Menu planning has never been more important, or necessary. Sure, in winter we all spend more evenings at home and each January many of us make commitments to eat better or scrutinise and experiment with our lifestyles, but as we start 2023 with a cost of living crisis, it’s a great way to eat well, for less.
As with the one week meal plans that I prepared and shared at the start of each of the three COVID19 lockdowns, this menu carries ingredients and leftovers from meal to meal to minimise food waste and maximise value for money. Ingredients with short shelf lives such as meat and fish are used in the first half of the menu so that those of you who do a single weekly shop don’t have to worry about expensive ingredients ticking over their use-by dates.
For our vegetarian, vegan, dairy and gluten-free followers or those with other dietary needs, I apologise that not all of these dishes will work for you however I hope that you can still perhaps adapt some of these meals to your requirements or take inspiration from the core concept of carrying over key ingredients or leftovers into other meals. Feel free to replace or omit ingredients and to play around with the recipes and the menu to suit your dietary requirements.
Please click each link to be taken through to the web page with ingredients and instructions.
Serve with roast potatoes and corn-on-the-cob. Roast a tray of root veg at the same time to make use of the hot oven, for the winter frittata.
Use leftover chicken (you can really strip the carcass and use all the bits for the soup) for this classic comfort food meal. Vegetarians and vegans, omit the meat and replace with additional oriental greens, and swap chicken stock for veg stock. Take leftovers to work for lunch.
Leftover winter veg and a few eggs is amazing served with cavalo nero salsa. Vegans can make bubble and squeak with leftover roast veg. Take leftovers to work for lunch.
It is said that cheese and fish don’t go together, but I’d say there are a couple of exceptions: fish pie, and this recipe. This dish is a cross between a kedgeree and a classic rarebit. It’s simple, full of flavour, and amazing for a light midweek dinner.
Another great light and easy midweek dinner, and if this menu is a bit light on meat for your liking then you can always pair it with sausages or similar. Use veg stock instead of chicken stock and cream to make this vegan.
Lentils are a great and versatile source of cheap protein, and if you want to reduce your impact on the planet then they are absolutely the way to go. Dhal is a lentil dish that is then tempered with a spiced oil (the tarka). Dhal is almost infinitely adaptable, easy to make and a great source of leftovers for lunches.
A warming dish for a winter weekend that I prepared for our friends at Rodda’s this autumn. Make it vegan by leaving out the cream.
We teach elements of menu planning and how to make the most of all of your ingredients through all of our cookery courses. Our upcoming Eat Well For Less cookery course is now fully booked, but keep an eye out as we’ll be running it again in 2023.