Meal Plan – adapting carb free for the family
Because Athol (my husband) is on a carb free diet but the kids are not (I sort of am too), this week I’ve had to prepare separate dishes some nights. This has meant quite a bit of extra prep, at the time of the day when I have the least patience and energy. It’s much quicker and easier to boil a pot of pasta or rice to accompany a dish (ok for the kids but not for him) than to chop up and stir fry a medley of Mediterranean vegetables (great for him but ‘gross’ for the kids) and time consuming to have to do both!
It took me a few days to realise that I could outsource some of the less onerous cooking duties – Athol and the kids are willing chef assistants, provided I don’t have a Gordon Ramsey moment when things don’t go my way. And apart from the fact that I actually love the veggies myself, it’s been good for the kids to have to try and eat things they wouldn’t normally pick for themselves. Cooking and prepping the food has taught them to appreciate and enjoy it too.
Some disturbing statistics came out in the news this week on grocery spending in Ireland. Parents are spending twice as much on junk food than they are on vegetables per week – and junk food is cheap here! That possibly goes to show why this country is struggling with one of the highest obesity rates in Europe and the world. I’m a firm believer in creating your own normal around the food you eat as the best way to get children to try and get used to a wider array of healthy foods and vegetables.
If my kids say they don’t like something, I give them a small piece to try every single time I make it, without a fuss. I don’t like stress around meal times so I try my absolute hardest to keep calm. (Some days a glass of wine is my fall back plan although sadly not so much lately as it’s CHOCK full of carbs!!).
So what’s cooking this week?
This week we have guests coming over for dinner and I’d like to make them something tasty but not too complicated. The slow cooker is ideal for this and my lovely friend Hazel, who is the first person I’d say yes to if I ever get a dinner invite, helpfully pointed me to this wonderful website called The Recipe Critic. It’s filled with delicious looking and scrummy sounding recipes. The Beef Barbacoa below is from the site.
Alt in bracket refers to the alternative options I’ve made to replace the carbs for that night.
- Sunday: Baked Ham, baked potatoes, green beans, Caprese salad (Alt butternut squash)
- Monday: Smoked peppered mackerel, green salad, new potatoes (Alt with avo, cottage cheese and feta)
- Tuesday: Chicken breast with (half tin) coconut milk and lime, sweet potato wedges, broccoli, carrots
- Wednesday: Stir fried bacon and kale, fusilli pasta with olive oil and Parmesan, beetroot and feta salad (Alt mixed Mediterranean vegetables)
- Thursday: Lasagne (Alt aubergine instead of pasta in one smaller dish)
- Friday: Fowl Pie, which is turkey mince cottage pie – dunno what the correct name for this is! Peas, sweetcorn (Alt courgette, thyme and lemon with butter)
- Saturday: Beef Barbacoa with wraps and salad (Alt cauliflower rice – cauliflower cooked in (other half tin) coconut milk and mashed with butter.
Once again this week you can’t go wrong with buying lots of fresh vegetables, try something you’ve never bought before!
- Medium Smoked Ham
- Caprese Salad ingredients (tomatoes and mozzarella)
- Smoked peppered mackerel fillets
- Cheese including cottage, feta, Parmesan, mozzarella and cheddar)
- Chicken Breasts
- Coconut milk
- Limes (at least 4 for two recipes)
- Sweet potatoes
- Vegetables including carrots, broccoli, peas, sweetcorn, cauliflower, aubergine, onions beetroot, kale, green beans and courgette
- Bacon rashers
- Fusilli Pasta
- Beef mince
- Tinned tomatoes or passata (x2 for two meals)
- Tomato paste
- Turkey Mince
- Beef brisket or house keeper’s cut
- Sour cream or plain Greek yoghurt
Download your free printable meal plan and shopping list here: Family meal plan mixed carb/non carb
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