Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Monthly Menu Plan - April/May


Beans

Late last year, in the Christmas sales, I bought myself a slow/fast cooker, hoping that this final purchase would serve us well in our Year of Green Frugality. Four months into using this wonder machine (which is a pressure cooker and slow cooker in one), and I am pleased as punch (hmm? wonder if I could use it to make punch?) to announce that when it comes to saving money and time whilst also creating amazing meals, the fast/slow cooker gets an A+!


Every other Monday I use the slow cooker component to make a casserole. The quantity it makes is enough to serve 8 people - or, feed us one night, with plenty put in the freezer for another, plus left-overs for lunch! I usually bulk up the recipes with extra root vegetables/beans/lentils, and then serve them with some sort of grain like couscous, quinoa, brown rice... you get the idea. One meal equalling many mouths fed is the sort of equation that makes me happy indeed.


I've also been using it to cook all manner of pulses in the pressure cooker component. Not only is this the cheapest way of cooking pulses (especially when you buy them in bulk from the local bulk bin store), but it is saving the use of tins, which pleases the greenie inside me greatly! In fact, I've become the sort of sad person who is constantly scouring the internet for recipes involving turtle beans or chickpeas, just so I have an excuse to pull out my favourite kitchen appliance!


Now, having read over my waxing lyrical, I can guess that some of you are wondering if this is a sponsored post. Not at all, I can assure you. I am just really happy with my fast/slow cooker, and wanted to share with you all how useful I have found it. It did cost a little bit to buy, but it's already saved us lots of money - and time in the kitchen! If I could send it a bunch of flowers to thank it for it's service, I would!

Ok, enough blathering - on to the menu plan!


Week One:
Monday - Lemony lentil soup with crispy kale
Tuesday - Lamb and chickpea stew on couscous
Wednesday - Black eyed bean and vegetable soup
Thursday - Lentil cottage pies with buttered corn cobs
Friday - Tofu burgers with spiced wedges
Saturday - Sichuan gai lan with brown rice
Sunday - Moroccan sweet potato bake


Week Two:
Monday - Ribolitta
Tuesday - Spiced chicken tagine with dates and chickpeas
Wednesday - Paneer and vegetable curry on brown rice
Thursday - Roasted sweet potato, pea and zucchini risotto with rocket salad
Friday - Roast chicken
Saturday - Out for dinner...yay, night off!
Sunday - Thick vegetable soup


Week Three:
Monday - Cardamom pumpkin soup with Italian scones
Tuesday - Red wine stew with polenta
Wednesday - Spiced vegetable pilaf
Thursday - Pea soup with cheese toasties
Friday - Mascarpone and bacon pasta with green salad
Saturday - Spinach and ricotta cannelloni
Sunday - Chorizo, vegetable and black bean soup


Week Four:
Monday - Tuna meat balls with spaghetti and green salad
Tuesday - Massaman beef curry
Wednesday - Spinach and corn pasties with garden salad
Thursday - Spinach, bacon and tomato risotto with rocket salad
Friday - Vegetable macaroni and cheese with green salad

28 comments:

  1. Ok, I love beans/pulses, I love winter foods, I love one pot cooking. I'm guessing I'd love a slow cooker, right? Pass on the model recommendation please

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the one I use, Lightning: http://www.breville.com.au/the-fast-slow-cooker.html

      I LOVE IT!

      Delete
  2. I'm intrigued by this: I love my pressure cooker, it cooks pulses fast, good when I've forgotten, lots of dal and bean dishes. Our slow cooker? Less love and much less use! We were given a it when we got married and we've used it maybe once in each of the subsequent 3 years. Like you, I think, were almost, or at least bar the fish, veggie, and slow cooker recipes are meaty, or faster in the pressure cooker. I also found slow cooker recipes end up tasting bland or textureless. That probably means these dishes overcooked, but that's because they go on when I leave the house for work...

    Any suggestions anyone, or fav foolproof slow cooker recipes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mostly use the Australian Women's Weekly Slow Cooker recipes books - each recipe I have tried from these has turned out great!

      Delete
  3. I'm intrigued by this: I love my pressure cooker, it cooks pulses fast, good when I've forgotten, lots of dal and bean dishes. Our slow cooker? Less love and much less use! We were given a it when we got married and we've used it maybe once in each of the subsequent 3 years. Like you, I think, were almost, or at least bar the fish, veggie, and slow cooker recipes are meaty, or faster in the pressure cooker. I also found slow cooker recipes end up tasting bland or textureless. That probably means these dishes overcooked, but that's because they go on when I leave the house for work...

    Any suggestions anyone, or fav foolproof slow cooker recipes?

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is by far my favorite slow cooker recipe:
    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/slow-cooker-soy-citrus-chicken.html

    I did brown the chicken thighs first but I'm going to try skipping that next time. The chicken was super flavorful and the salad/noodle mix was easy and made it feel fresh.

    We also really liked this one from cooking light:
    http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-thighs-with-olives-tomato-sauce

    I can't wait to try that tuna ball recipe and the pasties.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Our slow cooker has been getting some use recently too. Pulses are being added to everything too. Barley is my current favourite. Barley salad, in soups and even in our Moroccan beef stew last night! . Yum

    ReplyDelete
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