Sunday, November 22, 2009

Menu Plan Week Beginning 23/11/09

What a week!

The weather has been awful! So hot! I refused to cook on Friday night so we got a takeaway chicken with chips and salad from the new Chicken shop in Westfield and had the fish fingers on Saturday night. Tonight as well was too hot to cook; 42.5 at Sydney Airport and 42.1 at Penrith with NW winds. Yuck! So, after helping with some preparations for the Bush Dance at school next week, we went out to Ikea to get Amy a new desk chair and we had sushi sitting in the airconditioned shopping centre.

This week, we will continue the clean out of the freezer of the leftover portions of meals so it will be quite a simple and easy week food wise. We also have the Bush Dance at Amy's school on Saturday night where we will have Spit Roast lamb. Yum!

Happy eating!

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Spaghetti Bolognaise Sausages Adzuki Bean Stew Prawn Stir-fry Beef and Bean Enchiladas School Bush Dance Mini Muffin Pizzas

Frozen leftovers Sausages Frozen Leftovers Green Prawns Mince Spit Roast Lamb Multigrain English Muffins
Spaghetti Beetroot Brown Rice Rice Bran Oil Kidney Beans Salad Tomato Paste
Parmesan Sweet Potato
Ginger Garlic

Garlic Onion

Onion Chilli

Chillis Spices

Beans Freach Tomato
Goat Cheese

Coriander Green Capsicum

Balsamic Vinegar Avocado

Carrot Wraps

Red Capsicum Cheese

Bok Choy

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Menu Plan Week Beginning Mon 16/11/09

Another busy week and Amy's ballet concert yesterday. We were all so proud. At her request, we went to Alice's, a Malaysian restaurant in Thornleigh. It's always a popular choice and one I will write about this week.

Last week's Beef Curry was a hit although I was told it could do with extra chilli. The Burritos turned into Enchiladas so it was less messy to eat and the chilli factor was increased to please those fussy little ones of mine!

It's going to be quite warm this week, so easy meals are on the agenda. It's just about time to start breaking out the salads, but not until I use up some meals in the freezer and items in the pantry. At this stage, I do not need to do a meat or fruit and vegetable order for this week. Yay!

For this week, we will be eating...

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Spaghetti Bolognaise Lamb Loin Chops Adzuki Bean Stew Beef Stir-fry Fish Fingers - Sophie's request
Take Away Mini Muffin Pizzas

Frozen leftovers Lamb Chops Adzuki Beans Beef Strips Fish Fingers Thai? Multigrain English Muffins
Spaghetti Couscous Pumpkin Rice Bran Oil Potatoes
Tomato Paste
Parmesan Capsicum Miso paste Ginger Broccoli

Garlic Coriander Garlic


Currants Onion Chilli Sauce


Sumac Nori Tamari


Broccoli Carrots Rice

Goat Cheese

Beans Stock cube Broccoli

Brown Rice Beans


Monday, November 9, 2009

Menu Plan Week Beginning Mon 9/11/09

Back at last! With Greg at home (and he is still unemployed), the school holidays, sick children, sick parents, trips to Emergency with Sophie and catching up on some craft projects, I'm back to setting my routine. Although I have been writing my plans, we haven't always been able to follow them and I have missed being organised. A lot can be said for having a routine.

I have been doing some interesting recipes, been to a vegetarian seminar and eating out (far too often) at some great places so I will start posting about those soon. Hopefully, I will also work out how to add some photos.

So for this week, we are eating....

