4 week menu plan

This was one of the Appendices in the book. I thought it might be helpful to post it on this site too.

 

Here’s our plan for a typical month’s eating – so there are four lots of four healthy meat/fish + vegetable recipes here for you to try. They are all really simple but very tasty and filling. I’ve suggested a standard salad to go with most of them – but feel free to experiment if you have other salad favourites you want to try – both in terms of veggie ingredients and flavourings. Just be careful not to stick in really unhealthy pre-prepared salad dressings.

 

Week 1

 

Monday:             Cajun chicken with salad and quinoa

Tuesday:            Salmon in coconut milk with salad and asparagus

Wednesday:     Fillet steak with salad and grilled tomatoes

Thursday:         Tuna steak with salad

 

Week 2

 

Monday:             Turkey or lean beef mince chilli

Tuesday:            Sea bass with wilted spinach and green beans

Wednesday:     Chicken curry with red lentil dhal

Thursday:         Prawn stir-fry with cashew nuts

 

Week 3

 

Monday:             Black bean chicken with bok choy and leeks

Tuesday:            Baked salmon steaks with tomatoes

Wednesday:     Sliced steak with rocket and salad

Thursday:         Roasted cod with tomatoes

 

Week 4

 

Monday:             Roast chicken with veggies

Tuesday:            Swordfish with tomatoes, lemon and capers

Wednesday:     Chicken laksa

Thursday:         Pan fried trout with almonds & stir-fry vegetables

 

 

 

1 – Cajun Chicken with Salad and Quinoa

Ingredients

400g pack of chicken breasts (2 to 3 breasts)

Cajun spices (sold in most supermarket spice racks)

1 bag of lettuce

Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

1 red & 1 green pepper, chopped into slices

Avocado, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces (or feta cheese if you prefer)

50g quinoa

Extra virgin olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Method

Trim and slice the chicken breasts horizontally so they are thinner – they will grill more quickly. Gently score each side. Sprinkle a good helping of Cajun spices and olive oil over the chicken breasts and leave to marinade.

Heat a frying pan/griddle to a high heat (I use a griddle to add a nice scoring to the cooked meat) and grill the breasts for approximately 5-6 minutes each side, until they are fully cooked.

Add 50g of quinoa to 1 litre of boiling water, simmer for 10-12 minutes, then drain and run through a sieve to drain off any excess water.

Whilst the chicken is grilling, place the lettuce in a salad bowl. Add the halved cherry tomatoes, chopped and sliced peppers and either some avocado or feta cheese. Finally, add some olive oil & balsamic vinegar (3 to 1 ratio) to flavour the salad. Finally add the quinoa and mix the salad thoroughly.

 

 

 

2 – Salmon in Coconut Milk with Salad and Asparagus

 Ingredients

2 decently sized salmon fillets (150g-200g each)

2 chillies

400 ml tin of coconut milk

1 200g pack of asparagus

Extra virgin olive oil/toasted sesame oil

Standard salad ingredients (see 1)

Method

Place the two salmon fillets in an oven-proof dish. Cut the chillies in half length-wise, and scrape out the seeds using a teaspoon. Discard the seeds. Chop the chillies into smaller pieces and scatter over the salmon. (being careful not to touch your eyes in the process). You can leave out the chillies if you are not a fan, but they do add a nice touch of extra flavour to the salmon.

Pour over the tin of coconut milk. Place in a pre-heated oven at 180°c with a lid on the dish (or some aluminium foil) and cook for 12-15 minutes – returning after 6 minutes to baste the fillets with the coconut milk.

Prepare a salad as per dish 1.

Fry the asparagus for 2-3 minutes in either olive oil or sesame oil.

Serve the Salmon with some of the remaining coconut milk drizzled over as a sauce.

 

 

 

3 – Fillet Steak with Grilled Tomatoes and Salad

Ingredients

2 × 200-250g fillet steaks (8 oz each)

Salad ingredients as per 1

2/3 large tomatoes

Extra virgin olive oil/butter

Method

Bash the steaks with a rolling pin to flatten and tenderise them. Season the steaks with some milled pepper and a pinch of salt well rubbed in to both sides.

Pre-heat a frying pan/griddle. Again a griddle is better as it gets hotter and leaves that nice scoring effect on the surface of the steak. Add a touch of olive oil or butter to the griddle/pan and place the steaks on to cook. Allow 5 to 6 minutes per side depending on whether you want the steaks rare or medium and how thick they are. Take off the griddle/pan, place on a plate, and leave to continue cooking in their own juices for two to three minutes.

