Week One’s Menu Plan

Hello and Welcome to my new blog where each Friday I post my list of healthy dinners for the upcoming week

Organising this on a Friday allows me time to shop for ingredients on the weekend and do some cooking ahead of time, which is ideal if you have an extremely busy week (see do ahead tips at end of recipes)

I only plan 5 out 7 dinners a week as we, like many other people are often out at least one night a week (Saturday) and on a Friday or Sunday will tend to have either left-overs or something quick and easy

 I call these meals healthy as I work on the basis that half your dinner meal should be vegetables.  There also is a good source of lean protein in each meal and variety across the week and each meal includes a low GI carbohydrate.

So before I ramble on for too long, here is the list of my delicious meals for Week one – in no particular day order!  I hope you enjoy them🙂

Chicken & Hokkien Noodle Stir-fry

Lamb Chops with Sweet Potato Mash & Greens

Beef Meatballs in Tomato & Basil Sauce

Fast Asian Fish with ‘Chips’ and Salad

Spinach & Cheese Pie with Salad

Chicken and Hokkien Noodle Stir-Fry

Serves 4

500g Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into small pieces

450g Hokkien noodles, blanched in hot water

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large carrot, cut into thin strips

1 zucchini, cut into thin strips

1 medium red capsicum, cut into thin strips

1 head broccoli, approx 300g, cut into small florets or 3 baby bok choy cut into quarters

200g snow peas, topped and sliced in half

1 Tbspn oyster sauce

2 Tbspn soy sauce

2 tspn olive oil

Fresh coriander leaves to garnish

Heat a little oil in wok and brown chicken in batches.

When cooked, remove and set aside.

Add garlic, carrots, zucchini, capsicum and broccoli and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.

Add soy sauce and oyster sauce and toss well.  

Add back snow peas, chicken and noodles and mix through for 2 minutes.  Stir through coriander and serve.

*Do ahead tips:  Vegetables can be cut into thin strips up to 24 hours before.  Store in air-tight containers in fridge.

 

Lamb Chops with Sweet Potato Mash, Carrots & Greens

Serves 4

8 lamb chops, well trimmed

1 clove garlic

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons red wine

1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes (approx 500g)

1 Tablespoon butter or olive oil

2 Tablespoons milk

2 large or 4 small carrots, cut into batons

300g green beans, tops removed

300g broccoli, cut into florets

Toss lamb chops with garlic, rosemary and oil and allow to sit for as long as possible, minimum of 10 minutes.

For mash: Cook sweet potato in a saucepan of boiling water over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain in a colander.

Return sweet potato to warm saucepan. Shake saucepan over low heat for 30 seconds or until excess moisture evaporates. Remove from heat.

Using a potato masher, mash sweet potato. Gradually add butter or oil and milk.  Mash until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, heat water in bottom of steamer until boiling.  Add carrot batons and cook for 2 minutes.  Then add broccoli and beans and cook until tender, approx 4-5 minutes.

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook lamb for 3 minutes each side for medium. Remove chops from pan and deglaze pan with a little red wine.

To plate up, plop some mash on each plate and top with lamb.

Place carrots and broccoli and beans next to mash.  Serve immediately

*Do ahead tips: Marinate lamb chops the night before

 

Beef Meatballs in Tomato & Basil Sauce

Serves 4

Meatballs

500g lean beef mince

1 Tablespoon tomato sauce

¼ cup fruit chutney

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons seeded mustard

1 zucchini, grated

2/3 cup quick cooking oats

Tomato & Basil Sauce

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon tomato paste

2 x 400g cans chopped peeled tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Salt and Pepper to taste

250g uncooked pasta

300g broccoli, cut into florets

300g pumpkin, skinned and chopped

2 carrots, sliced

100g baby spinach leaves

Meatballs

Combine all ingredients together.  Roll into tablespoon sized balls and set aside.

Sauce

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened but not browned.

Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.

Add the tinned tomatoes, reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Stir through the basil and parsley.

Add meatballs and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta and steam broccoli, pumpkin and carrots.

Toss cooked pasta, cooked vegetables and spinach leaves together.

Divide into 4 on plates.  Top with meatballs and tomato sauce.

*Do ahead tips:  The meatballs can be made up to 3 days before and refrigerated (make sure your fridge temperature is below 4 degrees) or frozen if longer

Tomato and basil sauce is actually better if made a few days before.  Again this can also be frozen

 

Fast Asian Fish

Serves 4

4 x 150g skinless salmon or ocean trout fillets

1/3 cup light soy sauce

1/3 cup sweet chilli sauce

Fresh coriander, chopped

4 medium sized potatoes, peeled (if preferred) and sliced very thin – note: the lowest GI potato is a nicola potato but these are seasonal and can sometimes be hard to find.  I also like the little new potatoes (and use more) and don’t peel them (which helps to keep them lower GI)

1 Tablespoon olive oil or olive oil spray

Salt and Pepper

300g mixed baby spinach leaves and rocket leaves

1 medium avocado, diced

1 green apple, sliced

Salad dressing:

2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

1 Tablespoon Olive oil

2 teaspoons seeded mustard

1 teaspoon honey

Chips:  Preheat the oven to 220°C.  Lay potato slices in a single layer on baking tray.  Drizzle olive oil over (or you can use a pastry brush and brush it on) or spray with olive oil spray and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.  Place in hot oven for 12-15 minutes, or until browned.

Fish:   Place fish in a shallow baking dish. Combine soy and sweet chilli sauce and pour over fish.

Cover with foil, place on bottom shelf of oven and bake for 10 minutes approx, or until just cooked through. (I like mine just a little pink still in the middle)

Salad:  Combine salad dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well.  Put spinach leaves and rocket in salad bowl.  Pour a little dressing over (around half) and toss well.  Add avocado and apple.

*Do ahead tips:  If peeling potato it can be store peeled and submerged in water in fridge for up to 24 hours 

Make salad dressing up to 2 weeks before needing (I actually make a large batch at a time so it is ready whenever I need it)

Mix together soy and sweet chilli sauces well ahead of time

 

Spinach & Cheese Pie with Salad

Serves 4

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 bunch spinach, washed well and chopped or 250g  frozen spinach, thawed   

300g ricotta

50g fetta

2 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons Massel vegetable stock powder

Pepper

6 sheets of filo pastry

Extra oil & (approx 1 Tablespon) melted butter to brush on pastry sheets

1-2 Tablespoons sesame seeds

Salad:

300g mixed salad leaves, washed and dried

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 small or ½ continental cucumber, sliced

1 small or ½ medium red capsicum, chopped

12-16 Kalamata olives

½ cup fresh basil leaves

Other half of salad dressing from fish night

Spinach Pie:

Heat thick based saucepan or frying pan with lid over medium heat and add oil and onion.  Cook over medium heat until onion has browned (caramelised).  If the onion starts to stick, add a little water.  When cooked add fresh spinach all in one go, place lid on and turn heat off. (If using frozen spinach just add and mix in with onion.)  Allow to sit for 4-5 minutes.  Remove lid and stir through well.  Add vegetable stock powder (or salt) and pepper.

When cooled a little add ricotta, fetta and eggs and mix well.

Tip into an oven proof ceramic dish.  Top with one sheet of filo pastry, then brush sheet with a little butter/oil.  Top with another sheet and brush again and repeat to use 4 sheets.  Scrunch the other 2 sheets a little and place on top of other filo pastry.  Brush with butter/oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake in moderate oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.

Salad:  Add all ingredients to salad leaves.  Toss through dressing just before serving.

*Do ahead tips:

Pie middle can be made up to 3 days before needing and stored in fridge.  I would not recommend to freeze it.