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Beef and Greeen Bean Curry Chicken Stir-fry Beef Burritos Lamb Loin Chops Fish Let's Wing it! Lunch - German Veal Sausages

Gravy beef Chicken Strips Beef Mince Lamb Chops Salmon Fillets Amy's Ballet
Veal Sausages
Rice Bran Oil Snow peas Rice Bran Oil Beans Soba Noodles
Bread Rolls
Red Onion Zucchini Onion Broccoli Asian greens Take Away Sauerkraut
Beans Celery Garlic Rice Sesame Seeds
Fresh tomatoes Asparagus Wraps

Potato Salad
Besan flour Noodles Mexican Spices

Ginger Rice Bran Oil Shallots

Olive Oil
Spices Garlic Lettuce

Lemon juice
Chillies Ginger Capsicum

Rice Tamari Cucumber



Fresh tomatoes

Soup and Roll

Monday, October 5, 2009

Congri - Black Beans and Rice

For this dinner, I was inspired by the show on SBS, My Family Feast. Each week, Sean Connolly, a chef, visits a family in Australia to enjoy a feast from their cultural background. On Thursday 1st October, he joined a Cuban party. We were going to go out for dinner on Friday, but with the weather and 2 very tired girls, we decided to have dinner at home. Unfortunately, I didn't have anything to make mojitos (sufficed with Corona beer) but I had everything else to make the Congri.

I must say, a pressure cooker would have made a huge difference. Even though I had soaked the beans, it took well over an hour for the beans to cook with a lot of extra water - 3 hours and left overnight, in fact. This was very frustrating as they smelt so good and we ended up having to get takeaway! I also didn't have a red capsicum but the green still tasted great. For the mixed herbs, I used Herbes de Provence. When it came time to add the rice, I used 3 cups of water.

Verdict? Yum! But I need a pressure cooker! Any recommendations?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Annapoorna Restaurant

Instead of take away on Friday night, we decided to go to a restaurant and eat in - Dosa was a must though. We are lucky enough to have 2 local places to do Dosa, one a take away and one an eat-in restaurant.

Annapoorna is on the Pacific Highway, Hornsby, in an old terrace house. During our time in Hornsby, I think there have been 3 or 4 restaurants here but this one seems to have survived the longest.

When we arrived, we were the only table, but as we left, it was quite full.

We decided on a variety of entrées to share rather than entrées and main course curries as we'd already been out for apéro to celebrate Greg's new-found status of unemployed! The wait staff could not understand this and twice came back to ask for our main course order. The table was full with food!

For the four of us we ordered the Side plate with Pappadums with an extra serve of Pappadums (always a hit with the girls), 2 Mixed Platters and a Masala Dosa.

The Pappadums were disappointingly stale-tasting. One of the things that always amuses us with this restaurant is that the yoghurt raita is ALWAYS different and often quite spicy. Tonight was no exception although it was not spicy but tasted like it had cinnamon! The other condiments were a sour pickle (tamarind?) which must have had the usual raita spices added to it on top of it's usual ones, a mango chutney which was quite nice and tomato, onion and cucumber.

We shared the 2 platters which had 1 piece each of Tandoori Chicken, Spinach and Cashew Roll, Vegetable Pakora, Seekh Kebab and Shammi Kebab, served with mint yoghurt and tamarind chutney. It was all quite tasty except we all thought the Shammi Kebab was quite fishy tasting, possibly tuna, not lamb! So I think we may have been given the Fish Pakora.

The dosa, a lentil pancake wrapped around Masala Potatoes and served with a coconut chutney and lentil sambar, was lovely. It wasn't very spicy tonight (another dish we find varies every time we order it), but we are fans of curry leaves and were very pleased to find them added tonight (again, not always included) and the girls also enjoyed it. I think I prefer our other local place for them though.

I must mention our girls are 5 and 3 and are becoming little foodies themselves! They are always eager to try new foods and their facial expressions when they try something quite spicy are always cute. I must try and get a photo one time!

The restaurant is licensed but the list is not extensive. Greg had Kingfisher beer and I had a glass of Stone Fish Sauvignon Blanc which could have been served a little cooler but was refreshing and light enough with our choice of dishes.

The service, as I mentioned earlier was amusing. No one seemed to be in charge and we confused them by not having main course.

Would we go back? Yes - we don't have much choice, but we may stick to their curries and save the dosa for our other local haunt.