Cut the tomatoes in half, and place on the still hot pan/griddle cut side down to grill for two to three minutes.

Serve with a salad and some good English mustard.

Red Wine Sauce

As an alternative to mustard you could make a red wine sauce. It will take longer than the steaks so start this first

Chop an onion up and fry in some olive oil for 10 minutes, adding some garlic (I use the cheats garlic you can buy, ready chopped) towards the end. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes, 250ml of red wine, and 500ml of chicken stock or bouillon. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Then strain the liquid to get rid of the onions and residual tomato pips etc, leaving you with just the strained liquid. Continue to simmer this until the liquid has reduced to a smooth sauce (maybe 15-20 minutes or so).

 

 

 

4 – Tuna Steak with Salad

Ingredients

2 × 200g tuna steaks

Salad ingredients

Mayonnaise

1 orange

Method

Pre-heat your griddle or frying pan. Drizzle a little olive oil over when hot. Pan fry/griddle the tuna steaks for approximately 3 minutes on each side.

Prepare a salad as per recipe 1 (or make your own)

Take a small bowlful of mayonnaise, and whisk in the juice of an orange (or you could use lemon or lime if you prefer)

Serve the griddled/pan-fried tuna with the salad and the orange mayo side dressing for flavour. Add some side vegetables as well if you want.

 

 

 

5 – Turkey (or Beef) Mince Chilli

Ingredients

400g turkey or beef mince

Tin of chopped tomatoes

Tin of kidney beans (with chilli sauce – check no added sugar)

Tin of mixed beans

2 chillies, finely chopped (or two teaspoons pre-chopped chillies)

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic (or two teaspoons pre-chopped garlic)

200ml red wine

1 cauliflower

Standard salad ingredients

Method

Fry the chopped onions in olive oil until nicely soft and golden. Just at the end add the garlic and chillies and quickly fry with the browned onions.

Add the beef or turkey mince and fry until browned all over. Add the tomatoes, kidney beans and mixed beans, along with the red wine. Mix thoroughly and place in a lidded oven-proof dish and place in a pre-heated oven at 180°c for 30 minutes, until the chilli is fully cooked.

Take the white florets from a cauliflower, place in a food mixer and grind until the cauliflower has been reduced to rice-sized pellets (or a little smaller probably). Gently fry the cauliflower rice in butter for 6-8 minutes until soft and tender.

Serve the chilli with the cauliflower rice and a nice fresh green salad.

 

 

 

6 – Sea Bass with Wilted Spinach and Green Beans

Ingredients

2 whole sea bass (filleted) or four fillets

A big bag of spinach

A pack of green beans

Juice of 1 lemon

25g butter

Olive oil

Flour

Method

Take the bag of spinach and sauté with some butter in a large frying pan or large sauce pan. You will be amazed how quickly it shrinks – hence the big bag requirement. Once it has fully wilted place half on each plate.

Coat the sea bass / fillets with the flour, and fry in a hot pan in a little olive oil or butter for 2-3 minutes each side. If you are just doing the fillets fry the skin side first.

Separately blanch/boil the green beans (or you could use asparagus or sugar snap peas if you prefer) for 1-2 minutes until cooked but still with a bite to the taste.

Pour the juice of a lemon into a saucepan, heat until simmering and then add the butter in slices and mix thoroughly, adding more butter until you have a thick lemon butter sauce.

Place the fish over the wilted spinach, pour over the lemon butter and serve with your green vegetables.

 

 

 

7 – Chicken Curry with Lentil Dhal

Ingredients

400g chicken breast (2-3 breasts), cut into small bit-sized pieces

2 onions, finely chopped

2 tins of chopped tomatoes

200ml can of coconut milk

100g red lentils

Spices

 Ground cumin

Ground coriander

Turmeric

2 sticks of lemongrass

100ml tin of coconut cream

Fish sauce

Chillies (I keep a jar of easy, ready chopped chillies in the fridge)

Garlic (again, I keep a jar of easy, ready chopped garlic in the fridge)

Channa dhal spice (most Asian convenience stores will sell packs of this)

Bunch of fresh coriander

Star anise

Method

Put the lentils into a saucepan and run through cold water until all the starch has been washed off and the water is clear. Cover the lentils with water and bring to the boil

Fry one onion until soft, add a tin of chopped tomatoes, a spoonful each of chopped garlic and chopped chillies, and two teaspoons of the channa dhal mixture. Mix thoroughly and add to the boiling lentils. Keep simmering this mixture for an hour, adding a little water, until the lentils are soft to the bite.

