What I Eat In A Week (1)

Good morning!  As a mum and ostomate I look for healthy meals for the family which are stoma friendly.  I am a keen cook and enjoy  sharing recipes as you will see under my RECIPE section.

I thought sharing my meal plans with you may help both ostomates and parents alike.  All the meals I plan and post will be kid tested and using a range of different methods, ingredients and inspiration for diversity.  I will also pop up tips for ostomates on making these meals stoma friendly and hopefully avoiding the dreaded blockage!  I may not post every week but aim to do at least one of these posts every month so you can see what we have been eating and enjoying.

Why I Meal Plan

I like to meal plan as I think it is most useful when it comes to shopping.  As I like to try out new recipes, knowing what I am cooking for the week means I can write a shopping list with all the ingredients I need.  Nothing gets forgotten and I also keep to a budget much easier as I am not picking up bits here and there.  I find I have less waste too which is always good.  I also freeze any extra portions, especially when I am cooking for just myself.  These can be really handy for when I am really busy or not feeling too great.  I still have a home cooked meal which only needs defrosting and heating up.

My Meal Plan

Weekly Meal Plan

Monday

Today I made Dublin Coddle for the first time.  I get a lot of cooking inspiration from Pinterest and then just fiddle with the recipes to suit me!

For this recipe you will need:

Packet of bacon lardons

8 sausages

2 bay leaves

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 onions, diced

4 tsps chopped parsley (use dried if you don’t have fresh)

Potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tbsp plain flour

Pepper

1 can Guiness

How To Make It
  1. In a large saucepan, cook the bacon until crisp (about 5 minutes)
  2. Remove onto kitchen towel to absorb the moisture
  3. Leave the oil from the bacon in the pan and brown the sausages.  Remove onto a chopping board and cut into chunks
  4. Reduce the heat to low and whisk the flour into the meat juices
  5. Cook for about two minutes, whisking constantly and then remove from the heat
  6. Whisk in the Guinness
  7. Add in the potatoes, onions, sausage chunks, bacon, herbs and a dash of pepper
  8. Leave on a low heat on the hob with a lid on for around 1 hour
  9. Serve with bread and butter

Ostomates – onion can affect some people’s stomas.  I dice my onions really finely to help avoid issues

Note – I added a tbsp of gravy granules to help thicken it up and add some flavour.  Use if needed/wanted

Note – If you would rather not use alcohol, swap the Guinness for the equivalent amount of stock (vegetable or meat)

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Tuesday

This morning I got some amazing news – I passed my degree module this year and am working at a 2.1 level.  We decided that a special breakfast of French Toast was in order – here’s the recipe!

You will need

These can be adapted depending on how much you want to make

8 slices of bread

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

250ml milk (use whichever type you normally would)

Sugar

What To Do
  1. Whisk the eggs
  2. Stir in the milk, cinnamon and vanilla extract
  3. Dip a slice of bread in the eggy mixture (coating both sides) and place in a hot frying pan (I use coconut spray oil but you can also use butter) on a medium heat
  4. Cook on both sides until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes)
  5. Serve sprinkled with some sugar.  You can also use syrup or honey and I always add fruit too!

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For tea I made another of our favourites – macaroni cheese.  I use the Asda fresh cheese sauce and mix it with pasta and some cut up hotsog dausages (or the Mattesson’s sausage).  I will also often add some peas or some chopped broccoli.

Wednesday

Tonight was another one of the boys favourites.  I have previously shared these on my social media but will pop it here for anyone interested!

You will need

Baked potatoes

Tomato puree

Tomato ketchup

Mixed herbs

Grated cheese

Pepperoni slices

What To Do

  1. Place a wooden spoon handle either side of the potato
  2. Make slices up to 5mm apart along the potato, as far down as the spoons.  Do not cut all the way through the potato
  3. In a bowl mix 2 tbsps puree, 2 tbsps ketchup and a sprinkle of mixed herbs
  4. Spread this mixture over the potato.  Put a slice of pepperoni in each cut of the potato
  5. Sprinkle with cheese
  6. Pop in the oven for around 30-40 minutes (until potato is cooked through)

Ostomates – Be wary of potato skins, I can not eat them and have to remove!

Thursday

We started the day with a treat breakfast again today – I made pancakes!  As with the French Toast I served this with some fruit so the boys were getting a good part of their 5 a day first thing!  We also bought some toffee sauce which finished them off perfectly!  I mix 300ml milk with 100g plain flour and 2 eggs in a jug which makes it easy to pour into the frying pan.

I haven’t had a chilli in a long while and so thought I would give it a go tonight and make a homemade one.  I am not able to share this recipe as I forgot to note down which spices I used (doh!) but it was delicious and I will definitely make another.  Meanwhile, enjoy the pics!

Friday

We went out for lumnch woth my Mum today so I decided that for tea the boys could make their own pixzza.  This is one of their favourite things to do as pizza is one of their favourites too.  Pizza Friday also holds special memmories for me as it isa something my Mum would do with me and my berihter when we were luttle.  It is great for using up leftovers and you can make it exactly how you want it.

