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D Scott Angle
D Scott Angle
Husband, Father, Friend, Executive Phoenix Trader, School Governor, Blogger, Mentor, Social Media Advisor, Website Usability Analyst, Dad Taxi

Menu Mondays: Planning stress free dinners your family will love

Mar. 19, 2012 9:07 pm
Keywords: None

Okay, you know what it’s like… it’s 3:30, 4:30 or maybe even 6:30 in the evening and you’re standing there with the freezer open wondering what the family is going to have for dinner (or some approximation thereof). You’ve got some core ingredients, but what recipe should you use? And then, of course, you have to make sure it's something the family will eat… Aaarrrrggghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! It’s enough to make you scream.Luckily for us, this isn’t a scenario we have to live through any more, and credit where credit is due, it’s all down to my wife, Sonia - Sonia is an extremely, and sometimes annoyingly, well organized person. In 2010 Sonia sat down and started creating a menu plan that we could use on a week-by-week basis, ensuring the family get varied and interesting meals and making it easier for us to shop ahead for what we need.

The menu plans have proven to be so helpful that, not only have there been loads of requests for recipes, but friends have wanted copies of the plans themselves.

Thus Menu Mondays are born. Every week I will be sharing with you the menu plan for this week as well as the most enjoyable meal from last week, with recipe, as voted by our family.

If you would like to create a plan for yourself then please check back here soon as I'm currently writing a special report that will be a short, free, ‘How to create your own menu plan - the easy way’.

This Week's Menu

MondayPasta with tomato sauce and garlic bread
TuesdayBaked potatoes with beans, home-made coleslaw, tuna and cheese
WednesdaySpicy Fish Soup with fresh crusty bread
ThursdayKids have school dinners… so they get a light dinner & we get a Chinese Takeaway!
FridayShepherd's Pie
SaturdayRoast chicken drumsticks with roast spuds and veg
SundayChinese sweet and sour pork with noodles

Last Week's Family Favourite

(NB: Many of our recipes have been taken from various books throughout the years, as well as created from scratch or passed down within the family. Unfortunately, I have no idea where most have come from, so if you read a recipe that belongs to you, then I'm sorry and please feel free to lay claim)

Aromatic chicken curry with rice

Serves: 2Preparation time: 15 minutesCooking time: 30-35 minutesFreezing: Recommended (ie, cook double and freeze half)


  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 cm (1 1/4 inches) fresh ginger, grated finely
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garam masala
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 x 175g (6oz) medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 150ml (1/4 pint) chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp. half-fat crème fraîche
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Rice as desired


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and gently fry the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the ginger and spices and fry for a further minute (stirring constantly).
  2. Add the tomatoes, chicken and stock. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat. Simmer on a medium heat for 20 minutes, until the sauce is thick and rich.
  3. Prepare rice.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir the crème fraîche into the sauce. Check the seasoning and serve.

TOP TIPS The curry tastes more fragrant if you use whole spices like coriander and cumin seeds. Grind the spices just before you use them in a pestle and mortar, or electric grinder.

You can prepare the curry in advance until step 3. Keep in the refrigerator or freezer, and then reheat and add the crème fraîche when you wish to eat.

VARIATION Canned tomatoes or passata can be used instead of fresh tomatoes.

If you would like help creating your own Menu Plan then check back here soon as I'm currently writing a special report that will be a short, free, ‘How to create your own menu plan - the easy way’.

Have you tried this recipe or any of the dishes listed? If so, let us know what you liked or disliked the most... any variations that worked better for you?

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