1- Week Meal Plan – Dinner Ideas

We were recently discussing with our friends the growing trend of online grocery shopping.  Ordering groceries online or via Apps has certainly created convenience in the busy lives that we have today. No walking in grocery stores, no standing in lines, and no need to carry heavy bags back home. While we are all for the convenience of shopping, online grocery shopping has not lured us yet. In fact, we look forward to our Saturday morning grocery runs. This may sound crazy to some of you, but our grocery runs are quite elaborate and augmented. We buy produce and seafood from the farmers’ market, meat from a butcher house, spices from an Indian/Pakistani store, and the rest from one of the big grocery stores.  You may think that this is quite a lot of effort and time consuming. It is! We spend about 2-3 hours doing this. However, this is one joyful experience and something we look forward to on Saturday mornings.

We always start from the farmers’ market. Looking at what is in season gives us inspiration and ideas of our week day meals. We usually have some dishes in mind, so at the market we identify what is available to make our food delicious. So, for example, we love having Chinese stir fry or soups. The combination of vegetables that we will include in these dishes is determined by what the farmers’ market offers over the weekend.

Breakfast

During weekdays, we have a quick breakfast which mostly includes bread and tea. For this, we buy a big loaf of  whole-grain bread with. Butter, jam, peanut butter and Nutella is always on in our kitchen. So a toasted slice of bread with one or two of these spreads is what we eat along with out black tea with milk and sugar. We also get a pack of 10 eggs and sometimes I may fry an egg with my toast.

Lunch

We always bring packed lunch from home to eat the office. For me, this is 3 times during the week while for T, this is all five days. Lunch for T is a sandwich four out of five times. Fifth time is Biryani, which is our Sunday dinner always. His sandwich is usually whole-grain bread, hummus, sandwich chicken (home-made or store-bought), and cheese.

I always like to play with my lunches. So one day, I take left-overs. While the other two days, I like to experiment with a salad. Most of the time, I make my salad with beetroot, sweet corn, salad greens (swiss chard and arugula) with a dollop of hummus. I eat this with some Maise Waffel (corn waffles). On the days I don’t go to work, I like to eat leftovers as well.

Dinner

Monday:

This is a working day for both of us so by the time we get home, we are starving! On this day, we make a quick lentils’ or vegetarian dish and eat it with rice or Naan. Some of our favorites are below:

Quick Fried Okra
Chickpea Flour Tortilla/ Besan Ka Cheela
Red Lentils/ Daal Masoor
Chickpea Tortilla with Red Chuttney/ Besani Roti & Laal Chuttney

Tuesday: 

This is the day that I don’t have to go work. So with some time on hand to indulge in cooking, I cook a meat dish.  A few dishes we enjoy cooking are below.

Dry Beef with Green Peppers and Chilies
Chicken and Ginger Curry
Stuffed Peppers
Beef Mince with Green Spice Mix

Wednesday:

Wednesday is usually Biryani repeat day! Like I mentioned, Sunday dinner is ALWAYS Biryani in our home. While we are two people, we cook Biryani for six people. So on Wednesday we repeat one of our favorite meals to celebrate mid-week! 😀 To make Biryani, I cannot post a recipe here because we use the Shan Foods Biryani mix. When we cook Biryani with beef, we love using their Memoni Biryani or Sindhi Biryani mix. The Bombay Biryani and Pilau Biryani is our favorite for making shrimp or chicken Biryani.

Here is a picture from our Instagram of Shrimp Biryani before and after it went in the oven (we ‘dum’ our biryani in the oven- a great tip shared by our cousin).

Thursday:

The second-last weekday is always the least-effort-in-cooking day. Thursday is when we like to just pop something in the oven or have a quick shallow fried dish. This then means, some meal prep over the weekend. Below are a few options we frequent for our Thursday dinners.

Chapli Kebab
Crispy Chicken Strips
Easy Pan Fried Chicken

Friday a.k.a Leftovers Day:

Over the past one year, we have become very good at eating everything we cook before it goes back and has to be thrown away. To make this habit better, we discovered that Friday dinners comprise of leftovers in the fridge. Our target on Friday is to make sure that the fridge has minimum or no Tupperware with food in it. This allows us to menu-plan for the coming week and, most importantly, prevent any food from going bad.

However, I won’t leave you without any ideas! There are some good weeks where there are not enough leftovers. So on this day, I love cooking something Thai or Chinese. Below are a few of our (chicken) favorites:

Chicken Stir Fry with Cashews
Thai Basil Chicken
Chicken in Oyster Sauce

And that’s a wrap folks! Homemade food is such a blessing and we are so thankful to be able to cook and eat together. I hope these recipes give you some ideas for your week ahead. It certainly helps us to menu-plan on the weekend and shop for groceries accordingly.

I would love to know some of your favorite week-day dinner recipes. So if you read up till here, leave a quick comment with your recipe name. 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.