love cooking, but the time it takes to plan meals, and then cook them is taking way too long, and turning my love into a dreaded chore.

So in order to streamline this entire process, this is how I will be making my weekly meal planning and cooking less time consuming.

Planning
To make my recipe search quicker, each day of the week will be dedicated to the following meal types:

Monday – Leftovers
Tuesday – Meat
Wednesday – Fish
Thursday – Chicken
Friday – Takeaway
Saturday – Pasta
Sunday – Stir fry

Planning will take place on a Tuesday night, and will consist of finding a recipe on my dinner Pinterest board and adding its link to a Google Sheet. This sheet lists every day of the week, and the food type that needs to be cooked that night.

So for example, on a Sunday I will add a link to a beef, mushroom, and greens stir fry as it’s a stir fry recipe, and only stirfries will be cooked on a Sunday.

I’m also going to make sure that the majority of recipes I add to Pinterest take less than 30 minutes to cook, and don’t have many ingredients so I’m not spending forever cooking.

Purchasing
Immediately after I finish planning I will order the ingredients for each meal online. All I’ll have to do is click on the link in my Google Sheet and I’ll be taken straight to the recipe.

Cooking
To carry on with my effort to become more time efficient, I’m going to start batch cooking!

On Tuesdays I will cook Tuesday night’s meal as well as chop and pre cook what I can for Wednesday’s meal.

On Thursdays I will cook Thursday night’s meal and also chop and pre cook what I can for the weekend’s meals.

Future planning
Each Sunday night I will stocktake all the ingredients I have in my freezer, fridge, and cupboard, and will ensure the recipes I choose for the next week use as many of these ingredients as possible.

Here’s what my meal planning week will now look like:

Monday
Groceries delivered

Tuesday
Cook night’s meal
Prep Wednesday night’s meal
Plan and order groceries for next week

Wednesday
Rest night

Thursday
Cook night’s meal
Prep weekends meals

Friday
Takeaway night

Saturday
Rest night

Sunday
Rest night

I really hope that these activities make my weekly meal planning tasks easier and more time efficient

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Apricot Muesli Balls

Love from Lisa Apricot Muesli Balls

In an effort to stop eating cakes and eat something a little less chocolaty and indulgent, I recently made some Apricot Muesli Balls.

The appeal of these balls was that there were few ingredients, so I knew they wouldn’t take long to make. If you have a spare 20 minutes you can get this done easily.

Verdict?
Super sweet! The muesli I used had dried fruit in it, so this combined with the apricot and honey made for a super sweet snack.

However, the sweetness didn’t bother me as they hit my sugary cake craving on the head.

Here’s the recipe, which I got from Taste

Ingredients
2 cups toasted muesli
1 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup honey
60g butter, melted
3/4 cup shredded coconut

Method

Step 1
Place muesli, apricots, honey and warm melted butter in a food processor. Process for 2 to 3 minutes or until well combined.

Step 2
Place coconut in a shallow dish. Roll tablespoons of muesli mixture into balls. Coat balls in coconut. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

If you make these please let me know what you thought of them.

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Three Milks Cake

Love from Lisa Three Milks Cake

I’m torn on whether this recipe rose to the challenge or was a flop.

What rose to the challenge was the taste. It had the same sponginess as a pudding, and I love puddings! However the flop portion was that it sunk in the middle and it didn’t rise very high.

If you’d like to view recipes I’m thinking of baking, or already have, then please visit my Baking Recipes Pinterest page.

Ingredients

3 eggs, separated
1 tbs vanilla extract
200g caster sugar
1 cup self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup evaporated milk
½ cup condensed milk
½ cup full cream milk
200ml thickened cream whisked to soft peaks, to serve
Seasonal berries, to serve

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 150°C. Grease and line base and sides of a 20cm spring form cake pan.

Step 2
Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites on low speed for 1 minute or until frothy. Add egg yolks and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Add vanilla and sugar, and beat for 1 minute.

Step 3
Add flour and baking powder and beat for a further 1 minute, or until just combined. Transfer batter to cake pan, gently smoothing surface, and then bake for 35-40 minutes until golden.

Step 4
Cool cake in pan for 15-20 minutes, then turn out onto a serving plate with a rim. Meanwhile, combine the three milks in a jug then slowly pour milk mixture over the cake, allowing it to soak in.

Step 5
Serve cake topped with a dollop of whipped cream and seasonal berries.

