This week’s meal plan – a walk on the wild side

How many different meals do you cook at your place? I love this stat that in British homes, the average number of meals is just six – and they’re eaten every week. Probably even on the same night!

I suspect it’s a case of tired parents serving up what they know will be eaten. Which is totally understandable, but it does make introducing new foods incredibly tricky. To avoid the ‘but I don’t eat that’ argument from the kids, try to keep your weekly meal list varied and attempt something new at least once a week. Your chances of success will be highest by keeping the new dinners in the realm of some current favourites. If they like spag bol, try out a lasagna. If they like lasagna, try some cannelloni. If they like pizza, try quesadillas etc etc. Familiar enough, but slowly moving them into different areas.

With that in mind, this week’s meal plan is full of dishes that you might not normally consider, but I highly recommend, both in terms of flavour and interest.

Meat-free Monday, try out some vegetarian bolognaise.

Vegie Smugglers vegetarian bolognaise

This is a simple one-pot pasta sauce that not only hides veg but IS all veg.

Bring paprika into their pallettes, with some beef goulash.

Finish up winter with this delicious dish.

Cook this in either a slow cooker or in the oven.

Sneak in a serve of fish with these salmon filo cigars.

Crunch, yum. Crunch, YUM. Feet still cold though.

Crunch, yum. Crunch, YUM.

Take the curry challenge with this creamy & mild chicken curry.

Parents can add chilli & coriander.

Parents can add chilli & coriander.

Relax. Drink wine. Make toasties or scrambled eggs, then give them fruit icecream.

Nothing bad, the all-fruit ice-cream

Nothing bad, the all-fruit ice-cream

Going well team! Today’s challenge – pork & tofu!

Ma po dofu dish

This kid-friendly ma po dofu smuggles tofu, carrots and capsicum

Ok, you’re done. Keep everyone happy with burgers (well, lentil burgers, actually).

lentil burger recipe

Freeze these patties individually, wrapped in cling wrap.

Would your family eat any of these? And how many meals are on your current roster of dinners? I’d be curious to know.

And don’t forget, you can buy the Vegie Smugglers Meal Plans e-book for your ipad or kindle, here.

15 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    It all looks great! Lots of good ideas. I did think “they won’t eat that” in my head for a few of these but there’s no harm in trying..

    • 2

      wendyblume said,

      maybe not all in one week… but sometimes my kids will surprise me. I’ll plop down something quite different and they’ll be into it! I think I get about a 50/50 success rate.

      • 3

        Chrissy said,

        What do they usually have Wendy if they don’t eat what you serve?

      • 4

        wendyblume said,

        If I’m trying out something really crazy and I’m unsure that they’ll have it, then I make sure I have some fresh bread on hand. They can have that with some cream cheese or avocado on it. And a banana or extra yoghurt. I won’t make anything else ‘just in case’ – if they know that there’s something else they’d prefer, then they’ll eat that, not the new thing I want them to try.

        And I make sure that the new things is something that my husband and I are happy eating, so that I never feel as though I’m totally wasting my time. 🙂

  2. 5

    Peta said,

    Fantastic ideas. My daughter is all grown up with her own family but I love your recipes because we get sick of steamed vegs etc so by ‘smuggling’ them into a dish, we’re getting all the nutrients and variety at the same time. Plus, I really appreciate that you do all the work for me….choosing the menu and giving the recipe. I only have to shop and cook!!! Thank you Wendy,
    Peta 🙂

  3. 7

    Jodie said,

    I think I’m the opposite, there is usually only one or two familiar meals a week. I have too many cookbooks and read too many food blogs! Your lentil burgers were already on our menu this week! I tried them out a few weeks ago and they were a hit. At 7 and 4 they will turn their noses up at things but generally they will give things ago. Spicy soup (tom yum) is a favourite. I only wish they liked sushi!

    • 8

      wendyblume said,

      Wow, that’s amazing that they’ll have a huge range of stuff but not sushi! That’s like my nephew who won’t eat hot chips – WHAT KID WON’T EAT HOT CHIPS!

      What’s your current favourite cookbook?

      • 9

        Jodie said,

        I think its the seaweed! Need to try the rice on the outside. Favourite cook book is a hard question, I seem to rotate. I just got a copy of ‘Real Mexican Food’ after a friend gave me a bag of Mexican corn flour, so that’s where we’re headed next.

      • 10

        wendyblume said,

        yum! I tried out a few moles in the slow cooker last year, but didn’t find one i really loved. sounds good.

        maybe try some rice balls?

  4. 11

    Jodi said,

    My 4yo would eat most of these without too much trouble. I usually wait till he is going through a growth spurt to try anything that I think is really out there! He is so hungry at these times that he eats just about anything, lol!

    • 12

      wendyblume said,

      I’m a big fan of using their hunger to your advantage!

      • 13

        Jodi said,

        I agree. I really moderate the time and amount of any afternoon snack to keep him hungry. I think we may be in for another one growth spurt as he ate Quinoa burgers tonight without any complaint!

  5. 14

    Carlie said,

    For the past few months I have become quite addicted to trying a new recipe nearly every night… I have become quite good at trying something new at least once before I decide me or my family wont like it and it has led to many new family favourites 🙂 ! My poor recipe folder is overflowing… every time I have a surplus of an ingredient in the fridge/cupboard I research recipes containing that ingredient and add to my “to try” pile!

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