Diaries Magazine

New Year, New Meal Plan!

Posted on the 11 January 2021 by Sparklesandstretchmarks @raine_fairy
Well there's nothing like a fresh new year to inspire positive change is there?! After a bumpy path out of the utter shit show that was 2020, I'm feeling more then ready to embrace a new routine.
Meal planning always helps things to run more smoothly around here, so let's start as we mean to go on.
Here's what's on the menu this week...please note that there's distinct lack of meat this week. We're not doing Veganuary this year but I just feel a bit off meat in general, so I'm leaning more toward veggie options:
Avocado & mixed cheese salad
Not the most warming of dishes given the cold snap we're having, but I feel very much drawn to healthy options right now after the indulgence of December and have been craving avocado particularly...which is a bit odd as I'm not usually a big fan. I blame Instagram.
We also REALLY need to use up all of the leftover Christmas cheese because the fridge is starting to smell deeply unpleasant.
Country Veg Pie, Mash & Peas
I'd love to say that this is some hearty family winter pie recipe...and maybe it is! But not mine...Linda McCartney's. I like their pies, and it makes for a quick and easy dinner that everyone will eat with minimal complaining...works for me!
Potato & Leek Soup with Crusty Rolls
I bought a soup blender a few months back and have yet to use it, so it really is high time I make a soup - what better time than winter?!
I saw a yummy recipe for this soup on my friends Pippa's Instagram page, and I'm really excited to give it a go. We'll be having it with part baked crusty rolls.
New Year, New Meal Plan!

This is something that none of us have ever tried before, but it looks like a brilliant cold-weather comfort dish!
I'll be following this recipe from Jack Monroe's blog...will feed back what we think next week, but I mean...it's cheese and pasta, how wrong can it really go?!
Creamy Brussel Sprout Pasta Bake
One of my favorite ever meals is chicken amalfi served with fettucine, but as I'm feeling off meat right now I thought I'd try to follow the usual recipe but replace the chicken with sprouts instead.
I love brussel sprouts, and I had a particularly lovely sprout pasta dish at an Italian restaurant last Christmas...so I thought we'd give it a try. Luckily for me, all of my kids love Brussel sprouts as much as I do!
Make Your Own Gyros
We're doing an Ancient Greece topic with our home learning right now, and I usually try to tie in a dinner with our topic whenever I can - the kids enjoy it and they like to get involved in the cooking process too.
So I thought we'd try gyros as I have some new kebab skewers to use. The kids will have chicken, and I'll stick with some nice grilled halloumi along with warmed flatbreads, tzatziki, olives, salad and chips of course!
Slow Cooker Sausage & Lentil Casserole With Mini Jackets
I saw this recipe on My Fussy Eater and thought it looked like a nice, healthy, minimal fuss meal - we'll use veggie sausages, and serve with baby potatoes done as mini jacket spuds. Delicious!
Wine Of The Week
If you followed our meal plans last year, you'll know that Jon & I have recently started getting quite in to wine and we like to treat ourselves to a nice bottle for the weekend.
This week, after browsing through the Independent Wines e-shop, we're trying the Montecillo Rioja Crianza 2016 - its a double gold medal winner and has won some outstanding reviews, so we're very much looking forward to it. It's said to be a delicious soft rioja with notes of plum and dark chocolate, and is aged for 18 months in American Oak barrels to give it a complex and balanced taste.
We're using Independent Wine for our weekly treats - they offer a hand picked selection of  Italian wines for those who want to find something special but don't have the time (or, in our case, the experience) to search for it. Their knowledge base  is very insightful and informative for new Wine fans like ourselves, as it's packed full of information and articles from how to pick the perfect bottle of wine to how to pair it or even cook with it.What wines would you personally recommend?
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