Annapoorna Restaurant
188 Pacific Highway
Hornsby NSW 2077
(02) 9482 7364

Menu Plan Week Beginning Mon 28/9/09

Now that Greg is officially "between jobs", I'm hoping to have some more time to get more creative again in the kitchen. It certainly should give me more time having him around for the after school activities. As he told his colleagues, if you start seeing more and more beans and other legumes in the plan, he hasn't found a job yet! I love beans and lentils so I may have more time for cooking these from dry which I prefer to do over opening a can. They all seem to taste the same out of a can. So for this week, we are having...

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Pasta + Garlic Bread Lamb Loin Chops Silverbeet and Fetta Pie Rump Steak Dinner Out Drumsticks and Gratin Tacos

Pasta Chops Silverbeet Rump Steak ??? Surprise!!! Chicken Drumsticks Taco Shells
Olive Oil English Spinach Goat Fetta Potatoes
Broccoli Kidney beans
Garlic Pumpkin Onion Olive Oil
Cauliflower Fresh Tomato
Beans Olive Oil Garlic Mushrooms
Butter 1tin Tomatoes
Peas Cumin Shortcrust Pastry Butter
Flour 1 Carrot
Puff Pastry Garlic
Milk Taco spices
Goat Cheese
Olive oil Broccoli
Cheese Olive Oil

- Dairy alternatives? Eschallots

Side Salad

Bread Rolls



Goat Cheese


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Menu Plan Week Beginning 21/9/09

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Chicken Stir-fry Sausage and Bean Stew Leftovers Lamb Chops Dosai Takeaway Slow-cooked Lamb
Homemade Pizza

Carrot Borlotti Beans
Idli Pumpkin Spelt Flour Mix
Broccoli White Beans
2 Masala Dosai
Sweet Potato Salt
Green Onions Fresh tomato

Pumpkin Oiive Oil
Eschallots Tinned Tomato
Lamb loin chops

Green Beans Water
Garlic Beef Stock

Onion Tomato Paste
Ginger Carrots

Garlic Herbs
Tamari Celery

Stock Fresh Tomato
Rice Bran Oil Olive Oil

Herbs / Spices Olives
Soba Noodles Beef Sausages

Flour Roasted Capsicum
Sesame Oil

Olive Oil
Pineapple pieces
Chicken Thighs

Rolled Shoulder

Goat Cheese

The Journey Begins

Welcome aboard my journey to discover and enjoy the gastronomical delights of the world.

I am passionate about good food and good nutrition. Why waste an eating experience on bad food? I am also passionate about organic food, not only for the nutritional and health benefits but also the environmental benefits. I believe we should support those farmers who take the effort to care for their land and the welfare of their animals. I believe that happy animals make for a happy meal!

My studies, before having my beautiful children, have included the start of a diploma in naturopathic nutrition. As well, I have worked for a major weight loss company as a motivator. Having said that, I am not a qualified nutritionist, so any claims I make are usually a personal belief or based on these introductory studies, work or personal research only. My children have also been an inspiration and motivation to create and serve healthy, nutritional and delicious (!) meals and snacks. I feel I may be creating little gourmandes with some of their requests!

I have always had a great interest in cookbooks and cooking, for which I thank my grandmother. I have beautiful memories of stirring things in bowls while sitting on a towel in her kitchen. Whether she ever cooked any of it, I do not know! And I thank her for giving me my first cookbooks which are still part of my ever-growing collection. Throughout this journey, I will be sharing my collection and experiences using them; successful and not-so-successful! It is a journal of my recipes so that they are close at hand.

Eating out is inspiring and something my husband and I love to do. From time to time, I will review where we go.

Something else that I do is to plan our meals for each week. Not only has it saved us money because I only buy what we need and always have the fresh food on hand, it also saves that stress of deciding what to make after a long day and multiple trips to the supermarket each week. I will be posting those plans, not only to keep it in my journal, but maybe inspire others to do the same or even copy them. Let me do the thinking for you! It also means that Greg will know what's for dinner (his idea, that one!). I suggested he could then bring home an appropriate bottle of wine!!!!

So, welcome aboard and enjoy the journey....