Week 3 Family Friendly Meals

Week 3 Family Friendly Meals


Hi everyone,

I hope that you are enjoying the recipes so far.

Sketch out a plan for main meals for the week.  I find getting the kids involved here works a treat, stick the meal plan up on the fridge.  That way, everyone knows what’s for dinner each day.  More importantly,  the kids have been involved in the decisions so if they start to complain about the choices on any given day, you can smugly remind them of this point.  A little negotiation might be necessary, I usually allow each child to nominate their favourite dinner and the rest is made up of key staple meals.

You can build your shopping list around these meals which means you won’t find yourself at a loss for what to make for dinner each night, you’ll be more organised, waste and arguments will be minimised.  A win win situation!

For Week 3 recipes, we have 3 fish dishes, 2 chicken meals, 1 using minced beef and 1 veggie dish.

Week 3 Evening Meals

Shopping List for Week 3

Salmon Fillets with Honey and Soy Sauce Dressing

The omega 3 rich oily fish are so important to our diets and numerous studies have shown their active components EPA and DHA to be beneficial for optimal brain, hormonal and skin health.   The oil rich fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout and fresh tuna also contain selenium, zinc and Vitamin D.

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 salmon fillets

Salt and pepper

Combine honey, soy sauce, lemon juice, mustard and water in a medium size bowl. Heat oil in a small pan until hot but not smoking.
Place fillets in pan and cook 2 – 3 minutes on each side until golden or just cooked through.

Remove fillets place them on 2 dishes.  Pour honey mixture onto pan and simmer for 1 minute.  Pour sauce over salmon fillets.

Serve on a bed of  brown basmati rice or with baby boiled potatoes and a side of veg such as pan fried asparagus and steamed carrots.

Moroccan Chicken Tagine

 Not strictly necessary to have a tagine, a saucepan will do the job!  A good way to get using your storecupboard spices.  This will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for  day or 2, this dish would go well with some rice, quinoa or baby potatoes.

 Serves 4

1 tsp ground black pepper

½ tbsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground coriander

1 tsp turmeric

½ tsp ground ginger

750g/1lb 6oz chicken diced

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion chopped

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

300ml veg stock

75g/2.5 oz raisins soaked and drained (optional)

1 tbsp honey

Optional garnish – flaked almonds and fresh chopped coriander

Mix the black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, coriander and turmeric with  3 tbsp water and marinate the chicken for about an hour.  Heat the olive oil in the frying pan.  Drain chicken and sauté until lightly browned.  Transfer to a saucepan (or tagine if you have one).  Add onion to frying pan and cook until soft, but not brown.  Add the garlic and cook lightly.  Transfer everything to saucepan.

Deglaze the frying pan with a little stock and pour over the chicken adding the marinade spices.  Cover with stock and bring to the boil.  Cover the pan and simmer for about half an hour.  Add the raisins and honey. With pan uncovered cook for about another 10 minutes to reduce and thicken the sauce.  Sprinkle the toasted almonds and the chopped coriander over the tagine before serving.

 Fish Cakes with a Kick

This recipe makes 6-8 cakes depending on size.  These can be made in advanced and stored in the fridge for a day or 2 .

If I’m making these for the kids,  I leave out the chilli.  Personally, I love a bit of ‘heat’ but them not so much.  You could also substitute the coriander for parsley.

These can be frozen so you could make a batch and freeze enough for a second family meal.

 1 tbsp olive oil

Half an onion, finely chopped

1 egg yolk

Salt and pepper

1 beaten egg

2 chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

1 bunch coriander

500g chopped fish – best to mix salmon and haddock for texture, flavour and nutritional value – steamed for 15-20 minutes until cooked

3 medium to large floury potatoes, mashed with some butter

Strong white flour/wholemeal flour

Fresh breadcrumbs (from good quality wholemeal bread)

Heat a pan and add the olive oil, onions and chillies. Cover and sweat over a gentle heat for 4-5 minutes until soft.

Mix the sautéed onions, chillies, mashed potato, fish, coriander and egg yolk in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Form the mix into fish cakes, about the size of the palm of your hand and 2cm thick.

Coat each fish cake in flour, then beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs.

Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Heat a pan with a little olive oil, put fishcakes in and when golden on both sides, turn the heat down and cook for 5 minutes.

Serve with a wedge of lemon and a fresh green salad or steamed green beans and broccoli.

Simple Savoury Mince

This was a regular meal in our house growing up. It is a basic recipe. You can add anything else you feel like to this recipe to make it go further, for example, peas, carrots or celery, whatever you have left in the fridge before doing your weekly shop.  A good one for the freezer. 