I bought two of the basic cheese and tomato pizzas from Aldi.  Both boys added pepperoni which they love!  Leo also added some pineapple and cut up cocktail sausages.  Riley also added some cut up saisages and extra cheese.  They both enjoyed getting to cut the sausage themselves, obviously under my supervision but with a great, kid friendly knife I got from Pampered Chef a few years ago!

Saturday

Today was a busy one so I used this Dolmio sauce I picked up a while ago to try.  I spread it over the chicken breasts and a selection of veggies and put it in the oven – really simple.  I also made some roast potatoes to go with it.

The sauce was delicious and we really enjoyed it!

Sunday

I cannot claim credit for this meal – Ste made it and we invited my Mum and Dad over to share it with us.

Ste marinated the chicken and lamb in homemade sauces before masking kebabs, adding mushrooms, peppers and onions.  He also made flat breads which were delicious.  As there was some left over we popped them in the freezer.

Ostomates – Mushrooms, onions – chew really well!

I hope you have enjoyed my first instalment about what I eat in a week.I would love to hear if you try any of the recipes, let me know in the comments below if you do!  Please do leave a comment and let me know if you enjoy these kinds of posts, and anything you would like me to include in the future,

nat

 

Meal Planning & Saving Money

As it’s January and this year I really want to try and save money and pay off my debts, I’ve got back on the meal planning train. I used to always shop like this but the last few months have been a bit up and down as the boys aren’t here to cook for all the time and I have been back and forwards to Ste’s quite a bit. Hopefully everything will settle down a bit this year as we are in a good routine and I am getting back to something I love to do – cook!

Using a meal plan is a great way to try new foods and recipes, as well as save money. I thought I would go through the way I plan my meals and then shop, as if you are looking to do either of these things this year you might find a bit of motivation.

First, I get some inspiration for meals to try. I like looking online, Pinterest is amazing! I also check recipes from my friends (Stephie at Colitis To Ostomy does a great Meatless Monday post every week and Louise at Crohns Fighting has some fab Thai recipes on her blog). I love picking up the freebie supermarket magazines too as they often have some great recipes in. I then sit and ‘ostomy proof’ them, as well as perhaps changing up some of the ingredients or the method. I like to take a recipe and make it my own! You can also plan breakfast and lunches but I don’t always go this far. I make sure I have bread, toast and sandwich fillers, crackers, eggs, cereal, soup etc so I can all sorts of things for these meals depending on what I feel like.

From that I can then make a shopping list of what I need. Often my cupboards have a good supply of herbs, spices, stock etc so I make sure I’ve got all those types of things in already so I don’t repurchase unnecessarily. Then add in all the other necessities like toilet roll and washing up liquid.

A great tip from here for people like me who can’t always manage a supermarket shop, is to shop online. So easy to set up and most supermarkets cover most areas now so you can choose your favourite. Have your list by your side and only buy what you need. Not browsing the aisles cuts down alot on buying too many ‘goodies’ that you see on the shelves and just like the look of.

If I want to go out and shop I will make my first stop Aldi. Definitely the best and cheapest I’ve found and I really like it in there. It’s five minutes in the car from me, so local too. There are some things that you just won’t find there and some things (for example their crisps) which I just don’t like, so then I head to Asda.

I was very pleased with myself for heading around Asda and only buying what I needed from there yesterday. I had my list with the two things I couldn’t get in Aldi (tarragon and coconut milk) and I wanted crisps, cereal, Actimel and the dog’s food. I also checked out the whoops section, and managed to get some meat which had been reduced.

When I got home I added these bargains to my meal planning list so I now have a full list of meals. I don’t plan to have certain things certain nights (unless the boys are here or someone is round for tea) so just mark them off when I’ve made them. I always make a family sized meal and freeze the leftovers. This is great for when I’m not feeling too good and don’t want to be cooking. There’s plenty of meals in the freezer to defrost and heat up when I’m hungry.

Just for the nosey ones among you who want to see the list, here it is!

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My Meal List (January)

I hope to be able to share some of the recipes with you over the coming weeks too. I have no great photography skills and my food doesn’t always look great in the photos, but it’s always tasty and not too difficult to recreate.

So to round up my top five best money saving and meal planning tips are

1) Create a meal plan, then a shopping list from this so you only buy the food you need

2) Try Aldi! I am super impressed with their prices, the fresh fruit and veg and the meat is amazing

3) Shopping online isn’t the time saver it can be made out to be but it does save you money by helping you stick to your list and if you are disabled, it’s an invaluable service

4) Check out recipes from the internet. As I said above, Pinterest is brilliant and you can check out my recipes by clicking here. If there’s something in there you don’t like, swap it for something you do! Play around with different foods and techniques and make a recipe your own.

5) Freeze leftovers. Don’t throw away perfectly good food. Pop it in a freezer tub and it will be perfect for those days you are in a rush or not up to cooking

Do you have any other fab tips? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

Lucy At Home

Recipe – Chicken, Mushroom and Spinach Lasagne

This recipe is perfect for when you have left over cooked chicken, perhaps after your Sunday roast. It’s also a nice twist on the traditional lasagne and definitely as tasty!