Meanwhile, fry the other onion until soft. Add the chicken and fry until the pieces are beginning to turn brown. Add a teaspoon each of ground cumin, ground coriander and turmeric, along with the 2nd tin of chopped tomatoes, and mix thoroughly.

In a food processor, place the lemongrass, a big handful of the fresh coriander, the fish sauce, another spoonful of garlic and chillies, a touch of olive oil and the coconut cream. Blend until it is a smooth paste.

Add the paste to the chicken and stir thoroughly. Add two/three star anise pods to the chicken and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Serve the chicken with the dhal. You could prepare some cauliflower rice to accompany the dish (see recipe 5).

 

 

 

8 – Prawn Stir-Fry with Cashew Nuts

Ingredients

1 bag of pre-prepared vegetable stir-fry (most supermarkets sell these)

300g raw, shell-off prawns

50g cashew nuts

Sesame oil

1 teaspoon of honey

3 teaspoons of soy sauce

2 teaspoons of chopped garlic

Method

Roast the cashew nuts in the sesame oil in a wok until golden, and then set aside.

Marinade the prawns in the honey, soy sauce and garlic for 30 minutes.

Toss the vegetable stir-fry inside the wok until the vegetables are hot and cooked (3-4 minutes). Quickly add the prawns and a dash more sesame oil to the wok and stir-fry until they turn pink and cooked (less than 1 minute). Add the cashews and serve. Again the cauliflower rice would go well with this.

 

 

 

9 – Black Bean Chicken with Bok Choi, Leeks and Cashew Nuts

Ingredients

400g chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces

1 pack of bok choi (sometimes called pak choi or pak choy)

1 large leek

50g cashew nuts

½ jar of black bean sauce

Method

Fry the cashew nuts in sesame oil for 2-3 minutes, until they start to look golden brown. Set to one side.

Stir fry the chicken pieces in sesame oil until browned all over. Set to one side.

Chop the bok choi/pak choi into small slices, discarding the hard end. Similarly slice the leek in half length-wise, and slice into 1/4-inch segments. Stir-fry the leeks and bok choi in sesame oil until softened. Add the chicken, cashew nuts and the black bean sauce, and stir-fry until everything is nicely mixed and covered in the sauce.

Serve on its own, or with the cauliflower rice referred to earlier.

Note; this is one recipe where I have suggested you buy a shop-prepared sauce – black bean sauce is possible to make yourself but is a bit of a faff compared to buying a jar of sauce, and the amount of sauce needed won’t spoil any nutritional goals.

 

 

 

10 – Baked Salmon Steaks with Tomatoes, Peppers, Leeks and Asparagus

 Ingredients

2 large firm salmon steaks (200g each)

Pack of vine tomatoes

1 pepper, thinly sliced

1 leek, halved and chopped

1 lemon, sliced

Pack of asparagus (or green beans, mange tout etc)

Olive oil

200ml white wine

2 teaspoons of chopped chillies

Method

Place the salmon steaks in an oven-proof dish. Drizzle with olive oil and the chopped chillies. Slice the lemon and place the slices on top of the salmon. Place the vine tomatoes on top and surrounding the steaks, along with the pepper, cut into slices, and the chopped leeks. Add sufficient white wine to give the dish enough juice to cook in – especially the vegetables.

Place in a pre-heated oven at 180°c in a lidded dish and cook for 25-30 minutes.

Stir-fry the asparagus (or other small green vegetables) in some olive oil for 2-3 minutes, until still crunchy but nicely cooked.

Serve the salmon steaks with the cooked veg and asparagus.

 

 

 

11 – Sliced Steak with Rocket and Salad

Ingredients

400g of fillet steak

Big bag of rocket

2 peppers

Tomatoes

Avocado

50g quinoa

½ cucumber

1 lemon

1 tablespoon of honey

English mustard

Olive oil

Method

Prep the steak as if you were cooking it in the previous steak recipe, and griddle/stir-fry as before – 5 minutes+ each side. Once fully cooked, slice the steaks thinly and place on a bed of rocket on each plate.

Separately, prepare a salad of chopped peppers, chopped tomatoes, a thinly chopped avocado, a peeled, seeded and chopped cucumber, mixed with 50g of quinoa that has been boiled/strained.

Make a vinagraitte using a tablespoon of lemon, tablespoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of English mustard and a teaspoon of honey. This adds a lovely flavour to the salad

Serve on the side of the steak/rocket with a dab of English mustard.

