I have become so fed up with our regular menus. It’s Monday so it’s chicken curry. It’s Tuesday, so it’s pasta and tomato sauce. It’s Wednesday, so it’s sausages and mash. Baked potatoes, daal and rice, pizza, chicken goujons and chips. Yawn, yawn, yawn. It has got to the point that I don’t like any of those meals any more. Even pizza.
I am now doing something about it. I have pulled out my trusty The Kitchen Revolution book, and am cooking most of ‘January Week 2’. If you haven’t met this book before, it is designed as a set of 48 weekly meal plans. There is definitely no regular repetition!
The meal plans are arranged four weeks per month, with six meals each week. One of the meals is suitable for freezing, and is made as a double portion, so that if you’ve been using the system for a while, your seventh meal can be a defrost and re-heat from a previous week. There is one big, complicated, several hours to cook meal, but then two which use leftovers from that meal. They try to include seasonal produce, but these cooks are obviously not located in the middle of nowhere, and there’s no chance of only shopping at Aldi with this system.
Yesterday we had Roast Chicken with Fruit and Nut Stuffing, Mujaddara and Lemon Carrots.
The first instruction was to peel and slice the eight onions the recipe required. This is where the timing first went a bit wrong. Note to any chefs planning on writing a cookery book: Most people can’t peel and chop an onion in 20 seconds. Please factor it in to the time! It was all good from then. The stuffing was wonderful – a proper fruit and nut filled load of deliciousness. Apricots and almonds, walnuts and raisins, lemon and spices. The chicken itself was smeared in a paste of herbs and spices, and chucked in the oven. After an hour and a half, it came out perfect. The skin was crispy, the meat was cooked, yet still moist. Fabulous.
Mujaddara is something I had never heard of before. It is a mix of caramelized onions, brown lentils and bulghar wheat. I made a huge pot of this. The fact it used the remaining six onions might give an indication of how much there was! It was quite nice, but I probably wouldn’t bother to make it too often.
The lemon carrots were super, and really simple and quick. I’ll be doing this again.
Of course the real test of the meal is Who ate it? I did, of course, and loved it. Mr PC did, and loved it. Miss 10 ate some of the chicken, which is amazing, real progress, seeing as it had been in contact with the stuffing, and the stuffing wasn’t Paxo. She did ask for it to be washed first, but took my refusal calmly. Miss 8 ate the carrots. Mr 4 ate everything but the mujaddara. That’s quite good going for us with an interesting meal. No-one went completely hungry.
Sadly, none of the children liked the mujaddara. A double shame, as that was a major component of tonight’s meal: Baked Butternut Squash with Ricotta, and Chicory and Little Gem Salad. The squash was stuffed with left-over mujaddara mixed with ricotta and some more herbs. Today all three kids have gone to bed hungry.