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Lazy Sunday Eatery #9 Beef and Chorizo Fajitas with Mashed Avocado

The Creative Canvass Lazy Sunday Eatery #9 Beef and Chorizo Fajitas with Smashed Avocado

Cooking and eating are two of my biggest loves. So no matter what, I always make time to incorporate them into my life.

This monthly Lazy Sunday Eatery series is the perfect way for me to do this. It’s a series dedicated to cooking and eating finger food, the perfect food for a lazy Sunday.

If you’d like to view past and future Lazy Sunday Eatery series recipes then please visit my finger food recipes Pinterest page.

On the menu for this month’s Lazy Sunday Eatery series is Beef and Chorizo Fajitas with Mashed Avocado.

I love Mexican, so much so that it’s already featured in this series in the form of Chicken Tostadas and Cheddar Quesadillas. In fact, the Chicken Tostadas were the first recipe to ever feature in this series.

To view the recipe for these Fajitas please keep reading, or alternatively you can view it online at Taste.

Prep 10 minutes
Cooking 10 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tbs of olive oil
500g of thinly sliced beef rump steak
2 thinly sliced chorizos
1 thinly sliced red capsicum
1 thinly sliced yellow capsicum
2 tsp of smoked paprika
2 tsp of dried oregano
1 avocado stone removed peeled
1 tbs of lime juice
1/4 cup of coriander
12 mini tortillas
Coriander leaves, extra to serve
Sour cream to serve
Lime wedges to serve

Step 1
Heat half of the olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add half of the beef. Stirfry for 2 minutes or until brown. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining beef.

Step 2
Add the chorizo and cook stirring for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate.

Step 3
Heat the remaining olive oil in the pan. Add the combined capsicum. Cook stirring for 3 minutes or until just tender. Add the smoked paprika and oregano. Cook stirring for 1 minute or until fragrant. Return the beef and chorizo to the pan and toss to combine.

Step 4
Place the avocado and lime juice in a bowl and mash until almost smooth. Stir in the chopped coriander. Heat the tortillas following packet directions.

Step 5
Serve the beef mixture with the tortillas, avocado mixture, extra coriander, sour cream and lime wedges.

What’s my verdict?
The best part of these Fajitas is the chorizo. I love chorizo! These Fajitas are also messy, juicy and meaty – the best combination you can have for any Lazy Sunday Eatery recipe.

A recommended change to the recipe
I would suggest adding some beans or rice to this recipe as I felt like it was missing something.

(This blog’s previous name was The Creative Canvass, hence why the image in this post is labelled www.thecreativecanvass.com)

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Macadamia, Chia, and Raspberry Muesli Bars

Love from Lisa Macadamia, Chia, and Raspberry Muesli Bars

Whilst these tasted delicious due to the tang of the raspberries, they were super, super crumbly. So much so that a lot of the muesli fell off when taking them out of the tray.

For this reason, these unfortunately were a flop, and I won’t make them again. As they’re too messy to fully enjoy.

If you’d like to view recipes I’m thinking of baking, or already have, then please visit my Baking Recipes Pinterest page.

Ingredients

2 cups of raspberries
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/2 cup of white chia seeds
2 cups of rolled oats
1 cup of shredded coconut
1/2 cup of coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
1/3 cup of pepitas
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
2/3 cup of maple syrup
1/3 cup of macadamia oil

Step 1
Place raspberries and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Stir occasionally for 3 minutes, or until softened. Remove from heat and stir through chia seeds. Set aside to cool.

Step 2
Preheat oven to 140°C or 120°C fan forced. Grease and line base and sides of a 20cm square cake pan.

Step 3
Combine oats, coconut, chopped macadamia nuts, pepitas, and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Place maple syrup and macadamia oil in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat for 3 minutes or until runny and combined. Add to oat mixture and stir until well coated. Spoon half into prepared pan. With wet hands press down evenly. Dollop over raspberry mixture and spread evenly with a spatula. Spoon over remaining oat mixture. With wet hands, press down evenly. Bake for 50 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack. Chill for 1 hour before cutting into 16 squares.

 

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Lazy Sunday Eatery #8 Goat’s Cheese Pissaladiere Tarts

The Creative Canvass Lazy Sunday Eatery #8 Goat's Cheese Pissaladiere Tarts

Cooking and eating are one of my biggest loves. So no matter what, I always make time to incorporate them into my life.

