December meal plan 3 – fast and nutritious

fast meal plan

With a busy and expensive week ahead, meals need to be fast and nutritious without costing the earth.

Choose a good sized cauliflower with no blemishes so that leftovers can be made into a hearty soup. Breadcrumbs are also used in the stuffing which I suggest making in advance of Christmas, so you can freeze until required.

Use up all the food in your freezer to make room for Christmas leftovers.

Have you cleaned out your fridge and freezer for Christmas? A good tip is to use up all the food in your freezer before you buy more to freeze. A freezer is an excellent piece of equipment when used systematically otherwise it only becomes a holding unit for food waste.

About our family meal planner
This week’s family meal planner
Shopping list

About our family meal planner

All the meals included in our weekly meal planners are child friendly, form part of a daily balanced diet, and will provide nutrients from each of the food groups (proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals), says Sian.

They include plant and animal protein such as red meat, white meat, fish, and eggs along with cheese, chickpeas, nuts and seeds for meatless days. Sian says the secret to stress-free, low-cost healthy meals is to plan what you’re cooking to make sure you have the right ingredients in the right amount in your kitchen ready cook.

Every week, Sian puts together five easy recipes for the week’s family meal planner. You can choose to make them on whichever day of the week suits you best. She also puts together a shopping list (below) that you can print out and take with you to the supermarket.

This week’s meal planner

Shopping list

Baked products

Bread crumbs – 350g           
Tortilla wraps – 8

Cereal grains and pasta

Corn flour – 1 tablespoon           
Semolina – 100g           
Plain flour – 190g           
Macaroni – 120g

Dairy and egg products

Egg – 2 medium           
Butter – 130g           
Cheese – 230g

Fats and oils

Olive oil – 5 tblsp

Fruits and fruit juices

Lemons – 2

Meat products

Lamb mince – 250 g

Fish products

White Fish – 500 g

Poultry products

Chicken fillets – 3           
Chicken legs – 8

Soups, sauces, and gravies

Worcestershire sauce – 2 tsp       
Hot salsa – 1 jar          
Sour cream – 1 jar       
Chopped tomatoes – 400 g (1 tin)

Spices and herbs

Ground coriander – 1 teaspoon           
Mustard powder – 1 teaspoon           
Ground cumin – 2 1/2 teaspoons           
Fresh thyme – 1 bunch           
Chili powder – 3 1/2 teaspoon          
Paprika – 3 teaspoon           
Garlic powder – 1/2 teaspoon           
Herbs – ½ teaspoon           
Vanilla essence – 1/2 teaspoon


Caster sugar – 160g           
Raspberry jam – 4-5 tablespoon

Vegetables and vegetable products

Cauliflower – 1           
Garlic – 1           
Green pepper – 1           
Onion – 2           
Red pepper – 1           
Baked potato – 4           
Carrots -6
Lettuce – 1           
Red onion – 1

Sian is a home economist with over 25 years experience as a secondary school teacher and now running her own private cookery school with a focus on meal planning. After years of seeing people struggling to provide healthy meals everyday for their families, she created her own meal planning system at