1 tablespoon melted butter or 1 tablespoon oil

1 onion, finely chopped

500g minced beef

1 cup water

1 beef stock cube

14teaspoon freshly minced garlic

1 pinch each of rosemary, thyme, oregano and parsley

1 dash Worcestershire sauce(about a dessertspoon)

1 teaspoon gravy mix

salt and pepper

1 teaspoon cornflour (if needed to thicken the mince)

Heat butter or oil in a large pan, add onion and garlic.

Sauté until onion is transparent.

Increase heat, add mince and dash of Worcestershire sauce- stir often to break up the lumps of mince and cook until mince has browned.

Drain fat or liquid residue.

Add the crumbed stock cube, herbs, gravy powder, salt and pepper.

Make sure the gravy powder is combined with the mince so it does not go lumped when the water is added.

Slowly add the water to the mince mixture stirring all the time.

Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

If mince needs thickening add a little cornflour (ie 1 tsp) in water to the mix to thicken.

Serve with mashed regular or sweet potato and steamed vegetables.

One Pan Baked Fish

A healthy dinner using just one baking tray to cook!  Throw all of the ingredients on, sprinkle over seasoning and herbs and bang in the oven.   Easy prep – easy clean up – Happy Mom.

450g waxy potatoes

Olive oil

2 red onions, cut into wedges

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tomatoes, sliced

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Leaves from 2 tarragon sprigs

4 skinless white fish fillets such as haddock or cod

Juice of a lemon

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Peel and slice the potatoes and layer in a roasting tin.

Drizzle with olive oil, dot with butter and season. Roast for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan over a low heat and fry the onions for 5 minutes.

Add garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Pile onto the potatoes, then top with tomatoes, parsley, tarragon sprigs and fish fillets. Drizzle with olive oil and the juice of 1 lemon.

Season well, top with lemon slices and bake for 10-12 minutes until the fish is cooked through.


Easy Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

This is a good way to get kids to eat broccoli, once it’s mixed in with the cheese and pasta they don’t tend to make a fuss.  The cruciferous veg broccoli is a great source of Vitamin C (a good immune support nutrient) and Vitamin K (need for bone health) aswell as supporting the liver detoxification pathways.

This dish is so quick and simple to make and is freezable too.

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 onion diced

2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp.)
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1 16oz bag of wholemeal pasta shells
4 cups broccoli (or one head of broccoli)
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large pot. Add chicken breasts, season with salt and pepper, and allow the chicken to brown on one side.

Flip chicken, then add onions and garlic as the second side browns. Once the chicken has browned on both sides, add chicken broth, water, and pasta to the pot.

Stir all ingredients, cover the pot with a lid, and bring to a boil. When it begins to boil, uncover and stir. Bring the heat to low, stir, then cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes has passed, uncover and add in the broccoli. Stir continually as the broccoli steams until the rest of the liquid evaporates. Add milk and cheddar cheese and stir until the cheese melts and you have a smooth cheese sauce. Add salt and pepper (to taste), cayenne, and nutmeg. Stir once more, then you’re ready to serve. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato, Spinach and Chickpea Curry

This is a cheap and easy vegetarian dish. You could add chopped cauliflower, red pepper or aubergine before the sweet potato if you like.  To make it non vegetarian,  throw in shredded cooked chicken with the tomatoes or prawns or white fish pieces 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time. 

Chickpeas are a great source of fibre and a good source of plant protein and iron

2 red onions

3 tablespoons rogan josh paste

1 fresh red chilli

3cm piece of ginger

1 bunch of fresh coriander

3 sweet potatoes

1 x 400 g tin chickpeas

8 ripe tomatoes or 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 x 400 ml tin light coconut milk

400 g pre-washed spinach

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.

Peel, finely slice and add the onion along with the curry paste, mix well, then cook for 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and golden, stirring occasionally.

Finely chop the chilli, then peel and finely grate the ginger. Pick the coriander leaves and finely slice the stalks. Chop the sweet potatoes into 2cm chunks.

Add the chilli, ginger, coriander stalks and sweet potato to the softened onion. Drain and tip in the chickpeas, then cook for 5 minutes.

Roughly chop and add the fresh tomatoes (if using) or tip in the tinned tomatoes. Add 200ml of water and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer, then cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the lid, then cook for a further 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sweet potato is cooked through and the sauce thickened.

Stir in the coconut milk and cook for a couple of minutes, then stir in the spinach and cook until wilted.




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