I'm back! I've been over to France for a while, to visit my daughter and son in law who had their first baby just before Christmas, so I've not updated the blog for a while but I'm back now and things are - for a change - running smoothly here so I've got this week's menus worked out.
Monday - ham and potato hotpot. This will be the final dish from the gammon joint we had on New Year's Eve, which has provided us with almost a week's worth of meals. Look out for a post about some of them in the next day or two.
Tuesday - pasta with cavolo nero and bacon. Yes, I know it looks odd - the first thing I plan to do after a week of ham-eating is to open a packet of bacon. But this is a pack of smoked "alumettes", one of the treats I brought home from France, and as there is some lovely cavolo nero in the garden it seems like the perfect time to use it. I was going to link to the recipe but it appears I've never blogged it - I must put that right soon!
Wednesday - Cauliflower, Leek and Cheese crumble with a hazelnut topping. This recipe was in the Giraffe Restaurants online advent calendar.
Thursday - Pork chops with black pudding and apple scrumpy mash. This is a recipe from the James Martin book "Fast" which was one of my Christmas presents
Friday - baked camembert with bread and crudités
Plans usually change at the weekend as Mark usually likes to cook a meal, but based on what we have around the house the outline is
Saturday - grated rainbow salad with sesame feta fritters from "Save with Jamie", another Christmas present.
Sunday - roast goose crown with braised red cabbage.
Last year's Resolution was to have at least one meat-free day a week. It's one we've embraced enthusiastically and you'll notice there are three meat free days on this week's plan. We ended up having at least one meat free day every week, usually two, all year except when away from home.
When you're eating out, it can be very hard to find really good meat free food, especially when we were on the failed Danube cruise where all the meals had a fixed menu and there was no vegetarian option (the boat was French - the French seem to think vegetarianism means "no red meat"). And while many British restaurants now have meat free dishes sitting comfortably in among the other dishes on the menu, there are still a few that just have one or two tucked away in a separate "vegetarian" section. I always feel uncomfortable with the idea of ordering from that section, because I'm not a vegetarian and if they have segregated the dishes like that, it makes me think that they have estimated the number of vegetarian diners they will get and only catered for that number, so I could be depriving somebody of a meal when they can't choose from the rest of the menu.
While I'm ranting, I must give a mention to the Victory Services Club in London. A couple of years ago (so the menu may have changed now) I popped in to get a lunchtime sandwich. The Vegetarian section of the sandwich menu had two choices, salmon or tuna. The Vegan section also had two - cheese or egg.
Well, I seem to have strayed a long way from Meal Planning Monday - I've been quiet for so long I have too much to say! But why not pop over to At Home With Mrs M and read some of the other meal plans. And if your New Year's Resolution is to save money and reduce waste by planning your meals, why not join in?