Meal planning

This week as part of Laura’s Uniquely Healthy Feeling Fabulous e-course she has us concentrating on meal planning.  Something I’ve roughly penciled out in the past but have now come to realise I went about completely wrong!

On Sunday night I sat down after my race with my printed out meal planner guide Laura sent us all.

Meal Planning sheet

Our freezer is out of action at the moment – it’s about 20 years old and has seen more than a couple of homes in it’s lifetime.  When we first moved in to our current home and were offered a free freezer from one of my Dad’s friends we did not turn it down.  Everything for the new house was so expensive, and we were still sitting on camping chairs in the lounge at the time!

However, now that the freezer has spent another three years of it’s life with us and requires defrosting every other day before it looks like this…

Frosty freezer

…we need to look at a new one.  With another move coming up it makes sense to hold out until we are settled into our new house.

Why am I mentioning this?  Because until recently I have been doing one big shop every 6-7 weeks and storing items in the freezer until we need them.  It’s not often we eat bread, and we use long life milk so the only top ups we ever really needed were a quick pop down to the local Co-op after work now and again for a couple of carrots, or pack of blueberries and we could always find a quick meal in the freezer if necessary.

Filling out Laura’s meal planner sheet I focused on fresh and healthy and I added a few new recipes in that I’ve not tried out before…

Dannii’s Lemon and Basil chicken
Laura’s Microwavable Double Chocolate Brownie Cookie
Stuffed peppers  << I’m using several recipes here to get an idea for fillings and cooking times.

There’s more new recipes to try over the next few weeks, but I don’t want to overload myself each week and forget the recipes we enjoyed.  A couple new each week is the plan!

Yesterday on the meal plan I had Vanilla yoghurt with a pear and some grapefruit chunks for breakfast.  It doesn’t look the most attractive but I enjoyed it!

Vanilla yoghurt with a pear and some grapefruit chunks

I wasn’t feeling overly hungry by lunchtime so downsized my salad to a side plate and had a tomato, some mixed leaves, a spring onion and sprinkled some Wensleydale and cranberry cheese on top.  I completely forgot I still had guacamole in the fridge and went with mayonnaise on the side, but it’s been a while since I had mayo with salad and I actually really enjoyed it.

Small salad

I had a bit of a panic over tea.  Dan had requested lasagne at the weekend so I added it to the plan on Sunday night.  I was pretty distracted as I was making it and layered it all up with the beef, tomato sauce, pasta, cheese sauce and placed it in the oven.  Went to set the timer and realised I hadn’t precooked the beef first.  I always fry the beef before adding it to the mix.  I had a bit of a panic, checked Google, but every cookery website mentioned prefrying the beef before starting.  I rang my Mum, who seemed to think that  45 minutes in the oven should be fine as the beef was covered in sauce so should be able to cook in that time.  I checked with Dan that he would indeed eat it and he seemed to think that you could be a little more relaxed with beef when it came to food poisoning as people order their steaks cooked to different degrees.  Not sure if this is true but it did make me relax a little.

Lasagne, flatbread and salad45 minutes later and it appeared to be cooked to perfection.  I added half a slice of tomato and garlic flatbread, some leaves and three cherry tomatoes but I was uncomfortably full by the end of the meal and probably should have left some for lunch today.

I thought I’d done a good job recovering what could have been a disastrous meal but at 3am this morning I found myself on the bathroom floor with the top of my stomach entirely cramped up making me dizzy and feeling sick.  I couldn’t lift my head or move without feeling like I was going to pass out or throw up.  Not fun!

I’m feeling better this morning and had a bit of a lay-in and managed breakfast, so hopefully I’ll be back to normal by lunchtime.

Dan seems fine so I’m not sure if it was my cooking (all reading material seems to suggest symptoms don’t appear until 24 hours after eating the food) but think I’ll stick to prefrying the beef in future just to be on the safe side!

Have you ever gotten food poisoning before?

15 thoughts on “Meal planning

    1. Yep, tested it out tonight and it’s already on my repeater list! :-)
      At our new house we will have a utility room for our freezer (amongst other things!) So hopefully we’ll not only be able to get one that works but a bigger one too!

    1. Glad it wasn’t just me. I just wanted someone or something to give me the go ahead yesterday that I could continue cooking the meal!
      I have a whole folder dedicated to your printouts just like you suggested! :-)

  1. I am a huge freezer user. I always have frozen veg, bread and meat in the freezer ready for easy meals. Even scrambled raw eggs!
    Ahh what a nightmare about the lasagne…I can’t imagine it was that that made you ill though if Dan was OK? And 45 mins is more than enough time to cook it. How odd though :-S Hope you feel better!
    Anna @AnnaTheApple recently posted…Bath, Bristol, a run and lots of foodMy Profile

    1. Feeling much better now thanks. It was so bizarre because I was in agony at 3am this morning with no prior warning. Guess I’ll never know…
      We did keep lots of meat in the freezer but I’ve bought all fresh this week. Still have our frozen peas in there, I figure I can put them straight into the microwave with the ice and use it to cook them in! Never heard of anyone freezing scrambled raw eggs before though! 😛

  2. Oh no- sorry to hear you were ill! Must have been something else though, if Dan was fine?
    I love meal-planning, we always do ours on Friday evening and go to the farm shop to buy everything for the week on Saturday.
    Your freezer does look a bit ‘snowy’- but makes sense to wait until you move!
    Lucy recently posted…Weekly Re-Cap 21My Profile

    1. I wish we had a farm shop near us and must remember to stop in at one on the way back from my parents’ at some point. I can definitely see the sense in meal planning. Saves so much time, money and waste!

  3. I definitely find that my weeks are better, less stressful and cheaper when I meal plan. Living on my own batch cooking is key, but I also like to give myself some easy ‘wild card’ options such as stir fry or omelette if I’m fancying something really fresh.

    1. Yes, I’ve noticed much less stress and it will hopefully work out cheaper as well. Despite planning for the week I think I overestimated just how much food I would need this week and I’ll still have plenty to work with for next week now as well.

  4. Oh poor you. I have had food poisoning before but they can’t normally tell how you got the bug (eg from eating or touching something)- we were on holiday once and Andy was so ill we had to call a doctor- they gave him the anti sickness injection but basically said he could have had food poisoning or it could have been something he touched (a hand rail etc)).
    I do freeze things, and then forget what they are- we cleaned out our freezer the other day and found things from 2012 in there!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Jantastic week 11My Profile

    1. Poor Andy – worst time to get sick – whilst on holiday. I hope it didn’t spoil your trip.
      You’ve had me freaking out about touching things for the past few hours. Lots of kids at school are ill at the moment and working on the same keyboards as them all day leaves me open to all sorts of germs. I need to keep myself at a distance until London!
      Hope some of your freezer food is still edible!

    1. That’s what I was like last year but I found it quite stressful getting back from work or a run at 8:15 and realising I had no clue what we were going to eat that night!

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