The changeable weather at this time of year is definitely making meal planning a bit more challenging….
The weather makes it difficult to know what to plan for tea at the moment! If I plan ahead for a roast dinner at the weekend, and then the sun comes out then everyone wants something lighter than a full on Sunday dinner because, let’s face it, no-one fancies a big roast dinner while the sun’s shining (or at least we don’t).
I’ve been quite vague with my meal planning lately to combat the changing weather that we’re seeing at the moment. By vague I mean that I’ll write a main ingredient, like chicken down on my meal plan for one night but I won’t decide how I’m actually going to cook the chicken until the day itself. I can get away with doing this as as I know I have a good enough storecupboard to turn something into a meal that’s light and Summery or into one that’s hearty and warming.
Let me show you what I mean with a few examples….
If we want something light and Summery to eat then I’ll make something like chicken souvlaki kebabs and pitta bread:
Or I could make some spicy chicken with homemade Nandos style spicy rice with some chips or even better, some homemade flatbread because anything in wraps is perfect for a warm day:
Miss Frugal makes an amazing homemade coleslaw that’s always a popular option on the side when it’s warm outside. She also makes a lovely quick potato salad that she learned at school in tech, she just boils some potatoes and tosses them in a mix of mayo and olive oil, with a clove of crushed garlic. If you’re not a fan of mayo then there’s plenty of other potato salad recipes out there that don’t include mayo.
As another alternative to potatoes, I might cook some rice or couscous and add lovely Summery extras like sun-dried tomatoes, olives or peppers to give our meal a bit of a Mediterranean vibe. We also love corn on the cob which is great value at this time of year and always popular with the kids.
When the weather’s not so good outside and we want something a bit more warming then I’ll make something like our favourite chicken soup which is half soup and half stew. This is honestly the BEST comfort food around and is perfect when it’s cold and miserable outside:
My other standby chicken meal is fakeaway chicken chow mein but that takes a little bit of planning. I’ve recently discovered frozen red onion which is great value and great for this meal but until I can get frozen bean sprouts and frozen green peppers (not mixed with red as they’re evil) then I’ll need a quick trip to the shop for this one which is why we haven’t had it in ages!
Do you see what I mean now? I can make my main ingredient, chicken in this case, into meals that will suit any weather and any mood. Of course, these are only some of the ways you can serve up a chicken to your evening family meal. Check out this Deliveroo blog article for further inspiration.
As a side note, I only recently dared to cook a full chicken in the oven! I used to be so scared of food poisoning everyone that I overcooked it to the point it was dry and not that nice. This is the post I ready that showed me what I should be doing just in case you have a chicken cooking issue too!
I hope you found this useful, I might do the same with a few of the other things I do this with – mince, fish and pasta are other examples and I can easily share some of the meal options for those ingredients in the same way?
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