Chicken, Mushroom and Spinach Lasagne

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What You Need

Cooked chicken breast, tore into rough chunks

Half a pack of mushrooms, peeled and sliced

Half a bag of spinach

An onion, diced

2tsps mixed herbs

1tsp garlic granules

590ml chicken stock

295ml milk

A pack of grated mozzarella

5/6 tbsp plain flour

Lasagne dried pasta sheets

How To Make It

1) Saute the mushrooms, onion, mixed herbs and garlic granules for around 5/10 mins until cooked and the moisture has come out of the mushrooms

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2) Add the spinach and cook till wilted

3) Take off the heat, stir in the chicken and leave to one side

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4) Add the stock and milk into a saucepan over a medium heat. When bubbles begin to appear at the edges, whisk in the flour and lower heat to a simmer. Stir for five minutes to thicken sauce. Use less/more flour as needed.

5) Add three handfuls of the grated mozzarella to the sauce and stir

6) Grab your baking dish and add a layer of the sauce mix followed by a layer of pasta sheets.

7) Add the chicken mixture, sauce, sprinkle of mozzarella cheese and then pasta sheets. Repeat this 3/4 times depending on the size of your dish. Ensure the pasta sheets are covered with the sauce

8) End with a cheese layer. Cover with foil and put in a preheated oven (gas mark 5) for 25 minutes. Uncover, then cook for a further 15 minutes. You can then grill for 4/5 minutes to make the cheese golden brown but this isn’t a necessity, just preference.

9) Take out of oven, leave to stand for 5 minutes then serve

We all enjoyed this, my sister in law had seconds and thirds! It smelled amazing while being prepped too as I made it up in the day so in the evening it just needed to be put in the oven. You could also use a ready made lasagne white or cheese sauce for convenience, I definitely will when making it again as it’s so much easier.

As an ostomate I am very lucky to not struggle with mushrooms as long as I chew well. You could do this recipe without the mushrooms and could replace it with some smoked bacon perhaps. You could also chop the mushrooms up super fine like onions so you still get the flavour but no big chunks to get stuck!

Hope you enjoy trying this one as much as I did, will certainly be on the menu again!

BlogMas Day Eighteen – Recipe – Cauliflower and Garlic Cheese Soup

This is a soup I have been making for a while thanks to my lovely Mum who first gave me her recipe.  This is now the recipe I generally follow after tinkering with it a little and I absolutely love it.  Thick, creamy and flavoursome, perfect for this chilly winter weather.  Cauliflower is one of my favourite vegetables so it is great to find another way to cook it.

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Cauliflower and Garlic Cheese Soup

You Will Need

One cauliflower head cut into florets

I onion, diced

1 leek, thinly sliced

1 medium potato, chopped into small chunks

1 litre vegetable stock

1 packet of garlic soft cheese (I like to use Boursin or a similar alternative)

What To Do

1 – Cook the onions until soft

2 – Put the leek, potato, onions and stock into a saucepan and cook for 10 – 15 minutes

3 – Add the cauliflower and cook for a further 10 minutes

4 – Blend the vegetables in the pan.  I use a hand blender but you could transfer the contents of your saucepan to a blender at this point

5 – Stir in the garlic soft cheese allowing a few chunks to remain

6 – Serve with fresh, warm bread

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do, it is definitely one of my favourite soups to make and eat.  And warm, fresh bread is what I like to serve with most soup but your preference is up to you!  Let me know how you find this one in the comments below and let me know what your favourite soup is too.  I have some more soup recipes to share and would love to know what you would like to see next!

Check out yesterday’s BlogMas post – Coping With A Stomach Bug When You Have An Ileostomy

Recipe – Cheese, Bacon and Spring Onion Potato Pie

This is a super easy and delicious recipe, perfect for midweek.  I made it for myself and had plenty left over which I froze for future meals.  This is a great idea for when you are chronically ill.  When I am having a bad day, it is great to know I have a freezer full of delicious meals which just need defrosting and heating, rather than having to cook a meal from scratch.  It is also a good way of saving money and saving on waste.

Cheese, Bacon and Spring Onion Potato Pie

Ingredients

  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into similar sized chunks
  • Grated cheese
  • Bunch of spring onions
  • Pack of diced bacon
  • Generous pinch of paprika
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • One egg

What You Need To Do

  • First, put your cut up potatoes in a pan of boiling water and boil for around twenty minutes
  • Meanwhile, chop your spring onions and place in a frying pan with the diced bacon.  Fry off until the bacon is browned and the spring onions are softened
  • Once the potatoes are soft, drain them and roughly mash them
  • Add a spoonful of butter and a splash of milk and mash into the potatoes.  Stir in the egg, a large handful of grated cheese, paprika, spring onions and diced bacon
  • Place in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle another handful of cheese on top
  • Place in a preheated oven (electric fan 170 degrees) and cook for around 30 minutes until the cheese is golden

I served mine with some tinned spaghetti hoops. Baked beans would go well as well but can be a bit risky with an ostomy.  If you have high output from your ostomy mashed potato is great to help thicken it up, so this would be perfect for that too.  Really easy, simple but very tasty!  Let me know if you make it and what you think in the comments below!