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Hi, looking forward to meeting new people and getting help and ideas here. I’ve got stuck in a teatime rut and wondering what do you cook for tea on week nights? Even our dog is bored of pasta bake and jacket potato! :-)

I know this feeling so well! New additions to our weekly meal plan are all Asian inspired - Thai red curry with tofu, Nasi Goreng and stir fry. I need this post too. Looking forward to hearing others’ favourites…

I am a meal planner, planning a meal around a veg bag that I have delivered once a week from a local farm co-op.  The bag is always full of seasonal, locally grown veg.  This makes my planning so much easier as I don’t have to decide what veg I want each week!  I spend about a hour once a week planning what we will have and planning what I need to do in advance too, like soaking and cooking beans, getting things out of the freezer etc.  We eat a mostly veggie diet.  I am vegetarian, the rest of my family eat meat but I don’t cook it that often, maybe two or three times a month.

One day a week we are home late and then have to go out again about an hour later.  Before I go out I chop up a load of veggies, whatever I have to hand, and put them in a lidded oven proof dish, throw some beans in (I soak and cook mine but a tin would do), sprinkle some flour on the veg and mix, add in favourings current favourites a pinch of chilli powder and a tablespoon of smoked paprika and mix, then add stock or just water and mix.  I put this in the oven at 140°C and when I get home four hours later I have a meal ready to eat.  If you have a slow cooker you could use that instead.

We have a curry/spicy dish once a week made with either a veg base or bean/pulses base.  In the past few weeks we have a Goan black eye bean dish, chick pea Dahl, egg curry and saag aloo.

I got a really good salad book for Christmas last year and try and make at least one salad a week, in the summer this was one a day!  It is a great book with winter and Autumn salads as well as summer ones.  We are loving roast beetroot and feta salad, a green bean salad (very simple - steam beans until just al dente, cool by running cold water over them and drain, make a vineagrette with oil, vinegar, garlic and dill pour over and add small pieces of cheese the recipe called for Swiss type cheese so whatever you like), haricot bean salad and squash, chickpea, and spinach salad at the moment.

I often make a pie of some sort each week, usually at the weekend when I have more time, quiche is a firm favourite here, we have also recently had Russian Carrot Pie, Onion Pie and Feta and Lentil Pastie.  A quick ‘pie’ can be made with puff pastry, I use that for my feta and lentil pastie making one huge pastie with a whole block.  Or you can use it as a base for a tart, slow cook onions in butter and then grate some goats cheese and sprinkle over the onions cook in oven for ten minutes or so on 200°C until cheese is melted and pastry is cooked.  There are loads of toppings you could use, or use it to make pizza!

Now I am feeling hungry!

I batch cook and freeze, (fish pie and cottage pie recently), prep what I can beforehand - so I chopped the veg yesterday for this evenings tea. frozen chopped onions are also great for those days you don’t have much time.

I also like to make a really big pot of bolognese with lots of onion, tinned tomatoes, grated carrot, and either mince or lentils (or both). Good as is on pasta or jacket potato, or as the base for cottage pie (if I’m doing mashed potatoes I do double, then use the leftovers on something like this the next night), can also add beans and spices to make an easy chilli, and serve with rice or flatbread.

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