 

 

 

12 – Roasted Cod with Tomatoes

Ingredients

2 skinless cod fillets (about 300g)

Red pepper, chopped

Red onion, chopped

125g cherry tomatoes

1 jar of smooth tomato paste (passata)

Small bunch of basil

Standard salad ingredients

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200°c, place the chopped peppers, tomatoes and onion in an oven-proof dish, sprinkle some olive oil and pepper on top and cook for 15 minutes until beginning to char.

Place the cod fillets in the dish alongside the charred veg, pour over the passata and place in the oven for a further 15 minutes until cooked. Sprinkle the basil on top.

Serve with a green salad.

 

 

 

13 – Roast Chicken with Veggies

Ingredients

Small chicken for roasting (1kg to 1.5kg)

Lemon, ended and halved

Red & green pepper

Red onion

Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

Cauliflower & Broccoli

25g Butter, 25g plain flour, 500 ml milk, 75g grated cheddar cheese

Method

Place half the lemon inside the chicken. Score the outside of the chicken lightly, and rub over with the juice of the other half of the lemon and some olive oil (and possibly some chopped chillies/garlic if you like those flavours). Place in a roasting tray and roast for 20 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 220°c and then a further 40 minutes per kg on a reduced temperature of 180°c.

Separately place the chopped peppers, onions and cherry tomatoes in a small oven-proof dish, drizzle with olive oil and season with some pepper.

Make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the milk until you have a smooth sauce. Simmer for around 5 to 6 minutes. Add the grated cheese until thoroughly mixed into the sauce and melted but let it cool as it does so.

Break the cauliflower and broccoli into small florets, and pour over the cheese sauce

When there is about 10 minutes to go in the oven for the chicken, place the veggies in.

Take the chicken out and then place the cauliflower/broccoli cheese in and cook for 20 minutes.

Let the chicken cool down, carve, and serve with the roasted veggies and cauliflower/broccoli cheese.

 

 

 

14 – Swordfish with Tomatoes, Lemon & Capers

Ingredients

2 x 200g swordfish steaks

2 bunches of vine tomatoes

Lemon

Olive oil

Mint and basil leaves

Handful of capers

Salad ingredients

Method

Make an olive oil/lemon mix (3 tablespoons each), and add in some chopped basil and mint leaves (a handful of each). Then add a little pepper to season. Baste each side of the swordfish steaks with the olive oil/lemon sauce.

Pre-heat your griddle or frying pan. Drizzle a little olive oil over when hot. Pan fry/griddle the swordfish steaks for approximately 3 minutes on each side.

Pop the vine tomatoes in the pan to warm and cook alongside the swordfish. Pop the capers in towards the end to warm through too.

Serve the swordfish with the vine tomaotes on top and the capers added on the side for flavour/bite.

Prepare a salad as per recipe 1 (or make your own) to go with the fish.

 

 

 

15 – Chicken Laksa

Ingredients

2-3 chicken breasts, sliced lengthways

Can of coconut milk

Fresh green beans (or okra) and halved cherry tomatoes for the side

Teaspoon of chopped chillies

Cauliflower rice (see recipe 4)

For the sauce

2 sticks of lemongrass, ended and peeled

2 teaspoons of chopped chillies

2 teaspoons turmeric

Handful of fresh coriander

Handful of fresh mint

Small piece of shrimp paste

Teaspoon of fish sauce

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

Method

Place the strips of chicken on a griddle (or in a frying pan) and fry/griddle, turning constantly, until they are nicely cooked and browned. Remove and on a chopping board, cut into small, bite-sized pieces.

Separately, mix the sauce ingredients in a blender, and blend until you have formed a smooth paste.

Fry the paste quickly in a frying pan, then add the coconut milk and the chicken pieces and thoroughly warm through.

Separately fry the green beans (or chopped okra – cut into ½ inch segments) in some sesame oil with a teaspoon of chillies and the cherry tomatoes for a couple of minutes until cooked but still crunchy (the okra will be softer if you do that instead).

Serve the laksa over some cauliflower rice with the green beans/okra on the side.

 

 

 

16 – Pan-fried Trout with Almonds & Stir-fried Vegetables

Ingredients

4 trout fillets

Lemon, quartered

Bag of flaked almonds

Bag of stir fry vegetables

Method

Dry toast the flaked almonds in a frying pan until golden brown. Set aside

Lightly dust the trout fillets with some flour. Fry in olive oil for 2-3 minutes each side until cooked.

Separately, stir fry the vegetables in some sesame oil.

Serve the trout with the almonds sprinkled on top, and some lemon juice squeezed over for some bite, with the stir-fry on the side