This monthly Lazy Sunday Eatery series is a great way for me to incorporate cooking into my life. It’s a series dedicated to cooking finger food, the perfect type of food for a lazy Sunday.

If you’d like to view recipes that I’ve already done for this series, as well as recipes that I’m thinking of doing, then please visit my Lazy Sunday Eatery Pinterest page.

On the menu for this month’s edition of Lazy Sunday Eatery is Goat’s Cheese Pissaladiere Tarts. Please view the recipe below, or alternatively you can view it online at Taste.

Prep 25 minutes
Cooking 50 minutes*
Serves 8

* Cooking time note – this recipe only took me 20 minutes to cook, as I didn’t cook the onions for as long as the recipe stated. I’ve explained this further in the section titled a recommended change to the recipe.

Ingredients
1/4 cup of olive oil
6 small brown onions, halved and thinly sliced (I used two medium onions)
2 sheets of frozen puff pastry, partially thawed
16 pitted black olives, thinly sliced
16 anchovy fillets, halved lengthways
80g of crumbled goat’s cheese
32 small watercress sprigs (I used chives)

Step 1
Heat the oil in a large heavy based saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and stir to coat. Cover. Stir occasionally for 12 minutes, or until softened. Remove lid. Cook uncovered stirring occasionally for a further 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside to cool completely.

Step 2
Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan forced. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper. Cut each pastry sheet evenly into 16 squares. Transfer to prepared baking trays. Using a small, sharp knife, score a 1cm border around the edge of each pastry square (don’t cut all the way through). Spoon the onion mixture onto the centre of each tart. Top with olives, anchovies, and goat’s cheese.

Step 3
Bake for 10 minutes or until golden and puffed. Set aside for 2 to 3 minutes to cool slightly. Top with watercress sprigs. Serve.

What’s my verdict?
The sweetness of the onion combined with the saltiness of the anchovies and goat’s cheese make these tarts extremely moorish. It was super hard to stop at three!

If you’re having a dinner party, or need to take an appetiser somewhere, then these are perfect. Best of all, they’re really easy to make.

A recommended change to the recipe
This recipe says to cook the onions for a total of 37 minutes. However, I noticed that after 9 minutes the onions were soft, but were starting to burn. I removed them from the heat at this point. I don’t think this affected the taste at all.

(This blog’s previous name was The Creative Canvass, hence why the image in this post is labelled www.thecreativecanvass.com)

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Blueberry and Yoghurt Loaf

Love from Lisa Blueberry and Yoghurt LoafThis loaf is really tasty and not that sweet. It’s crunchy on the top and moist inside, and is great slightly heated and served with tea.

If you’d like to view other recipes I have in mind, or have already baked for this series, then please visit my baking recipes Pinterest page.

Ingredients

  • 150g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup Greek style yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups self-raising flour, sifted
  • 125g fresh blueberries, plus extra to serve
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Method

Step one

Preheat oven to 160°C. Place the butter, sugar, eggs, yoghurt, lemon zest, and vanilla in a bowl and whisk to combine.

Step two

Add the flour and whisk until well combined. Fold through the blueberries and spoon into a lightly greased 22cm x 8cm x 7cm loaf tin lined with non-stick baking paper.

Step three

Smooth the top with a palette knife and bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 10 minutes (I baked it for 55 minutes), or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

Step four

Allow the loaf to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and top with extra blueberries to serve.

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Spinach and Feta Gozleme

Love from Lisa Spinach and feta gozleme

I didn’t totally enjoy these Spinach and Feta Gozleme.

I think my problem with them was the dough. I need some serious dough making tips, as the dough was really thick making them way too doughy.

If you’d like to view recipes I’m thinking of cooking, or already have, then please visit my Finger food recipes Pinterest page.

Ingredients

8g sachet of instant dried yeast

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of caster sugar

3 cups of plain flour

1/3 cup of olive oil

100g of baby spinach

200g of crumbled feta cheese

Lemon juice

Step one

Combine 300ml of warm water, instant dried yeast, salt, and caster sugar in a jug. Stir with a fork. Cover. Stand in a warm, sunny place for 5 minutes, or until bubbles form on the surface.

Step two

Sift the plain flour into a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix to form a soft dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes or until elastic. Cut dough into 4. Place on a greased baking tray. Cover with a clean tea towel. Stand in a warm, sunny place for 20 minutes, or until dough doubles in size.

Step three

Roll each piece dough into a 35cm x 45cm rectangle. Place one-quarter of spinach over half of each rectangle. Top with feta and season with salt and pepper. Fold dough over to enclose filling. Press edges together to seal.

Step four

Preheat a barbecue plate on medium-high heat (I used a frying pan). Brush one side of each Gozleme with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the base is golden. Brush uncooked side with remaining olive oil. Turn over and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden and crisp. Move onto serving plate. Cut Gozleme into quarters. Serve with lemon wedges.

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Hot Cross Truffles

Love from Lisa Hot Cross Truffles

I’ve decided to embrace Easter and get into the chocolate eating spirit early. I was tempted to make some Easter muffins, but instead opted for something I haven’t made before – truffles.

And just like last month’s Chocolate Hedgehog Slice, this recipe requires no baking, just a lot of time setting.

So my verdict? These truffles were very, very chocolately. In fact, they’re not for the faint hearted as even me, who has the sweetest of sweet tooths found them very sweet. If I ever make these again I’ll add more mixed spice and dried fruit to them so they’re a little more hot cross bun tasting, instead of pure chocolate. But that being said, they were still delicious.

If you’d like to view other recipes I have in mind, or have already baked for this series then please visit my Baking Recipes Pinterest page.

Ingredients

  • 2 x 100g Lindt Excellence Extra Creamy milk chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) thickened cream
  • 60g (1/3 cup) dried mixed fruit
  • 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 x 375g milk chocolate melts
  • 150g white chocolate melts

Method

Step one

Place milk chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan half filled with simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Use a metal spoon to stir until chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.

Step two

Remove any whole cherries from the mixed fruit. Add the mixed fruit, mixed spice, and cinnamon to chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Cover and place in the fridge for 3 hours or until firm.

Step three

Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Use your hands to roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls. Place on the lined tray. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes or until firm.

Step four

Place the milk chocolate melts in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Use a metal spoon to stir until chocolate melts and is smooth. Use a truffle dipper or a fork to dip 1 truffle into the melted chocolate to evenly coat. Remove truffle, tapping the dipper handle gently on the edge of the bowl to shake off excess chocolate. Place on the lined tray. Set aside for 10 minutes to set.

Step five

Place white chocolate melts in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Use a metal spoon to stir until chocolate melts and is smooth. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 4mm plain nozzle. Pipe a cross on the top of each truffle. Set aside for 10 minutes to set. Serve.

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Cheddar Quesadillas

Love from Lisa Cheddar Quesadillas

Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy these Cheddar Quesadillas.

The amount of filling was too much for their size, so they didn’t seal that well. Also, whilst the pineapple salsa and guacamole were really nice I didn’t know what to do with it. They couldn’t quite be used as a dip, and when spread on the quesadillas I couldn’t taste the quesadilla filling that well.

If you’d like to view recipes I’m thinking of cooking, or already have, then please visit my Finger food recipes Pinterest page.

Ingredients

1 cup (240g) ricotta

Juice of ½ lime

1 each yellow and red capsicum, seeds removed, finely chopped

1 long red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped

½ bunch coriander, leaves picked

1 ¼ cup (150g) grated cheddar

4 large flour tortillas

Pineapple salsa

2 tsp olive oil

½ tsp Dijon mustard

½ long red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped

200g pineapple flesh, finely chopped

Juice of ½ lime

Guacamole

2 ripe avocados, halved

½ bunch coriander, leaves picked

½ red onion, grated

1 long red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped

Juice of 2 limes

2 tomatoes, roughly chopped

Step one

For the pineapple salsa heat the oil in a frypan over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds and chilli and cook for 1 minute, or until the seeds begin to pop. Add the pineapple and reduce the heat to medium. Season and cook for 5 – 10 minutes until thick and sticky adding 2 tbs of water if the pan is too dry. Add lime juice and stir to combine.

Step two

For the guacamole scoop the avocado flesh into a bowl and mash with a fork. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Season and set aside.

Step three

Combine the ricotta and lime juice in a bowl. Combine the capsicum, chilli, coriander and cheddar in a separate bowl.

Step four

Spread the ricotta mixture over 2 tortillas. Scatter over capsicum mixture, then top with reaming tortillas. Heat a frypan over medium-high heat. Cook the quesadillas in batches for 2 – 3 minutes each side (taking care when flipping) until golden, and filling has melted.

Step five

Cut into wedges and serve with guacamole and pineapple salsa.

Share to...Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone